Pure Bug Too review

Toy-like, bit is it as much fun?

TechRadar Verdict

A delightful DAB bit it does have its quirks


  • +


    Feature packed


  • -

    Sluggish controls

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This second-generation DAB from Pure now looks more like a toy than a radio to us, but the Bug Too is feature packed. Apart from a built-in SD card slot, ReVu (Pure's own pause and rewind function) is also included. Sadly the duration is a mere five minutes, far less than most of Pure's likewise equipped DAB radios. More usefully, it's also possible to navigate through MP3s stored on a SD card.

When the unit is turned on the LCD screen's brightness may keep you awake unless you delve into the menu to tell it otherwise. Do that and it'll wake you up with a tone, radio, a favourite song, or even album, from the SD card.

Also new to the Bug is access to an EPG, whereby radio shows (largely from BBC channels only) can be scheduled for recording. Put a 2GB card (about £60) in the Bug Too's rear and it will store up to 30hrs in MP2 format, although any smaller SD card can be used.

When using the EPG, it's impossible to read the full names of radio programmes and there's no 'back' button for retreating a step. Sluggish controls also means waiting until the unit catches up with even very simple commands, so it's too easy to skip over what you're looking for.

The EPG won't actually work unless you've a SD card in the slot (it intermittently records the EPG to the SD card), but Pure is about to release a firmware upgrade to fix this problem. Using the USB slot on the Bug Too's rear, simply connect the USB cable (provided) to a PC and visit the Pure website. Forget that USB for anything else though. It can't for example, transfer MP2 files of recorded radio to your PC - you'll have to physically remove the SD card and use a card reader with a PC to do that.

Sound investment

The Bug Too can, however, be connected to a home cinema amplifier (or MiniDisc player) using its digital optical output. Slightly disappointing is the absence of an audio input, which means the Bug Too can only be used as a standalone unit and not as MP3 player, PC or laptop's speakers.

Sound quality is good: its speakers supply precise, if limited, stereo that is heavy on bass and light on distortion even at high volumes. It's more suited to music than dialogue though, and speech on Radio 4 in this test sounded muffled at times.

The price cut to just £100 is essential in keeping the Pure Bug Too a realistic option, and to be fair, Pure has loaded it with some handy features that you'll do well to find on many other DAB radios. However, user-friendliness has been overlooked so much that we've only one conclusion to draw: style has won over design, with the result being as regularly annoying as it is occasionally delightful.

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