PURE Digital, like Ron Burgundy, is kind of a big deal, keeping the digital radio market punchy with its stylish and easy-to-use equipment. We loved the Legato II and the chunky Oasis and now we're elbow-deep in reviewing the lovely Evoke-1S -- a simple and functional kitchen radio encased in an attractive maple enclosure.
The new Evoke builds on the design and feature set of the Editor's Choice 2006-winning Evoke-3, though this incarnation features only a single speaker. An additional speaker can be purchased separately and jacked into the main unit to provide a stereo output offering. We'd rather have stereo as standard, of course, but as many talk-radio stations broadcast in mono, this may not be a deal-breaker for too many people.
Sound quality is surprisingly good for just a single 76mm (3-inch) speaker driver, though DAB's use of MP2 encoding limits the audio quality before it even reaches a receiver. An option to lower or disable DRC (dynamic range compression) helps negate some of the excessive volume that some broadcasters add to their transmissions. Bass is partly assisted by a small reflex port to the rear, while the driver itself is covered by a metallic mesh.
A boat-load of other features such as multiple recurring alarms, 30 FM and DAB station presets, and stereo auxiliary inputs and outputs go towards making this a very capable offering. For £99, it's well priced.
Expect our review of the Evoke-1S very soon. In the meantime, take a moment to check out a charity auction PURE is backing. The company has persuaded some big names in the rock world, such as Mark Knopfler and the Manic Street Preachers, to sign special Marshall-branded Evoke-1XT systems. All proceeds are going to the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy charity. Rock on! -Nate Lanxon
Update: A full review of PURE Digital's Evoke-1S is now available.