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Radio-Now at Bristol Sound and Vision 2004 : Pure Tempus 1 review

Sound and Vision logo 2004 - The Bristol Show

Pure Tempus-1 DAB digital radio review

DAB digital radio logo

The Pure Tempus 1 comes from a good digital radio family. Both its brother - the Evoke 1 - and larger sister the Evoke 2 are award-winning radios.
Pure Digital Tempus 1 DAB radio

Bristol Sound and Vision is always a good opportunity to have a play with the latest DAB products and review those recently launched; this year was no exception.

The Tempus 1, which at first glance could be mistaken for the Evoke 1, takes the feature level of the Evoke to the next logical step. Featuring twin alarms, the Tempus 1 allows you to fall asleep to one station via its adjustable sleep timer and wake up to a different station. You can also connect the radio up to start the sync record function of a MiniDisc or CD recorder, through the optical digital out. It's a DAB-only set with ten presets, accessible by five buttons and a shift key on the front of the unit.

...setting the dual alarm and timers is an absolute breeze...

Setting the dual alarm and timers is an absolute breeze; the tuning dial takes care of all the options and it's simply a case of turning the dial and pushing to change and confirm settings. Timers can be set for "every Wednesday", every weekend or for one-off events, for example. Alarms can be set to come on with a different station (or the alarm tone) for each. The clock is automatically set through the time signal carried on DAB.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a way to set a timer for a specific date that falls more than a week away, but this is a very minor quibble. Apparently, many people have already been asking if it is possible to download new tones, via the built-in USB port, to wake up to. A slightly strange request. your hand over the metallic handle and the radio obediently shuts up...

If it's the weekend, it can kindly stir you from sleep at a different time. Simply run your hand over the metallic handle and the radio obediently shuts up for a while as you snooze, for an amount of time that is programmable. You can also opt for the display to light up softly when the handle is touched, if you don't want the time to be displayed constantly during the night, for example.

The sleep button on the front does exactly as it suggests, powering down the radio after 30, 45, 60 or even 90 minutes.

It's probably just as well the Tempus 1 doesn't resemble a standard alarm clock; these kind of devices tend to be cheaply-made and sound rather tinny. Luckily, there are no such qualms with the Tempus 1.

The Tempus 1 does an excellent job of sounding bigger than its overall dimensions - the 3" drive unit and amplifier both cope well at high volumes and the case is ported on the underside to improve bass frequencies. Sure, bass isn't earth-shattering, due to the size of the casing, but the Tempus performs well for its size. Add on the separate ST-1 speaker, which the Tempus was hooked up to at Bristol Sound and Vision, and you have a very good stereo DAB set-up.

...produces a warm, authoritative sound...

The Tempus 1 produces a warm, authoritative sound when listening to speech stations - talk stations are clear without the presenters voice sounding tinny or - at the other extreme - muffled. The speaker used here delivers a very good presentation. Music stations sound fine, albeit in mono; the sound from the Tempus 1 is balanced so that it doesn't tire you out from being too brash nor bore you from being woolly or indistinct. Turn up the volume and there isn't a hint or resonance from the maple veneer case.

...offers good connectivity options...

But the "killer application" has to be that suite of nine (count 'em) recording timers, which can sync with a MiniDisc recorder for preserving your favourite shows on MD while you're out during the day. The digital outputs provide the best way of connecting the radio up to a recording device; but a 3.5mm line out socket allows connection via standard RCA phono connectors to any amplifier or tape deck if you so choose. This the great thing about the Tempus 1 - it offers good connectivity to other devices and in one fell swoop answers many questions such as "Can I play the radio through my hi-fi amplifier? Can I record onto MiniDisc? Will it wake me up in the morning?" The answers: yes, yes, for heaven's sake yes!
Reverse view of Tempus 1 radio

The display has also been improved over the Evoke 1. Now, it's a white on blue display that is very clear and readable. There's more space around the edge of the display, making it easier to view from different angles. Like the Evoke 1, station information is displayed on the top line, with scrolling text below.

...the slightly chunky adaptor has to come along for the ride...

Of course, the Tempus 1 does attract a premium on the Evoke 1, but the build quality of the Tempus 1 is so much better, for example, than the similarly-priced-buy-ugly-as-sin Goodmans GPS280. It's also a sensitive machine, pulling in as many stations as it possibly can through its built-in aerial.

Move the radio around and the slightly chunky DC adaptor that sits in the wall socket has to come along for the ride; it's a shame the transformer wasn't incorporated into the casing, although a separate, isolated adaptor does avoid any problems with mains hum through the amplifier.

Overall, though, Pure Digital have yet another product in the bag that is simple to use, expelling the myth that new technology shouldn't be the preserve of "young folk" - people unfamiliar with DAB would be able to work this radio out in a matter of minutes!

Retailing at around GBP130.00, you can check current prices and buy the Pure Digital Tempus 1 via this website.

For: Alarm and timer functions simple to use. Great sound from a small unit. Very clear display. Good connectivity options.
Against: The chunky DC adaptor. Can't run on batteries.


Tempus Technical Specification


Stereo digital radio (stereo output requires optional auxiliary speaker, headphones or external amplifier) with full Band III reception capability, for reception of all UK DAB broadcasts.

Frequency range

Band III (174 - 240 MHz), with fast autotune feature.

Alarm/Clock functions

Two alarm settings with separate station or tone selection and optional daily, weekday or weekend settings. SnoozeHandle(tm) controls snooze function and clock display. Configurable sleep timer. Nine record timers for use with separate recording device.


Full-range 3 inch drive unit

Input connectors

RF F-connector for 75 Ohm DAB aerial connection (telescopic aerial supplied). USB connector for software upgrades. Power input.

Output connectors

3.5 mm sockets for stereo analogue audio output, headphone output and auxiliary speaker connection. Optical S/PDIF output for stereo digital audio output


Power on/standby, volume, tune/select, autotune, info, menu, sleep, 10 presets

LCD display

High resolution white on blue LCD display with selectable brightness levels

Power supply

240V AC to 12V DC external power adapter


210 (w) x 175 (h) x 110 mm (d)


Telescopic aerial supplied

Related links:
Buy the Pure Digital Tempus 1, via this website.

guide to DAB digital radio, on this website.
where to buy DAB digital radio, on this website.
what to buy - a guide to DAB digital radio products, on this website. promo banner