* Prices may differ from that shownMore Offers
I, like many people, enjoy listening to some music as I go about certain tasks, especially if I'm slaving away in the kitchen creating one of my masterpieces of the culinary genre. Over the years I have been through quite a few small radios which have graced my kitchen, some of them lasing quite some time whilst others have fallen at the first hurdle, due to such things as steam, spilt water, oils... and many other things that get splashed around the kitchen when I'm 'in the zone', so to speak.
These days though, with everything seeming to be heading down the digital road, I decided to invest in a portable digital radio for the kitchen. This decision being made for two good reasons, one, being that I have a stereo which has digital radio on it and I find the sound quality better than the standard FM sounds, the second being that a friend of mine had bought a new digital radio and was selling his old one, which I bought from him for a rather low price.
This particular radio which I was now the proud owner of was from a rather well DAB radio device maker called Pure, with this particular radio being the Pure Digital Evoke MIO.
Firstly, for those that don't understand what a DAB radio is, it is a radio which receives digital broadcasts instead of, or even as well as, analogue broadcasts.
A DAB, (Digital Audio Broadcasting), radio is therefore supposed to give better quality sounds.
So, with the digital promise, this Pure Evoke digital radio should give me an all round better listening experience from, what is technically, a smaller and more compact radio.
Firstly though, let's get the technical mumbo jumbo of this particular radio out of the way with...
* 7 Watt audio output
* Runs on a mains supply or a 6V rechargeable battery
* Uses around 2.48kw of power when in use and around 0.9kw per hour in standby.
* It has an extendable aerial on the back.
* 3.5mm headphone socket
* Allows up to 30 preset radio stations
* Built in alarms
* The features on this DAB radio can be update via a PC with the USB connection
* Light sensor
** What does it look like then?
It's a simple design really, a little old fashioned in a way, in fact to me it looks a little like an old tin sandwich box with a speaker slapped inside the lid of it, especially the way the handle curves away at the top. But it's more than a sandwich box, and, for the record, it doesn't hold any sandwiches at all, it simply plays music with top quality sounds, (if you're lucky enough to be in a good digital area).
It is a two tone look, leatherette and suede effect, and comes in a selection of colours, such as red, (which I have), a greeny-blue sort of colour, a light green, a dark purple and more. And it's not that big, being approximately 180mm high by 210mm wide and 125mm deep, so as to take up most of the table you decide to put it on.
The unit itself is supported by four little plastic feet, with the front of the main body housing the speaker, whilst on the right there are eleven button, six for pre-set stations, the others for set up, display, auto tuning, standby and timer, and a couple of knobs, for tuning and volume, all underneath the small but very clear LED screen.
There's also a light sensor which adjusts the screen brightness depending on how much light there is in the room the radio's in.
On the rear there is the aerial itself and a few connectors which are for such things as the mains socket, headphone socket, Aux input, speaker output and the mini USB connector for any upgrades.
When it's not plugged in it is powered by something they call a ChargePAK, which sounds really sophisticated but is simply a rechargeable power pack, or battery. This ChargePAK is recharged every time you plug the radio into the mains so there's no need to take out the pack if and when the power runs down.
If you only plan to have the radio in one room and plugged into the mains then this ChargePAK is irrelevant really, but it does come in very handy if you decide to take the radio say down to the bottom of the garden, or out on a lovely picnic with you, as the ChargePAK should be charged up fully and should last a good 24 hours of non stop music.
The ChargePAK is situated in the bottom of the radio and is access via an easy to unlock hatch, although their no real need to take the pack out at all.
** MY OPINION...
The initial set up was a breeze, especially following the simple to understand instruction. It was just a matter of selecting a few things, such as the language and power energy saving option, then it was a matter of extending the aerial and scanning for the radio channels. This scanning takes a few minutes to completely do its job, but it keeps you informed of its progress on the LED screen, and once its done its job the stations are ready to be preset.
To choose a preset station above number 6 you have to press the 6+ button then scroll through the numbers using the 'Tune' knob.
The LED screen isn't massive, but it's big enough to clearly see the required information, such as the station that you are listening to, the song being played and more, (although some of this information is only displayed when listening to certain digital stations).
You can change the way that the information comes across the LED screen, such as having scrolling text to tell you what station you're listening too and what song is being played, which is the most popular choice. Or maybe you want to know exactly how strong the digital signal is, or how much battery strength is left? All this can be changed by pressing the information button
The speaker is great quality and gives out a crystal clear sound, even on a higher volume, although quality reception does depend on digital coverage in some cases
Plus it has an auxiliary input connection so that you can connect your own devices to it, such as an MP3 player or, for the posh folk, your iPod.
The other features on this box shaped digital radio are the built in alarm and what is called a 'kitchen timer', both being set via twisting the tuning knob and watching the LED screen until you get the settings you want.
I haven't used the kitchen timer yet but I have used the alarm, setting the radio to come on at a desired time, which worked perfect every time.
This built in alarm can either be a buzzer or your chosen radio station, which I use as its not as 'alarming' as the buzzer, but still wakes me up when needed.
Plus it's got something called 'Intellitext' which gives up to date text style information scrolling along the screen.
As for the cost of this DAB radio, well, it is a bit on the hefty side, selling for around the £100 mark, but if it's a simple radio you're after which won't take up much room then this may be worth looking at, especially if the powers that be go ahead with their plans to start scrapping analogue radio in a couple of years time.
In all, this is a great looking radio which seems to fit anywhere with it's retro style, and as for sound quality, well, if you can get digital reception then the sound quality is almost like being next to the person that is singing, (almost I said), and there is no crackling like you get with some FM stations.
As for the price, maybe £100 is a bit much for what is technically just a radio with better sound quality, but it may be worth investing in, especially if you can get it at a knock down price, as it should last well after the analogue broadcasting is finally switched off.
And as it's coming close to Christmas as I write this there may be some bargains coming up soon, so keep your eyes open, or add it to your Christmas list.
For the record digital broadcasting takes a second or so longer than analogue broadcasting to come through the airwaves due to the fact that it comes in a package rather than just through the air. So if you have a digital radio and an analogue radio side by side broadcasting the same station then you'll notice that the analogue radio will sound as though it is broadcast first, with the digital radio seeming to be a little delayed, this is normal, (and a little weird if you try it out, as I did.... I need to get out more), so don't think your new digital radio is broken.
Pure is one of the world's leading manufacturers of digital radios. I'd already bought one of their radios years ago so when I needed to find a new radio for my techno phobic, garden loving mother, I thought I would stick to what I know.
Evoke Mio by Pure was advertised as being one of their more straightforward radios and works on a rechargeable battery pack as well as a normal plug so it ticked all the boxes for me.
And without getting too girly about all this, it also came in a gorgeous variety of colours and an ageless design. Although I eventually decided on Noir, it was also available in teal, lava, grape and cherry. There is also a special floral design that created by a designer that has a mirror chrome handle and a walnut coloured casing.
The chosen radio is covered with a black two tone leather and also has a leather handle. The retro design fitted perfectly into my mother's décor. It is the perfect size being not too big and not too small. The radio is 181mm tall, 210mm wide and 125mm in depth. It also has an extendible aerial to give enough better sound quality.
The sound quality in fantastic and crystal clear and the highest level on the volume is more than you would ever need to use. It has numerous buttons to from which to preset your favourite channels and each button can hold six channels, so again that it more presets than you would ever need to use.
The radio plays all Digital and FM stations or if you want to play your own collection of music through it, then it has a connection for your Ipod and MP3 player. There's also a connection for headphones if the people around you need some peace and quiet. It has a display channel to tell you what channel you are listening to which it easy to read and clear. They is also a pause button in order to stop the writing from scrolling.
The rechargeable battery lasts for hours so this keeps my mother company in the garden while she is working away. The radio is sturdy so it can take being knocked around a bit as it is being carried.
It has an alarm setting that can be programmed to go off the same time every day. It can either sound a tone or switch to the radio station which makes you wake up in an incredibly good mood. The alarm can also be used as a kitchen timer button and it is so much easier than trying to set the timer on the oven.
The radio is not cheap, costing around £120 and there are many cheaper versions out there. But with this radio you are paying for long lasting high quality. It is available from many electrical stores as well as from a variety of online websites. The radio is designed and manufactured with the environment in mind and is recommended by the energy saving trust.
All in all, this is a great radio for those who want a simple product with high quality sound and a quirky design. And my mother was very happy with her present.