Daytime FM radio is more depressing than a week-long Eastenders special set in Chernobyl, but it's the only option almost every car, even most modern ones, provide us in the way of broadcast entertainment. Pure's planning to change that with its Highway 300Di.
The follow-up to the original Pure Highway ditches the chunky, aerial-packing, FM-transmitting form for a discreet square head unit with four backlit keys, a scrollwheel and an OLED screen. Why the buttons? Partially to pause and rewind live radio for up to 15 minutes, but more importantly so the 300Di can control the tunes stored on an iPhone or USB hard disk.
The Pure Highway 300 Di’s head unit talks to an interface box hidden in your dash, which draws power from the car's battery and gets its signal from a two-part aerial. The internal element connects to the interface box and powers a passive aerial that sits on the outside of the car's glass. It’s not ideal, but it's small and Pure says it provides a better signal than any factory-fitted in-car DAB.
It’ll work in every country where a version of DAB is available, and dual tuners provide dynamic station lists so you don't get offered Three Counties Radio when you're in the Highlands. The Pure Highway 300Di’s other clever touches include a picnic mode that allows you to play music with the engine off and a forecourt feature that pauses your music when the engine stops and restarts where you left off.
The Pure Highway 300Di is available now from Halfords for £180 including installation, though you'll have to pay extra for that come 2012.