Pure Digital, a well respected maker of DAB radio equipment in the UK, have just announced their new DAB in-car radio. What’s unique about this, compared to the previous in-car DAB addon radios is the easy self-install design…
More details in the rest of the article.
The device plugs into your car cigarette lighter, and attaches to the windscreen through a suction cup, just like your SatNav device next to it. However, there’s no wired connection to the stereo needed. Whilst previous in-car DAB radios have either connected to AUX (*)/ Line In sockets, or needed permanently wiring into the car aerial feed, the Highway includes an FM transmitter to transmit the DAB radio onto your existing car stereo via a free FM frequency (FM transmitters are now legal of course). It also has a headphone socket allowing you to use it away from the car too if you add 2 AA batteries (although neither the batteries nor the headphones are not included in the box).
It features all the best functionality we have come to expect from Pure, including the ReVu function, which allows you to pause and rewind the live DAB radio, 20 DAB station presets, 4 FM transmission presets, and the best feature, common to all Pure devices – a USB port which allows firmware upgrades to be applied, should the need arise. We, here at the UK Gadget Blog, prefer to support devices which have upgradeable firmware to help deal with any issues that should occur. Pure have used this feature before to good effect – allowing major new features to be released to devices. It uses this mini USB connector for both power and for the firmware updates.
Another nice feature is the 3.5mm AUX-in socket, allowing you to use it to feed your iPod or MP3 player’s music via your car speakers. Although a lot of people are buying cheap FM transmitters to achieve this, Pure devices are known for their sound quality, so this should be a great improvement over the devices already on the market.
Those 4 FM transmission presets will be handy – although it features quickScan, to quickly and easily find a free FM frequency, the ability to set up4 presets on both the Highway and on your car stereo will make changing the FM frequency as you travel the country really easy
The devices is not large: 122mm wide x 70mm tall x 29mm dee, and only weighs 156g.
As you can see from the picture, it has a green backlit display.
As well as the power feed, a discreet DAB aerial needs affixing to the windscreen. The only downside to the unit we can see is that this aerial cable plugs into the actual unit, and not into the windscreen mount, meaning everytime you put it into the car, you will need to plug in the power and the aerial into the Highway. Of course, if this bothers you, then spend the extra and get a DAB addon radio permanently mounted in your car.
(*) There is an option to use an Aux connection, if you have one.
Given the sometimes poor quality of FM transmissions in the UK, we suggest this device may well become popular with both regular radio station listeners, but also company car drivers, as a convenient way of adding DAB radio to their cars without invalidating their lease agreements.
All that for just £70, wow. It should be in the shops in time for Christmas too.