To be up front about it, we’ve liked virtually every digital radio that Pure Digital has made. Well built and easy to use, the company, for us, gets it on the button virtually every time.
It’s at this point then that you are no doubt expecting us to tell you that the latest outing, the Evoke-3, brings this happy love affair to an end and that we are puzzled as to how and why the company has gone so horribly wrong. Well sorry, but we just can’t.
In three words - We love it!
If you’ve seen the Evoke-2 and its stylish cherry or maple wood finish, you’ll know what to expect. Solid and well built, there are no bits of plastic that look like they’re about to fall off, nor that they’ve come from some knocking shop in the Far East where employees are paid in Chickens rather than hard cash.
Like the Evoke-2 the radio is lunch box sized, comes with a 1 metre extendable aerial on the back and a comfy handle on the top that also doubles as the snooze button.
The front is where everything happens and it offers two decent sized speakers that produce a good bassy sound that’s not in the least bit tinny.
In between the two speakers is the main console and screen. The screen has had a major overhaul since the Evoke-2 and rather than the one line display, now offers multiple lines to display everything from the radio station you are listening too, signal strength, power, volume, and information the radio show is pushing out via the DAB signal.
Below that and the crux of the player can be found. The Evoke-3 has 99 preset stations - more than there are currently DAB stations - to store into its memory banks and you can also treat the radio as an alarm clock to get you up in the morning.
All seems pretty straightforward, but now for the exciting bits. The first is that you can, just like Sky+, pause, fast forward and rewind radio whenever you want. Called ReVu, the system works is an identical way to the satellite service and allows you to rewind up to 30 minutes of radio as long as you’ve been tuned into the station for the last 30 minutes.
While some of you maybe thinking, what the hell do I need that for? Think about all the times you’ve missed that favourite song, interview or competition question because the Postie’s at the door or the phone has just rung.
But if that wasn’t exciting enough, Pure Digital has then added the ability to record any station directly to SD Card to either playback on the radio at a later date, or on any computer in any application. This as you can imagine brings a wealth of opportunities to the table.
Finally - yes I know, we are starting to sound like one of those infomercials - the Evoke-3 comes with a Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) that allows you to set up timers to record programmes in advance, while still a tiny bit rough and ready due to broadcasters still catching on to the fact that this is a good thing it will allow you to record programmes at set times in the future without having to stand at the radio ready with the record button. Want to record The Archers but are always out at 2 o’clock in the afternoon? Now you don’t have to worry.
Apart from not shipping a USB cable in the box so you can take advantage of the radios software update service we can't find fault with this player.
Whether it's the included remote for the lazy, the built in 12-hour battery (it also takes 6 "C" cells), the unit's ability utilise the speakers for an MP3 or CD player or that it offers support for FM as well as DAB we are well and truly won over by this little gem.
If you are looking to buy a digital radio for the home, then look no further. This is one of those must have purchases for 2006.