Pure Evoke D2 digital radio with Bluetooth full review

The Pure Evoke D2 with Bluetooth is a small digital radio and speaker system. Our Pure Evoke D2 with Bluetooth review tests the sound quality. We also look at its wireless Bluetooth connection and test the digital radio. Is the Pure Evoke D2 worth buying as a wireless speaker for iPhone or iPad, or is it just a digital radio with Bluetooth tacked on? Our Pure Evoke D2 review decides whether this is the wireless speaker you should buy. 

The wireless nature of the iPhone and iPad lend itself to a range of different wireless speakers. These have replaced the old Dock speaker systems of old. Modern speakers tend to be in two categories: AirPlay or Bluetooth. The Pure Evoke D2 with Bluetooth is in the Bluetooth-camp. This has its own benefits: Bluetooth is easier to get connected than AirPlay but less versatile. The Pure Evoke D2 with Bluetooth is a bit different to other speaker systems. It’s a small portable digital radio with Bluetooth functionality as an additional feature. The Pure Evoke D2 with Bluetooth is also good value. At £99 it’s cheaper than many other wireless speaker systems, especially AirPlay speakers. It skips a lot of luxuries and focusses on getting the basics right.

Pure Evoke D2

The Pure Evoke D2 with Bluetooth

The Pure Evoke D2 with Bluetooth is small speaker system, measuring around 10cm square and 20cm tall (115 mm wide x 180mm high x 120 mm deep). Our model came in pure white and on the front is a small radio text display. Alongside the display are four preset buttons a Volume and Select dials, Source button Menu and Power button. Below it is a single solitary speaker. The Pure Evoke D2 with Bluetooth is not what you’d call fashionable, but we do like its simple style.

We found the Pure Evoke D2 to be a simple system to set up. You plug it in, switch it on and wait for it to scan through for digital radio stations. Once it is setup, use the Select button to move between stations. The Volume adjust audio levels. The Source button can switch to Digital Radio, FM, Auxiliary Input and Bluetooth. The first and last options are the ones you’ll be using most. The Menu button access other options like Alarm and Timer. We found they didn’t get in the way of the basics (that is a common flaw on most speakers like this).

The Pure Evoke D2 with Bluetooth is mains powered, but you can purchase a separate chargeable batter, called the ChargePAK B1 (RRP: £27.99). We didn’t get one with our test unit, but it slots into the back of the radio to provide mains-free audio. We don't really think this is necessary but if you're planning on taking the Pure Evoke D2 outside, perhaps into the garden, then the ChargePAK is a good accessory.

See: Bugs & Fixes: iPhone fails to pair to Bluetooth device

Pure Evoke D2 rear

Evoke D2 Pairing with Bluetooth

Pairing the Evoke D2 with Bluetooth to an iPhone couldn’t be easier. Tap the Source button on the front of the speaker till it changes to Bluetooth. Open iPhone and tap on Settings > Bluetooth and tap on the Evoke D2 in the list of Bluetooth devices.

Now any audio you play on the iPhone comes through the Evoke D2 speaker. Bluetooth V4 has had a huge impact on the usefulness of Bluetooth on digital systems and the A2DP technology featured here ensures that you don't lose any audio quality from using Bluetooth. It’ll remain paired with the iPhone if you move back to the Digital Radio. You can remove the iPhone from the speaker by turning Bluetooth off on the iPhone, or tapping on Info next to the item in Settings > Bluetooth and choosing Forget This Device.

Bluetooth Settings for Pure Evoke D2

As with all Bluetooth devices the big advantage over AirPlay is that you don’t have to connect the speaker to your Wi-Fi network. Setting up AirPlay involves entering your Wi-Fi key and SSID information into a speaker system. Either using the tiny display or by  connecting the speaker to a Mac and using a web-based interface. In this regards, we consider Bluetooth to be a much better solution than AirPlay. The disadvantage is that you can only connect one device at a time, and all of your iPhone's sound comes out of the speaker. Including any phone calls, alerts, alarms and so on). So you’ll need to use Control Centre to turn Bluetooth off to take a phone call, for example. We tested the range and found it to work reliably within 10 metres and through two walls. But beyond that and it’d be out of earshot at any rate.

The Pure Evoke D2 with Bluetooth sound quality

The sound quality of the Pure Evoke D2 with Bluetooth is way, way better than we thought it would be. The audio is clear and crisp with good treble and sharp mid tones. We found listening to clean music such as Dire Straights or Led Zeppelin showed the strengths of the Pure Evoke D2. Music with heavy bass wasn’t quite so good. On the whole, the Pure Evoke D2 is a lot crisper and clearer than most audio speakers this size.

Having said that, there are some limits to the Pure Evoke D2 with Bluetooth. Due to its small stature it doesn’t have the high volume push you might like. At 1.6W, the Pure Evoke D2 with Bluetooth is not what you’d call a party speaker. The volume button has 32 lights and found audio starting to break up around the 27 mark. It's a good, if somewhat quiet, speaker system.

In all though the audio quality of this little speaker impressed. And the ease-of-use with turning Bluetooth on and off makes it a good option for iPhone owners. The Pure Evoke D2 with Bluetooth is a little small for your main room, and isn’t going to rock the party. But we think it’d be a great choice for a kitchen or bedroom. The Pure Evoke D2 with Bluetooth is also a great bargain combining the digital radio function with Bluetooth speaker.

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