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151 of 154 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally a cheap DAB in car option
What I love about this...

Its really easy to set up. Once you get the aerial sorted you literally just plug it in and away you go

Its really cheap. Cheaper than most equivalent quality portable DAB radios and definitely cheaper than getting a DAB radio fitted in the car

Its easy to use, same as usual with Pure products

The sound...
Published on 11 Feb 2008 by Alan

versus
220 of 223 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Review of Pure Highway after 3yrs use.
After 3yrs of use, I have so many comments to make.
The Pure Highway enables you to listen to DAB radio stations on your standard FM car radio.
It can also be used as a personal DAB radio, using headphones (not supplied) as found on many modern mobile phones. You need to put AA batteries in the unit for it to work.
From my experience, this 'personal' DAB...
Published on 11 Oct 2011 by D. Bennett


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220 of 223 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Review of Pure Highway after 3yrs use., 11 Oct 2011
By 
D. Bennett - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: PURE Highway, In-Car DAB Radio With FM Transmitter (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
After 3yrs of use, I have so many comments to make.
The Pure Highway enables you to listen to DAB radio stations on your standard FM car radio.
It can also be used as a personal DAB radio, using headphones (not supplied) as found on many modern mobile phones. You need to put AA batteries in the unit for it to work.
From my experience, this 'personal' DAB function tends to eat batteries, so you will need high capacity ones, which are rather expensive.
OK for listening to DAB whilst out walking, but not a substitute for home DAB. It would be far cheaper in the long-term to get a basic DAB radio for home use costing £25 or so.
Now to the 'car' use.
The highway uses 'vacant' FM channels to transmit the received DAB signal to your car radio. I am a taxi-driver in Cardiff, and use the Highway to receive Talk Sport (not so good on AM), and Planet Rock (only available on DAB).
The Highway searches for 'vacant' frequencies on FM to send the signal to your car radio. In Cardiff there are very few 'vacant' frequencies, and the ones found by the unit often have 'bleed-over' from the existing FM stations. There also seems to be a problem in this area with local 'rogue' FM stations only transmitting at certain times. I suspect that they are transmitting at low levels illegally, and blocking up the 'available' frequencies. This results in a 'fuzzing' of the reception. The only way around this is to keep 'retuning' the unit. Rather frustrating.
A common fault with this unit is the car power lead. It is far too flimsy, and I have got through two of them. After much use the wires inside fracture, and break the power connection. Also, the connection to the unit is NOT designed for unplugging every time you leave the vehicle. After time this connection can become worn, and needs a bit of fiddling to connect. A simple way around this is to hold the power lead to the unit with blue tac. This way the contact stays constant, and when you remove the unit (for security reasons), you will be reminded that the power lead is best kept in place.
Having got through two dedicated Pure power leads, I have found that the power lead for my Garmin Nuvi sat-nav is exactly the same fitting, and works perfectly.
Other advantages using the Garmin power lead are,
1, The Garmin lead is far more robust, and much less likely to fracture.
2, The Garmin lead is much cheaper than the 'dedicated' Pure item.
The supplied windscreen mount aerial is fine for most users.
I bought a 'mag-mount' aerial to enhance reception. The aerial for the Highway is 'active' rather than 'passive'. This means that it is powered, so you need to buy a 'Highway' enabled aerial.
Don't buy this item from Pure, an identical one can be bought from 'dabonwheels' at about £18, with a MUCH longer 5m lead. Better and cheaper.
The mag-mount aerial gives better reception, but also picks up more interference. I would say, get one.
A common fault with DAB, especially in cities, is the 'blanking-out' of the signal.
As a taxi-driver, I know the main reason for this.
Taxis with company radios are constantly receiving and transmitting radio signals. These signals can be strong enough to travel 20mls or more.
In a city centre, at very short distance they can easily 'blank-out' the DAB signal. Also the bus company in Cardiff use similar radios, which also have the same effect.
To summarise, I would say, DO NOT buy this item as a cheap solution to a dedicated in-car DAB radio.
After all, you only receive the DAB signal on you car radio in FM quality, not DAB quality.
The unit only allows you to receive DAB stations via FM.
If you are like me, and want stations such as Planet Rock and others, only available on DAB, then this unit is a must.
Also Talk-Sport is much better on DAB than AM.
Whatever you do, don't pay the £90 or so some retailers ask.
Go for the best possible deal, and accept in advance that this product does have its' flaws over a 'proper' DAB car radio.
You pays your money, and takes your choice.
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151 of 154 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally a cheap DAB in car option, 11 Feb 2008
By 
Alan (Swindon, England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: PURE Highway, In-Car DAB Radio With FM Transmitter (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
What I love about this...

Its really easy to set up. Once you get the aerial sorted you literally just plug it in and away you go

Its really cheap. Cheaper than most equivalent quality portable DAB radios and definitely cheaper than getting a DAB radio fitted in the car

Its easy to use, same as usual with Pure products

The sound quality is great. I've had no probs with DAB reception so far, although I've not been out of town with it yet

Its easy to find a interference free FM channel for it to transmit on as it hunts for a free one rather than you having to do it yourself. It also transmits using RDS so I'm hoping I won't have to get it to find another if I move into another area (not sure about this though)

You can pause rewind live radio which is a bonus as well

There is one minor annoyance though. As a reviewer has said before, you have to have the Highway pluged into the cigarette lighter to get it to transmit on FM (although I think it will work whilst plugged into my PC as well) this means you have to have the trailing wire between the unit and the lighter which is a bit irritating.

All in all however its a great unit and I am really pleased that I can finally get DAB in my car without having to spend a fortune.
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92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well so far so good!, 16 Mar 2011
By 
Dale A. Haines "master_ice" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: PURE Highway, In-Car DAB Radio With FM Transmitter (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
My previous experience with DAB has not been good. That was with two different portable DAB receivers which, living where I do in a valley in Kent, both proved to be worse than useless.
I had no belief that in-car DAB would be any better because of the inherent limitations with the frequencies of transmission combined with the fact that you'll be in motion, but since I'd won a Highway in a competition, who was I to complain?
Much to my surprise the Highway works way, way better than I would have expected. Not least of which was considering the on-windscreen antenna which, although apparently amplified didn't look much more than a common "J pole" style of antenna well smaller than the optimal dimensions I would have expected (I have been a communications engineer all my life).
I installed my unit in my Vauxhall Zafira with the antenna on the left side of the windscreen while the car was parked on my driveway which, even on normal VHF FM means fairly poor reception.
The installation and set up procedure is a bit longwinded and if your car, like mine, doesn't power the accessory (cigar lighter) socket on standby then you'll need to turn on the ignition when you are parked. This is a bit of a pain but that's a Vauxhall design not the radio's fault.
After the Highway had gone through it's auto-set up and I'd found it's FM transmit frequency on my radio, my main listening stations of Radio 4, Classic FM, Absolute and XFM were all far better than on my normal radio.
The most stringent test would be when on the move but yet again the Highway more than surpassed my expectations.
On a 20 mile journey only once, whilst driving though Orpington high street did I get a case of what they call "Burble" due to poor signal.

I would probably say that to my mind the major drawback with the thing is that it is definitely NOT a hands-free device and using it whilst driving (changing stations or FM transmit frequency) is a definite safety no-no. There are 4 single button pre-sets but of those only 3 automatically tune to the station selected. The fourth button marked "4+" gives you another 17 stations for pre-set usage but as this requires you to press button 4+ and then rotate the tune wheel to select the pre-set you desire and then press the central button to tune to that station, you have to take your eyes off the road. This is an accident waiting to happen!

However the quality of the received audio is far better than I expected.

The unit can also be used to connect your iPod to your car stereo which could mean that with the Highway, your iPod and a sat-nav, the top of your dashboard would be like a space shuttle console with a lot of potential shrapnel in an accident!

The Highway can also be used as a portable DAB receiver where the headphones act as the antenna as well. Not surprisingly at my home location this still wasn't overly impressive in fact it was absolute rubbish and didn't work at all. Still this isn't what the unit was designed for anyway but for it's main purpose as an in-car DAB adaptor I feel it succeeds very nicely thank you.
All in all a pretty nifty piece of kit.

UPDATE: 18 March 2011

There was one very important issue that I neglected to mention when I reviewed this item.
I haven't changed my opinion of the device which still works very well but, in my area ONLY on week days! The problem I am about to describe only exists with the Highway and similar down-converting type units which take the DAB channels at around 220MHz and convert them to a selected frequency between 88 to 108MHz (approximately)

And why does this only happen on weekdays? Because there are so many illegal pirate radio stations squeezing themselves into every tiny gap and weak signal reception channel on the VHF FM band between (mostly) Friday morning through to Monday morning (I assume that the benefit offices are closed at these times!).

What these illegal stations do is run such high power, poor quality, over deviated, splattering FM transmissions that they simply take over your car radio (a thing called capture effect to the technically minded) and, at best interfere with the signal from the Highway unit or, in the worst cases, simply wipe it out so that instead of what you were expecting to hear you are rewarded instead with the "Whump, Whump,Whump, yay dood ya'kno wha' 'appennin'?" moronic broadcasting of these self important pirate station DJs.
This is NOT a fault with the Highway but simply that illegal broadcasting on the VHF FM band is increasing in leaps and bounds while the detection and prosecution of such stations appears to stay constant or actually decrease.

So be warned, as great as the Highway is, due to it's method of RF linking to your car radio, you WILL suffer this problem.
If however you can connect to your car radio by the audio output connected directly then you'll have no such problems.

Update over :-)

Update 2: 27 3 2011.
The unit started cutting out which at first I thought was my poor cigarette lighter socket but it wasn't. I replaced the 12v to 5v adapter and the radio worked perfectly. I am now waiting for a replacement power lead from Pure which, from reading their website and their replacement procedures seems to imply that this is a weak spot in their equipment.

update over :-)

Update 3: 6th April 2011.

Whilst the windscreen antenna works it wont win any prizes to my mind! Having now used an external mag-mount antenna and watched the signal strength hit all bars instantly I would suggest that, if you don't mind having a little antenna on your car roof then the increase in signal is worth it.
I do think that the Pure external antenna is over priced at £24 or thereabouts but apparently cheaper versions are available if you look. Being in electronics I simply constructed one out of an existing antenna and have been rewarded with constant signals in previous iffy areas.
Unfortunately though it won't deal with DJ Bigjobs and his crew's pirate beats as they will still cause problems since the coupling to of the Highway to your car radio isn't dependant on the Highway's own antenna.

update over :-)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic piece of kit!, 11 Mar 2009
By 
J. I. Mcalister "kindbear" (Beaconsfield, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: PURE Highway, In-Car DAB Radio With FM Transmitter (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
I bought a brand new top of the range Mondeo a few months ago but the extreemly expensive factory fit FM radio was just terrible. Ford garage would not replace it under guarantee saying "it sounded OK to them"

Then I happened across this Pure Highway DAB radio. It looked like it might solve my problem. At a cost of just under £70 I thought I would give it a go. I also bought the mag mount roof aerial as I didn't fancy sticking the supplied windscreen aerial to my smart new Mondeo. The unit is so small and neat that it easily fitted in the small recess beside the handbrake. Again I didn't fancy it stuck on the windscreen and I only ever listen to Classic FM or Radio 2 so having the display in full view was not neccessary. The tiny, very discreet mag mount aerial went easily on the roof in the centre just near the tailgate and the connecting wire was virtually invisible entering the join between the roof and tailgate. Power came from the Mondeo's rear power connector so no unsightly trailing cables. Finally, I was able to hook up to the Aux in jack in the glove compartment with the cable being invisibly routed under the centre console trim, no tools were needed, just pushed the wire under trim by hand. The whole installation took about 15 minutes and is extremly neat and discrete.

Switch on and it tuned dozens of stations, the quality on Classic FM was gobsmacking! The car was a veritable concert hall on wheels. Driving around the hilly High Wycombe area of Bucks, the signal was rock solid, not a hint of dropout fade or interference. A trip out towards Oxford was just as good.

This unit is a little marvel and an absolute steal at the price. Thank you Pure for a fantastic piece of kit!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, but not a lot of use, 14 Feb 2010
By 
P. Tennant - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: PURE Highway, In-Car DAB Radio With FM Transmitter (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
Great idea, but doesn't live up to the promise.

1. I live in heavily populated NW Surrey, 1 mile outside the M25, where my static DAB radio works fine - but the Pure Highway worked fine when I set it up on the drive, but driving the first 100 yards the signal stopped 3 times !
I commute around Surrey and the only station that is always available is Planet Rock - the rest come and go as they feel like.

2. It does NOT tell you this in the manual - if you run the device off batteries it will not transmit to your radio ... Pure do not seem to have a reason that I find believable ! So if you want to use sat nav/charge your mobile/etc as well as Pure Highway you need to buy a cigarette lighter splitter thing as well - not expensive, but not mentioned in the documentation.

3. lots of presets, but only the forst 3 are 1 button touches - the rest you press preset 4, spin the dial to get the preset number you want and then press select .... doesn't sound (or feel) a very safe way of getting those presets (particularly since the dial is not very sensitive)

I would recommend splashing out and getting a proper car DAB radio
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Highway - Pure Magic, 5 Feb 2008
By 
David Murray "Big Dave" (Galston) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: PURE Highway, In-Car DAB Radio With FM Transmitter (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
Fantastic piece of kit, really well designed, superb full sound. Planet Rock and the Arrow fill the car, even mono stations like Talksport are well presented. I've been a fan of DAB for ages and to get it in the car where I spend a lot of time is a great leap forward. I've yet to experience any drop off of signal when travelling. Brilliant!!!
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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb piece of kit!, 29 Jan 2008
By 
M. J. Cleaver "cleavermike" (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: PURE Highway, In-Car DAB Radio With FM Transmitter (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
Hock your grandmothers mobility scooter to get one of these! At last DAB is finding it's way into cars where it is needed. Now you can listen to a football match without Alan Green croaking to death. You can also listen to Virgin in quality and use the unit as a portable DAB in the house and garden. Be aware it uses a (fairly discreet) aerial sticking to the windscreen and if they had made the aerial cable 9 inches longer I could have had the aerial on the passenger side and the holder on the right of my steering wheel. Save one of the cable stickers for to cover the superbright red led on the cigarette lighter plug. But I'm being picky! Buy one now and find a reason to go for a drive when a match is on!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars You need an external aerial, 4 Feb 2010
By 
Mr. Richard Heywood (Harrogate) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: PURE Highway, In-Car DAB Radio With FM Transmitter (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
I have had the Pure Highway a few years now as I love listening to Planet Rock in the car and at home.

Using the window aerial, the strength of signal was from ok to downright rubbish and as such frustrating. Half the time it sounded like a strangled budgie on the radio.

However, I have now bought an external aerial, what a difference, Planet Rock sounding as God intended.

I have also tried the Pure Highway on the HIFI at home using the audio lead to the amplifier, (bought separately) the window aerial did not get a signal at all, so I tried the external aerial, still no reception. I then put the aerial on a frying pan and result, I can now have DAB through the hifi instead of through computer speakers

Only one star though as you need the external aerial and this was another twenty quid, this should be included. I travel from Harrogate regularly up the A1 to Newcastle, the window aerial works for about 20% of the time (as this is the main North South road, I thought the signal would be better. Travelling south, with the window aerial, it works in Leeds and Manchester, then down the M1 between Sheffield and Milton Keynes.

Hope this review is helpful
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great - but needs some help., 9 May 2011
This review is from: PURE Highway, In-Car DAB Radio With FM Transmitter (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
This is a fantastic bit of kit and has worked really well for me for the 5 months I have owned it. However, there are some things you need to know to get the most from it(well anything useful actually)!

1 - Throw away the supplied power adapter it simply doesn't work - buy a genuine TomTom One charger for around £10
2 - Throw away the windscreen aerial and buy a magnetic roof mounted aerial for around £25
3 - Do not put batteries in if if you're powering it up externally
4 - DO NOT UNPLUG THE AERIAL WITH THE POWER ON - It can damage beyond repair the device.

So once you've spent another £35 (bringing the total up to around £100) you get a really good in-car DAB radio. Very clear reception on a spare FM channel (you can also go wired if you wish to an aux input on you car radio - neat feature). 100% signal strength / quality most the time (dipping to no less than 90% and I live in an area where teh transmitter power isn't great). Perfect for things like Radio 5 Live, Planet Rock etc.

Also, if you use it as a portable radio with the batteries in and the headphones as the aerial you get surprisingly good reception - betteries do get used up fairly quickly, but that's a problem with DAB in general.

I would definately recomend this product, but only after doing what I've described above otherwise you will be disappointed. I managed to fit the roof mount aerial wires in my car neatly so not on show, the car charger has also been fitted behind the dash so there's not too much spaghetti on the front of the dashboard. Oh - the magnetic mount works really well and I wish my sat nav and mobile phone holders were this good.

I've not given it 5 stars only because you have to buy the other bits to make it work. For quality and sound when it does it gets 5/5
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unimpressed..., 14 Nov 2008
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: PURE Highway, In-Car DAB Radio With FM Transmitter (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
Must have had this DAB in car radio about a year now so I reckon I am in a good position to provide an objective review so here it is.
As other reviewers have pointed out the aerial is sub-standard, you are forever loosing signal strength (I tried re-tuning as instructed but has no effect)which is really frustrating.
Changing stations on the move is awkward especially if you store more than 4 stations.
The set up is relatively easy but you end up with intrusive wires trailing everywhere.
The arm that holds the radio to the windscreen is also poor quality constantly wobbling until mine actually broke off today!! (where the arm attaches to the sucker) obviously a weak point unless mine was faulty.
Whatever I Won't be repairing it as I had pracically stopped using it due to the combined faults already mentioned.
Not surprisingly my conclusion is this is a poor product, a waste of money unsuitable for purpose, which came as a real shock to me as i have a Pure Evoke DAB radio at home which is a superb piece of kit.
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