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Pure Evoke Flow - Internet & DAB Radio review

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Pure Evoke Flow - Internet & DAB Radio
  • Pure Evoke Flow - Internet & DAB Radio
  • Pure Evoke Flow - Internet & DAB Radio
  • Pure Evoke Flow - Internet & DAB Radio
  • Pure Evoke Flow - Internet & DAB Radio
  • Pure Evoke Flow - Internet & DAB Radio
  • Pure Evoke Flow - Internet & DAB Radio
  • Pure Evoke Flow - Internet & DAB Radio
  • Pure Evoke Flow - Internet & DAB Radio

Summary

Our Score:

10

Just a couple of weeks ago I took a look at the Logitech Squeezebox Boom. It was an impressive device that enabled you to connect over your home network to Internet radio stations and your digital music collection stored on your PC. It was very well made and sounded brilliant but it suffered from a couple of basic problems.

First and foremost was its overly complicated setup and user interface. It was just so packed to the gills with features that it was invariably a bit of a pig to get to the bits you wanted.

It's other failing was its lack of any other conventional playback features. It's all very well having access to thousands of Internet radio stations and your thousands of MP3s but for a standalone system it's sometimes nice just to have the basics like FM radio or CD playback catered for as well, which is where the Pure Evoke Flow comes in.

This is a conventional tabletop DAB/FM radio that also has Internet radio and media streaming capabilities. The key point being that it does the basics that we all want from a tabletop radio incredibly well then adds the extra functionality in a seamless and easy-to-use manner.

The Flow's styling is classic Pure (see: Pure Evoke 3 and DAB Tempus-1 S) but with a modern twist. Gone is the wood veneer and faux brushed metal of previous models and in its place is a glossy piano black finish with some funky yellow highlights. It may sound a little garish and frankly it is and will certainly not be to everyone's taste. The fit and finish, however, are exemplary.

All the signature little Pure touches are there like the touch sensitive SnoozeHandle and the battery compartment on the back that enables you to get up to 24 hours on-the-go listening out of this diddy box. This is only compatible with the optional £29.99 Pure rechargeable battery pack so if you run out of juice when out and about you can't just nip to the shops for a few replacements. However, we reckon 24 hours is enough to deal with most situations and, assuming you keep the radio plugged in when in normal use at home, the battery should always be fully charged when you need it.

You'll notice it only has one speaker but you can buy a matching second speaker that will give you full stereo. It's only £34.99 so is well worth considering, though it must be said, while they're not bad, Pure's radios aren't exactly built for their amazing sound quality, so it will be of limited benefit.

As well as the battery pack and the connection for the extra speaker, the back is home to a headphone jack, stereo in and out jacks, a USB socket, and the power socket. You may also notice the EcoPlus symbol. This marks this radio as complying to Pure's own green credentials, which include things like low power usage of the radios themselves and the use of 100 per cent recycled paper pulp for the internal protective trays in the packaging. This is obviously very welcome but it must be said the policy is far from a catch all with things like the main box still using a lot of non-recyclable inks and plastics.

Martin Daler

October 16, 2008, 11:11 pm

does it so "listen again" from BBC? Does it do Podcasts from the BBC? (the great thing with internet radio is being in charge of the schedules!). Excuse the BBC bias, I'm sure our cousins have similar stuff over the pond, etc. Does it do alarm-clock radio type functions (I guess, since there is a snooze bar?). Does it display the time whilst the radio is playing (daft question, but when the radio output is time-shifted {assuming it does do listen again/podcasts} its good to know the real time. Does the clock auto-sync to a time server somewhere?


Keep the internet radio reviews coming.

Ed

November 12, 2008, 7:33 pm

It doesn't do listen again if, by that, you mean it records the program. However, you can tune into the BBCs listen again features.





It does play podcasts but I don't know off the top of my head - I don't have the unit anymore - whether the BBC podcasts come up when you search. I assume they do.





I think you can choose what the display shows but, again off the top of my head, I don't think it shows both the track time as wel as the actual time. Again, though, it doesn't do time-shifting as such.





The clock does auto sync with the DAB signal.





It does all the usual alarm-clock radio type things and you can choose from radio, buzzer, your own music, or a PURE sound to wake you up. And the snoozebar is a touch sensitive snoozebutton, essentially.

Martin Daler

November 15, 2008, 1:11 am

thanks. I was referring to BBC "listen again", so that is great. Time-shifted, well by that I meant listen-again or podcast stuff - i.e. the real time will not be the same as the time given by the radio announcer or the BBC pips, since its not a live transmission, hence the desire to have the real time permanently displayed - nothing radical, just what clock radios always used to do, but which my Logik fails to do, preferring to use the display space to keep me permanently informed that the device is "real enabled" - vital info!


I guess my only reservation now is those pesky touch-sensitve controls and the general control logic (which you seem to love) - it looks from your excellent video review that you need to be fully awake and eyes focused to navigate the controls, the semi-somnolent fumbling hand will struggle I think?

Laurence Measey

November 17, 2008, 11:27 pm

I live half the year in the Tropics. I need a robust trustworthy Internet Radio which will receive signals from a good wireless router about 30ft away.


Will the Pure Evoke Flow do the job?


Your advice please.

Martin Daler

December 17, 2008, 11:50 pm

Laurence - I've just bought one for the Missus for Christmas, but I had to sneak a quick play with it, you know, just to check it works. It appears well made, although I know the tropics is death to most electronic kit - its just a quesion of time. The signal reception is much better than on my Logik IR100, but that's not much of a boast. For all the fancy touch sensitive buttons and designer looks of the Evoke however, the clunky buttons and dials on the Logik are a far better interface. If you want to grope you radio in the middle of the night and select Radio 4 to send you off to sleep, well you can do that on the Logik without raising your head from the pillow, just fumble around for the right preset and push it. With the Evoke you really need to be up and dressed, as you have to navigate the screen by twidling a knob and select the correct touch sensitive part of the flush control surface - no feeling around for the right button because whatever your fingers fumble first, that is the "button" you've pressed, so to speak. Sound quality is good, the OLED screen is easy to read from any angle, and the device is highly configurable via The Lounge site. They even do a selection of sounds, like cicadas or a thunderstorm, might remind you of the tropics...

David 24

March 3, 2009, 8:23 pm

Hello, re Pure Wifi radion


Does this Pure wifi radio, have to connect up to the a) computer, b) broadband router, to be able to play internet stations, on the Pure radio. In short, please, how does this work? ie, can I just plug the Pure wifi radio into the mains, and switch on, and start to surf and listen to internet radio stations? I am very much a beginner in this wifi technology and your advice and information would be welcome. Thank you

Martin Daler

March 17, 2009, 2:22 am

David, you need an internet connection and a wireless router. The radio connects to the internet via the wireless router. A computer is not necessary (but see below).


Its a bit like using a laptop to connect to various internet radio stations. Obviously you don't have a keyboard with the radio, so it connects via the internet to Pure's own gateway which basically serves up the choice of radio stations for you to select from using the radio's buttons and dials. You can also use your computer to log into Pure's website (thelounge.com) to set up lists of favourite stations which your radio will then see.


The benefit of getting your radio via the internet is that you can receive signals from all over the world, and (the bit I really like) you can listen to podcast material and anything from BBC's 7-day programme archive (listen-again), so are pretty much master of the schedules - listen to what you want when you want. You can also stream stuff off your PC/server.


I bough a Flow after much consideration and after reading this review. I have to admit to some disappointment. Pure seem to have abandoned the product, there is zero support from them, even the support forum only exists because someone else set it up independently. They promissed much by way of firmware upgrades to add missing functionality (like you only get one simple alarm, and its DAB or buzzer only, not internet radio) but so far failed to deliver, the menu structure is a disaster, and the touch controls are a real nuisance in practice - see my post above. I regret the purchase.


My other internet radio is a Logik IR100 from Dixons/PC World/Currys. Not sure if they are still available. That is not all good either - poor build quality, no DAB or FM, mains hum, etc. But even so, I much prefer it to the Pure.


Suggest you look at the forums before you decide (http://flowusers.com/ and https://www.reciva.com/index.p...

Caroline80d

March 21, 2009, 10:17 am

This may have been asked before, so forgive me if it has! Does anyone know if this is compatible with imac? Thanks in anticipation!

Geoff Richards

March 21, 2009, 11:54 am

Good question, Caroline. The Pure Evoke Flow is Mac compatible, but don't forget that to use the Internet Radio part (not just DAB radio) you need a wireless network. So if you just have an iMac on a desk, with your broadband plugged into it, you won't have this. But if you have one of the Apple AirPort products, then yes, you can stream internet radio to an Evoke Flow.

Caroline80d

March 21, 2009, 8:13 pm

Thanks Geoff. I've got the whole singing dancing Airport thingy so I'll just pop off and order the Evoke. Thanks very much for the reply! Oh happy Saturday!

johnufc

March 28, 2009, 3:47 pm

Can I stream from iTunes on an iMac?


If not, do you know of any (portable) radios that do have this feature?

Bonnie

April 21, 2009, 2:49 am

Lovely as a radio BUT not as an internet radio. I bought this as a Christmas present, assuming that if you can listen to a radio station on the internet then this PURE radio would also pick them all up. Wrong! The PURE staff also claim to be passionate about what they do. Nope! They are not too hot on customer service either. Nearly 5 months on and we are still requesting that they add a station for us. They do not reply to emails. We tried adding a station ourselves but that doesn't work either. Such a shame as it is a lovely peice of equipment. Just a shame their customer service is so poor. It really lets them down.

johnufc

September 12, 2009, 9:56 pm

Update & answer my own question...


Yes, you can stream iTunes to this radio (yippee!) just download a UPnP server app such as SimplifyMedia

Jason

May 8, 2010, 2:50 am

This video review did make me laugh, From what you say this seems to be the best wifi radio around. But you mention that the sound quality is not very good. Am I missing something here, I think the first wireless communication was in 1866. Is it too much to ask in 2010 for these companies to put a decent speaker or two in them, especially at the £100+ price point. As for Pure's battery pack only! Think i'll wait for Roberts to hit the wifi radio sweet spot. Put wifi in the Roberts ECO3BK Ecologic 3 and i'll show you the money.

Guest

May 9, 2013, 7:34 am

I bought this item for my partners birthday. I wish I had done more searching and I wished she had ignored stupid 10/10 plaudits as awarded on this website and other places desperate to hawk this outdated piece of junk!

Admittedly it is beautifully BUILT, has a wonderful INTERFACE, is LOVELY to LOOK at.

It does all those things very well. But there is one thing which you buy a music player for that it is rubbish with this thing and that is sound reproduction.

If your the sort of person who thinks that a radio stuck inside a card board box broadcasting muffled sounds with no top notes and a wooly bottom, then you should be listening to LW, or MW. Don't waste your money on this, because regardless of its 'features, the sound quality and the total lack of any sort of control are a joke.

Now, I am going to have to buy another and I don't know what to do with this one. I would not even have it in my workshop because I am so tempted to throw it up the garden.

The whole point of digital sound is to supply a crystal clear listening experience, not a retro analogue one. Don't be conned, spend your money elsewhere!

EDITORS CHOICE 10/10 Your kidding, did you switch it on?

Guest

May 9, 2013, 7:38 am

I bought this item for my
partners birthday. I wish I had done more searching and I wished she had
ignored stupid 10/10 plaudits as awarded on this website and other
places desperate to hawk this outdated piece of junk!

Admittedly it is beautifully BUILT, has a wonderful INTERFACE, is LOVELY to LOOK at.

It does all those things very well. But there is one thing which you
buy a music player for that it is rubbish with this thing and that is
sound reproduction.

If your the sort of person who thinks that a radio stuck inside a
card board box broadcasting muffled sounds with no top notes and a wooly
bottom, then you should be listening to LW, or MW. Don't waste your
money on this, because regardless of its 'features, the sound quality
and the total lack of any sort of control are a joke.

Now, I am going to have to buy another and I don't know what to do
with this one. I would not even have it in my workshop because I am so
tempted to throw it up the garden.

The whole point of digital sound is to supply a crystal clear
listening experience, not a retro analogue one. Don't be conned, spend
your money elsewhere!

EDITORS CHOICE 10/10 Your kidding, did you switch it on?

Coza

June 26, 2013, 12:36 pm

You are reading a review that's over 3 years old. I appreciate the sound quality is not going to have improved but you need to apprevciate what the rival devices that are available at that time

Jon

November 21, 2014, 1:28 am

I own two of these Pure Evoke Flow Radios and it is a love/hate relationship. These Radios cost around £200 but you have to pay another £30 for a battery. I have had to have 5 replacement radios because the screen died, finally I got one that lasted past the warranty and I had to use the basic tenets of the Sale of Goods act because when you pay this much for a radio you have a reasonable expectation that it will last a reasonable period of time, regardless of the warranty period. After that I have had to buy faulty ones on eBay to keep mine going because the out of warranty repair is a complete rip off, costing as much as a new one.

I am an Engineer and so happy to repair things, whether it be a Laptop or a Sky Plus box, so when I opened up the Pure Evoke Flow I was very disappointed with the Engineering quality. Most electronic devices are made with interchangeable modular components, but not this, things are glued into place so they are ruined if taken apart to swap out components. So while this is shiny on the outside it is grotty on the inside. This would not matter except for the reliability issues.

On occasion I have had to reapply the firmware, Pure has not kept the utility to do this up to date, it does not work with Windows 7 64 bit, so I have had to keep a PC with WinXP around for this purpose.

My next problem came with the Pure Evoke Flow battery, this radio crashes quite often and the only way to recover is to remove power and battery. The connector on the battery is hard to remove and with the repeated removals the wires come away and cannot be put or even soldered back, so you are forced to fork out £32 for a new battery. Even if the wire does not come out it can be ruined, you know your battery is ruined because when you remove the power cable there is a dangerous sounding POP and the radio then reboots. Pure needs to put a power switch in the battery compartment that isolates the battery so it can hard booted without removing the battery.

It should be noted that a reboot takes ages to get the radio back, so if you listen to talk or news radio expect to get very angry with Pure.

If you listen to DAB or FM the aerial is easily damaged and I have gone through several, worst of all it seems inadequate to receive a decent reception, I have travelled with this radio and had the same problem.

Another major failure of this radio is the lack of buttons or panels for preset stations, the new version shows no improvement.

I bought the Pure Evoke Flow to listen to Internet Radio, I get lousy DAB reception and FM is even worse. The firmware for this radio is based on Open Source code, over the years there have been some major issues with new bug ridden firmware being forced on you because the radio will nag you to update and the only way to stop it is to remove the power. The current version has an issue with inadvertently rebooting, I have analysed this and the problem is in the firmware. The radio will reboot if power levels get below a certain level. This can happen on a battery that has 100% charge! What makes it reboot is the volume being high and the wifi being in use, Despite all rave reviews about sound this radio does not go very loud so if you listen to speech radio you often have to have it at full volume, especially if you are doing something that makes a noise, even washing up.

As if all of the above was not enough there is another problem and this affects all Pure Internet radios. The radio will not even display favourite stored stations if the Pure servers are down, meaning you can't listen to internet radio at all. Sadly this seems to be happening more and more often, Looking at the forums it seems that others have had all of above problems and users make the point that the radio should have the stored stations stored in the radio and only have to go to Pure servers when you want to find a new station from their database.

So whilst I love the idea of this radio I hate the implementation, it is simply not practical. I would not buy a Pure product again, even if the design looks nicer than the competition, the reliability and commitment from Pure to listen to customers and fix problems is non-existent.

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