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Pure Evoke 2S Review

Pure Evoke-2S Deals

Pure Evoke-2S DAB Radio - Amazon

Luxury DAB Radio

Pure Evoke 2-S

  • FM & DAB reception
  • Ipod connectivity
  • Superb stereo sound quality
  • Optional battery pack
Best Price £149.95 Buy from Amazon

Note: In November 2014, the Pure Evoke 2S was superceded by the Pure Evoke D6, which has built-in Bluetooth, to allow easy connection of an Ipod or mobile phone for music streaming.

This review takes 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.

Sound Quality

Now superceded by the Pure Evoke D6 (which has Bluetooth), the Evoke 2S delivers high quality stereo sound, assisted by Pure's "Clear Sound audio technology". This combines two high quality 15W RMS Class D amplifiers, with digital audio shaping, to improve sound quality and reduce power consumption.

To further optimise performance, the Evoke 2S has two mid-range 3 inch drivers and two separate 3/4 inch dome tweeters, which benefit high frequency rendition. The cabinet also has a bass reflex port on the underside to improve bass extension.

Even after a brief audition, it's clear that the Pure Evoke 2S delivers a punchy sound with impressive volume and no sign of distortion, even when played very loud. The separate tweeters add detail and clarity to the sound, making the radio a pleasure to listen to.

Separate bass and treble controls, (accessed via the front panel "Tone" button), allow further optimisation of the sound, to suit personal preferences.

Bass extension is limited by the size of the drive units, but low frequency output is still good for a portable radio, thanks to the cabinet's tuned reflex port. Placing the radio in a corner alcove or close to a wall further improves bass output.

Overall, you can expect the sound to be roughly similar to a micro Hi-Fi system.

Pure Evoke-2S Specification

Pure Evoke 2S Pure Evoke 2S
  • Stereo DAB Radio with full Band III (174-240MHz), L-Band (1452-1490 MHz) and FM (87.5-108MHz) reception
  • ETS 300 401 compliant with decoding of DAB transmission modes 1-4 up to and including 192Kbp/s
  • Solid Maple wood cabinet
  • 50 DAB and 50 FM presets
  • Pure Revu™ offers pause and rewind of DAB digital radio, for up to 15 minutes
  • DRC (Dynamic Range Control) selection on DAB
  • DAB signal quality and FM signal meter
  • Separate Bass and Treble tone controls
  • Automatic DAB tuning captures all available DAB stations
  • Kitchen and sleep timers
  • Wake up alarm functionality with the ability to set different wake up times for weekdays and weekends
  • Support for FM RDS and RadioText
  • Future upgrade support for DAB+ transmissions (replaces MP2 codec with a high efficiency AAC codec for significantly improved DAB sound quality)
  • USB connector for PC connectivity to facilitate firmware upgrades
  • 3.5mm headphone socket
  • Auxiliary input for connecting an I-pod or other MP3 player / external audio source
  • Separate 3.5mm line out socket (with analogue audio) but no optical digital output provided
  • State-of-the-art, high contrast yellow OLED display technology
  • Integral power supply (220-240V AC) with rear panel power switch and detachable mains lead
  • Removable telescopic aerial with F-type connector for external DAB aerial
  • Low power standby - less than 1W
  • Low power consumption in use - less than 5W at low volume settings
  • Optional Pure ChargePAK E1 Rechargeable Battery Pack which provides around 20 hours of portable use.
  • Note that the Evoke-2S radio is not compatible with normal rechargeable batteries

DAB Reception

Pure Evoke-2S front panel display

DAB reception is excellent on the Pure Evoke 2S. At our test location (nr. 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 35 miles away), using just the radio's telescopic aerial.

Admittedly, careful positioning of the Evoke 2S was necessary and reliable London DAB reception was restricted to a few upstairs locations of our house. DAB reception could also be improved by reducing the length of the telescopic aerial slightly, from full extension.

During the weak signal test, all 3 London DAB multiplexes were receivable, although the London 1 multiplex had poor signal quality. For a station list see our page on London DAB stations, or visit Radio Now. By comparison, the Pure One fared less well on DAB sensitivity - it would only receive the London 2 multiplex.

For the best reception of weak DAB stations on the Pure Evoke 2S, we recommend installing a DAB dipole, or for weak signal areas a high gain directional DAB aerial.

FM Reception

Pure DAB Radio on FM

Whilst FM sensitivity and sound quality was good, FM reception was ruined by constant interference from the radio's microprocessor driven scrolling RDS text display.

This manifests itself as an irritating 'ticking' noise, which is clearly audible on quiet music or speech. Stopping the scrolling RDS text by pushing the 'Tune' button solved the problem.

The ticking interference was noticeably worse on weak FM stations, so listeners close to a high power transmitter may not be affected. This is, without doubt, a bad design fault with this radio!

Clicking Noise on FM - New Firmware

Pure released a new V1.5EU firmware version which claims to fix the clicking noise on FM, in February 2015. Download it here. To upgrade the firmware you will need a mini USB cable and a PC running a 32 bit Windows Operating System. I used Windows 7.

Unfortunately, this firmware didn't seem to fix the interference on FM reception for me. However, pressing the 'Tune' button still halts the scrolling text data. This seems to be a useful workaround to stop the interference.

In addition, the Evoke 2S's telescopic aerial doesn't seem very efficient on FM (88-108MHz). By contrast, the Pure One (Pure's budget DAB radio) performed as well and at a fraction of the price - albeit without the ability to connect an external aerial. For serious FM listening on the Evoke an external directional FM Aerial is recommended. This made a big difference to reception at the test location, practically eliminating interference and noise.

When comparing the performance of a radio, FM selectivity is another important factor. Selectivity is the radio's ability to achieve good reception of a weak FM station, close to a strong local station. In this regard the Evoke 2S scored well. The radio would receive London's Absolute Radio (105.8MHz), which is only 200KHz away from our local radio station in Newbury - The Breeze (105.6MHz).

Pure Firmware Updates

Firmware updates for the Evoke 2S are listed on the Pure Support Downloads Page. If this page gets removed, try the main Pure Firmware Download Page and navigate from there.

New firmware is applied via the Evoke 2S rear panel USB connector direct from your PC. The latest firmware for the Evoke 2S is V1.5EU (25th February 2015). 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 sound quality and build is impressive and the DAB performance is exceptional. If DAB reception is poor or unavialble in your area then the Evoke-2S will have far less appeal as an FM-only radio and we'd advise you buy an alternative unit with better FM performance like the Roberts 93i, 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.


Review Conclusion

Overall Rating : Pure Evoke-2S
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  • Good sound quality and volume from this luxury Pure DAB radio.
  • Excellent DAB reception even in weak DAB coverage areas.
  • Low power consumption in use and when in standby
  • Firmware upgradeable for DAB+ if introduced in the UK.
  • Constant interference ('ticking' noise) ruins FM reception. See tips to fix this.
  • No bit rate display on DAB stations.
  • F-type aerial socket can work loose.
  • Some reports of poor reliability - relating to bugs in V1.4 firmware, now fixed by Pure.
  • The rechargeable battery (Pure ChargePAK) is an extra-cost option.
  • Revu™ pause and rewind DAB radio is fairly pointless.

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