Product Type: Pure portable radios
Newest Review: ... shape fitting nicely onto a bedside table. It has a clear display system which tells you the time and a plethora of other informatio... more
Chronic cool with Chronos
Pure Chronos CD Series II
Member Name: Snarflebat
Pure Chronos CD Series II
Advantages: Fantastic DAB/FM/CD sound, easy to set up, sleek modern design, compact shape, reliable alarm system
Disadvantages: No ipod docking station, buttons may be on the small side, expensive for a clock radio
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!
Summary: A fab little Chronos DAB radio alarm clock from brand leaders PURE.
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