* Prices may differ from that shown
I wanted a simple to operate system with reasonable sound quality for my bedroom. I bought in black but it also comes in white. It looks smart whatever colour you choose, with the triangular shape fitting nicely onto a bedside table.
It has a clear display system which tells you the time and a plethora of other information dependent on mode chosen. You can set an alarm to wake you with ipod or your choice of radio station. Also you can set the alarm so it wakes you on at different times on different days if you wish. The light display automatically dims at night, just giving out a gentle glow, which is very pleasant.
DAB radio sounds clear and was very easy to set up: just press stand by and set up begins! Being DAB there is a scrolling tack listing for music stations. I tend to listen mostly to Radio 2 and Radio 4 and I never and both of these sound great. Obviously not top quality as this costs under £80 but more than adequate.
Ipod charges on the base. The unit comes with a, somewhat tiny, remote control.
We wanted a nice radio / CD player for our kitchen as we often like to listen to music whilst cooking and washing up. We spent ages looking around for a decent one before we finally came across the Pure Chronos CD Series II. The initial attraction to the radio was the look. It is triangular which is unusual for a cd player. The unit is available it black or white, classic colour which should go with any decor, so we decided to go for the black version.
The sound quality is excellent considering the size of it. The radio is DAB/FM and provides crystal clear music, however I believe this will depend on the area you live and the quality of signal you are able to get. We mainly use the player for CDs and again it works very well in this regard. The volume can we adjusted with a large knob on the front and can get to very loud levels. There are 8 other buttons on the front of the unit which control settings, menu, alarms etc. These are very rarely used as the player is very easy to use and does most things automatically. The main purpose is the ability to navigate between radio stations.
The player has a bright display that displays information about what you are listening to. It is also used to display the time when you are not listening to music. The player can also be used as an alarm clock, which whilst we have never used it, is quite a handy function. The display can be adjusted to various levels of brighness.
The unit claims to be eco friendly and has a reduced power setting which supposedly uses less energy than other cd players. The unit has a remote control which is also a nice feature if you wish to change the song without having to get up.
The unit has the capability to be connected to an ipod or mp3 player and act as speakers. The unit is very easy to set up, we managed to do so without the need of the instructions. Just took it out the box, plugged it in and started palying music!
We picked up the radio from amazon for around £80 but after a recent check i have seen it can purchased for only £70 which is a great price for such an excellent piece of kit.
A stylish prism-shaped CD/DAB Radio (though bizarrely marketed as a radio - alarm clock, somewhat short selling the product) complete with remote control.
As with all PURE products this CD player has a touch of style about it. Taking up a relatively small footprint (see below) given its design for the bedside table (again - odd given the presence of a remote) it neatly sits on a shelf in my baby's nursery (more for my listening pleasure than his). We have the glossy white model (it's also available in black).
The CD deck and opening button are on top of the radio, control panel down the side of the prism, with a speaker on each side. The buttons on the control panel can be a bit fiddly (they're relatively small) and provide options for Volume/Presets/Menu/Source/Statistics/Alarm/Sleep/Standby. Headphone inlet and speaker outlet sockets are also mounted on this part of the player (which also has a handy USB port around the back, for upgrades and connecting with your iPod). All of this is capped off by a central tuning knob and a digital display which is light sensitive, allowing use at all times of day.
My only criticism (apart from button size) of its appearance is the black wire and power socket that comes with this (and seemingly all Pure products). It doesn't look great trailing down my wall: surely white wiring would be less obtrusive (as Apple realised when designing their iPod headphones).
1. Excellent sound quality
2. Good reception
3. Useful presets
4. Alarm function
5. Eco credentials - consumes less than 1W power in standby and 3.5W while active.
1. No iPod dock.
2. Black wires stand out
3. Small buttons
Dimensions: H125 x W195 x D185mm
LCD display: 16 x 2 character LCD display, large clock and feature icons, light sensor
Frequency ranges: DAB Band III 174-240 MHz, FM 87.5-108 MHz
Speakers: 2 x 5W custom-tuned 2.5" speakers
Input connectors: 9V DC power adapter socket. 3.5mm Aux in socket. USB connection (Mini-B type) for product upgrades only
Output connectors: 3.5mm stereo output for headphones. PowerPort for compatible USB accessories. (5V, max 500mA)
Presets: 15 DAB and 15 FM presets
Remote: Infrared remote control
Aerial: Wire aerial attached
Mains power supply: 100-240V AC to 9V (1.5A) DC external power adapter (supplied)
Approvals: CE marked. Compliant with the EMC and Low Voltage Directives ( 2004/108/EC and 2006/95/EC)
Four independent alarm settings, with wake to tone, DAB, FM or CD options
Light sensor adjusts the display brightness to suit the ambient light in your room
Remote control included
PURE PowerPort for USB accessories
Connect an iPod or MP3 player and play directly through the stereo speakers
Plays CD or CD-R/RW
textSCANTM - pause and control scrolling text
RDS support for station name display on FM and RDS scrolling text
Listen through headphones or connect the headphone output to your stereo and use as a DAB tuner
~*~* Introducing PURE *~*~
PURE are recognised as the leading UK digital radio producers, creating the now iconic 'Evoke' portable DABs and many others for use in the home, on the move or even outdoors and in the car.
PURE has become a household brand, holding their own alongside the 'big boys' of Sony and Phillips in the digital arena, delivering a reputation for quality, innovation and an environmental conscience (the brand's rechargeable 'Move' model becoming the first radio recommended by the Energy Saving Trust and forerunner of many other EcoPlus models to be launched).
~*~* Price and distributors *~*~
The Chronos II can be bought from a number of retailers - including Argos, Comet as well as larger suppliers such as John Lewis and Amazon - as well as smaller, independent shops. The PURE website has a handy feature which allows you to search for your nearest supplier by postcode, which can take some of the hassle out of shopping (http://www.pure.com/sales/).
My DAB radio cost £99.95 (a very expensive alarm clock you might think!) from John Lewis, however it can be purchased for less with a bit of research (Amazon is selling it as at Spring 2010 for £88). The price may be a little steep (when compared with other traditional radio alarm clocks on the market) understandably. The product comes with a free 2 year warrantly/guarantee from PURE.
~*~* So why all the fuss over DAB radio? *~*~
DAB stands for 'Digital Audio Broadcasting' - where radio signals are transmitted in digital form rather than the analogue of our usual AM/FM/MW/LW radios. Digital radio is pretty exciting as it provides many, many more stations (many stations, particularly 'internet only' ones are only receivable on DAB or via their website - such as BBC 6 Music) - not only in your region but also access to stations across the country, as more stations can be 'squeezed in' compared to analogue stations. Digital programmes via DAB also give additional data services (such as programme guides and scrolling information such as the names of tracks as they are played).
In tuning to your station, you don't need to remember any of those pesky frequencies but can search DAB lists by name of station to select rather than ages of tedious scrolling.
In addition, digital radio is designed to give a crisper, improved reception (with none of the hissing and cutting out of traditional radio).
~*~* Dimensions and description *~*~
The Pure Chronos II is designed primarily as a bedside radio but can be easily moved elsewhere in the house and used to pick up the radio and play CDs as long as it can be plugged into the mains.
The radio comes in a choice of two colours - a sleek black or a crisp minimalist white (I have the latter). The radio isn't an overbearing size (being 12.5cm tall and around 20cm across in size), so it fits perfectly onto a bedside table with room to spare.
The radio is a triangle shape, with the CD player at the top of the product (in a traditional-loading flat horizontal CD player lid) and with the main screen and controls in the central front section of the radio. The stereo speakers flank either size of the main frontage of the radio.
The product also comes with a neat, thin remote control (in matching white for the white radio). With the instruction booklet, you are also provided with two thin magnetic stickers - these are designed to have one stuck onto the back of the remote control and one onto the radio so you can keep the control magnetically attached if you wish to - very handy if you're prone to misplacing remote controls!
~*~* Setting up the DAB *~*~
One of my greatest fears with electronics is that first set up procedure - I tend to scrutinise instruction manuals in depth before I dive into the set up! However, this is one area that the Chronos really blew me away.
The quick set up was incredibly quick - a couple of minutes at most! All I had to do was unravel the thin white wire aeriel and hand this down the back of my bedside cabinet and plug in the radio to the mains. The Chronos completed an Autotune for all available DAB stations - my radio managed to pick up over 40 stations which was fantastic. And that was it - after a couple of minutes of set up (with minimal involvement from me!) - my radio was ready to go!
~*~* Settings *~*~
The Chronos has English set as the default language - however this can be changed to French, German or Italian using a simple menu navigation. Changing stations is also very easy, the large central silver navigation dial scrolling through each station with ease and the name of the station showing clearly on the display.
The display is clear, with the time being shown with clarity. One really handy feature I've appreciated is the light-sensitive display with a sensor which automatically adjusts, becoming darker and reducing in brightness as you switch the lights off in your room - perfect for when you need to go to bed and you don't want the neon glare of an alarm clock!
The Chronos has a couple of additional ports for connecting an iPod, MiniDisc (I still have my beloved 'Disc so this was useful!) or earphones. The top of the Chronos (at the CD-player lid) also has a PowerPort USB socket, allowing you to leech off the mains power of the Chronos to charge compatible accessories.
The lack of an iPod docking station (on this model) is a shame - although I understand other PURE models do incorporate this, so if you're looking for a model which can feature your iPod in a more swish and modern way than through a lead then this isn't one for you.
~*~* The DAB and FM radio *~*~
The Chronos can play both digital DAB radio stations, as well as all your favourite FM stations too which extends the variety even further. The model allows 30 stations to be preset into the memory (which I think is pretty generous, considering I only have a few favourites!).
The digital radio reception is amazing - fantastic clarity and variety of stations. I love the fact that the radio shows, on the generous display screen, the name of the track playing - no more craning to hear the presenter saying what the track is or frenzied Googling of lyrics! This textScan ability can also be paused and 'rewound' so you can catch whatever has featured on the display.
The FM stations also had clear reception with no hissing or crackling at all.
Setting a present station for FM or DAB couldn't be easier - you simply tune into the desired station (using the central navigation wheel), depress the Preset button on the frontage and then use the wheel to store the station to the menu in the position you wish.
~*~* CD Player *~*~
The lid of the Chronos houses a traditional CD player, where you depress the corner of the lid and this rises slowly, allowing you to insert a CD. The CD player quality is great and there are buttons on the lid of the Chronos allowing you to play, pause, stop and skip tracks (also featured on the remote control). The machine can play mp3 and WMA track CDs, as well as CD, CD-R and CD-RW.
My only criticism of the CD player (with some other areas of the Chronos) is that these buttons may be a little on the small side for some, who prefer easy to access (and see) larger buttons.
~*~* Alarms *~*~
This radio is intended as a bedside alarm clock radio and therefore has an integrated alarm system. You can set 4 alarms which can be set independently (that is, you can set a weekday alarm for getting you out of bed at the crack of dawn, a separate weekend alarm for lazy lie-ins and others as I do). This is an incredibly handy feature, and fits in well with my lifestyle.
You can set the alarm to ring with the radio turning on to a present DAB/FM station, playing the first track of a CD in the player or with a traditional beeping tone. Again, this is handy for the weekends where you might not want to wake to a shrill, work day alarm but gently ease into the day with your favourite radio tunes.
Setting an alarm took me a little while to get used to - my old alarm clock involved quite an archaic (but easy!) method of holding down the 'alarm set' button and then selecting the hour and minute. The Chronos has a small 'alarm' button on the frontage which you select for the alarm number you wish to set (e.g. for your first weekday alarm, press one, for the second weekend alarm, press twice). The navigation wheel can then be used to select the options for the time, alarm sound and the days you want that particular alarm to go off. You can then see the alarms you have set on the main display screen.
If you fancy a sneaky lie-in, the Chronos has a snooze function. This takes the form of a wide, long button across the top of the unit - when the alarm goes off, give this a press to snooze the alarm for 10 minutes or - to cancel the snooze completely, the button needs to be held down to cancel. I find the snooze button easy to find when bleary-eyed which is handy.
I've not done so, but you can change the snooze time you want (reducing it to 5minutes or out to 30minutes for a proper nap!) which could be a useful feature if you've an important reason to wake up or can afford yourself a good lie-in.
~*~* A gorgeous gadget - with green credentials *~*~
Pure have become known for their 'green' advancements, as well as their digital capabilities. They have the honour of having the first radio to be a recommended product by the Energy Saving Trust (and today, many of the Pure DABs have the EST stamp of approval). The Chronos CD II is part of the Pure ECOPlus range (meaning it makes use of reduced power consumption when in standby mode as well as when in use playing music) - another reason to be impressed by this nifty gadget.
~*~* The verdict *~*~
I love my Chronos II - it is a gorgeous, modern and useful unit that looks stunning on my bedside table. It means I've been able to listen to my favourite DAB stations in bed (rather than having to listen via the TV or internet) and the alarm clock has worked very effectively, with no missed alarms or problems with the settings or snooze features.
The price is relatively expensive at around £100 - far more than many would be willing to pay for a clock radio, even with DAB capabilities. In addition, the only other drawbacks of this model are the lack of iPod docking station (a pain if all your music is on your iPod rather than CDs) and the size of the buttons on the frontage and CD player lid - these may be a little small and fiddly for some, but I have found them to be ok.
Overall, I would recommend this model. It suits my needs very well and is one of the most stylish, handy gadgets I have ever bought - definitely worthy of the price tag!