- Big, bold sound
- Diverse features
- Very clear, big display
- Bass not as deep as some wireless speakers
- USB charge sockets are weak
- Review Price: £199.99
- DAB/FM tuners
- 2 x 5W charger ports
- LCD panel
- CD player
What is the Pure Siesta Home?
The Pure Siesta Home is quite unlike the other Siesta radios we’ve reviewed in the past. Previous models were typical bedside radios – they’d wake you up and play DAB stations – but audio quality was found wanting. The Pure Siesta Home improves sound quality, not only beyond that of any bedside alarm clock, but beyond 99% of DAB radios to date.
It looks like a bedside unit, but the scale of its sound isn’t too far off units such as the Sonos One. Its integrated CD player may not interest all of you, but being different is part of the Siesta Home’s appeal.
Pure Siesta Home – Design
The Pure Siesta Home is likely far larger than you’d expect from the images of it you’ll see. It’s 20cm deep and 17cm wide.
It’s effectively a cross-breed: an all-in-one music system and a bedside radio. The Pure Siesta Home also has a CD player – a slot-based mechanism built into its front – and a giant LCD screen on its front. There might be some confusion of where you place the Pure Siesta Home. Its screen says “put me in the bedroom”; the CD player, “I belong in the kitchen”.
It took me a while to get my head around the design. It isn’t as conventionally attractive as the Roberts Revival or Pure Evoke, and on a bedside table, it takes up a good deal of space. I’d advise that you get out the tape measure before buying a Pure Siesta Home to replace a small bedroom radio.
Nevertheless, there are some great elements to the design. The housing is mostly an aluminium grille and the display is excellent. Its contrast is superb and the huge clock appears almost to sit on the surface of the screen. The display reacts to ambient lighting too.
Turn the lights on and it’s bright, with you still able to see the time. Switch the lights off and it dims to an extremely low level, so as not to distract you while you’re trying to sleep.
Pure Siesta Home – Features
The Pure Siesta Home is a hybrid in terms of its features as well as the design. There are three sides to its personality.
First, it’s a DAB radio alarm clock. You can set four alarms, each using either the last played DAB or FM station, a CD or an alarm tone.
The Pure Siesta Home is also a Bluetooth speaker. It can receive all audio from your phone and play it through its speaker. This lets you play Spotify, YouTube and other such streamed audio. The playback controls on the front work for Bluetooth too.
Finally, the Pure Siesta Home is a CD player. Just insert a CD in the front slot and you can treat the Siesta like an old-school hi-fi.
Switching between the speaker’s modes is via a button on the top of the unit. The Pure Siesta Home is generally a button-operated unit outside of Bluetooth streaming, and it comes with an IR remote.
I appreciate the preset buttons. Just long-press one of the four buttons on the top and it sets the current station to that preset. Tap it later on and it will switch to that station.
A large Snooze button is what the Pure Siesta Home lacks. Years ago I used an old Pure Evoke Tempus, whose entire handle functioned as one, but here you just get a little button sandwiched between navigation controls. However, it’s a reminder “snoozing” too much is more likely to make your feel worse than better.
There are two USB sockets around the Pure Siesta Home’s rear. These let you charge a phone or other mobile device. However, they’re pretty weak.
With just 5V, 1A output, they don’t come close to “fast charge” sockets. The HTC U12+ I currently use has a charger that outputs up to 15 watts. These ports can only handle 5 watts.
There’s one other important missing feature. The Pure Siesta Home doesn’t have Wi-Fi, so there’s no internet radio, no Spotify Connect. Virtually everything – aside from multiroom – that Wi-FI lets you stream can be mirrored by Bluetooth and a phone. You can’t wake up to a Spotify playlist, though.
Pure Siesta Home – Sound quality
Most DAB radios let you tailor sound to suit different audio types. Jazz, spoken word, rock and pop presets are common.
The Pure Siesta Home takes a different approach. Press the EQ button on its top and it cycles between presets designed for different rooms. “Study” and “Bedroom” reduce the bass to make the sound a little more polite. There are two “Lounge” presets that bring back the low-end punch.
[dmwidget name=”radio alarm clock.”]
I find these useful, particularly when I used the Pure Siesta Home as a bedside radio. If you want it to, it can annoy the neighbours more than any traditional-looking DAB radio I’ve heard to date.
The Pure Siesta Home has a mid-size upwards-facing active driver on its top and a passive radiator on each side. This is the technology of a wireless speaker, not a DAB radio, and it lets it produce much bigger, more powerful audio than not just any Siesta, but any Pure DAB radio I’ve heard.
It justifies its CD player. And if you live in, say, a studio flat, you could use the Pure Siesta Home as your only music system and be fairly happy.
The bass isn’t bloated or stodgy, and there’s good clarity in the upper-mids and treble. This is handy for helping the projection of all voices, those of singers or the spoken-word content you’ll hear on BBC Radio 4.
As promised, it’s both a bedside radio and a miniature hi-fi. Audio is good enough to highlight how bad most DAB stations sound.
I couldn’t resist comparing it to the Sonos Play:1 – it’s a completely different kind of speaker. There’s no screen, no DAB radio and no CD player. But if you have £200 to spend and want a speaker for the bedroom or kitchen, it’s a real alternative.
The Sonos Play:1 has radically superior bass depth. Pure’s Siesta Home sounds more powerful than a normal DAB radio, but the Sonos is much better at getting the party started.
Sonos’s speaker also has somewhat better mids, with smoother, more detailed texture. However, the top third of the Pure Siesta Home’s frequency spectrum sounds more deliberately defined, which is beneficial for those “talky” radio stations.
I also noticed the Pure Siesta Home actually sounds best when placed on its display, with the speaker pointing at you. This is because the speaker uses a conventional dynamic driver, which is somewhat positional. But no-one is going to sit it like that.
The Pure Siesta Home isn’t a world-class demo of the tech it features – such as a Sonos Play:1 or Apple HomePod – but it is a clever combo of old and newer ideas. Given it’s made for people who still use CDs, this makes sense.
The unit also sounds good at the lowest of volumes, as the passive radiators help to keep some bass presence without much output at all.
Why buy the Pure Siesta Home?
You’re probably here because the idea of a smart speaker such as the Sonos One or Amazon Echo Plus doesn’t appeal. The Pure Siesta Home won’t look right everywhere in your house and does initially seem to cost a lot for what is, at heart, an alarm clock radio.
However, it’s also a big step forward from other radios of this type – and as something truly different, the Pure Siesta Home is worth celebrating.
The best part is that, unlike other DAB radios, the sound compares fairly well with speakers in this class without CD players or big displays. Aside from bass depth, which is very good but not floor-shaking.
Part alarm clock radio, part miniature hi-fi, the Pure Siesta Home is an unlikely combination that works.