Pure Digital Evoke 1S DAB digital radio
A DAB hand?
Review Going back a few years, Pure Digital's parent company, Imagination Technologies, only made chips and wasn't involved in the manufacture of radios in any way. So to come as far as the company has in such a short period of time is surely testament to its ability to deliver desirable and reliable products.
To our mind, a good radio should need as little adjustment and interference as possible. Once it's set-up, it should be able to get on with its job with the minimum of fuss.
The third generation of Pure’s most successful model does just that. From the reassuring solidness of the Evoke 1-S when it first comes out of the box, to the more advanced - but simple to use - features, the radio proves to be both easy to use and of high quality.
Pure's Evoke 1S: available in maple...
For a sub-£100 product, the machine is built well. Tiny things that matter, like the solidness of the little rubber feet on the bottom of the radio, have all benefited from close attention. We've seen other radios for the same price where the feet have fallen off after a short while as a result of the cheap adhesive used.
Turn the Evoke 1S on and it leaps straight into its stride, before you can say, "I hate Chris Moyles", the time is stored and the set begins its search for stations. And it does it well too. This little radio picked up as many stations as a much higher-end separates deck that we'd set up in the same location. The decent-sized aerial helps here. A total of 30 stations can be stored, some DAB, others FM.
The other thing that's also immediately obvious is the brightness and clarity of the display. We were testing the unit in a bright office, and the screen was very easy to read even when there was a lot of information scrolling across.
This is down to the OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display, which in addition to consuming less power than a traditional LCD, also adjusts itself to the ambient light conditions to make the screen easier to read. The unit also comes with TextScan and Intellitext. The former is initiated by pressing the Tune button whilst station-transmitted text is scrolling across the screen. This pauses the flow so you can note down a competition address, phone number or date of a live gig, say.
@ the geek
"what the "Radio Authority"...failed to do, was to understand that MP3 is a better system than MP2....but they listened to to so-called "golden ears" of the BBC who said that consumers can't tell the difference..."
Hmm - what you fail to do is have a sense of proportion. The difference between MP2 and MP3 is not a huge amount - far less than the difference between MP3 and codecs such as AAC. Moreover, errors in the bitstream (which you are going to get on DAB) have a much more severe effect on MP3 than MP2. So, you reduce your coverage area if you use MP3 rather than MP2. Oh, and there's the extra complication in implementing the decoder (in every receiver), which isn't an issue now, but was then.
As others have said, the sound quality problems with DAB are not because it uses MP2 instead of MP3, but because the bit rates have been wound right down in order to squeeze more stations in. I recommend that for fixed receivers, if available you listen to radio on Freeview instead. The bit rate is much higher (at the moment...).
>DAB+ won't be used for better quality...
Quite true and quite sad as well.
Fact is: OFCOM control the multiplex licences and although there are a possible 37 Band 3 "multiplexes" available, OFCOM have only allowed about 7 (IIRC) to be used.
If OFCOM was so concerned about the "quality", they can easily open up the licensing and provide each of the existing multiplexes with a second "channel" and overnight could DOUBLE the available bandwidth to each broadcaster and hence broadcasters could then increase their bit rates (or broadcast in stereo, instead of mono, and the sound quality improvement would benefit everyone....
BUT OFCOM won't do that - they regard their control over the licensed bands as being their "golden goose"...and as with their control over the analogue TV frequencies, they want to create a demand for the frequencies and then realise the profit from the sale/licensing on those currently unused frequencies.
It's very sad that DAB has been strangled at birth by the regulators.
DAB+ won't be used for better quality...
... it'll be used to squeeze in more stations and other tertiary data. The business case for throwing bandwidth at those of us who can actually tell the difference is virtually non-existent.
I think DAB quality is disappointing, but unfortunately the majority of radio listeners aren't all that bothered about mp2, mp3 128, aac or any of those things. They just want a minimum standard of sound for their favourite station, and Pure's DAB sets with the UK stations deliver that nicely.
Personally I don't go for the whole plasticky-brushed aluminium "trendy" look. It fails to compliment any room other than a minimalist modernistic type setting. Those "bits of wood" tend to blend nicely (or are less obtrusive) with their surroundings than the aforementioned bright blue light & metal things (and are more pleasing to the eye).
I have an original Evoke with the add-on speaker and a more recent plastic based piece of junk. The quality of sound from the Evoke is second to none whilst the newer radio is tinny as hell (both radios are from the same price bracket if that makes a jot of difference).
I wouldn't be without my Evoke (or digital radio in general) & to be honest i'm not that arsed by which method of encoding they use, really, if you are going to listen to music seriously you need a good set of speakers and a decent separates system to drive them. Little portable radios will always be little portable radios.
Kitchen Timer ?!
Just read the website via the link. It has a 'kitchen timer' which is 'ideal for timing your eggs to perfection'; duh?
Where is the bedroom timer? You know, the one that makes it turn on at an adjustable time in the morning, and lets you 'snooze' and also gives you a preset time of play before turning off, for use when going to sleep at night.
My 15 year old Dixons am/fm radio alarm clock has all these functions so I'm at a loss to understand why they are not included in this 'modern' radio..