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Radio-Now at Bristol Sound and Vision 2003 : Evoke 1 review

Sound and Vision logo

                                                           Pure Digital Evoke-1 Portable DAB digital radio

Pure Digital's star product, the Evoke-1 DAB digital radio, is making an appearance at The Bristol Show. Launched last year, the Evoke-1 is the UK's first portable DAB digital radio to break the GBP100 price barrier.

If you've ever popped into a high-street store in the belief you might just see the Evoke nestling between the regular portable radios, now's the chance to see one "in the flesh".

" ... the Evoke looks quirky and retro ... "

The first thing that amazes about the Evoke is the physical size of the veneered box of tricks - the trouble with photographs in the press is that they often don't convey the sense of scale of this radio.
Pure Digital Evoke-1 DAB digital radio

Standing barely higher than a pint glass, with a built-in 3 inch speaker, 6 buttons to access presets and a curvy handle on top, the Evoke looks quirky and retro, yet produces a sound that belies its size. True, it's not going to out-perform a proper hi-fi setup - Pure Digital's other products are there to carry the torch for DAB separates hi-fi - but the Evoke manages an amazing sound, if you give it a station with a decent bitrate to play out.

Plug in the ST-1 external speaker (available separately), position the ST-1 speaker away from the main unit and you have a DAB set-up that's ideal for a kitchen or bedroom, in stereo. If you want to play the Evoke through a hi-fi system, there's a 3.5mm line-out jack around the back.

Even without the external speaker, the Evoke-1 puts in a great performance. The two-line dot matrix display and button underneath brings up all sorts of information - including signal error level indication, just in case you need to move the radio about to get a better signal.

The radio is a pretty sensitive - if there's a hint of signal the Evoke-1 will find it through its telescopic aerial. If it does struggle to get a decent signal - such as that carrying the BBC multiplex here in Bristol - the radio squelches as its error correction gives up the ghost.

Cycling through the display options, there's also scrolling text information and a handy readout of bitrate - you can soon see which stations are broadcasting at 160Kbps in stereo, for example. Tuning is also very fast, the Evoke-1 searching out multiplexes extremely quickly.

The only downside about the radio is that it runs on mains power only - no batteries allowed here. The radio is supplied with an adaptor that plugs into the back of the main unit, bringing the voltage down to 12 volts.

For: Light and portable. One of the cheapest DAB radios available.
Against: Can't run on batteries, so not truly portable: The Evoke 2 would be a better purchase if you want a fully-portable radio.

Pure Digital Evoke-1 Elgar Special Edition digital radio
Evoke-1 Special Edition

For an extra GBP20 on the price of a standard Evoke-1, you'll soon be able to get your hands on a "Special Edition" Evoke-1. The Evoke-1 Elgar looks absolutely fantastic in a cherry-wood veneer and includes the eye-grabbing cool white-on-blue dual-line dot matrix display, usually found only in Pure Digital's separates tuners. A headphone socket, line out (for connection into a hi-fi), telescopic aerial and external aerial connector are also part of the package.

For: Fantastic, readable white-on-blue display. Looks great in cherry veneer.
Against: Needs a mains wall socket to operate, so not truly portable: The Evoke 2 would be a better purchase if you want a fully-portable radio.

The Evoke 1 Elgar is available now at the price of GBP119.99 and you can
order an Evoke Elgar now, via this website.

Related links:
Buy the Evoke 1 or Evoke Elgar online, via this website.
Pure Digital Evoke-2 review, on this website.

guide to DAB digital radio, on this website.
where to buy DAB digital radio, on this website.
what to buy - a guide to DAB digital radio products, on this website. promo banner

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