Pure Elan BT3 Portable Digital Radio Review

Summary:
One of the best small DAB radios with Bluetooth.

Buy it online:
Check on Amazon on Amazon.co.uk

The Elan BT3 is a small and stylish portable DAB radio from British brand Pure. It has an impressive list of features including Bluetooth, a dual alarm clock and a colour TFT display. This radio is available in a choice of colours: mint, slate blue, graphite, blue, red and grey.

The Elan BT3 looks great and is one of the cheapest Pure radios available, but how does it perform? Find out in this review…

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Dual alarm clock with snooze
  • Sleep and kitchen timers
  • Colour TFT display
  • Headphone jack
  • Aux-in port
  • Saves 40 preset stations
  • Mains or battery powered (4 x AA)
  • Adjustable EQ

Dimensions: 20 x 11.5 x 5.3 cm
Weight: 422 g

Performance and use

The Pure Elan BT3 is easy to use and it shouldn’t take you long to figure out its functions. It comes with an instructions manual (available online here), though it isn’t very comprehensive.

It’s easy to change between stations, especially since there are 4 dedicated preset buttons so you can quickly access your favourite stations without having to scroll through a menu.

The buttons are located on the front which isn’t ideal given how light the radio is. You will need to hold the radio with one hand while pushing the buttons with the other, otherwise the radio will fall over.

Since it’s a small mono radio, you can’t expect the Elan BT3’s sound quality to be amazing. However, it is good for a small radio and you can adjust the EQ settings to improve the sound.

The Elan BT3 could work well as a bedside radio since it has a dual alarm with a snooze function. There’s also a sleep timer which will turn the radio off after a set period of time, so you can drift off to sleep with the radio on. The sleep timer is accessed through a menu rather than just a button, which can be inconvenient if you’re in bed and want to extend the sleep timer.

You can power this radio with the mains or 4 AA batteries, which last for up to 10 hours. You’ll need to recharge the batteries in a separate battery charger since the Elan BT3 doesn’t have one built in. This could be quite inconvenient if you don’t already have a battery charger.

Like most Pure products, the Elan BT3 feels very well made. It’s available with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty which is better than you’d get with most digital radios.

Pros

  • High build quality
  • Compact and light
  • Good value for money
  • Attractive design with a good choice of colours
  • Easy to use
  • Nice colour display

Cons

  • Instructions manual is very basic
  • Batteries need to be charged separately

Verdict

The Elan BT3 is one of the best small DAB radios with Bluetooth. It has good build and sound quality for the price and is easy to use. If you want to use it as a portable radio it’s not the most convenient option as it doesn’t have a built-in rechargeable battery or a battery charger.

Similar radios

One of the downsides to the Elan BT3 is that it takes AA batteries but doesn’t have a built-in battery charger, so you need to charge the batteries separately. One similar radio with a built-in battery charger is the Roberts Play, which is an FM/DAB/DAB+ radio that can charge 4 AA batteries internally. Like the Elan BT3, the Roberts Play has a compact and stylish design, but unlike the BT3 it doesn’t have Bluetooth.

Another inexpensive DAB radio with Bluetooth is the AZATOM Spitalfields Retro DAB radio. The Spitalfields has a good range of features including an alarm clock and a remote control. It uses a built-in rechargeable battery which might be more convenient than using AA batteries in the Elan BT3.

For some more options see our roundups of the best DAB radios with Bluetooth.

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