After several hours of research, I finally made my selection of the 5 best clock radios among more than twenty models available at the moment.
The Philips HF3520 / 01 has my preference. Although it does not have all the features of the Echo Spot, I think it's the one that offers the best options for waking up smoothly and in a good mood. You will also find at the end of this article a buying guide to help you find the clock radio that will proudly stand on your bedside table!
The best cheap clock radios
Simple and functional, these devices are not so much by-products or radio revivals gadgets.
Sony ICFC1T: the best cheap
Two pre-set alarms
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This alarm clock offers an interesting feature for couples: two pre-set alarms. They can set an alarm for you and another for your partner, which can be convenient … or confusing if you're not careful.
The system is designed to work even when there is a power failure. By cons I'm not very fan of the design of the device, cubic with a display that could have gained to be larger. The display in mirror finish is quite elegant though.
The brightness of the display can be adjusted and, conveniently, the transition to daylight saving time is automatic. No more wake-up calls on the day of daylight savings time (which happened to me too often to tell the truth).
For those allergic to wake up with a start because of an alarm clock with a shrill sound, this alarm clock will be a good choice. Indeed, it is possible to wake up smoothly with the progressive volume functions of the buzzer.
This clock radio, as its name suggests, also has an AM / FM radio receiver. You will be able to listen to your favorite radio station.
A convenient battery backup system is present, which avoids any problem of wake-up failure. No more excuses not to get up in the morning, which will not necessarily please everyone!
We can appreciate the brightness of the time which is of rather good quality, you can choose between 3 different luminosities for your comfort.
It may be a little regret that the choice of radio stations is analog. At least I think it will repel some while others will probably appreciate the possibility of choosing the radio station more accurately.
Travelwey: simple, but not simplistic
This alarm clock morning (true bestseller in the United States) was designed with one idea in mind: simplicity of use. It is thought to be easy to use by children and the elderly.
An option that I like with this unit is its bedside lamp feature that allows you or your children to read a bit in bed.
It will also be possible to adjust the volume of the alarm clock, two positions are available, high and low. The alarm rings for 5 minutes, which should leave him plenty of time to wake up. A 9-minute reminder option with momentary stop button is also available.
The LED display is very clear and offers a superior light quality and it is possible at any time to use the slider to reduce the brightness if it disturbs. The LED numbers are 1.8 inches and are large for excellent readability, even for the elderly.
The power of the alarm clock is via a 240V standard plug but you can also insert 2 AAA batteries as a backup power supply in case of power failure, which will further reduce the risk of alarm failure! In fact, the power supply automatically changes from the mains socket to the batteries in the event of a power failure and the device settings remain well recorded.
Finally the device is accompanied by a money back guarantee, without question, which is excellent for a product of this range.
We can only regret that the device does not have a 24-hour mode, which can sometimes be disturbing the youngest among us.
The design of this device is rather pleasant and goes straight to the point. We especially appreciate the size of the LED display figures, which will allow everyone, even the most myopic, to know what time it is.
The best mid-range clock radios
These alarm clocks have interesting features that will certainly make them stand out without having to break your piggy bank.
Pure Siesta Rise S240: the best mid-range
Set the time automatically
User manual a little succint
Siesta S2 is a clock radio developed by Pure. This alarm clock, in addition to capturing the FM also captures the new standard DAB +. The design of this alarm is very sober and does not stand out from other radio alarm clocks. The model is available in white or black.
You can wake up to your favorite radio station and enjoy better sound quality. The CrystalVue screen has the advantage of being not only wide, but also without edge, allowing you to read the time or radio information wherever you are in the room. It is also possible to adjust the brightness of the screen or even to choose that it automatically adjusts.
But let's go back to DAB radio. It offers a variety of higher quality content than FM, usually available only on digital radio with digital sound quality and more detailed than the one our radio stations have accustomed us to so far.
Another advantage of digital radio is that all available stations are automatically detected and just select them by choosing their name. But if your favorite radio has not yet made the transition to digital, do not worry, you can still catch the FM radio!
The alarm offers nice features like the ability to set an alarm only for the days of the week and another only for weekends. You can also install a sleep timer if you want to fall asleep while listening to the radio. This will turn off the radio after the allotted time.
And of course, the momentary stop function is part of it, if you want to enjoy a few more minutes in bed (beware of abuse! I speak from experience).
We also appreciate the ergonomics of this device that was well thought out with its large textured momentary stop button. It can be used with ease even when it is difficult to wake up.
The Siesta S2 has an extended range 2.5 speaker that is powered by a digital amplifier, to deliver above average performance. If your loved ones want to sleep, but you are in the mood to listen to music, do not worry, a headphone output is present!
Another aspect that I liked about this device is its ability to automatically adjust the time from the radio signal, which keeps the exact time permanently. In addition, Siesta S2 stores all alarms and radio presets without the need for battery backup!
The best high-end alarm clocks
These awakenings may be a little expensive, they are also full of interesting features.
Amazon Echo Spot: the best high-end
Full of features
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This device is much more than a clock radio and should probably no longer be described as a personal assistant who makes alarm clock. First, this one uses Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa. You can not only be woken up by this one, but also watch your daily flash, see the weather forecast, your to-do list or shopping list and much more.
You can even control your connected home with this little device! It is also possible to play music directly from streaming sites like Amazon Music, Deezer or Spotify or listen to audiobooks from Audible.
It is possible to use the built-in speaker or, if you wish, you can connect this Echo Spot to Bluetooth speakers or with a 3.5mm stereo cable. This device can be paired with other Echo Spot in other rooms, for example, playing the same music in different rooms.
Indeed, if you have several copies of this device and you have arranged them in different rooms, the function Drop in allows you to make calls from one room to another. You can inform your family that dinner is ready or remind children that it is time to go to bed (a pity that I do not have the budget for such an accessory that will prevent me from moving every night).
You can control your compatible connected devices and ask Alexa to turn on your lights, show the baby's room, control the thermostat, power outlets and more.
You can also send a message or call anyone with an Echo Spot device or simply the Alexa app.
Another interesting feature is the ability to control multiple devices at a scheduled time or even by simple voice command. You can ask Echo Spot to lower the temperature and turn off the lights before going to bed, for example.
The Echo Spot also helps to get organized at home, you can start a timer in the kitchen for example or …. Set your alarm clock. Yes because this device is so full of functionality we almost forget that it is also awake.
Echo Spot is a device that continues to improve. The more you use it, the more Alexa can adapt to your language, vocabulary and personal preferences.
Philips HF3520 / 01: The Awakening Light
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This clock radio has more than one trick in its bag! At the level of the alarm clock, this camera offers us a simulation of sunrise of the most beautiful effect!
Indeed, it can be programmed to gradually increase the brightness for 30 minutes, passing from a morning red to an orange and a bright yellow that will illuminate your entire room.
This process is designed to promote a natural awakening. When the light fills the room, the sound you have chosen for your alarm clock sounds.
It gradually increases in volume for a minute and a half until the previously selected level. You have the choice between five sounds: bird song, birds in the forest, Zen garden, soft piano and seaside. In other words, the watchword of this alarm clock is to wake up effectively, but gently.
In addition, if you wish, you can set your alarm clock to wake up on your favorite radio show.
The brightness of the display is able to adjust automatically. If the room is well lit, the brightness increases so that the display can remain legible. When the room is rather dark, the brightness decreases to avoid lighting the room while you try to sleep.
Another practical and ergonomic aspect of this device is to touch it anywhere to activate the Repeat mode. This one stops the awakening during 9 minutes, and after this delay, the diffusion of the sound resumes softly.
To give more weight to their device, Philips had it tested by independent scientific laboratories. These have concluded, among other things, that this awakening not only wakes you up more naturally, but also gives you more energy and improves your mood in the morning.
Not content to offer a sunrise simulation feature, you can also enjoy a twilight simulation before going to bed. This prepares your body for sleep by gradually decreasing the brightness for a period you have decided.
Finally, you can choose between 20 different brightness settings for light and 4 brightness levels for the screen.
The products of my selection on offer for the moment
The clock radio may seem out of date when smartphones and other alarm applications via phone are present, but it remains a reliable and useful device for any type of room. In addition, as you will have seen in this comparison, some models are really inventive to ensure you the most comfortable wake up mode possible.
This is the best choice if you want to keep your mobile phone away from your bed.
What are the key points to consider when looking for the perfect radio alarm clock?
There are far too many distractions on smartphones, especially when it's time to go to bed. To go to bed and fall asleep on time, you need to eliminate as many distractions as possible.
In addition, many features found on alarm clocks are not found on alarm applications. A good clock radio allows you to keep your phone out of reach of your arm, to fall asleep quietly without distraction.
Moreover, unlike your mobile phone, alarm clocks do not emit UV rays that can be bad for your health.
Design and ergonomics
Radio alarm clocks come in many different styles and colors. You should choose one that is fun to watch when you wake up in the morning.
In addition, the clock radio is more likely to be installed in your room, it must match the design to your decor.
Beyond the appearance, it will also be necessary to think about the practical aspects. The display should be large enough that you have no problem reading it even when you are away from bed. On the other hand, you do not want a lamp that keeps you awake all night.
Some devices come with adjustable brightness controls as we have seen in this comparison.
Some alarms can project the time on the wall or ceiling of your room. This projection system can be useful if you tend to wake up in the middle of the night and wonder what time it is.
The audio quality
Most alarm clocks today have loudspeakers to broadcast radio, sounds or even music from an external player. However, there is still a lot of progress to be made in this area.
You will rather want a device with larger speakers if you want to enjoy optimal audio performance by listening to your songs and instrumental. It is also worth noting that a clock radio with an iPod connection or an included CD player is more likely to provide a good sound quality than another that does not.
Choose an alarm that emits at a loud enough volume that to be able to wake you in any circumstance. Some alarm clocks only have a buzzer mode, which is sufficient if you just need a boring sound to force you out of bed.
If you prefer to wake up to music or radio, it's better to go for a clock that has a radio alarm.
The double alarm
This option is useful if you need to wake up at different times on different days or if two people use the same alarm. Some newer models even allow programming of more than two alarms.
The convenience of use
Apart from the appearance and functions available, the alarm clock must above all be able to be used simply and to offer programming that is both easy and intuitive.
Some models (as we have seen in this comparison) are radio-controlled to automatically get on time!
The alarms consume little energy in general. But still, some people consume more than others and whether for ecological or economic reasons, this remains a point to consider.
It will also pay attention to the power source of the device, can it be connected? Does it have a backup system in the event of a power failure?
It is also necessary to take into account all the more or less elaborate functions which your device will have: radio, digital tuner, double alarm, programming of standby, display of the time on the ceiling, simulator of dawn even twilight simulator (as we saw it with the Philips alarm clock of this comparison).