The alarm clock radio is something that almost seems to be outdated. A phone can do everything it does, right?
That is correct, but there are several reasons why having an alarm clock radio can be a smart move. For one thing, having a backup alarm is always good. For another, using your phone as your clock may not be ideal. Whipping it out when you can’t sleep and having your eyes being blinded by the blue light? Yeah, we didn’t think so.
A good alarm clock is tailored so that it will help you go to sleep and then wake you up whenever you must do so. There are several that can do just that. Obviously, we know the basic features of a clock. It should make some sounds to wake you up, have a display you can read with ease, and be able to play the radio.
Besides that, the modern alarm clock radio isn’t like the one your parents used to have. It has several unique features that make it worth purchasing. In this post, we will look at five clocks that you may want to consider.
What Should I Look for When Buying Clock Radios?
Whether it’s because of school or work, most of us know the dreaded sound of the clock alarm – BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP! You can hear those words, can’t you? For some, that sudden noise can wake them up immediately. However, many people dread that sound so much, they can’t sleep. There are some alarm clocks that manage to play the radio, your own songs, or have gradual volume increases so you aren’t suddenly woken up.
There are also some alarms that make sounds designed to be the opposite of an alarm. Some play nature sounds or other white noises to allow you to get to sleep faster. When you buy an alarm clock, most will have a radio alarm option. This plays the radio automatically whenever it’s time to get up.
A Nice Display
When you’re struggling to sleep, looking at the clock isn’t ideal. For one thing, you may dread how many hours until you have to wake up. For another, if the display is too bright or blue, it could keep you awake. The modern alarm fixes this problem by having warm colors or no light coming from it. Some alarms have warm light, which can make you sleepy, and the light can intensify as an alarm – sort of a sunrise alarm, which may be good if your room doesn’t get too much light.
The Ability to Dim the Display
People have eyes of different sensitivities. Some people will be fine with a bright display, while others will want a display that you can dim to its lowest possible brightness. A good alarm will have a wide range of dimming options for you.
Volume is important as well. Be it for the radio or the alarm, the ability to control the volume and have a wide variety to choose from is what can make or break your alarm. Again, some people may have ears that are sensitive, and the ability to make the volume low or high is important.
Many devices modernize themselves by including a USB port or two in them. This allows you to charge your phone or another device without needing a long cable or adapter. For many, this is quite a convenient feature. Who doesn’t love a good, handy charging port or two? You could also plug in another device and use it. For example, you can get USB fans to keep you cool at night.
Yes, you can find a clock that has a charging port on top of it. This port doesn’t require any wires. If your phone is compatible, you can just lay it on top of the clock, and it will charge. This is quite a nice feature, and one that you may want to consider.
Besides what sounds it makes, having a digital alarm clock that has a good sound to it is important. Obviously, a digital alarm clock isn’t going to be of Bose quality or anything, but some alarms can manage to produce good sound quality. You can listen to today’s news with crystal clear audio quality or jam out to your favorite tunes.
You can also find a clock that has Bluetooth pairing. With this, you can pair your phone or other device to the clock and play some songs off your phone.
In addition, you can find a clock that has WiFi. A WiFi clock can connect to devices like Alexa, integrating it to your smart home. Not only that, but it can sync up to the official time. No need to set it, worry about time zone changes, or worry about the clock resetting should the power go off.
Some clocks will vibrate whenever the alarm goes off. This can give you some more incentive to wake up, as it creates more sound. Like your phone, the clock should obviously give you the choice of whether or not you want to use it.
Without a backup battery, we all know what a power outage can do to an alarm clock. It can reset it, causing you to sleep in when you’re not supposed to. However, an extra battery can keep the alarm running even when your power has other plans.
Obviously, many of these alarms will include an FM clock radio. However, some may have AM as well, and some can have different signal reception strength than others. A good FM clock radio may be able to pick up FM radio stations from further away. You can also find a clock that has the ability to save your favorite radio stations. This can allow you to switch between your top stations with ease.
With some clocks, alarm functionality isn’t the only feature. Another feature is the ability to tell how cool or warm it is in the room. Sleeping in a cool room can allow for better sleep, so the ability to see how warm or cold the room is can allow you to see how well you will sleep tonight.
12 and 24 Hours
A good alarm clock radio can give you the option to choose between 12 and 24 hour readings. International travel is something that can be a hassle, especially since many places have a different way of telling time. This option can help you adjust to that as well as being an aid if you’re used to military time keeping.
Some clock radios double as a dual alarm clock. What is this? It’s an alarm clock that has two or more alarms built in. You may use this if your partner needs to wake up at a different time, or you want a backup. Some clocks even have four or more alarms built in! While some may think this is excessive, there are many times where you may find yourself thankful for the fact you have them.
Ah, the snooze button! Virtually every alarm clock has this. It’s when you hit the button, and it pushes your alarm back to 10 extra minutes. While it’s not going to give you restorative sleep, having it handy may be a good idea. Some clocks have the ability to choose how long you want to snooze for. Just remember, early to bed, early to rise….
Keep It Simple?
Another thing you want to consider is how simple or complex you want the clock to be. For some, they may want something that can do everything but cook food for them. This is not a bad decision, but it’s also respectable if you want an alarm that’s simple. You can find cheap, simple clocks that act like the ones you remember as a kid. While they will lack certain unique features, they manage to do all you need.
An alarm clock radio isn’t going to be an expensive purchase. Even with alarm clock radios that are higher end, they’re usually under $50. However, people on tighter budgets may not want to pay that much. Finding an FM radio alarm clock that fits your budget is ideal.
Warranty and Customer Service
Even if it’s a cheaper alarm clock, having a company that will stand by their product is a nice feeling. If anything goes wrong with the clock, being able to repair or replace it at no cost to you delivers some good peace of mind. Not only that, but if you have a more complex alarm, one option you should have is the ability to contact customer service whenever you need to. They can assist you in setting up the clock or answer any related questions you have.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Alarm Clocks
We looked at several types of alarm clocks of different prices. Which ones had a USB port or a sunrise alarm? Which are good for heavy sleepers? What about sound quality? The best alarm clocks also had to have good reviews. Now then, let’s look at the best alarm clocks.
#1: DreamSky Decent Alarm Clock (Best Value – All-Purpose)
As we mentioned, a good alarm clock radio isn’t something that costs too much. Mid-range priced clocks with alarm go for about how much this one does. If you just want a nice alarm clock with some bells and whistles, this is a nice purchase.
This has a huge, easy to read display that you can dim. You can choose between blue or orange in regards to display colors. It has FM radio, 12 or 24 hour options, a thermometer, and a USB charging port. As for the alarm, it does have a radio option and the ability to adjust alarm volume, with gradually increasing sounds. It comes with a AAA battery backup as well.
So pretty much, this easy to read alarm clock radio has everything that most people will be looking for. Reviews of this clock radio have been quite positive. Reviewers love that it works just as described, how the customer service is helpful, and give it every praise you’d expect. Negative reviews, which mostly center around the previous model, are people who had duds.
Overall, this is one of the best alarm clocks for most needs. It manages to have that classic clock look to it, but it has several features that make it stand out from your mother’s alarm clock. From its USB port to its ability to tell how hot or cool it is, this alarm has several other useful features.
#2: Smart Wake Up Light Alarm Clock (Best Alarm)
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If you are looking for an alarm clock that has plenty of unique features, this is the alarm clock for you. It’s meant for people who have a higher budget and want an FM clock radio that has WiFi capabilities. This alarm has Alexa/Google compatibility.
One feature that makes this alarm clock special is that it’s a sunrise alarm. Simply put, it has a light that simulates a sunrise or sunset. This can help you wake up gently and fall asleep quickly as well.
This is not just a dual alarm clock radio, but instead, it has four alarms you can choose from. Plus, it has up to 15 minutes of snooze time. Whether you’re part of the light- or heavy-sleepers crowd, this dual alarm clock radio works wonders.
Now, let’s talk about the FM radio side of things. This has the ability to save channels you like, as well as use the radio as an alarm. Besides the radio, it has seven natural, nature sounds to put you to sleep or gently you wake it up. Finally, this alarm clock has a USB charging port in the back.
Reviews of this alarm clock have been positive, with most saying that this is truly the best alarm for a new generation. It manages to work with any smart home, and its light display settings are phenomenal. Packed with features, most recommend this one. A couple reviewers had duds, but they were in the minority.
Overall, this is a great one to purchase if you want to have an alarm for the 2020s. In recent years, we’ve been mindful of light and how it can affect your sleep. Warm light can make you sleepy, while sunlight and blue light can keep you awake. Besides the fact it can play sounds, one of the best features of this clock is its ability to wake you up via light.
#3: Emerson Alarm Clock Radio (Best Alarm with Wireless Phone Charging)
If you’re looking for alarm clocks that have the ability to charge your phone without any wires, this is for you.
This alarm clock’s biggest feature is that you can put your phone on top of it, and it will charge. It uses Bluetooth pairing as well, meaning that you can set the time to be as accurate as possible. You also don’t have to worry about changing times of the year or power outages, as it will correct itself. It has a cell battery backup and an easy-to-read display.
This alarm clock also has an LED display that is readable and is a refreshing mint green display color. It is a dual alarm clock as well.
Overall, this is a nice alarm clock with plenty of features. Like #2 on this list, this is a good one to get if your budget is higher.
Reviews of this alarm clock have been quite positive, with most saying that it works well, and the wireless charging is one of its most unique features. A few negative reviewers had problems with the wireless charging portion. There is also a USB charger too, if you are having problems with wireless recharging.
Like the first alarm in this article, this is a good one to get if you are looking for something that has a classic alarm look to it, but it has several features that bring it to the 21st century. Its wireless charging is one of its most convenient features. You could charge your phone with it and use the one USB port for another device.
#4: Jingsense Digital Alarm Clock Radio (Best Low Cost)
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Some people aren’t looking for the best alarm clock radio for the highest price, but instead, they want something basic. This is a good clock radio if you’re on a tight budget. It looks just like the alarm clocks of the past with all the basics. You get a simple red LED display with red numbers you can adjust, a radio that has a sleep timer, a battery backup, and that’s pretty much it.
There are some who will look at the classic alarm clock and wince. The bright red display, the sounds it makes – this will make them want to avoid it like the plague. However, there are others who will like the idea of having a classic alarm that can “push” them to get up.
While some will long for USB ports or wireless charging, this one is great if you just want a simple alarm. No fancy features or any of that. It is competent. Reviewers seem to agree, with most saying that it’s a simple alarm clock if you don’t want any fancy features. A couple of reviews had some issues with the alarm clock, but most were satisfied.
Overall, this is one you may want to get if you just need something simple. While clocks with light settings or the ability to charge your phone are great and all, if you don’t want to spend too much on an alarm and you just need one that does all the basics, this can do it for you without any problems.
#5: I-Box (Best Clock with Bluetooth Speaker)
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Finally, we have this clock radio. This is the best alarm clock if you want something with a Bluetooth speaker. You can pair your phone to it and play different music from its speakers, along with its FM radio, of course.
This also has a wireless charger and a USB charger as well. It uses stereo speakers, and it has a rich, bassy sound to it. One interesting feature is its display. It is white and appears through the speaker. With an alarm clock radio, the display is something important to consider that many people don’t think about. An LED display that is easy to read, yet it’s not a strain on your eyes, is important with an alarm clock. This is also a dual alarm, meaning you can set more than one alarm up too.
Reviews of this alarm clock radio have been positive overall, though a bit lower than some on this list. Many people love this clock radio for its stylishness and its features. However, some people had problems with the display, being either too bright or too dim, or had some other issues.
Overall, this one is good if you want the best audio experience. The entire clock appears to be a speaker, and it can connect to your phone. A clock that isn’t limited by what plays on the radio is a nice device to have.
An alarm clock with FM radio is not something you have to spend too much on. Here are some cheaper alarm clocks that may not have anything fancy, but they work well enough.
#1 Budget: CR15
First, we have this clock radio. it has your basic features, and it does have a minimalistic, white display that looks kind of nice.
#2 Budget: GPX C224B
Here’s another simple clock radio with a classic red display. Nothing too fancy with this one, either, but it’s a good value.
It doesn’t get cheaper than that, unless you want to use your phone. You may also find a clock radio at a thrift store or another used merchandise store.
What Is the Best DAB Clock Radio?
All of the clock alarms in this article have FM radio. However, what about DAB? DAB, or digital audio broadcasting, is a standard form of HD radio found in countries outside of the US. If you are looking for a radio that plays DAB, one of the best purchases is the Revo SuperSignal Deluxe.
This is an expensive radio, but it’s worth it if you want FM, DAB, and DAB+. This also has Bluetooth streaming, a digital alarm, an interface controlled by a joystick, and a remote.
You can find cheaper units online, but if you are willing to spend some money, this is the best to get.
What Is the Best Bedside Alarm Clock?
Most alarm clocks are meant to be put at the bedside. However, if you want to know what the best one to get is, we recommend the Smart Wake Up Light Alarm Clock. This bedside alarm is popular because it emits light that can gently wake you up and put you to sleep. Besides that, this is a great looking clock that is aesthetically pleasing.
Obviously, the best alarm may differ for some people. You may have some needs that are different than others, and you may want something cheaper. This article gave you several clocks to choose from. Everyone is different, and there is definitely a clock out there for every situation. If you can find it, you can wind up with an alarm that is built to last you a long time.
Verdict: Your Best Clock Radios
And there we go. Five alarm clocks that will get you up and ready to take on the day. In case you were busy hitting the snooze button, let’s look at the five best alarm clocks again.
First, the DreamSky Decent Alarm Clock. This is the best radio clock if you want something priced in the mid-range. It has a USB port and other unique features, all with a price that is satisfactory. This is the first alarm you should check out. If you end up liking it, go with it. If you want something different, look at the other four.
Second, the Smart Wake Up Light. If you have a higher budget, this clock radio is great. It’s not just a dual alarm, but it has four alarms. It has smart home capabilities and the ability to put you to sleep or wake you up via its light and nature sounds.
Third, the Emerson Alarm Clock. This is a clock radio that has wireless charging as well as a USB port. Great for all your charging needs, this dual alarm manages to knock it out of the park. If you’re looking for an alarm that can also charge your phone wirelessly, we believe that this will work quite well.
Fourth, the Jingsense. This clock radio is one of those simple alarm clocks. It has nothing fancy, just a red display, an FM radio, and other basic features. Whether you’re on a tight budget or you just want something a little simpler, we believe that this alarm should satisfy most itches quite well.
And finally, the I-Box. This is a clock radio that has a Bluetooth speaker, wireless charging, and a unique little display. While not the best rated, it’s unique enough to be put on this list. Check it out and see if it works well for you. You may find out that it does.
There we go. Five alarms that will wake you up in the morning and help you to start the day. Unless you have a schedule that’s flexible, you know the importance of a good alarm. It needs to be reliable, easy to use, and have a backup plan in case the power goes out. We believe that these five alarms serve their purpose well in that regard.
Finding a clock radio is more challenging than you may think. There are lots out there, with various features. Finding the best radio clock for your situation can help you wake up at the right time and make falling asleep even better. Whether you want a clock that excels in light, sound, or one that has everything you want, we hope you find the best for the job. Good luck.