When it comes to the story of Radio in the UK, there are few names more well-known than Pure.
Pure Radio is the brand synonymous with digital radio in Britain, producing a wide range of stylish solutions for homes, cars, and people on-the-move. Alongside a handful of other competitors, Pure is one of the companies that have remained to be a crucial part of the radio scene over the decades. The company was responsible in large part for the move to the digital radio standard.
Committed to creating sets that mix high-quality audio with affordability and beauty, Pure digital radio has something in its portfolio for everyone. The company’s confidence in its solutions is so great that it defines itself as the company behind “the world’s most popular digital radios.”
On the Pure Radio website, you’ll find plenty of information about the company’s products. However, it’s tough to find out where Pure DAB radio began.
How did this business become one of the world’s leading digital radio brands? Where did its mission of redefining radio to suit the modern marketplace come from?
Here’s your guide to the story of Pure Radio UK.
Who is Pure Radio UK?
Pure Radio, otherwise known as “Pure International” is a dedicated consumer electronics company, based in Hertfordshire, with engineering facilities located just outside of London. Driven by a quest to provide consumers across the UK with a reliable and flexible listening experience, Pure specialise in high-quality digital radio sets. Often, these sets are small, lightweight, and portable, so customers can take them wherever they go.
The Pure Internet radio brand launched in 2002, and since then, it has sold more than 5 million products around the world. One of the leading selling points of Pure Radio is that all of its products come with digital tick approval, and they include 3 years warranty as standard.
Currently, Pure products are available from online suppliers around the world, and you can buy them directly in countries like Australia, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Norway, and Switzerland, as well as the UK.
Pure Radio UK emerged because of a significant gap in the digital radio environment. The company wanted to create a consumer-facing brand that served the needs of the audiophiles in the British market. The original Chief Executive of the brand, Sir Hossein Yassaie, said that he and his team wanted to create a brand that represented the simplicity of its business offering. The “Pure” name was chosen as part of a brainstorming session at a local pub. Eventually, the team wanted the title because it reflected its commitment to design and audio quality well.
The first radio set that Pure produced was large and expensive, priced at nearly £500. However, the company decided to experiment with other limited-edition models too. Eventually, it discovered that customers were interested in small, lightweight digital radios that they could buy for an affordable price point. The company’s smaller, £99 radio set (the Evoke 1) became the star product of the Pure DAB radio line-up.
Today, Pure outsources most of its manufacturing to places outside of the UK. This economic decision allows the company to keep the prices of its products relatively low, without compromising on style or performance. Despite manufacturing being done elsewhere, Pure always comes up with the ideas for its new products within its UK-based office.
A brief history of Pure Radio
So, where did Pure digital radio come from, and how did it evolve into the giant it is today?
Originally, Pure Radio was a subsection of another company based in Hertfordshire called Imagination Technologies. The business was responsible for building processing units and graphics chips for computer brands. When Imagination Tech started, it didn’t see a future in the consumer electronics world.
The initial Pure Radio brand was nothing more than Imagination Technology’s attempt to show off what its DAB decoding chip could do. Essentially, Pure Radio UK became a shop window for the Imagination Technology chip designs that needed more traction in the UK market. However, when Pure DAB radio became an unexpected hit, the brand evolved. Pure digital radios were outpacing designs from larger companies at the time.
Here’s how Pure Radio earned its reputation as a pioneer, one year at a time:
2003: Pure Radio launches the world’s first pocket digital radio (PocketDab 1000).
2004: Pure Radio releases the first-ever EPG digital radio with rewind, pause and record features (The Bug).
2005: Pure Radio launches the world’s first digital radio for the visually impaired and the blind.
2007: Pure digital radio releases the world’s first in-car digital radio adapter (Highway).
2008: Pure Radio launches the first radio range approved by Energy Saving Trust – the EcoPlus products used recycled materials, and offered reduced power consumption, minimising environmental impact.
2009: Pure introduces the Sensia – the world’s first high-resolution touchscreen radio.
2012: Pure revamps its brand and celebrates a tenth anniversary.
2014: Pure introduces its incredible 3-year warranty deal.
2015: Pure becomes the best-selling digital radio manufacturer in the world – selling more than 5 million sets.
In 2016, the long-standing Chief Executive of Pure Radio UK, Hossein Yassaie, stepped down, and the company was sold to a new company, AVenture. The acquisition cost £2.6 million. Interestingly, the buyer was from Australia and had never invested in any UK businesses or consumer electronics brands before.
What kind of radios does Pure sell?
Pure digital radio defines itself as the world’s leading DAB radio brand. The company has a long-standing history in the development of award-winning audio products in a range of environments. While the history of digital broadcasting in the UK goes way back to the 1980s, Pure Radio is one of the brands most associated with the rise of digital processing in the UK.
While traditional radio networks broadcast on specific frequencies, DAB networks can broadcast on a single frequency, complete with all the information a receiver needs to decode stations. This means that people don’t have to retune their radio to reach their preferred station. What’s more, DAB radio signals can include information like pictures and text.
Known as a digital radio pioneer, Pure Radio UK sells:
DAB and DAB+ radios.
In-car radio converters.
In August 2018, Pure unveiled two of its latest innovations in the internet environment, which come connected with Spotify and Bluetooth. Both models have internet delivered over a Wi-Fi connection. Like other Pure radios with internet access, the latest models will have access to more than 25,000 internet radio stations.
The One range: These entry-level radios are designed for portability and are currently the best-selling digital radio range in the world.
The Pop range: Another portable range from Pure Radio, the Pop range can be powered with AA or rechargeable batteries and provide easy control features for simplicity.
The Highway range: Intended to transform in-car audio experiences for customers around the world, the Highway range is Pure’s series of in-car adapters. These models work within a vehicle’s existing sound system to convert frequencies to DAB.
The Siesta range: Rise and shine with Pure Radio’s selection of stunning bedside alarm clock radios. Siesta models can track the time from the radio signals they collect.
The Elan range: Designed with features like Bluetooth connectivity and access to Internet stations like Spotify.
The Move range: A personal audio solution that you can take with you on-the-go in your pocket!
Most popular Pure DAB radios
Pure digital radio has been at the forefront of the DAB radio revolution since the beginning. Now, over the last couple of years, the UK has witnessed a transformation in the adoption of the digital and internet radio standard. For the first time, more than half of radio listeners were tuning into shows from digital broadcasts in 2018.
This milestone was one of the benchmarks the UK government put in place to determine when a full digital switchover for radio should begin. If you’re a discerning audiophile, it could be the perfect time to explore the Pure DAB radio range and make sure that you’re prepared for the digital future.
To give you an insight into the kind of experiences you’ll get with Pure digital radio, here are some of the company’s top-selling products.To give you an insight into the kind of experiences you’ll get with Pure digital radio, here are some of the company’s top-selling products.
1. The Pure Evoke H2
Winner of the What Hi-Fi? Award for 2018, the Pure Evoke H2 is a radio with excellent refined audio quality, available on a budget. From the award-winning Evoke range, this budget-friendly DAB radio provides FM as well as digital connections. There’s also a 3.5mm input for connecting other music sources, and a clock and sleep timer for people who want to wake up right with their radio.
While the Pure Evoke H2 isn’t portable out of the box, it’s available with a battery pack as an added-extra if you want more portability.
2. Pure Move T4
Speaking of portable radios from Pure Radio, the Move T4 is another impressive and compact radio that comes with the benefit of Bluetooth streaming included. If you’re looking for something you can take with you wherever you go, the Pure Move is excellent, with a 15-hour rechargeable battery.
The Pure Move features FM and DAB radio connections. There are also alarm and clock functions included, for those who want to get more out of their radio.
3. Pure Digital Highway 300Di
One of the biggest benefits of digital radio as a new standard is that it allows people to enjoy more reliable radio connections from the comfort of their car. Unfortunately, if you don’t already have a DAB connection in your vehicle, it can be expensive to replace your entire system.
As a digital radio pioneer, Pure Radio created the Highway range to implement DAB solutions over the top of FM/AM connections. There are even USB and aux inputs included for people who prefer to listen to content on their smartphone or iPod.
4. Pure Pop radio (Maxi Marius)
Brimming with a range of stylish colours to choose from, the Pure Radio Pop series is perfect for consumers who see their radio as a representation of their personality and style. The Pop Maxi Marius combines retro and modern elements to provide a radio that’s sure to appeal to anyone. Additionally, it’s completely portable, so you can take it with you wherever you go.
Intended to support the changing radio market, the Pop Maxi Marius also comes with Bluetooth connections and supports DAB, DAB+, and FM.
5. Pure Siesta Rise
Finally, one of the best-sellers in the Pure Radio UK portfolio has to be its classic clock radio – the Siesta Rise. Today’s consumers all around the world still rely on their radio to deliver a delightful experience when they wake up each morning.
There are few things worse than the blaring alarm on your smartphone when you were just enjoying sweet dreams a few seconds ago. The Siesta Rise comes with 20 preset radio stations on demand, adjustable snooze charges, and an external USB socket so you can charge your phone through your radio.
What makes Pure digital radio special?
A wide range of digital radios to choose from and a commitment to budget-friendly quality makes Pure Radio one of the biggest radio companies in the world. There’s something to suit virtually every music lover. Models in the Pure digital radio range vary from high-end home-based solutions to small portable devices, just as reliable as your iPod or smartphone.
Perhaps one of the things that make Pure DAB radios so impressive is that the company has collaborated with numerous artists over the years to make itself stand out. For instance, in 2006, Pure joined forces with Marshall Amplification to create the Evoke-1XT Marshall. Radios from the range were signed by bands like Paul Weller, Oasis, and Eric Clapton, and auctioned to raise money for the Nordoff-Robins music therapy charity.
In 2010, Pure Radio collaborated with Orla Kiely on the Evoke Mio radio, which featured a stunning print from the artist.
The collaborations that Pure Radio seeks out with people from across the globe allow it to offer a broader range of Pure Internet Radio designs. However, beyond this, the partnerships also show Pure’s commitment to creating something truly special for its audience. Some other notable collaborations include:
Rob Ryan: The Pure Radio collaboration with Rob Ryan led to a collection of Evoke D2 models that featured beautiful pieces of poetry on the side of machines. The inspiring quotes were an excellent insight into Pure Radio’s commitment to making Radio a more accessible experience for people all around the world.
Mini Moderns: Pure Radio has always had a touch of the “retro” in its radio designs. The company’s collaboration with Mini Moderns allowed it to transform its Pop radio line with a selection of 1950s styles.
Sanderson: Pure Radio’s style also has a classic nature to it that reminds a lot of people of the original rise of radio technology. Teaming with international brand, Sanderson allowed Pure Radio to create a vintage effect with floral prints and nostalgic elements.
The future for Pure Radio
We’re facing an exciting time in radio history.
In 2018, more than half of British radio fans switched to listening to their favourite channels through digital broadcasts, rather than using analogue signals. According to research from the RAJAR, the figure rose to approximately 50.9% in the first few months of 2018.
Now that the country has passed the 50% mark, we’re on the way to a potential switchover to DAB as the fundamental radio standard for the UK. This puts brands like Pure digital radio in an excellent position to continue growing. All of Pure’s products are already approved for DAB and DAB+ broadcasting, as well as FM signals. Additionally, many of them also come with access to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
While some radio companies focus on driving their sales by reminding people of the enduring heritage of radio, Pure seems to concentrate on keeping ahead of the technology curves in the industry. Today, there’s a huge variety of radio options available to anyone with an internet connection. As such, the radio isn’t just a box sitting in the corner of your room anymore. This amazing device is something that we can take with us into all aspects of our life.
Pure Radio continues to experiment and innovate, showing the same commitment to pioneering new technologies that helped it to rise to the top of the market. From being the very first company to launch a digital radio that fits in your pocket, Pure Radio has never been afraid to challenge the status quo.
In 2018, the specialist brand even introduced a new kind of Pure internet radio called the “DiscovR.” This model allows radio customers to truly tap into the future by accessing their radio with Alexa smart speaker functionality. All you need to do is speak to your radio to get the music you love, set the alarm, or check the news.
While it’s impossible to predict the amazing things that Pure Radio might do next, it seems safe to say that its innovative attitude hasn’t changed since 2002.
Pure internet radio FAQ:
Q: What is Pure Radio?
A: Pure International is a consumer electronics company based in Hertfordshire, England. The brand launched in 2002 and is best known for its range of digital and DAB radios.
Q: Why is Pure the biggest DAB radio brand?
A: Pure has sold the most digital radios worldwide, with over five million sets going out to customers around the globe. All of the Pure products are approved with a digital tick, and they’re ready for the digital switchover.
Q: Where does Pure Radio sell products?
A: Pure digital radios are available in Australia, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, and the UK.
Q: Who originally created Pure Radio?
A: Sir Hossein launched the Pure Radio brand as a way to showcase the Imagination Technologies chip designs for DAB technology in 2002.
Q: Who owns Pure Radio now?
A: Pure Radio is now owned by AVenture AT – an Australian company that purchased the business from Imagination Technologies for £2.6 million in 2016.
Q: Are all of Pure’s Radios digital?
A: Pure Radios are all approved with radio switchover technology – which means that they’re able to process digital signals. Many can also handle FM radio, and provide input options for Bluetooth and other music sources too.