FOR more than a decade, Pure has won a reputation as one of the leading manufacturers of digital radios, the legacy of a fortuitous accident after it built a makeshift platform to exhibit its DAB decoding chip.
Pure Evoke D4 digital radio with Bluetooth
The result impressed all who heard it and since then, the firm has enjoyed considerable success, devising and engineering its products in the Hertfordshire town of Kings Langley for an appreciative international audience.
In recent years, the company has broadened its scope, releasing the likes of the Avalon digital television recorder and the Jongo wireless multiroom speaker system. In the eyes of many consumers, however, the Pure brand will forever be associated with one iconic product found in kitchens all over - the Evoke radio.
With its minimalist design and full-bodied sound, the device had a similar effect on the DAB market as the Sky+ box had on satellite television when it launched in 2002. Now, the clean lines and symmetrical layout have returned in the form of the Evoke D4, the latest iteration of a radio that has already become a classic of modern design.
Available in glacier white or domino black colours, the new Evoke model is a natural visual fit in Pure’s product range, with the sharp angles and unfussy control panels continuing the firm’s sleek, minimalist approach. Other features perfected by Pure down the years are present and correct, such as the touch sensitive Snoozehandle, an inspired interpretation of the snooze button.
Those who owned one of the original Evoke units will immediately notice a significant improvement in the performance. The sound quality is well-balanced and performs admirably whether the radio station in question is playing hard rock or the shipping forecast. The bottom end in particular is well rounded, while mid-range comes across as crisp and detailed.
Turned up full, there is no significant distortion and although the volume is ample for any room, it is quieter than some might expect. For those who cannot start the day without Radio 4, the D4 is a treat. Its sonic performance excels with spoken word stations, adding an expressiveness and timbre to the spoken word, the latter quality a sign of the build quality and solidity of the radio’s wood casing.
The masterstroke is the addition of Bluetooth connectivity, allowing for wireless streaming. The pairing process is quick and simple, with music libraries and podcasts stored on smartphones and tablets booming out of the D4’s full range drive unit in a matter of seconds, with the volume controlled via the media device or Pure’s own remote control (a useful and compact offering, although it is unfortunate that a source button has been omitted, meaning you cannot switch between DAB and streaming from afar).
The D4 allows for up to 15 DAB and 15 FM presets and boasts an iPod / MP3 speaker input. Given the progress that Pure and DAB market in general has made over the past decade, some may bemoan the lack of internet radio given the D4’s price tag of £149.99. But what it lacks in features, the D4 more than makes up for in terms of style and performance. Back in 2002, Pure wed form to function - it is a joy to find that 12 years on, the union remains blissful.