Pure Evoke-1XT Marshall

21st Feb 2007 | 00:00

Pure Evoke-1XT Marshall

Go one louder with Pure's rock-chic DAB radio

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

The Evoke 1XT's chart-topping days may be over, but it's still a DAB classic

Like:

<p>Excellent attention to detail</p>

Dislike:

<p>Design won't appeal to all</p>

A digital radio dressed up as a Marshall guitar amplifier? Honestly, only a hugely confident and recognisable brand like Pure could pull this off.

The headline features are kitsch at best. The black vinyl covering and plastic corner pads are done well, with the look of a Marshall amp well executed. Pure then stretches the point by using a blood red LCD screen. The real party piece is the volume dial - it goes all the way up to eleven. Is it any louder? Well, it's one louder isn't it? It's not ten.

But this isn't just a makeover. Pure has also tweaked the Evoke-1XT as well as dressing it up. Instantly obvious is the involvement of Planet Rock - the Evoke-1XT tunes into that station the first time it's switched on although, thankfully, doesn't return to it unless asked.

Where this incarnation differs from the standard model is in the detail. The original version's sleep timer, which made dozing off safe in the knowledge that the unit will switch itself off after say, 30 minutes, is gone, replaced by a kitchen timer.

The rear of the unit has remained identical. Back there is a USB input (for software upgrades from Pure's website only, not file transfers), an optical digital output (handy for hooking it up to an amplifier), a stereo output and an output to an auxiliary speaker.

The latter is useful if you're after better stereo, because Pure also manufacture an optional standalone speaker in the guise of the £30 XT-1 and, yes, that is also available dressed up as a rocker's boom box. A shame it doesn't come glued to the Evoke 1XT's side to give stereo sound as standard - as most DABs do.

Operation of the unit is easy. The DAB stations tune in immediately and there's also a dedicated control to perform another scan if the unit is moved. In a well-designed operating system, the retro-style tuning knob, which can be turned to toggle through all available DAB stations, also acts as the 'OK' key.

Scrolling through menus - such as setting alarms, recording stations or setting favourites - can be confirmed by simply pressing the same button inwards. However, there are no advanced features, such as SD card slot, MP3 playback or recording/pausing/rewinding action.

Sound quality is excellent from its mono speaker. A blast of Planet Rock reveals a bass-heavy and precise delivery that's adequate at this size. Spend £100 on any other DAB radio and you may get stereo and pausing capabilities, but Pure's brand of reliability and build quality? Probably not. The Evoke 1XT's chart-topping days may be over, but it's still a DAB classic.

Hi-Fi/audioPure
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