Pure Evoke-2S DAB radio review

Pure have been at the forefront of the DAB radio scene for some time, pairing up good quality materials and interesting design into an ethical bundle. But can the Evoke-2S continue this winning trend in DAB radios?

You can’t deny the quality of the build of the Evoke-2S. From the two-line OLED display, to the press of the buttons, to the wooden surround, everything looks and feels as though someone has taken the time to get this right. That quality build means that there are no creaks or flex in any of the panels making it very difficult to be anything but impressed.

All of the controls are on the front of the radio, sitting between the speaker grills on the left and right. The top has a two-line OLED screen for displaying the station and scrolling text and so on. The text is bright and sharp and scrolls smoothly across the screen. Below this you have the standard array of buttons allowing you to control the various features and directly access the presets.

There are two control knobs for volume and tuning, which are also clickable, allowing you to mute the radio or select your station. These knobs have a distinct clicking twist action with no sign of wobble – again, they have been exceptionally well crafted. The buttons too have a nice positive action to them so you know you’ve pressed one.

The top of the radio sees a carry handle which you might want to use if you go portable. Should that be the case then you’ll find a hatch on the back for a battery pack, and similar to other Pure radios you’ll need one of their ChargePAKs, at additional cost, if you want to go portable. Whilst this does boost the green credentials of this radio, it does mean you’ll have to fork out an extra £34.99 for the E1 ChargePAK.

The DAB tuner will quickly pickup the available stations and things are pretty standard here, letting you scroll through the stations using the tune button and clicking to select. Things are pretty standard across DAB tuning and you won’t find anything different here, per se, but it all happens fast and without delay.

What is different, however, is Pure’s ReVu feature. At the press of a button you can pause live radio. Once in the ReVu section, you can then use the Tune knob to rewind radio for up to about 15 minutes, either to catch a song again or listen to something you missed, like competition details. Holding the ReVu button returns you to normal radio. You also get a similar textSCAN feature meaning you can freeze the scrolling text onscreen and then scroll though, perhaps to dial a phone number.

Fixing presets is simply a case of pressing and holding the relevant button. You can store up to 50 stations in both DAB and FM mode, although you only get buttons for the first five stations, with the sixth button accessing a scroll menu for the remaining stations.

You also get the option of both DAB and FM tuners, with an additional AUX option, so you can plug another audio source into the back using a 3.5mm jack. There is also a line out, should you want to scoop your audio off elsewhere, whilst a headphone jack also lies around the back. A Mini-USB socket can also be found on the back for software updates to the radio, which would be released as a download and installed through your PC.

But build quality and features aside, none of that matters if it doesn’t sound any good. Fortunately the Evoke-2S sounds fantastic. The thing that really stands the 2S apart from other DAB radios is the bass delivery. Lurking on the underside you’ll find a port that helps deliver the rich meaty bass, whilst there are two mid-range 3-inch drivers supported by two ¾-inch tweeters.

The results are sublime. This is possibly the best sounding standalone radio we’ve encountered, and substantiates the claims on the box of "immense volume" and "clear dynamic audio". If the builders on my scaffolding belt this out a 7am, I’d be disinclined to shout at them. Whereas some radios experience audio distortion at little over 50% volume, we found the 2S was happy up to about 80% max, whilst still delivering distinct bass and mid-ranges.

Verdict

But Pure is all about eco and the 2S comes as part of the EcoPlus range, which is designed to have as little impact on the environment when the product reaches the end of its life, whilst also using recycled materials for the packaging and low on power consumption – in standby the radio uses less than 1W.

So the Pure Evoke-2S delivers on all fronts, living up to the "Luxury Portable Stereo" label. If we have one criticism it is that you have to buy the ChargePAK, so out of the box it isn’t really portable. Otherwise there is little to criticise here. Yes, it is expensive, but you do get a premium radio for your money, which delivers a premium sound.

We love it.