Pure has launched the Highway 300Di, a DAB radio adapter designed to be used in conjunction with existing in-car systems. The Highway 300Di builds upon the success of Pure's first, more basic, Highway DAB adapter, which will continue to be sold alongside the new device.
The Highway 300Di incorporates several major improvements. The original Highway relied on a simple wire antenna that was designed to be attached to the inside surface of the windscreen but the 300Di has a robust external aerial, which should greatly enhance reception. The 300Di is permanently installed in the car, and loose cabling is kept to a minimum, providing a much neater solution than the first Highway, which was designed to be mounted on the windscreen via a sucker mount and powered from a 12V socket. The adapter, or controller unit, is much smaller than the original Highway and is far more convenient to operate. Stations are selected via a single twist-and-push knob, and dual tuners ensure that users are always presented with a live, up-to-date list of available stations; one weakness of the original single-tuner Highway was the need for fiddly retuning when travelling between DAB reception areas. The 300Di has an exceptionally clear yellow-on-black OLED display in place of the original model's LCD, and also offers pause and rewind functions.
The 300Di plays through existing car sound systems via an 'aux-in' socket, the FM aerial feed, or an FM broadcast signal. It is also compatible with Apple iOS devices, so iPhone, iPods and iPads can be operated from the controller unit, and also charged if connected via a USB cable.
While the 300Di is much more highly integrated into the host vehicle than the original Highway, installation is not particularly invasive; installation of the external aerial, for example, requires no cutting or drilling.
In-car use of digital radio badly lags domestic DAB listening; Pure thinks that high-quality reception of Radio Five Live and Talksport, normally broadcast in AM, will prove a big draw during big sporting events in 2012, in particular the London Olympics due to be held in July and August.
The Highway 300Di will be sold initially through Halfords at £179.99, which, for limited period, will also provide free installation (normally at least £24.99). Other outlets will stock the 300Di later. The original Highway (which does not require installation) will continue to be available for about £80.
The Highway 300Di will also be promoted by an on-air campaign by four DAB stations – Amazing Radio, Smooth Radio, Premier Christian Radio and BFBS (the British Forces Broadcasting Service).