What is it?
The Pure Highway 600 is an aftermarket DAB radio receiver for your car that connects to your existing radio. If you pair it up to a phone you can also use it for music streaming services like Spotify, or as a hands-free system for making and receiving calls. At £150 it isn’t cheap, but it packs lots of features and it’s easier than installing a whole new audio system.
What’s it like?
Installing the Pure Highway 600 is relatively simple. You need a 12V accessory or USB outlet to power the antenna, along with an existing car audio system. This needs to have either an aux input or FM radio – the Pure Highway 600 transmits over both, although the aux option provides better audio quality.
There’s a spider of cables that looks complicated, but it isn’t. The DAB receiver hooks up to the car along with the slim, discrete antenna and the microphone. It can then be tucked out of the way and the various cables routed out of sight.
The main control module for picking stations, taking calls, accessing audio streaming and changing settings is wireless. It has easy-to-change, long-lasting AAA batteries and can be fitted wherever is convenient. If you take a little time you can perform a very clean installation without any tools at all – although an auto electrician could hard wire the system if needs be.
There's a lot here but it's all very simple to install
The Pure 600 takes a few seconds to find the local DAB stations and then it’s ready to go. Quality is very impressive, though it's obviously dependent on your car audio system and the DAB coverage in your area.
You can either hook up the aux cable or choose an FM frequency for the Pure 600 to transmit over. It defaults to 87.60 FM but can be configured however you choose. Using FM worked fine for us in testing – just tune the existing in-car FM radio to that frequency of the Highway 600 and you’re all set - but an aux-input is a better bet if possible, since it's not prone to interference.
Optionally, you can set up a Bluetooth connection to your phone to enable more features. This is definitely worth doing because it means you can stream music from your phone, including with Spotify, Deezer or any other music streaming service. It also provides access to your phonebook to make and receive calls through the car audio system, hands-free, with impressive quality.
Pure provides a smartphone app that unlocks even more functionality too, including direct access to your selection of Spotify playlists, artists, etc - via the control module, rather than via your phone itself. It took a little trial and error to set it up, but once up and running it worked very well and even lets you use Siri or Google Assistant on the go.
The fact the 600 has hands-free calls and acccess to your phone contacts on the move is a key advantage over the cheaper Pure 400, and one that may is likely to be worth spending a little more cash on for most drivers.
Should I buy one?
If all you want is a cheap, simple way to listen to DAB radio in your car, there are some much more afforadable units on offer at around £60. But the Pure 600 is so easy-to-use and provides so many useful extra features that we would definitely recommend spending the extra if you can afford it.
If the 600 is too pricey, the 400 is about £25 cheaper but it loses the option to make hands-free calls and access your phone contacts. But whichever of the two you pick, you can rest assured that you’re picking a very user-friendly, well-designed and high-quality solution to in-car DAB.
Price: £150 RRP
Pure Highway 400: £125
EasyDAB DB-1: £70