The latest in Pure’s long-running and Award-winning line of radios, the Evoke F4 looks, on paper at least, like a bit of a jack of all trades.
That description is rather unfair, though: while there are certainly a couple of skills where it doesn’t rule the roost over some of its peers, it’s an undoubted master of quite a number of its abilities.
And, as an overall package, this is about as fully specified as you could possibly get.
To go along with the usual FM and DAB abilities of the conventional portable radio alarm clock, the Evoke F4 also offers Bluetooth connectivity, internet radio via wi-fi, access to Pure’s on-demand, cloud-based music subscription service, and the ability to stream sound from a Pure Jongo compatible device. It will even record radio onto a USB stick.
You can add a second speaker to go stereo for an extra £35-£40 – there’s an input on the back to accommodate this. And, as is usual for Pure products, you can add a rechargeable battery pack for another £30 or so. This makes the F4 truly portable, and is a worthwhile investment.
All of that means that pretty much every base is covered when it comes to accessing stations and streaming tunes from your network or smart device.
To make all that work, it’s true that you’ll need to do a bit of fiddling, especially to get internet radio and to stream tunes from a network server. You will need to set yourself up on Pure Connect, Pure’s bespoke internet portal.
This can be a bit of a pain to sort out, but you have to do it only the once. Also, it’s true that finding internet stations can take a little bit longer than is desirable, and longer certainly than some more specialist products.
That’s the worst of it, though. For general radio listening, and streaming over Bluetooth, everything is simple and intuitive to use.
It’s always clear what to do and where to go to find and select stations or set alarms and so on. A lot of that is down to the intelligent way that the three touch-sensitive buttons light up only when there’s an option to be used – so you might get one, two or all three lit up, depending on circumstance. It removes a lot of potential confusion.
Most important, of course, is the sound this diminutive box of tricks makes. And, we’re happy to report that it’s precisely what we’ve come to expect from Pure – indeed perhaps it’s even a little more ‘Pure’ than usual in this particular Evoke iteration.
As is usual with Pure products, and always desirable in a portable radio, the midrange is a particular strength – this is essential for the listener to enjoy talk radio stations as they ought to be heard.
The treble, though, also impresses with its clarity and strength, while avoiding any stridency. Bass is tight and fast, and of decent depth for a unit of this size.
To help with this, in what is after all a fairly small case, there is a rear-firing port designed into the back of the unit. This works well, but you’ll need to take care not to block it when you’re placing the radio on a shelf.
The Evoke F4 really can do everything one could expect of it – even a bit more perhaps – and it sounds great doing it. Take your time to set things up properly and it will cover most radio, streaming and internet bases.
For an all-in-one one-stop portable radio solution, we don’t believe it can be beaten at the price.
MORE: Best DAB radios