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I have had my Pure Tempus radio for more than 8 years and there hasn’t been a day when it’s woken me up that I haven’t been glad I spent the money on it. It was worth every penny of the rather a lot of pennies it cost and it makes me smile every morning that it wakes me up.
I’m normally a late adopter with most technologies but digital radio was the exception. Totting up in my mind, we have at least 8 digital radios - two at my flat and six at home which isn’t far short of one in every room. I think there might even be another in the garden shed. I have bought my parents three or four more over the years and my sister only escapes because she lives in a digital blackspot. We are radio addicts and the Tempus-1 is my favourite of all our radios.
It’s a thing of beauty with a light wood (cherry maybe, I forget) case and the stylish retro looks for which Pure is so famous. We have another Pure with a wooden case that’s very similar but the thing that makes the Tempus-1 special is that it’s a clock radio. Many of the Pure radios can be set to go off at a specific time without being proper alarm clocks. This one not only goes off at the time you’ve set, it can ‘snooze’ if you hit the bar on the top, the one that usually gets used for carrying it.
The set has 6 presets but on this one I have only ever tuned in Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra. The dulcet tones of newsreaders wake me gently in the mornings. If I could be bothered to give it more attention, changing the alarm time isn’t rocket science but I have it permanently set to go off at 6.30 am and I never change it.
The sound quality is beautiful. Those who prefer music stations may feel free to criticise whether someone who listens to Radio 4 has any right to an opinion on sound quality but talk radio can distort just as badly as music. This never sounds harsh which is especially important at 6.30 in the morning. The radio stays on for one hour after the alarm goes off and then turns itself off.
If you need to know the time during the night, simply hit the bar on the top and the clock illuminates. The only intermittent problem I’ve had in all the years I’ve been using this is that the clock display sometimes goes patchy and loses some of the display. It has always ‘fixed’ itself after turning on and off (as all IT consultants would advise) a couple of times.
This is a nice piece of design. If you want a decent DAB clock radio with useful features, a sensitive tuner, and a nice blend of tradition and innovation, this product is for you.
I love the blue display - easy to read, but it need not keep you awake at night as it goes into standby. If you want to check the time, just tap the handle. If you want the alarm to go into snooze mode (don't we all?!), tap the handle.
The dual alarm is clever because if there are two of you, you can both wake up to different stations - or perhaps set it so that you wake up to five live during the week, and some relaxing music at the weekend - alternatively, you can be woken with a simple buzzer. You don't have to wake up to the same station you went to sleep to.
Also, if you live in a fringe reception area, it may interest you to know that the aerial unscrews to leave an F-type aerial socket where you can connect a roof aerial.
Not cheap, but then you get what you pay for.
All through my life for as long as I can remember I've always needed to take some time in the morning from the moment when I wake up until the moment when I'm actually ready to get out of bed and face the day. Some people hear their alarm clock go off and then spring into action instantly (I reckon these people either do something they love for a living and can't wait to get into work or have small bladders - neither of these things are the case for me) I on the other hand like to have some doze-time listening to the radio, counting down the minutes before I absolutely have to get up and go to work. So a radio alarm clock of some shape or form has always been on my bedside cabinet. Recently I'd just been using the radio alarm on my mobile phone but I decided it was time to crank things up a notch and move into the modern world of DAB radio alarm clocks.
Ok, so I had a list of requirements that I was looking for in my potential new radio alarm clock:
Good sound quality
A fair amount of presets (both DAB & FM)
User friendliness - especially for alarm setting /snooze buttoning
A good sized clock and display, but one that was not too bright
An aesthetically pleasing device
I set about looking around the internet to see what my options were and after some fairly extensive research I finally opted for the Pure Tempus-1S clock radio, and let me tell you why...
Straight off it is a handsome looking radio. Its real cherry veneer casework, not to mention chunky old skool volume and tuning knobs, adds an old fashioned bit of charm to proceedings right away. The symmetrical half speaker grill, half control panel design again ticks all the right boxes for me in the aesthetics column. So before we've even got the plug in the socket the Tempus has begun to work its beguiling magic on the keen eyed radio fan.
When you do plug it in (power can only come from a mains supply, there is no option to use batteries) the Tempus sets the clock automatically from the DAB signal, and both the FM and DAB stations are easily set up in minutes with an automatic scan. It's very straight forward to organise the stations in the order you desire, and with 30 preset spaces available there's plenty of room to have all the stations you want readily on hand. The sound quality is first class and the radio has the capability to receive all the major DAB & FM stations available in your area (you can get an idea of stations you'll be able to receive by entering your postcode at www.pure.com). The radio display's the usual station and song info on the LED display, but it also has Intellitext which provides headline news, sport and weather via certain stations (BBC 5 Live for example). I found this to be a nice little extra feature.
You can set up to 4 different alarms, which can be recurring daily, on weekdays only, weekends only or one off events. For each alarm you can set what station you want to wake up to and at what volume. If you prefer you can wake up to the alarm tone or a selection of programmed sounds, including bird calls, thunder storm and lapping waves. You can also use the sleep option to listen to radio as you go to sleep, with the radio (or, if you prefer, the programmed sounds - forest rain would be a particular favourite of mine to help me drift off) turning itself off after 15, 30, 45, 60 or 90 minutes.
The Tempus also boosts the trademark registered SnoozeHandle, which as you can probably work out is a handle which doubles up as a snooze button (an essential tool in every alarm clock - postponing your alarm for set period of time of your own choosing). I find an easily accessible snooze button vital and with the SnoozeHandle you can lob any of your chosen limbs in its general direction and it'll provide you with some precious extra snooze time without putting up a fight.
The Tempus has a yellow on black organic LED display which means you can read the time clearly no matter what angle you look at the clock. It also has a light sensor so the brightness of the clock adjusts automatically depending on the light in the room. This was a key factor that swayed my decision to buy the Tempus. In the dark the display is reduced to the perfect brightness preventing any clock light from keeping you awake. Should you need a brighter display during the night one touch of the SnoozeHandle illuminates the clock fully.
Some extra info:
There is 3.5mm line -in connection at the back of the Tempus so you can play your MP3 or minidisc player through the radio speaker, a USB Line-in for product upgrades via the PURE website and a 3.5mm headphone socket. There's also a connection socket for an additional matching auxillary speaker (which needs to be bought separately) to achieve enhanced stereo sound (I haven't got one so I can't tell you how greatly this boosts the sound quality).
The radio's dimensions (in mm) are 175 high x 210 wide x 110 deep.
This is a top class product so it isn't the cheapest DAB radio on the market. It currently is available for around £88 with free delivery on Amazon, but I bought mine on Ebay for about £60 including delivery so I'd recommend you shop around to get a good price.