Pure makes great digital radios. The same applies to its DMX-60, an attempt at a modern version of the traditional hi-fi microsystem.

The inclusion of a DAB tuner and the ability to pause, record and play MP3s is as impressive as the build quality. It's a shame about the glitter-clad remote, though.

Three buttons on the unit's midriff offer a choice between DAB and FM, CD and SD card, and auxiliary inputs. It's simple enough, but the remote's button for toggling between all modes is preferable. The DAB tuner works well, as toggling between and selecting stations is simple, instinctive and quick as you like.

Getting in tune

Before the DAB will work at all, an auto tune is needed, reached through a clearly structured and displayed menu. In our test the auto tune took less than 30 seconds and picked up every DAB station broadcast in the area.

Timers, alarms, guide, audio settings and access to Intellitext are also in the menus. The latter is a useful function, as sport headlines and snippets of news can be read at any time - although only for a few (largely BBC) DAB radio stations.

The DMX-60 has a built-in memory and, at the touch of the 'ReVu' button, the radio is paused while a second counter ticks away for up to 30 minutes. If at any time the ReVu control is pressed again the radio plays on from where it left off, while a touch of the tuning knob wipes what's been recorded and real-time radio returns. Easy.

Recording specific radio programmes, a feature new to Pure hi-fis, is not unique, but it works faster on the DMX-60 than ever before. Scrolling between schedules and setting-up recordings is as simple as swapping stations. The only problem is the capacity of the SD card - buy a 1GB card to ensure around 15 hours of recording.

Another consideration is that when a recording is scheduled, the radio physically switches itself on at the beginning and off at the end of the selected programme.

Back of the net

Round its back are two sets of phono inputs (iPod, laptop etc), one round of phono inputs (for connecting a subwoofer or external speakers), an optical audio output, aerial, speaker connections and a even a USB slot (for transferring files to or from a PC to the SD card).

The most rounded sound obviously comes from the DMX-60's CD player, but even low bitrate voice radio is rendered well with plenty of precision and bass.

It's all here: decent sound quality worthy of the price tag, versatility, and usability. This Pure will satisfy the needs of the majority.