PURE Chronos iDock Review
The Chronos iDock continues the PURE brand’s tradition of top-quality radio coupled with trendy design. It’s essentially a follow on from an earlier Chronos model in the PURE range but with iPod compatibility built in. Alongside other PURE products, the iDock also proudly claims to use materials in its construction that are less harmful to the environment and save on energy consumption wherever possible.
Now while there are plenty of iPod-compatible music players already on the market, few of them have quite so many other features built in as this beaut. There’s DAB and FM radio, plus a clock and alarm with four different wake-up functions all of which can be managed using either buttons mounted on the front
of the unit or from a supplied remote control.
The Chronos iDock is also a great example of accessible tech – you just take it out of the box, plug it in, and it works. Dock the iPod and press the ‘Source’ button until it scrolls through to ‘iPod’ to hear your tunes through the speakers.
Rise and shine
It does take a few dry runs to get the gist of the finer points of the control panel buttons, but an LCD display helps by telling you exactly what’s going on. This is particularly good in relation to DAB channel information where it reports back on things such as signal strength and channel information. You’ll also see what’s happening whenever you make any adjustments to settings such as bass and treble.
The compact design means that the speakers don’t offer earth shattering performance, but it delivers decent enough output from the radio side of things. The usability aspect of this model really comes into play again when you’re using the radio as stations are stored alphabetically and can be scrolled through with ease. A feature called textSCAN enables you to pause scrolling station information to grab the latest footie results or jot down a song title you want to buy on iTunes.
Playing songs from your iPod, meanwhile, really is child’s play particularly when using the remote, which allows you to select tunes from the safety of your duvet.
Your iPod mounts into the top of the unit and there’s a boxful of docking cradles for most models apart from the shuffle, while 3G iPods and older utilise an auxiliary input. The line-in facility also means that you can hook up other MP3 players or a MiniDisc which is handy if you’ve got one lying about. Connection points for these are located on the front underneath the menu buttons, where you can also connect up a pair of headphones. And, as with most other iPod compatible players, your music player gets charged while it’s sitting in the dock. So, come the morning, your wake up call delivers a freshly juiced-up player along with the music.
The selection of four independent alarms that cover every sleep scenario such as weekdays and weekends is spot on, plus a big silver Snooze button with a sleep-in mode of up to 59 minutes makes this the lazybones dream come true. Ultimately though, it’s great being given the option of starting the day with DAB digital radio, a plain old alarm call or, best of all, a track hand-picked from your own iPod collection.
The Chronos iDock is a very capable all round performer. You’re not going to be blown away by the performance of the speakers, but it’s not really that kind of gadget. There are cheaper alternatives on the market although few that look this good, plus you’re buying a product from a manufacturer with a proven track record in the DAB field.