back to article Pure Digital Evoke 1S DAB digital radio

Going back a few years, Pure Digital's parent company, Imagination Technologies, only made chips and wasn't involved in the manufacture of radios in any way. So to come as far as the company has in such a short period of time is surely testament to its ability to deliver desirable and reliable products. To our mind, a good …


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  1. Adrian Jones

    I think I prefer the Marshal amp verson

    I mean, does this one's volume go up to 11?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Come on....this design is getting on a bit...

    Er...wasn't the first Evoke-1 launched in 2001? Back then, it looked great.....but this is just a re-hash of the Evoke-1XT - ok, so it now has a (limited life) battery built-in (which is what I wanted on the Evoke-1, but my dealer claimed they couldn't get one small enough to fit).

    And you'd have thought they'd have updated the styling a bit....less 1950's and more 2000's......come on Pure....don't let Roberts be the only brand who pays someone to their THEIR cosmetic design... oh, you did that...and came up with the Bug !!

  3. Robert Govier

    Scrolling text

    We've got the original Evoke in our kitchen. The text information, although not as detailed as the new radios, can be useful, however on a two line screen you do have to stand there r-e-a-d-i-n-g - v-e-r-y - s-l-o-w-l-y while the text scrolls past, which can be frustrating! I'd like either a larger screen, the ability to turn the existing screen into 4 lines of smaller text, or the ability to skip forward in the text.

    Other than that, I have nothing but praise for the Evoke range. Better sound and a lot better looks than a lot of the cheap and nasty DABs that are now on the market.

  4. Tanuki
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    Nice radio, shame about the programming.

    UK DAB is crap. Not only does it use a prehistoric encoding mechanism [MP2] but the operators of the multiplexes use inordinately-low bitrates for each stream - which gives audio quality reminscent of a 1960s transistor-radio with flat batteries being played in a toilet.

    Some of the 'music' streams on DAB are even *MONO*, FFS! That's not retro, it's bloody pathetic.

    Forget UK DAB - listening quality is vastly better on FM or digital audio streamed across the net.

  5. Anonymous Coward
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    Why are all digital radios styled like something from the fifties with bits of wood?

    I don't get it

  6. Paul Dixon
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    DAB audio quality..

    Isn't that bad... especially if you're listening to 5 live - the jump from AM to DAB is superb. Unless you listen to Radio 3, all the music out there is overly compressed anyway, so DAB is just fine.

    I'm glad they've replaced the overly bright blue LCD screen on previous models - it lights up my entire room at night... not good when you're someone who likes to fall asleep with the radio on. I'll buy one just for that.

  7. frank denton
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    Kitchen Timer ?!

    Just read the website via the link. It has a 'kitchen timer' which is 'ideal for timing your eggs to perfection'; duh?

    Where is the bedroom timer? You know, the one that makes it turn on at an adjustable time in the morning, and lets you 'snooze' and also gives you a preset time of play before turning off, for use when going to sleep at night.

    My 15 year old Dixons am/fm radio alarm clock has all these functions so I'm at a loss to understand why they are not included in this 'modern' radio..

  8. Anonymous Coward

    @ Robin Lee and @Tanuki

    >Why are all digital radios styled like something from the fifties with bits of wood?

    Easy...coz the disposable income available for buying this sort of kit, is more likely to come from someone who is 45 years old (or older).

    And they are also the most likely age group of people who listen to the radio the it The Archers, Terry Wogan, Friday Night is Music Night, etc.

    So, many radio's have been "designed" to look like 1950's radio's....easy to use, easy on the eye and easy to blend in with your IKEA flat-pack maple furniture and imitation maple flooring.

    >UK DAB is crap.

    Sure it was designed in the 80's under the EC funded Eureka 147 project and the BBC launched in 1995....what the "Radio Authority" (as was, now OFCOM) failed to do, was to understand that MP3 is a better system than MP2....but they listened to to so-called "golden ears" of the BBC who said that consumers can't tell the difference...

    Of course, there is going to be DAB+, which uses AAC+, and which is a "better" system for cramming more onto the limited bandwidth currently provided by OFCOM for DAB in UK.

    But the 5+ million existing DAB sets in use in UK CANNOT pick up DAB+, although other countries are now signing up for DAB+.

    In other words, UK has been used as the "test bench" to make digital radio a reality....but OFCOM's failure (to not look ahead) has meant we'll have a 2 tier system, until such time as most of the brands make their existing sets DAB+ compatible...which won't happen for a while yet.

    Needless to say, most consumers won't be told about DAB+ compatability this Xmas....meaning another million or so radio's will be bought that WON'T be future proof....!

    Yer pays yer money...!

  9. Anonymous Coward
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    @Robin Lee

    Personally I don't go for the whole plasticky-brushed aluminium "trendy" look. It fails to compliment any room other than a minimalist modernistic type setting. Those "bits of wood" tend to blend nicely (or are less obtrusive) with their surroundings than the aforementioned bright blue light & metal things (and are more pleasing to the eye).

    I have an original Evoke with the add-on speaker and a more recent plastic based piece of junk. The quality of sound from the Evoke is second to none whilst the newer radio is tinny as hell (both radios are from the same price bracket if that makes a jot of difference).

    I wouldn't be without my Evoke (or digital radio in general) & to be honest i'm not that arsed by which method of encoding they use, really, if you are going to listen to music seriously you need a good set of speakers and a decent separates system to drive them. Little portable radios will always be little portable radios.

  10. Paul
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    DAB+ won't be used for better quality...

    ... it'll be used to squeeze in more stations and other tertiary data. The business case for throwing bandwidth at those of us who can actually tell the difference is virtually non-existent.

    I think DAB quality is disappointing, but unfortunately the majority of radio listeners aren't all that bothered about mp2, mp3 128, aac or any of those things. They just want a minimum standard of sound for their favourite station, and Pure's DAB sets with the UK stations deliver that nicely.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    @ Paul

    >DAB+ won't be used for better quality...

    Quite true and quite sad as well.

    Fact is: OFCOM control the multiplex licences and although there are a possible 37 Band 3 "multiplexes" available, OFCOM have only allowed about 7 (IIRC) to be used.

    If OFCOM was so concerned about the "quality", they can easily open up the licensing and provide each of the existing multiplexes with a second "channel" and overnight could DOUBLE the available bandwidth to each broadcaster and hence broadcasters could then increase their bit rates (or broadcast in stereo, instead of mono, and the sound quality improvement would benefit everyone....

    BUT OFCOM won't do that - they regard their control over the licensed bands as being their "golden goose"...and as with their control over the analogue TV frequencies, they want to create a demand for the frequencies and then realise the profit from the sale/licensing on those currently unused frequencies.

    It's very sad that DAB has been strangled at birth by the regulators.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ the geek

    "what the "Radio Authority"...failed to do, was to understand that MP3 is a better system than MP2....but they listened to to so-called "golden ears" of the BBC who said that consumers can't tell the difference..."

    Hmm - what you fail to do is have a sense of proportion. The difference between MP2 and MP3 is not a huge amount - far less than the difference between MP3 and codecs such as AAC. Moreover, errors in the bitstream (which you are going to get on DAB) have a much more severe effect on MP3 than MP2. So, you reduce your coverage area if you use MP3 rather than MP2. Oh, and there's the extra complication in implementing the decoder (in every receiver), which isn't an issue now, but was then.

    As others have said, the sound quality problems with DAB are not because it uses MP2 instead of MP3, but because the bit rates have been wound right down in order to squeeze more stations in. I recommend that for fixed receivers, if available you listen to radio on Freeview instead. The bit rate is much higher (at the moment...).

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