PURE POP Maxi DAB+ FM Radio Review
Maxi multi-tasking on the radio...
What is the POP Maxi DAB+ Radio?Released on the 12th of February 2015 the POP Maxi heads up Pure’s POP family of DAB+ radios. The company also claims that the sound has been hand tuned in the UK by their own audio experts. It comes with Bluetooth so it also doubles up as a portable streaming speaker as well as an FM and DAB+ radio. Priced at £99.99 (March 2015) the top of the POP range (sorry), has dual speakers and a hard designed shell which the company say will give it a voice to match its size. So lets see how we get on with the POP Maxi and if it lives up to the billing.
Design, Functions & ConnectionsThere is not a great deal you can do with something that resembles the shape of an oversized glass brick. However the POP Maxi does look good with a nice finish and very reasonable build quality. The unit looks like it has been split into three sections with the grey coloured speaker grille which folds around to the back of the body, the black 1-inch section which also houses the digital display and around the back has the input and output sockets. The top section is finished in a glossy white plastic with all the buttons on the top including a large on/off and volume knob. The two 3-inch speaker drivers powered by 2 x 4.3W RMS are well hidden behind the speaker grille and cloth. There is very little stereo separation to be had out of the unit.
The materials feel substantial for plastics and the unit is well put together. The buttons are nice to the touch and don’t feel like they will fail easily. There is a general chunky feel to the whole radio, which is what you want for a portable unit that could be dropped or see lots of use in and out of doors.
The buttons on the top of the radio control all the functions. The large round knob to the right (looking from the front) is the power and volume button. If you push the button down it pops up and switches the radio on. It can then be turned to control the volume levels. To the left we have the menu button plus direction keys and a select button. Pressing the menu button first and then the direction keys navigates the menu system. Pressing just the direction keys brings up the radio station list and hitting the select key loads that station for you. There is also a source button for switching between Bluetooth or Aux inputs. To the front of the top section of the radio are five preset keys where you can store favourite stations and they double up as snooze buttons.
To the front of the unit we have the digital LCD display to the left hand side of the radio. This displays the time and date when in standby and the clock, station and track ID when used in DAB or FM mode. The display sits within the black strip close to the top of the radio and is bright and clear with a blue colour.
A product like the POP Maxi needs to be easy to use and set up and we found that to be the case. Powering on the radio for the first time automatically sets the correct time and date on the unit. Finding stations is very straightforward, as is pairing the radio with your mobile via Bluetooth. It is so intuitive that Pure only supply a quick set up guide on one A3 leaflet. So thumbs up to Pure for making this an easy to use radio.
Around the back we have the connections which are one 3.5mm jack Aux input, a mini USB input and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The only complaint we would bring up is the portable aspect of the radio. You can run it on four AA batteries - but that would get expensive with frequent use over a long period of time. The best solution would be the ChargePak D1 battery unit that charges when connected to the mains and which can power the POP Maxi for up to 14 hours of portable use. The downside is that this is a £35 optional extra and not included in the box. A battery at close to half the price of the portable radio doesn't quite make sense to us.
Sound Quality and Daily UseWe used the radio in different rooms over a period of time to get the full use out of the unit and check for any defects or issues. We are happy to report that the POP Maxi proved to be a solid performer and found to be a very useful and interesting product to add into our daily routine. Using it as an alarm clock made the most sense to us given the functionality on offer and in a daily routine here, would probably see us listen to DAB radio for at least 20 minutes a day – something we don’t do at all.
Listening to the POP Maxi is easy with a nice clear and distortion free sound that whilst far from the quality of a dedicated sound system, is loud and clean enough to provide a pleasing background sound in a mid-sized room. As soon as you drive the radio hard the sound quickly gets brittle and full of distortion, but that defeats the purpose of this product. It is designed for use in the bedroom or kitchen to provide a pleasing background soundtrack to whatever you are up to. DAB+ radio stations sound good with FM also holding up sound wise if you can get a good signal. Streaming audio from a tablet or mobile app via Bluetooth also sounds very good when used at a reasonable volume and you don't expect deep bass with some dance tunes. With the simple set up, easy to use controls and a clean and mid heavy sound, even when streaming via Bluetooth, we can’t complain at all - it fits the bill.
- Good quality sound for medium sized rooms at background levels
- Bluetooth streaming capability
- Aux input and headphone socket
- Well built and sturdy for portable use
- Easy to use
- Sound quickly distorts when pushed
- No battery unit included as standard for portable use
PURE POP Maxi DAB+ FM Radio ReviewThe Pure POP Maxi does everything it sets out to do in an easy to use and rewarding fashion. The sound quality is not that of an audiophile nature or bass heavy but that is to miss the point of what the Maxi is all about.
It produces a clean and mid-range heavy sound that is pleasing when used for background music and it also allows you the use of Bluetooth to stream music via your mobile. Add to this the ability to double as an alarm clock with easy to use controls and automatic set up and we are struggling to find anything negative about the package. The only downside as we see it is the lack of the ChargePak battery as a standard piece of the kit to make it truly portable.
If you need a new alarm clock, a radio for the kitchen or something for a more portable role, then the Maxi comes recommended.
You can buy the Pure POP Maxi here
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £100.00
Design and usability8
Ease of Use8
Value for Money8
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.