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Sound and Vision - The Bristol Show logo


Pure Evoke 3 tri-band DAB digital radio

Pure Evoke 3 tri-band DAB digital radio review

Was it just me or was every other person walking around at The Bristol Show with a white, Pure "World Leaders in DAB digital radio" shoulder bag? If the popularity of their freebie bags was anything to go by, Pure should be in for another pretty good year at the top.
Pure Evoke 3 - Pure Digital Evoke 3 view

Bristol Sound and Vision is always a good opportunity to have a play with the latest DAB tuners and receivers and review those recently launched; this year Pure had just about every base covered with a DAB digital product - literally - for every occasion: alarm clock radios, lifestyle systems, mini hi-fi, portables, handhelds and even water-resistant models.

Undoubtedly the highlight of the show was a real live Pure Evoke 3, coinciding with the radio's general release. Letting you pause, rewind and record live radio (pure calls this ReVu) onto standard SD (secure digital) memory cards, Pure have sensibly opted for a dedicated ReVu push/dial control - it makes for a more intuitive experience and, frankly, is a necessity with some many other features on offer.

With one press of the ReVu control, the radio switches to pause mode - a turn of the rocker control winds back the audio, while a progress bar on the display fills up to indicate how far back in time you can travel. No surprises here - turn the dial in the opposite direction and you can page forward to "live status". A press of the tune button brings you back out of the time-slip. Just in case you spin into Groundhog Day.
Evoke 3 close up of LCD screen

The Evoke 3 will even let you rewind the audio of the station you're listening to and record onto SD card from there. If you want to begin recording of the current station, a bright red record button will do the trick. The radio will also replay saved shows, of course, and MP3 files downloaded to a card from a PC.

...Yes indeed ladies and gentlemen, this really is the equivalent of Sky+ for radio...

The bonus of this radio comes in the form of its EPG capabilities. Load up an SD card with enough free memory and the Evoke will commit EPG information for every multiplex that broadcasts such data. Preset buttons have made way for a one-button access to the DAB EPG Guide, while four direction buttons allow you to view programmes up to 7 days in advance. Recordings can be scheduled from the EPG - and optionally sent to the SD card or via the optical digital output - each one using one of twenty timers set up for this purpose. Yes indeed ladies and gentlemen, this really is the equivalent of Sky+ for radio.

The Evoke 3 supports DAB radio text by displaying it on the huge, crisp, black-on-white backlit display as one complete "sentence" - no need for horizontal scrolling here! FM RDS station naming and RadioText are also supported. Bass and treble settings show up as a value, with a slider underneath, on the display in a huge, readable typeface. Up to 99 DAB presets can be programmed in a scrolling list, which is useful if you want your most-listened at the top of the pile.
Evoke 3 close-up screenshot

...avoid the distracting backlight of other DAB clock radios...

The Evoke 3 offers a combination of 20 separate alarms/timers. A SnoozeHandle illuminates the display at night to avoid the distracting backlight of other DAB clock radios - a common complaint, it seems.

...plump for the optional ChargePak...

Around the back there's a USB port that'll help in transferring both MP2 (radio programme) and MP3 files between the Evoke 3 and a PC at will. The USB also doubles as a means of updating the firmware in the Evoke 3. Take away the AC adaptor and, as far as portability options go, you can either load up 6 "C" cells or plump for the optional ChargePak - which takes around 8 hours to charge from the mains and gives around 12 hours' away-from-socket use.
Evoke 3 controls

Did we mention it's a Tri-Band? Pack it up on your next trip to Germany and you'll soon be listening to Radio Energy. When it's not picking up both UK DAB Band III and continental L-Band transmissions, the Evoke will search out FM stations and store up to 24 favourites.

With so many features on offer, it's easy to forget about sonic capabilities. Hands off the treble and bass controls and the Evoke 3 is every bit as competent as its older brother, the Evoke 2XT. Radio 2's Jeremy Vine sounded authoritative, while the chance to sample Now Digital's Chill did not disappoint. Adjusting the bass gave the Evoke more low-down oomph, but judicious experimentation with the treble isn't really required, since the Evoke 3 sounds fine with all settings at zero.

Pure have opted for a sequoia wood casing, which when combined with the large display, does make the Evoke 3 stand out from the range.

The Evoke 3 is now shipping. Find out where you can buy the Pure Evoke 3 online.

For: A wealth of features; schedule DAB recordings onto SD card or via the optical output
Against: Pricey; ChargePAK is an optional extra.
Verdict: A real advance in DAB digital radio technology that sets the standard for future models.
Price: around GBP199.99


The Evoke 3 is now shipping. Find out where you can buy the Pure Evoke 3 online.

  ...


Visitor reviews
Find out how to submit your comments or review for inclusion on this page.

David writes about the Evoke 3: "A good radio, lots of functions and lovely sound (in the kitchen). I use it a lot on FM to get distant local stations from home area. But, there is just one thing wrong. The user interface when changing stations is awful. Slow. Easy to end up waiting for the radio perform an action. Everything seems to hang off just one rotary knob. So bad, I have a also bought a Roberts RD20 radio. Sounds more tinny, but that has a lovely simple set of knobs and buttons. And a bright orange display you can do toast on. "

Pure Digital Evoke 3 Tech Spec

Specification

Specifications: Stereo digital radio with full Band III, L-Band and FM reception. ETS 300 401 compliant and capable of decoding all DAB transmission modes 1-4 up to and including 256 kbps.

Frequency range

DAB Band III 174-240 MHz, L-Band 1452-1490 MHz and FM 87.5-108 MHz.

Alarms and timers

20 alarms with station or tone setting. 20 record timers for use with SD card or separate recording device connected via optical digital output.

Speakers

Two full-range 3" drive units. Input connectors: 9V DC power adapter socket (230V adapter supplied), USB (B type) for software upgrades and SD card access, 3.5mm Line in for auxiliary devices.

Output connectors

3.5mm headphone, 3.5mm Line out (analogue), Digital out (Optical S/PDIF). Remote: Fully featured infrared remote control.

Controls

Power on/standby button, DAB/FM/SD/AUX selector button, rotary volume & tone, rotary digital playback, rotary station & menu selection, six preset buttons, Info button, Presets button and Menu button.

LCD display

Six line graphical display. Mains power supply: 230V AC to 9V DC external power adapter.

Battery power

Six size C batteries or ChargePAK (available separately). Ultra low-power standby mode.

Approvals

CE marked. Compliant with the EMC and Low Voltage Directives (89/336/EEC and 73/23/EEC).

Dimensions (mm)

290 w x 210 h x 120 d. Aerial: Removeable telescopic aerial supplied.

Related links:
Buy Pure Digital's range of DAB tuners, portables and receivers, via this website.

guide to DAB digital radio, on this website.
where to buy DAB digital radio, on this website.
what to buy - a DAB Buyers Guide, on this website.
more DAB radio receiver, system and tuner reviews, on this website.