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As a previous and very pleased owner of a Pure DAB radio, I decided to buy the Evoke Flow for the kitchen as I was attracted by the podcasts and BBC radio "listen again" features available on an internet radio.
It's not a bad product, but to be honest I have been underwhelmed.
The range of features is good, with access to DAB and literally thousands of internet radio stations as well as podcasts and listen again features. But it also comes with loads of niggles which have become so annoying over time (I've had this for a couple of years now) that the radio has ended up being relegated to the garage. For example:
Sound quality: It's ok, but nowhere near as good as on the Pure Evoke 2S I've had before. I bought the ancillary speaker which improved things slightly, but the sound quality remains no better than "ok".
Functionality: It can be irritatingly slow to start up when using internet services. Connecting to my home network and starting to produce a sound can take 30 seconds or so from pressing the on button.
Menu system: The menu system is not especially intuitive, and many functions require use of touchscreen buttons on the front that I have found are often erratic in their response to touch. Touchscreen buttons are not great in the kitchen either - wish I had thought that one through before I bought it!
Podcasts/Listen Again: I've given up using these and have plugged my iPod touch into a speaker dock instead. So much easier. Navigating through programmes is an irritating experience on the Pure Evoke Flow - not user friendly at all.
This is a beautiful, simple piece of kit that will make the transition to DAB and internet radio a joy.
The evoke flow can play digital radio, FM and link wirelessly to internet radio stations and 'Listen Again'. In addition you can link wirelessly to your computer and access all the music you have stored from anywhere in the house.
Amazingly all this is done with just a few clicks of the touch-sensitive buttons and the chunky retro dials.
Personally I use it as a cordless radio around the house and out in the garden - 'listen again' enables me to listen to the radio shows I want to hear whenever I want. I also use it as a simple radio alarm clock, and even in the kitchen as a cooking timer.
I have also purchased the Ipod dock, that although quieter than radio output is loud enough for most rooms. Sound quality is excellent for all functions, and the single speaker is more than capable of creating a rich sound.
It's easily the best radio I have owned and seems like it will last me for years. This is aided by the fact that it regularly downloads new software automatically when needed.
I was given this radio as a birthday present recently (so apologies but I don't know how much it cost) and have been extremely happy with it. The sound quality is great and the functionality blew me away.
Firstly the look:
This radio is very sleek with a large digital screen and two dials. There are also 4 'touch screen' buttons, which add to the modern look - definitely not the radio for you if you're looking for a retro design.
What it can do:
This radio is not only a DAB digital radio (and Analogue) but it will also connect wirelessly to the internet for podcasts, 'listen again' or internet radio stations; stream music wirelessly from your PC or laptop; and can be used to play music from an iPod or MP3 player.
Setting it up:
I found the radio very quick and easy to set up and connect to the internet, so was up and running within about 15 minutes.
I'm yet to stream music to it via my laptop, as to date I have used my iPod for this, but often use the dedicated website 'The Lounge' to find new radio stations and podcasts - again very straightforward to use.
Having only used the radio attached to the mains, I'm unable to comment on the reliability or otherwise of the battery pack, which does need to be purchased separately.
All in all, I've found this radio has expanded my horizons in terms of digital listening and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a digital radio that goes way beyond standard functionality.
Christmas 2008, I was desperately looking for a present which my partner wanted to get me.... Being a bit of a gadget lover, I started looking along the electrical goods lines and spotted the DAB radios.
Pure are the market leaders when it comes to DAB radios, their range runs from the basic DAB radio all the way up to this nearly top of the range model.
When looking at the radios, I spotted a leather bound Roberts one which had some good reviews and really looked the part....retro and tasteful. I was swaying toward the Roberts DAB only radio due to the style until I read an article on the BBC website:
The article talks of the potential 'Betamax' failing of DAB radio due to costly infrastructure and with analogue radio still being very effective. This article put doubt in my mind regarding the future of DAB, so in order to future proof my present I requested the Evoke Flow.
The Evoke Flow combines 4 major music sources, FM Radio, DAB Radio, Internet Radio and Music Library Streaming.
Opening the box was a real pleasure, well manufactured with an opening flap at the front detailing features etc... In the box is the radio in a small cloth bag, quick start guide and power adaptor. Looking at the radio, there is a 3" speaker, two dials, 3 touch sensitive buttons, a large OLED screen, aerial and a touch sensitive snooze handle.
I decided to set up all the software side of things first. I loaded the www.lounge.com website as advised in the instructions and registered the radio. It then advised to use the link to download 'Flow Server' for the streaming part. Having a dedicated home server for music and files which is always on, I decided to install it there. This is where I encountered my first issue.... Even though I had registered my radio and typed codes into various screens and the radio, I couldn't locate the link. As it was late I decided to leave it and enjoy the DAB side of things.
The following day I went into the site and something had updated over night, I could now download the software and install it on the server. This part was straight forward, configuration was also very intuitive....telling it where my music folder is etc....
According to the quick start guide, everything was installed now and good to go!! Ever since this point I haven't experienced any issues connecting with the radio via the software, it all works seamlessly.
The build quality of the radio is of a high quality, it feels really solid, not that you'd want to drop it.... When turning on, it takes a few moments to initialise and depending on what task you've asked it to do, it may take longer if connecting to the internet or the server.
The volume is also impressive, especially for its size. It will hold its own at a party when used for background music. The large screen provides a great amount of detail which is generally quite useful. Tuning is a very simple, for DAB it automatically scans for the stations.
The media streaming I found quite poor to begin with....the quality was fine, it was more so the search function. I downloaded the full manual from the Pure website and soon discovered I had been going about it all wrong!
The internet radio side is massive, so many stations, literally 1000's.... I haven't played with this side of the radio too much due to the DAB and streaming catering to my music needs for the time being....however I will start making use of the genre specific stations.
Unfortunately the radio doesn't come with batteries and you need to buy a specific Pure manufactured battery pack. This is roughly £30, which in my opinion is a lot for a battery. You can also buy a remote and secondary speaker.
With the battery in use, you lose the clock display when the radio is on standby; there is also a longer delay when turning on. However you do get a decent amount of play time between charges.
I personally believe this is the perfect all round radio which looks the part. With a gloss piano finish, it gets covered in finger prints, but a quick dust keeps it looking smart. The sound quality is impressive for it size, but don't expect deep bass. The only let down is the battery price and with it being sold separately.
Audio power output: 7W RMS - Connectors: 6V DC power (230V adapter supplied), ChargePAK connector, 3.5mm Line-in. USB for product upgrades. 3.5mm headphone, 3.5mm line out (analogue), 3.5mm auxiliary speaker connection