Style as well as substance helps this great value and compact DAB system earn a place on a shelf in your home
Excellent DAB features
Good sound quality
CD player cover a bit unwieldy
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Mini systems that incorporate a CD player as well as a DAB tuner, like this new model from Pure Digital, often consist of separate speakers wired messily up to a deep main unit.
But Pure has produced a compact design that blends all the essential features without any fuss - and its audio prowess is good enough to make it worth considering for a lounge or study.
As well as being relatively small, the DTM-300 is clad in black, although closer inspection reveals cloth-covered left and right speakers and an overall plastic feel.
Get your motor running
Oddly, its motorised CD player cover - that moves up and down at the touch of a button on the remote control - doesn't enhance its look. A pop-out version would be worse, but the black plastic cover leaves the DMT-300 with an unfinished look and the module that holds the large black-on-blue LCD screen that shows CD track names and DAB station look like an old cassette deck.
A world removed from the days of analogue, though, is the DAB tuner. Autotuning to all local DAB stations in seconds, the DTM-300 proves its worth as a functional radio. FM fans will love its RDS functionality (providing station names), but it's the DAB that impresses most.
It's easy to toggle through stations using the fantastically weighted remote that holds anything complex, such as sound levels and buttons for its 20 presets. The sound quality from DAB and FM is this unit's strong point. Clear, concise audio treats both music and voice broadcasts with strength and bags of balanced low frequency sound.
Although the DTM-300 lacks various features that are usually found on Pure's extensive range of dedicated DAB radios (there's no recording, SD card playback, alarms or any other significant features), it's not without its talents. If you burn a CD complete with an ID3 tag - AKA a playlist - the DTM-300 will display the track names of MP3 files stored on a CD-R disc.
We tried this with Björk's Homogenic CD. The carefully separated percussion tracks on Hunter are given some effective stereo and a fair level of treble and bass. It's worth fiddling with the levels of both, but the track never sounds totally 'as one' as there's some muffling apparent, although it can reach tremendous volumes without any distortion.
The DTM-300 is actually labelled with a 'desktop micro system' moniker and we're happy to agree: its stereo line inputs on the rear allows a PC or laptop to be hooked-up or, indeed, an iPod or similar - but it's with DAB that this system performs best.
Stuck on a shelf the DTM-3000 looks more expensive than it is, and, to be fair, it's pretty good value at £190 if you're just after an excellent DAB radio and an easily controlled, basic CD player as an add-on.
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