I picked it up a couple of years ago but was immediately annoyed by the fact that the volume for falling asleep and waking had to be the same. WTH?! What idiot made that choice? I also hated how ridiculously bright the time display was. Even in "dim" mode you could land a plane to that damn light. Almost immediately I just turned the display light off altogether. I can only read it during daytime hours and even then it's hard to see from across the room. Instead, I rely on the cable box display to give me the time. As a result I've been annoyed for about the past 2 years.
(Yes... I have a tv in my bedroom. I know I'm not supposed to, but I do. When I wake in the middle of the night and decide I'm just not getting more sleep any time soon I have been known to watch some 3:00 am television.)
Anyway, today I had a few more presents to pick up at Target. I was looking for something and stumbled upon the clock radios. Do we still call them "clock radios"? Regardless, I stood and spent a good 15 minutes staring at them and reading their boxes for features.
It seems I have very particular needs in a clock radio. Obviously:
- I wanted a display that could actually dim.
- I wanted my bedtime volume to have the ability to be lower than my wake up volume.
- I wanted to be able to dock my iPhone/iPod.
- I wanted to have a sleep machine/environments sound system available. (I like to fall asleep to the sound of rain).
- The device had to have some weight to it. (A previous model was so lightweight that every time I tried to hit the snooze bar it would simply slide across the nightstand and out of reach. Now THAT'S annoying.)
- I wanted a snooze button easy to find in a groggy state and FAR from the "off" button. (That lame lightweight model had a snooze bar that doubled as the off button. When pressed once, the snooze would be set. When pressed twice the device would turn off. I learned this was a very bad system the hard way. I eventually retired it to the bathroom where it couldn't do any harm.)
- The clock radio had to be compact enough as not to take up too much space on my nightstand.
- I wanted a weekday/weekend dual alarm option.
I found lots of grown up and sophisticated systems but most were too dang big. I ultimately chose one with a new feature I'd never dreamed of. I chose this delightful clock:
What's with all of the colors you ask? Well, umm, my fancy new alarm clock is apparently designed with the tween girl in mind. It slowly fades from one glowy color to the next and the time display changes with it. It can also pulse to the beat of whatever music happens to be playing. It can also stay on my favorite color. Don't worry, I made sure I could also just turn the whole color thing off too.
The most surprising feature is the sound quality. It sounds really good! I am, however, a bit concerned about the snooze bar. It's flush to the rest of the buttons. I hope I'm able to manage it in half conscious state of mind.
It doesn't have environmental sounds but my iPhone does so that's covered.
I'm not sure if it has a weekday/weekend alarm option but it seems to have a few apps associated with it that may do the trick. I'll have to download them and see if they can help with that.
It has some new fangled "Time Sync" feature that's petty cool. When I plugged it in I didn't have to manually set the time. I just docked my iPhone and it instantly set the time from it. Cool!
I'm on vacation for a while and don't plan on using the alarm for a while (yea!) but I will have to test drive it before my next work day to make sure I can manage it.
So far I really like my silly, glowy, new clock radio. If it disappoints, I'll be sure to report back. Until then, I'm off to create a cool "Wake Up!" playlist.
(BTW, I can't help but think how this whole iPhone/clock radio/color change/morning playlist thing would have BLOWN MY MIND as a 12 year old. Sometimes I feel like I grew up in the dark ages. Have you SEEN video games lately. Holy crap! Kids today have it made. Remember these: