Alarm clocks have been around for centuries. Most people think of vintage wind-up clocks as being the first, but in truth, there have been different forms of alarms used to wake people for ages. Chimes and bells have been used all over the world as ways to rouse people from sleep. Modern electronic alarm clocks still imitate these sounds, though they use electricity, which is easier to manage.
Because cell phones now come equipped with alarm clock functions, many use this technology rather than clocks. But clocks have distinct advantages which cell phone alarms do not. Alarm clocks are much easier to see, with larger numbers and controls. Many are produced with AM/FM radios, and these allow for musical alarms with much more variety than the standard cell phone choices. The newest model clock radios also have charging ports, which makes it very easy to find a spot for charging a cell phone, rather than depending on it as an alarm. There is also evidence to suggest that cell phone light can be very bright and interfere with sleep. For those who are ready to try out some of the best portable clock radios, here are some popular choices to consider.
01. One. iHOme Stereo Clock Radio
This chubby radio has a rounded top and oval shape very much like cartoon robots. It is a slick design which evokes immediate empathy and the desire to operate its controls. It has a black case, black numbers and a light blue display. Easy to read, the display alone is quite nice. It is also loaded with desirable features, including wake-up alarm choices including FM radio, iPhone, or iPod. There is a flexible dock which rapidly charges and plays Lightning devices. The clock time is always current with an automatic sync feature. There are preset memories for 6 radio stations, and these can be heard with rich and full sounds due to the Reson8 speaker chambers. Most appreciate its features, but those with certain iPhone cases cannot dock inside the product. The docking port is also a tight fit for thick or expensive phone cases. Some owners needed to purchase an adapter which allows for placing the phone directly into the clock.
02. Two. New iTOMA Alarm Clock
Features which are updated on this new version are the newly added auto dimmer display, the single day alarm and the individual alarm volume control. This FM radio clock also has a white LED static scanning display, which is very easy to see when compared to darker green or red numbers. Many customers like this intelligent product. Its name, “Toma”, means “take” in the Spanish language. That translates to what one owner posted as “intelligent take”, which parallels the clever name for the smart iPhone.
03. Three. Sangean Clock Radio
With its AM and FM radio, this digital alarm clock allows for recurring alarms customized for daily wake-up times throughout the week. There is also a sleep timer with settings ranging from 15 to 120-minutes duration. It has a white case and red easy read numbers on a warm toned display plus an adjustable backlight. There are 5 presets for the AM channels and 5 for the FM. It has digital tuning, dual alarm tuning, plus snooze and nap timers. It also includes a 3.5 mm auxiliary input for most audio devices for easy listening through the radio. It also has a permanent energy storage device which allows it to keep time for temporary power shortages. There is a 40-inch long wire antenna included connected inside the case. Many customers like the RCR-5 back-lit LCD display due to its adjustable intensity. Most appreciate the excellent quality of the radio reception, noting that it is clear and distinct. This product is viewed by most owners as a quality item.
04. Four. iTOMA Clock with FM Radio and Alarm
Not only is this clock great looking, but it features a blue LED display which is easy to read. It has an AC power adapter for using with an AC outlet, an FM radio with 20 stations and programmable presets, an external antenna, a dual alarm with individual wake up settings and sounds, a sleep timer, a snooze setting for the alarm, a Bluetooth mobile phone connection and a USB charging port. It is nice considering all the features included. Some of the features owners like best are the combination of FM radio and Bluetooth connectivity in the same alarm clock. Many appreciate the automatic reset feature on the clock, which updates itself even after a power outage. Some do not like the sound level on the alarm, which cannot be adjusted or disabled.
05. Five. Mesqool Digital Clock Radio
As the #1 Best Seller in Projection Clocks on Amazon, this product has many attractive features. It has a large 1.8 inch LED display in red, making it easy to read. The projection function offers 180 degrees of swivel allowing the time to be displayed on the ceiling or walls in clear view. There is a low to high dimmer switch for a wider range of display brightness. It also includes a USB charging port which is high speed. The dual alarms are completely independent, for a variety of user settings. The projection feature is one of the favorites with many customers, but some had trouble with the clock powering off and losing information when the USB port was in use.
06. Six. Timex Dual Alarm Clock Radio
One of the best things about this product is its jumbo LED display. One of the largest, it is 1.8 inches, displaying both the time and the radio frequency. There are dual alarms capable of independent settings. Wake up sound is either a buzz or the radio, which offers both AM and FM stations. There are 20 stations available, with ten presets for the AM channels and ten presets for the FM channels. The battery backup system uses two AAA batteries, not included. The radio is one touch off and on, and there are easy to use electronic tuning controls. But, many customers dislike the size of the touch button controls, as they are tiny. Others find that the alarm is confusing to set and use.
07. Seven. Electrohome Digital Clock Radio
With both AM and FM channels, the radio offers 20 stations and easy access programming for them. The clock features a dual alarm with choices of either a buzzer or using a radio channel. There is a battery back-up feature which keeps the alarm settings even if the power goes out. The green display has two settings, with LED numbers, for high and low. The snooze function adds extra time to the alarm feature. The product compact, and measures about 4.9 inches wide, 4.5 inches deep and 2/1 inches high. Most owners like its battery backup feature, but some find that they have trouble learning how to completely disarm the alarm when they don’t need it.
08. Eight. Hometime Multifunction Clock with Alarm and Thermometer
A #1 Best Seller on Amazon, this alarm clock has easy to operate controls and a gentle wake-up alarm which cycles Bach’s Prelude in C keyboard music from soft to loud over five seconds. There are two USB ports which allow for charging devices. Customers like the adjustable dimness feature on the digital display area. Its battery backup feature requires 2 AA batteries, and it uses 24-hour time settings; regular time for the AM and military time for the PM.
09. Nine. Timex Dual Alarm Clock and Radio
This Model T236BQX FM radio and clock offers several nice features. The two alarms can be used independently and set to different times. Wake up is with a buzzer or the FM radio. The display is a bright green or red LED, which are both easy to see at 1.2 inches. The radio frequency and time are both shown. There is a memory feature which allows for setting the 10 available stations. It also includes a USB port, which makes it handy for charging various mobile devices. Redi-Set feature allows users to indicate the correct time zone and the clock sets itself to the proper time, day, date, month and year automatically. Most owners like its compact size and good radio reception. A few wish that it was a bit easier to use, but discover that practicing solves initial user issues.
10. Ten. Electrohome Projection Radio and Alarm Clock
This clock radio is filled with useful features. Beginning with the large LCD display; it is possible to project both time and temperature onto the ceiling or a wall. This expands the 3.6-inch view screen to a handy spot, keeping the important numbers in view. The clear blue radio face is easy to see, and the projection feature swivels 180 degrees. The clock automatically conforms to Daylight Savings Time adjustments. There is also a convenient weekend cancel alarm feature with dual programming for two people.
There are several choices for alarms, including waking to the time projected on the wall, a buzzer, or a favorite radio station. The radio carries both AM and FM, and there is an auxiliary input for using MP3 devices, iPhone, Android, and iPad. There is a built in Lithium battery which compensates for unexpected power losses, and the correct time and date are always displayed because they are self-set, with an automatic alarm restore feature as well. Most owners like the combination of this clock’s features, and that is why they purchased it. Many note that the clock is much better than the sound of its radio.
Ultimately, alarm clock preferences are as varied as the people who must rely on them. Nobody enjoys waking up to the sound of an alarm day after day, so selecting the one which fits best with each lifestyle is important. Some prefer hearing music or waking to the sound of talk radio. Some do best when a bit of snoozing is available before making the transition from sleep to awake.
For the technology challenged or advanced, there is a clock radio which will be suitable. The key is to compare the various features and functions because the brands can seem very similar. Usually, there will be one feature which will be particularly liked or disliked. Using that as a starting point is a good idea. Comparing the features comes next. Thinking about whether the product will work well in its intended space and considering the overall value of the price are also key issues. There are hundreds of clock radios on the market. These top ten offer some of the most popular features available and can make a world of difference to the frequently difficult process of moving from horizontal to vertical.