PURE Digital Evoke-1S review: PURE Digital Evoke-1S

The Good Design; ease of use; selection of inputs and outputs; crisp display.

The Bad Only one speaker; no EQ options.

The Bottom Line An attractive and affordable portable DAB radio. It's a breeze to use and sounds pretty good. If you've already got a previous Evoke model, though, you might not find enough reason here to upgrade

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8.3 Overall

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The Evoke-1S is an attractive new portable DAB radio, from the popular DAB manufacturer PURE Digital. For around £100, it's also rather affordable.

We've checked out kit from this British manufacturer before and were keen to put its cute new contender to the CNET.co.uk stress test.

If looks really could kill, the Evoke would probably leave you alive, but in a severely bloody state. Its birch wood enclosure complements the well-crafted silver fronting, though the tiny gap between the enclosure and the innards could annoy devoted nit-pickers.

Around the back of the Evoke-1S, inputs and outputs are embedded into a tough plastic

A single speaker driver sits behind a silver metal mesh, to the rear of which is a small bass reflex port. A pair of knobs sit below a crisp and bright OLED display, and handle volume and tuning functions. Control buttons sit below the knobs in a telephone keypad formation -- the vivid blue standby button stands out as if to remind you to switch the power off now and again. Dare you disobey a blue button?

Around the back, things get a little less attractive. Inputs and outputs are embedded into a tough but less seductively designed plastic. Still, you're not going to spend much time looking back here.

DAB radio -- would you believe it? -- is the Evoke's main feature, and it's assisted by a 28-inch telescopic aerial. Though it's a capable DAB receiver, you'll only ever get monaural sound from its single 76mm speaker. An additional speaker is sold separately to bump the output up to stereo status -- this unconnected second speaker would somewhat detract from the portability of an all-in-one setup. Stereo output is available through the headphone or line-out sockets, located to the rear.

You can save up to 30 stations -- DAB, FM or both -- into the Evoke's preset slots. Multiple alarms can be set, too, each with their own recurrence options. Alarm volume can be configured independently of the system's master volume -- handy for when you fall asleep to some quiet Vivaldi, but want waking up to the sonic pop boom of Radio 1.

Where the Evoke succeeds with alarms, it fails with customisability. There are no equaliser presets or manual equaliser functions. True, with just a single speaker, PURE hasn't gone for God-like performance. But to justify selling an additional speaker we'd have like to see some EQ flexibility.

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