The Evoke-3 is the latest iteration of PURE's Evoke series of kitchen radios. It offers a number of improvements over the Evoke-2XT, including new filters on the custom-designed speaker drivers, a slick EPG (Electronic Program Guide) and an improved battery life.
We've reviewed several PURE DAB radios in the past, and without exception we've had pretty good experiences with them. PURE has nailed the receiver stages in their units -- for quality of reception the Evoke series has an impressive reputation behind them. The Evoke-2XT was a strong performer, but can the Evoke-3, reviewed here, continue this tradition?
The styling of the Evoke-3 didn't immediately appeal to our tastes, but at least it's fairly anonymous. Faux-wood veneer wraps around the outer surfaces, with what looks like an Ikea wardrobe handle fixed to the top. The front is an inoffensive silver-grey with three main controls in its centre: Volume, ReVu and tune.
The large LCD on the front panel gives a bright and obvious visual indication of what station you're listening to. Beneath this, there's an array of navigation buttons, which make a pleasant clicking noise when pressed.
The two handles on the top of the unit are actually a SnoozeHandleTM. When tapped, this will put the Evoke-3 into snooze mode to give you that few extra minutes of vital sleep.
The rear of the unit sports a dizzying array of inputs and outputs, including power, USB, digital optical out, headphones, line out and aux in. There's also a large detachable panel which reveals a battery compartment for an unfathomable number of batteries (6x C-cells).
DAB aficionados will be familiar with the tuning system on the PURE Digital DMX-50. As with all DABs, an automatic tuner activates itself when the radio is first switched on.
Once we'd extended the telescopic aerial on the back of the radio, the Evoke-3 automatically sought out all available DAB broadcasts and listed them. Tuning speed on the Evoke-3 is as snappy as we've seen from other DAB radios. First-time users will have little problem getting the Evoke to a point where they can enjoy DAB.
The Evoke-3 uses what PURE is calling 'ReVu' to pause and rewind live DAB broadcasts. You can rewind live radio a maximum of 30 minutes into the past, using the 'ReVu dial'. You also have the option of recording songs or entire radio programmes to an SD-card. A 2GB card can contain approximately 30 hours of broadcasts.
If you're out of the house and want to record a programme, there's a timed-record option. Using the Evoke's EPG you can select the programme you want to record, and hit the 'Record' key. This is such a brilliant feature that we'd gladly spend an hour singing its praises -- more on it later, though. The recorded show will play back on the Evoke-3 itself, or on the move using a portable player like the PURE PocketDAB 2000.
The Evoke-3 will receive FM (with RDS) and DAB transmissions. Station and programming information is displayed on the LCD screen. This includes RadioText, RDS and standard DAB station information (supplementary information about the current broadcast, for example, the name of the artist and a short biography).