FM radio isn’t going to be around forever, current figures indicate we’ve got around 5 years at the most before the switch is flicked and the FM airwaves go silent.
That means there’s going to be a lot of cars on the road listening to static. Not ideal.
You can pay to have a DAB radio installed in most cars, Halfords charge upwards of £30 but other outlets charge £100+ for fitting alone.
With that in mind Pure have released a kit that is ridiculously easy to install yourself. The Highway 200 comes with a mount, cable grips, and a USB power supply. The whole process should only take 20 minutes or so.
You can connect the Pure Highway 200 via an AUX in cable or transmitting the DAB radio via FM to your car stereo. That means it will work with older cars and even classics.
The unit also comes with a dedicated AUX input so you can connect your phone or MP3 player, letting you kill two birds with one stone giving you DAB goodness and AUX in. What’s even better is the princely sum of just £79.99.
Seeing as my beloved Peugeot 207 is lacking DAB it was the perfect candidate for the Highway 200. However I didn’t want a temporary install. It’s never going to be removed from the car, and I plan on keeping it for the rest of my life.
This install was going to be a bit more involved. Sorry Pure.
Starting off with the DAB antenna you want to place this as close to the headlining as possibly, it needs to earth itself to metal via a magnet so make sure you can get at the roof just below the lining.
You need to run the glass antenna down the edge of the windscreen, 4cm in from the edge. Mine is about 2cm but there seems to be no problems with reception.
Prying off the A pillar reveals enough room to run the aerial cable that connects to the antenna.
Next up was hiding the cable behind the dash, luckily there’s a gap between the base of the pillar that runs behind glovebox.
It looks like a small explosion has happened, fear not, I know what I’m doing.
The aerial cable needs to be run to the back of the Highway 200, which I wanted to be located as discretely as possible within the car. A small cubby in the centre console would house it neatly.
But before that the radio had to be taken out.
I already have an AUX input via a built in USB box device, not wanting to lose the AUX in I already had there was another socket for a secondary input. Winning.
Removing the side trim to the centre console meant there was enough room to feed both cables down the edge of the cubby hole.
Plugging everything in and testing with the supplied USB adapter the DAB radio came to life, appearing on the 207’s LCD display as playing via the CD changer. Perfect.
Fitting the car back together we we’re good to go, the only slight issue being the mount for the Highway 200 has a sticky pad on it and doesn’t quite feel solid enough when using the unit. I’ll have to Macgyver that at a later date. Along with a permanent hard-wire kit.
Audio quality from the Pure unit was great, testing it back to back with FM and the difference is pretty astounding. It sounds as though you’re listening to an MP3 or CD, all coming from a tiny antenna and equally diminutive controller is very impressive.
We didn’t use the ‘basic’ self installation, but anyone with rudimentary hand eye coordination could follow the instructions and get it fitted to their motor.
The best part is the FM transmitter built into the Pure, that means it’s truly universal.
If you’re planning on keeping your car long term, or have a ‘forever car’ the Highway 200 can be permanently fitted, it just requires a bit more ingenuity.