Okay, okay, we know it's a bit silly: a DAB radio that looks like a guitar amp. But, if you're looking for a fun gift for a rock-lovin' friend or family member or just need something to finish off you're home studio in style, this radio could be right up your street. Pure is one of the most respected manufacturers of compact desktop DAB radios, producing as it does well made, decent sounding, and above all easy to use products like the Pure Evoke Flow and Pure Evoke 3. Meanwhile Marshall Amps has been producing some of the world's finest guitar amplifiers and speaker cabinets for over 50 years. With that sort of heritage, what can go wrong?
The styling of the Pure Evoke-1S Marshall is obviously an homage to the classic Marshall amp look with black vinyl covering, big chunky plastic corner protectors, a large rubber handle, white Marshall logo, and gold hardware. It's certainly not going to be to everyone's taste but within the confines of making a radio that looks like a Marshall amp, it's about as good as we would expect.
Build quality, though, is not up for debate. Just as the company's amps are built to survive a life on the road, so the Evoke-1S Marshall is equipped to brush aside all that a kitchen window sill or shed shelf can meter out. Those corner protectors should save this radio from any severe damage from falls, unless you're unfortunate enough to have it land straight on one of the knobs. Meanwhile the tough yet soft vinyl does a good job of absorbing and disguising any minor knocks, and is wipeclean.
On the underside are four rubber feet that will stop anything scratching the radio and stop the radio from fighting back. As for that rubber handle, it looks and feels identical to those used on full size Marshall Amps, which are quite capable of taking the weight of a 30Kg amp, so this radio's mere 2.2Kg should cause it no problems.
The only slight let down with regards fit and finish is the plastic control panel section. While the gold sections are brass (hmmm, oxymoronic), the surrounding black sections are plastic. It still looks okay and is by no means something to get hung up on but it's worth noting.
Round the back is the telescopic aerial, the battery compartment and a number of the ports. From left to right there's a USB socket that can be used to update the devices firmware, an auxiliary speaker output for adding stereo sound via a matching second speaker (the S-1, available for £35), a headphone output, a line-level output, a line-level auxiliary input, and of course power. One annoyance with Pure radios is their use of a proprietary battery pack, rather than just normal AAs or such like. However, the optional battery pack will get you 24 hours of portable listening.
Under all this Marshall clothing sits an otherwise bog standard Pure Evoke-1S DAB radio. So you get the ability to tune into DAB and FM stations with up to 30 station presets shared between the two types. Five of these presets can be accessed directly via the buttons on the front while pressing the 6+ button will bring up a list of the other 25 presets that you can then scroll through.