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Pure Evoke-2S Deals
In this in-depth review we take the Pure Evoke-2S DAB radio through its paces and compare it to the Pure One, which is Pure's budget DAB radio to see whether the Evoke-2S is worth the significantly higher price tag.
High quality stereo sound is delivered by Pure's Clear Sound audio technology. The Evoke 2S has two mid range 3 inch drivers and two 3/4 inch dome tweeters to improve high frequency rendition and the cabinet has a reflex port on the underside to improve bass extension. The Evoke-2S has a hefty 30W RMS Class D amplifier built in to make the most of the speakers.
There's no doubt that the Pure Evoke 2S delivers a punchy sound with fantastic volume with no sign of distortion even when played very loud. The separate tweeters add detail and clarity to the sound, which is normally only present in full-blown HiFi systems.
Bass extension is a little limited by the size of the drive units, but bass output is still good for a portable radio, thanks to the cabinet's tuned reflex port.
Overall though, despite the high price tag the sound is no better than a decent mini Hi-Fi system, albeit with a better amplifier.
DAB sensitivity was exceptional on the Pure Evoke 2S. In the test location (Greenham, Newbury, Berkshire) all multiplexes from Hannington (only 7 miles away), plus NOW Wiltshire were receivable.
More surprisingly near perfect reception of London DAB stations was possible from Guildford (some 40 miles away) using just the radio's telescopic aerial. Admittedly, careful positioning of the radio was necessary and reliable London DAB reception was restricted to a few upstairs locations of our house. Signal quality using the telescopic aerial was around 80% and occasional drop-outs caused by signal fading were noticeable.
All 3 London DAB multiplexes were receivable on the Pure Evoke 2S, although the London 1 multiplex was the weakest signal. More information on London DAB stations is available at Radio Now.
By comparison the Pure One fared less well on DAB sensitivity - it would only receive the London 2 multiplex (which transmits BBC London and Heart amongst other channels).
For the best reception of weak DAB stations on your Pure Evoke 2S, we recommend installing a high gain directional aerial from Blake.
Overall FM sensitivity was good, but let down by the limitations of the telescopic aerial which didn't seem very efficient on Band II FM. By contrast, the Pure One (Pure's budget DAB radio) performed nearly as well at a fraction of the price - albeit without the ability to connect an external aerial.
Some interference was evident on the Evoke-2S which seemed to be coming from the radio's microprocessor. This manifested itself as an annoying ticking noise on weak FM stations, both in Mono or Stereo (which is selectable from the radio's menu). This problem was only present using the telescopic aerial supplied with the radio (not with an external FM aerial where results were much better).
Sound quality was very good, as was FM selectivity. The radio would receive weak FM stations which were 200KHz away from strong local stations. For example reception of London's Absolute Radio (105.8MHz) was possible which is only 200KHz away from our local radio station in Newbury - Kick FM (105.6MHz).
A separate FM DX reception test was made, again with just the Evoke 2S factory fitted telescopic aerial being used. At our Newbury test location, reception of two weak FM stations was possible on 102.0MHz depending on the radio's position in the room - one being "Spire FM" in Salisbury and the other "Touch FM" from the Lark Stoke transmitter near Stratford-on-Avon. The 'FM capture effect' switched between each station depending on which one had the strongest signal.
The telescopic aerial may have been optimised for DAB reception as performance on FM was inferior to the best portable radios we've tested and almost all stations suffered some background hiss in stereo mode. For serious FM listening an external directional FM aerial is recommended. When we connected the Evoke-2S to our external 5 element FM aerial, reception was good on all London radio stations from the Crystal Palace and Croydon transmitters.
Firmware updates for Pure Radios are listed on the Pure Support Downloads Page. New firmware is applied via the Evoke 2S rear panel USB connector direct from your PC. The latest firmware for the Evoke 2S is V1.5UK or V1.5EU (June 2011). Instructions for upgrading the software on your Pure Radio are provided on the Pure download page.
Bug Fixes: V1.4 firmware had a bug which caused the radio to continually crash and re-boot, especially after channel changing. V1.5 seems to fix this issue.
The Pure Evoke-2S isn't cheap, but the build quality is without doubt impressive and the DAB performance is exceptional. If DAB reception is not possible in your area then the Evoke-2S will have far less appeal as an FM-only tuner and we'd advise you buy a portable radio with better FM performance, especially if you intend using the telescopic aerial.
I for one argue that the ChargePAK should be included for the price instead of it being a chargeable option. Other than that, there is little to grumble about.
Pure Evoke-2S DAB Radio
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