Pure Elan RV40 review

Pure blots its copy with this underwhelming DAB radio effort

There are some novel functions on board the RV40 that make it stand out against its competitors

TechRadar Verdict

The RV40 has some interesting features but sound quality heads up a number of failings


  • +

    Ingenious text-scroll feature

    Easy to use


  • -

    Average sound quality

    Basic connectivity

    Basic design

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Famed for its Evoke DAB radios, the UK's best selling, Pure Digital must have the widest range of any digital radio maker. That doesn't mean that all of its offerings are of the same standard and its Elan range of budget DAB radios leave a little to be desired.

The RV40 isn't just a digital radio though, coming equipped with a FM tuner as well as access to DAB.

Tweak kneed

But despite a few audio tweaks, the sound quality from the RV40's speakers is very average. So while Radio 4 is listenable, tune in to Virgin and the sounds of Coldplay are far from warm. Bereft of bass and with a muffled delivery, this is not of the same standard as Pure's Evoke range, which are only £30 more.

That's a shame, because there are some novel functions on board the RV40 that make it stand out against its competitors. The pick is Pure's own ReVu functionality, which makes it possible to pause and rewind live radio on the built-in memory for up to 30 minutes. It works well and is straightforward to operate. On the unit's top ridge alongside all other commands are controls for fast forwarding, rewinding, playing and pausing recordings. Simple.

There is also an unmatched number of presets and a unique text SCAN function whereby the scrolling text broadcast by DAB stations (such as news summaries) can be inspected en masse and read at leisure. Odd, but good.

Aside from a USB input, which can be connected to a PC for loading on new software from Pure Digital's website (but not for transferring MP3 files), connectivity is basic. Just a headphone socket and line out is supplied, although a built-in rechargeable battery does give 15hrs playing time, a useful and yet again unique function.

There are plenty of advanced features, despite the DAB radio's basic looks, which represents decent value for money. But with poor sound and design, the Pure Elan RV40 does lack finesse where it matters most.

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