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No one really LOVES their alarm clock right? Unless you’re one of those insufferable morning people, and apparently they don’t need alarm clocks anyway, because they just get up by themselves.
Despite their role of awakening us from our slumber and attempting to lure us out of our warm cosy beds, the way we wake up is key to starting the day in the right way and being as effective and efficient as possible.
Most people just use their smartphones as their alarm clock, but this has its pitfalls. A study has shown use of a smartphone as an alarm is correlated with an 80% greater mobile phone use in everyday life. Do for those looking to decrease their screen time, old-fashioned alarm clocks could be a handy solution.
But what features do you need? This will be different for every preference. That’s why we have tried ten of the most popular alarm clocks on the market to help you decide, evaluating a variety of factors, from prices to features.
|Best overall||Travelwey Home LED Alarm Clock||$14|
|The best smart alarm||Amazon Echo Show 5||$44.99|
|Best features for the price||Sony ICFC-1||$13.95|
|Better to wake up at dawn||Philips HF3500|
|Best ultra budget ||Ideal for deep sleepers|
When it comes to the Travelwey, simplicity is the game.
It has only a handful of buttons and limited features. It isn’t a radio or a music player. It doesn’t let you set a second alarm or customize anything other than the brightness of the dominant red numbers and the volume of the alarm (for this you have two options: soft or loud).
It does do one thing though: wake you up at a specific time every morning. If that’s all your after this is a great option for you. It also, in my opinion, looks great. The simplicity in design allows for a minimalist look, and although it is made from relatively cheap-looking plastic, it still looks pretty striking on your bedside table if that is the sort of thing that matters to you.
The limited number of buttons and restricted functionality makes it easy to learn how to use. The snooze button is prominent across the top, and the buttons for setting the time and alarm time are clearly labeled ‘H’ and ‘M’.
There is a slider on the back to set the brightness of the numbers ensuring their glow doesn’t disturb you when you’re trying to sleep. There is also a night light setting (The Travelwey’s only ‘feature’)
At the end of the day, the Travelwey does what it says on the box. If a wake-up call is really all you’re looking for you could do a lot worse than this product, the basics have been looked after intuitively well. And coming in at $14 it is also a highly affordable option to start off your day at the time of your choosing.
From simple and basic to the boss end of feature-rich alarm clocks, the Echo Show 5 is our pick for the best smart alarm on the market. If the lack of customization in the Travelwey put you off, then this could be the right choice for you.
It allows you to set up to five different alarms that repeat on different days of the week. You can set different alarms and have them repeat on different days of the week. So if your weekly schedule doesn’t look the same every day of the week you don’t have to reset your alarm every day.
You can set your own tone or even your own music, as well as set the volume to make sure you don’t sleep though. The smart screen can also play a role in waking you up by increasing in brightness starting before the audio alarm starts, prepping your body for when it’s time to rise.
And of course being a ‘smart’ alarm it does a lot of useful things even when you’re not sleeping. You can send the alarm voice commands via Alexa, use the touch screen to make viseo calls, check the weather, and if you have a more extensive range of smart products in your home control them all from your bedstand.
The Sony ICFC-1 costs about the same as the Travelwey Home LED but is a bit more feature rich. You can pick favorite station to wake up to or you can choose a more traditional alarm clock sound. You can also set it when you’re going to sleep so that you start your snooze to the sound of music. This includes the automatic adjustment of volume, going down as you go to sleep and rising to wake you up gently. And the snooze button is easy to find, something which, let’s be honest, is a big plus for most of us..
One drawback is the usability. You are going to want to keep the manual on hand when you first set up your Sony ICFC-1. Even the simple task of setting up your first alarm can be a little tricky but once you get going, you’ll be fine.
The cube design looks very nice, but after a bit of use it becomes clear that it is not 100% user effective. The numbers aren’t as dominant and easy to see from across the room compared to the Travelwey but the design is still understated and modern.
Overall, we thought the Travelwey alarm was a better option but if you want more features with your alarm the Sony 1CFC-1 is a great option for the same price.
If you are willing to spend more than $ 40 on an alarm, you can browse all sorts of options. In addition to the possible alarm upgrades, the $ 50 Philips HF3500 sunrise alarm is the one that makes waking up in the morning more. easy. Shaped like a kickstand UFO, the HF3500 has a simple circular orange dial surrounded by a few buttons and a large illuminated ring. 30 minutes before the set alarm time, the light gradually begins to brighten to a customizable maximum at the set time and beeps with increasing intensity to complete the task of waking up sleepers.
The light is supposed to gently soothe those who sleep. In the two mornings of my tests, I had a good night’s sleep and it was relatively easy to get out of bed. Apart from the light, the Philips HF3500 is easy to use with a minimum of buttons. You can use the light as a lamp and it has 10 brightness levels. You can cycle through three levels for the clock dial, but the orange digits do a good job of not projecting a lot of light even at its brightest point, so sleep will not be affected.
Snoozing the alarm is counterintuitive, as you have to press the top half of the light, there is no button. I’d be worried about accidentally breaking my fancy alarm clock on a particularly irritable morning. For the price, the HF3500 surprisingly lacks all the extras other than the wake-up light, and I doubt this will be of much help to those who sleep a lot, or those whose rooms are already lit when the day comes.
However, the HF3500 keeps it simple and stylish while innovating the basic concept of waking up in the morning. Splurging on the HF3500 could be an interesting experience if you are looking for a quieter way to wake up.
The RCD30 has a lot in common with my favorite of the bunch, the Travelwey. The RCD30 is simple, with just a few buttons. It has a large red screen with two levels of brightness: neither is bright and you can easily see from a dark room. The snooze button is easy to find, but checking the alarm time again and resetting it for the next day is not as easy on the RCD30 as it is on the Travelwey. Also, unlike the Travelwey, the RCD30 does not have a night light, which some prefer for sleeping. Since it only costs about $ 13, it is a good alternative if you want something simple and inexpensive.
Hate the Sonic Bomb bed shaker alarm, but it’s a good thing if you’re in semi-automatic sleep and have a hard time waking up. To be clear, don’t hate the $ 33 watch for its poor design or performance, I’d love it. I hated it because I woke up with my pillow shaking and you thought the world was ending. Bed Shaker Alarm has an incredibly loud buzzer and a vibrating alarm clock that you can place on your bed in case the buzzer itself isn’t enough. The watch offers two alarms and a lot of customization. The controls are quite easy to understand. It’s worth considering for heavy sleepers, and worth mentioning alongside the Philips HF3500 as a good implementation of a novel alarm concept. But unless you really know deep sleepers,
The following alarm clocks do some things well but have flaws that make them more difficult to recommend.
Lenovo’s smartwatch uses the Google Assistant to respond to your voice commands, so you can use it as a smart speaker like the Google Home Mini . It has a 4-inch touch screen and you can slide your finger between pages that show the weather, your daily commute and your calendar, useful information when you go to bed or wake up for the first time. It is similar to a smart display , but not as robust as you cannot watch videos or access a smart home control panel. The touch screen is specially designed for your bedside.
Fortunately, this is an effective alarm. You can set different alarms at the same time and customize them. You can set the repeat duration option, choose an alarm ringtone, and set any alarm to repeat on a daily schedule. Lenovo’s smart clock works like a sunrise alarm, with the screen illuminated 30 minutes before the scheduled wake-up time.
Plus, you can activate a good morning routine when you turn it off. By default, this routine will inform you about your day and then read news podcasts, but you can customize it as you like and have it control smart home devices as well. After a recent update, you can also scroll through your personal photos as a screen saver.
Lenovo’s smartwatch is not perfect. You can choose from a variety of watch faces, but none offer the perfect balance of dull nighttime visibility. You can’t wake up to the radio or your own music. If you want more than a basic alarm, intelligence is well implemented, but the Amazon Echo Show 5 does more. Read our Lenovo Smart Clock review .
Lenovo’s second smart alarm improves functionality even further. It’s more of a smart speaker with a clock than a small smart screen. Fortunately, the $ 50 price tag makes it an attractive option for bedside intelligence, even considering the limited repertoire. It matches the Nest Mini and costs $ 10 less than the Echo Dot with clock.
The Essential screen is not interactive. It shows the time and weather, and has indicators when an alarm is set. Even the physical buttons don’t do much more than allow certain basics like disabling the microphone or volume control. However, it still includes the Google Assistant for all the same voice tips from other Google Peakers smart devices.
You can always click the top to snooze the alarm and it plays a sunrise alarm with a lovely night light surrounding the back panel. The limited screen still emits a glow, which is unfortunate, and the default repeat time is too long, 10 minutes, but the sound quality and the microphones are good for their size. The Smart Clock Essential is a good option if you want a Google smart speaker with a clock on your nightstand. Read our Lenovo Smart Clock Essential review.
The LED display on this smart speaker shows the time and weather. This is a minor update to an Echo Dot, but the visible clock makes it easy to recommend as an alarm. The display’s brightness adapts to the light in the room and the numbers do a good job of not shedding brightness when dim. I was surprised at the point with the clock d. Identify this test well, since the numbers are white and you cannot change the color to orange or red, which are generally better to be seen in the dark without projecting a glow
The dot with a watch responds to your voice commands through Alexa and displays an indicator when an alarm is set. Also, you can click on the top to snooze the alarm for 9 minutes. While still a smart speaker first and foremost, the Dot with Clock now deserves to be considered an effective wake-up call. Read our Amazon Echo Dot with clock review .
I was torn by the envy American clock, because the large print design caught my attention and could be useful if you have low vision. The watch even indicates the day and date, and you can set alarms with a reminder message such as “Take your medicine” to help loved ones with memory problems. Having said that, I am primarily judging revivals here, and it’s not a good revival. You can’t snooze the alarm, the screen lights up even at its weakest point, and setting alarms is a bummer. You have to scroll through a menu that could easily be confusing for an older parent, so you are likely to get stuck setting it up and changing the settings for them.
If you want functionality, the $ 50 iHome iBT29BC is probably what you need. This smart alarm clock has a built-in radio and two alarms, works as a bluetooth speaker, and even comes with an auxiliary cable. It has a battery backup and can act as a speakerphone and communicate with your phone’s digital assistant. It has a color-changing light and lots of customization to play with when you wake up. The light will not be like the Philips HF3500, but it could not illuminate when the alarm goes off. Also, the sound quality is surprisingly good. The snooze button is too small and you will want to have the instruction manual handy when you start using it. The face of the clock is too bright when raised and it is difficult to see the other side of the room when it is dark.
Since the Home Sunrise alarm clock apparently works the same trick as the Philips HF3500 for a fraction of the price – $ 29 for the home clock instead of $ 37 for the HF3500 – I was excited to give it a try. This brilliant alarm clock even has a few additional features: the light changes color and you can customize the color it turns on and the time it fades before the chosen alarm Has a radio and you can choose from a variety of sounds alarm clock, including classical music and sounds of nature, like crashing waves. On paper, the clock offers everything you could want in a lightweight alarm clock at a great price. It also shows that you get what you pay for. The touch buttons on the front are not very responsive: set the time, Setting an alarm and turning off the alarm from the nightstand is more difficult than it should be. Using the radio is surprisingly tedious. The brightness of the sunrise simulation increases too quickly in the morning and the white numbers indicating the time shed too much light at night. If you can avoid boredom, the watch offers many features for the price.
This compact $ 15 digital clock uses two AA batteries and is completely portable, but you can’t see the time in a dark room without turning on a backlight that will damage your eyes because you’re in a dark room. The snooze button and the backlight button are the same. When the alarm sounds, this backlight will turn on automatically, but will turn off. ‘turns off again after a few seconds. If you take a moment to wake up, you won’t be able to check the time when deciding which ether or not to repeat. If you need an alarm for your home, use another. If you need a portable alarm, you’d better use your phone.
This horrible $ 59 alarm costs way too much, has a shiny dial, lacks significant functionality, and gets a lot of the basics wrong. It’s hard to find repeats in the dark. Setting the alarm is relatively tedious, and the alarm resets at 6am every time you turn it off, so you will have to reset it to your preferred time each day if you wake up with someone else. moment.
What to look for in an alarm clock
If you are buying and do not see any of the above, you can find a good option for your nightstand taking into account some points.
Red and orange numbers are less likely to glow. You may not care if you don’t mind a glow or if you really want a glow, but if you don’t like a bright sleeping environment, the color of the numbers is far more important than what you expected. This is something you can learn about the alarm just by looking at the screen.
Focus on the basics. Alarms that perform a bunch of extra tricks are fine, but you probably have something else around your house that’s better for playing music or has a port to collect for your phone. Look for an easy to set and verify alarm that has an indicator so you can see that it is armed and a large snooze button that you can find when you are half asleep.
Get the extras you want. Once you’ve found a few options that include the basics, look for the one with extras that you like. Do you want a night light? Do you want multiple alarms? Do you want to customize the duration of the timer? Do you want a radio? The advantage of the alarm category scope is that you can find a model that matches all the desired criteria. And yes, if you really want to go crazy with a built-in charging port or even wireless phone charging, these models are there too.
Gentle awakenings are perfect. If you don’t know which functions to prioritize, look for an alarm whose volume increases gradually or which slowly increases the light level to make it easier for you to no longer sleep. This was my favorite feature of the group and I generally felt less irritable with the alarms which did not surprise me.