PURE Evoke Flow Review

A couple of months ago we started rounding up radios of all different shapes, sizes and types to conduct a little bit of a face-off between them and determine the best choices for your kitchen entertainment.

My favourite has to be the Pure Evoke Flow if only because of its irrefutable gook looks, which are accented with tastefully integrated yellow OLED screen with matching LED backlit, touch sensitive buttons. Great for a kitchen environment where it might need wiping clean every once in a while. The black gloss finish will, of course, mean that you’ll be wiping off fingerprints every ten minutes, but that’s the price of good looks!

The Evoke Flow has a curved metal handle that arches out of the top of the radio beautifully and boasts touch sensitivity to boot, meaning a quick tap will let you get back to snoozing if you opt to place it in your bedroom. Alas, the handle is also a fingerprint magnet, so stock up on the micro-fiber cloths.

Another strong win on the style front is the addition of machined aluminum volume and tuning knobs on the front of the Evoke Flow. These are minor touches but they mount up and make the Evoke Flow a clear winner when it comes to looks, even over the Tangent Quattro MK2 which offers a wealth of finishes. I know I’m going a bit audiophile/technophile when I say this, but a good, solid, machined aluminum knob with good tactile feedback is a beautiful thing.

My only complaint with the style of the Evoke Flow is the lack of colour choices. The black and silver can stay, but I would love the choice of either a red or blue OLED/LED option and I’m sure many potential purchasers would feel the same.

Still, despite my disdain for yellow as an accenting colour I still think the Evoke Flow looks good. But what about its features and performance?

The Evoke Flow is a DAB/FM radio at heart with the ability to access a mind-blowing selection of internet radio stations either via WIFI or a network cable. Accessing internet radio is done through a service dubbed “The Lounge” to which you must first subscribe online and fill in the ID of your radio. Once this is done you get access to an easily customized favourites list in addition to the easily searched wealth of radio stations and podcasts.

Internet radio seems to be quite exceptional on all of the modern devices I’ve looked at and the Evoke Flow is no stranger to this. It can be unplugged, upstairs for a solid month and still be brought into the kitchen and quickly resume playing the last internet radio station to which it was connected. This is clearly achieved by the radio identifying itself to the online portal.

Access to The Lounge also grants you a CD key for software dubbed “FlowServer” which is, in actual fact, the somewhat well-known TwonkyMedia Server. This is a very wise move by PURE who, instead of disappointing users with poor, windows only software, have managed to secure a media serving solution that will run on OSX, Linux and Windows. Not only this, but TwonkyMedia Server will dish out content to other network-aware devices such as a Playstation 3 and probably the SlingCatcher when they finally get their act together. That’s €30 of quality software you can get access to with nothing more than a quick registration!

TwonkyMedia Server was reasonably easy to set up. I had one small issue with the version that PURE linked for download and, indeed, the latest version available from TwonkyVision at time of writing. Both entered an endless crash loop under OSX, forcing me to grab the previous release until a fix arrives. With the previous, seemingly stable, version installed every single media file on my hard drive was, by default, available to devices. I cleaned this up promptly via the browser-based interface, sharing only my music and adding a password for a little extra security.

On the Evoke Flow end it was a simple matter of searching for media servers via my wireless network. TwonkyMediaServer was found promptly, although my MediaLink server always seems to appear first, and I could quickly navigate into the Music folder, list by artist, scroll down to Trash80 and have some awesome chip tunes blasting out less than a minute after plugging in the Evoke Flow.

To sum up, a beautiful design coupled with excellent software and a nice dedicated web portal make the Evoke Flow, by a significant margin, the best DAB/Wifi radio of the bunch. Alas, the sound quality and room filling capacity still pales in comparison to that of the Tangent Quattro MK2 which itself lacks a DAB radio. The PURE Evoke Flow sound is still good, though, just lacks that little extra punch. You can’t turn it up to 11.

With the PURE Evoke Flow and Tangent Quattro MK2 being very, very close in terms of price it really boils down to a toss-up between the punchiest sound or DAB and TwonkyMedia inclusion. You absolutely can’t go wrong with either of them and I couldn’t recommend one over the other. I can say that I would personally go for the Evoke Flow, though, but I would absolutely miss the lovely sound of the Quattro.

The PURE Evoke Flow is currently available for £134.99 delivered at SoundAndVision.co.uk.

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