The best clock radios

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In this article, I review the best clock radios:

If you don’t have time to read the whole article, here are my recommendations:

For a good all-rounder with all the essential features, the best radio alarm clock with good reception is the ANJANK model. It was by far the best one with everything you’ll probably need.

If a nice gentle wake-up is important and if you also need help dropping off to sleep, I’d recommend the TITIROBA Wake-Up Light.

Finally, if you want the time projected on the ceiling or wall, go for the PICTEK projection alarm clock radio.

The benefits of a clock radio

Stop using your phone as an alarm

All of these clock radios also have an alarm function so you will no longer need to use your mobile phone / cell phone / smart phone to wake up in the mornings. That means you can get rid of your phone from the bedroom so you won’t be tempted to be browsing social media when you should be sleeping!

Looking at your phone’s screen will keep you awake.  Remove your phone from the bedroom and get one of these clock radios instead!

Easy to see the time

With their large LCD / LED screens, it’s quick and easy to see the time without having to fumble around for your phone. It’s always useful to have a clock in the bedroom. – It’s not just useful for getting up in the mornings.

Lots of useful features

The term “clock radio” doesn’t really do these devices justice. They have lots of extra features designed to make your life easier. Here are some of the common available features with a brief explanation:

Clock / time – The time is displayed on an LCD / LED screen, often with a choice of 12 hour clock or 24 hour clock

Radio – All of them will have an FM radio.  One of the models reviewed (the SONY) also has an AM radio as an added bonus.

Alarm function – Depending on the model, you can wake up to a choice of buzzer sound, radio or even custom sounds such as sounds of nature. Some models have a dual alarm which means you can set 2 different alarm times independent of each other – one for you and one for your partner. Most models also allow you to configure the volume of the buzzer or radio alarm.

Snooze function – When the alarm sounds, you can hit the “snooze” button which will turn the alarm off for a set amount of time before it sounds again. Depending on the model, you can configure the duration of the snooze to whatever you want.

Battery backup – If there is a power cut or outage during the night (or if someone unplugs it), the clock radio will immediately switch to battery power. This means the time will still be correct and the alarm will go off at the correct time. It’s peace of mind.

Advanced features – Some models have advanced features like a projector (to project the time on a wall or ceiling), wake-up lights, USB ports (to charge your phone)

The best clock radios

ANJANK alarm clock radio

The Anjank is packed with some great features. It has a dual alarm, manual or auto-scan tuning, a choice of 7 alarm sounds, a jack for an earphone / headphones and it has 2x USB ports. There is 1 USB cable and adaptor included. Here are some of the other features in detail:

FM radio with sleep timer function – The sleep timer allows you to listen to the radio for a specified period of time before it switches off automatically. This is very useful if you like falling asleep while listening to the radio.  You can adjust the volume of the radio. The radio can be tuned manually or with the auto-scan feature. The auto-scan will scan and store up to 60 channels.

Clock / time display – You can display the time in 12 hour or 24 hour clock format.  You can adjust the brightness of the screen.

Buzzer alarm or radio alarm or choice of 5 music tones – You can choose to be woken up by the buzzer alarm or by the radio or by a choice of 5 other sounds. The alarm starts off at a low level and gets progressively louder. There is a dual alarm feature so that you can set 2 different wake-up times. There is a snooze button with a duration of five minutes.

Electricity powered with battery backup – The Anjank  is designed to be plugged into the mains. The unit also takes 3x AAA batteries (not included) in case of a power failure.

Temperature display – Display the indoor temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit.

2 x USB ports -There are 2 USB ports to charge 2 phones.  1x USB cable and 1x USB adaptor are included with the radio.

Pros

  • Earphone / headphone jack: Listen with headphones (not included).
  • Small size:   3.9 x 3.2 x 2.4 inches (99  x 81 x 61 mm)
  • Dual alarm:  Set 2 different wake-up times for 2 people.
  • Manual or auto-scan radio tuning
  • 7 alarm sounds (radio, buzzer or a choice of 5 other sounds)
  • 2 x USB ports and 1x USB cable is included.

Cons

  • Radio volume: The volume of the radio can be adjusted but you can’t put it to silent (unless you turn the radio off.)
  • Snooze duration of five minutes: The snooze duration is quite short at only five minutes. You cannot change it.

TITIROBA wake-up light, sunrise simulation alarm clock radio

This one is a bit different! This one has a lamp that comes on for a nice gentle wake up to ensure you start the day relaxed and in a good mood. It also has all the other usual features of an alarm clock radio.

Wake-up light – You can program the light to switch on 10-60 minutes before the sound alarm comes on. The light gets progressively brighter during that time. Waking up to light rather than to an alarm is a very peaceful way to wake up. Don’t worry – if the light doesn’t wake you, the “sound alarm” will come on at the time you set. If you only want the light to come on (without the “sound alarm”), then that is also possible.

Alarm sounds and radio – For the “sound alarm”, you have the following choices – birds, waves, babbling brook, alarm beeping, wind chimes, piano with birds, piano only or radio. You can snooze up to 5 times with 9 minutes in between snooze.

You can set 2 different alarm times, one for weekdays and one for weekends, each with its own type of sound (see above).

The FM radio has manual tuning or auto-scan tuning.

Bedtime features – The light can also be used at bedtime. You can turn the light on to read or just to fall to sleep with the light on and you can program it so that the light will switch off progressively and automatically after a 10-120 minutes. This is particularly useful for children who like to fall asleep with a light on.

You can also listen to sounds at bedtime to help you fall asleep. This is a great if you suffer from insomnia! The sounds are rain, campfire with crickets, babbling brook or radio.

Clock / time display – The LED time display has three brightness modes – high, medium or off. If you don’t like the light that comes from the time display, you can simply turn it off. It won’t disturb your sleep.

USB port – There is a USB port to charge your phone. The USB cable is not included but a USB adaptor is included.

Size: 7.1 x 3.1 x 7.1 inches  (180 x 79 x 180 mm)

Pros

  • Wake up gently: The wake-up light ensures you wake up gently and without stress.
  • Helps you fall asleep: The bedtime sounds and automatic dimming light really help you drop off to sleep.
  • 5x  9 minute snoozes
  • USB port: Charge your phone while you sleep.

Cons

  • Setup:  The setup and configuration isn’t straightforward and takes a bit of time. Once you’ve done it, it’s fine.
  • Time display is small: The LED screen for the clock is quite small and not the easiest to read.

DREAMSKY alarm clock radio

The Dreamsky has all the standard features that you’d expect in a clock radio. It has a good sound quality for its small size of 5 x 2.7 x 3.2 inches   (127  x 68  x 82 mm).

Choice of color screen

Choice of color screen – The Dreamsky alarm clock radio comes in a choice of 2 colors: Blue number display or orange number display. On both models, you can adjust the brightness of the screen and you can even turn the time display off completely if you don’t like the light it emits.  The screen can also display the temperature as well as time.

FM radio with sleep timer function – The sleep timer allows you to listen to the radio for a specified period of time before it switches off automatically. This is very useful if you like falling asleep while listening to the radio.  You can adjust the volume of the radio.

Clock / time – You can display the time in 12 hour or 24 hour clock format.

Buzzer alarm or radio – You can choose to be woken up by the buzzer alarm or by the radio. The buzzer alarm has 3 volume levels that you can configure. There is a snooze option with a duration of 8 minutes.

Electricity powered with battery backup – The Dreamsky is designed to be plugged into the mains. The unit also takes 3x AAA batteries (not included) in case of a power failure.

Temperature display – Display the indoor temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit.

USB port – There is a USB port to charge your phone.

Pros

  • Compact size: 5 x 2.7 x 3.2 inches  (127  x 68  x 82 mm)
  • Adjustable brightness: Don’t be disturbed by bright lights
  • Good radio reception with clear sound
  • 1x USB port

Cons

  • No radio presets 
  • No dual alarm feature

SONY projector dual alarm clock radio

Project the time on your wall or ceiling with this Sony alarm clock radio.

Projector function -The projector can be tilted up to 180 degrees and you can adjust the focus so that you can see the time clearly on your wall or ceiling. The projector can be turned off at any time. The time is always displayed on the LED screen of the device itself.

Alarm function – Set two separate wake-up times for two people with individual wake up settings. There are 7 choices for the alarm sound: Radio, buzzer or one of five nature sounds (ocean waves, birds, rain, brook, and under the sea.) The alarm volume increases progressively, starting quietly and getting louder. There is a snooze function and you can configure the duration of the snooze to 10-60 minutes.

LCD clock display – The time is displayed in large bright white numbers on an LCD screen. It’s very easy to read. The brightness can be adjusted to one of 3 levels (high, medium or low). The clock has an automatic daylight savings time feature. No more having to adjust the clocks twice a year!

AM / FM radio – This is the only radio out of the five reviewed to have AM as well as FM. The FM frequency range is 87.5 MHz – 108 MHz with 0.1 MHz steps. The AM frequency range is 530 kHz – 1710 kHz with 10 kHz steps.

There are 10 radio station presets and digital tuning. An AM loop antenna is included with the radio. If you don’t listen to AM radio, you can disconnect the AM antenna.

USB port – Charge your phone, MP3 player or tablet.

Battery backup – The radio is powered by electricity via the AC power cord (included). The radio also takes 1x CR2032 battery (included) as a backup.

Size: 4.1 x 4.5 x 4 inches (104 x 114.5 x 100.5 mm)

Pros

  • Project the time on a wall or ceiling: No need to strain your neck to see the time!
  • AM and FM radio: Most clock radios only have FM. This one also has AM and comes with an AM antenna.
  • Modify the snooze: Set the duration of the snooze to 10-60 minutes
  • 10x radio presets: Save your favorite radio stations and access them quickly via the presets.

Cons

  • Not the cheapest : The projection feature is great but it does make this clock radio a bit more expensive.
  • The buttons are quite small: The small buttons might be a cause of frustration

PICTEK projection alarm clock radio

Project the time on your wall or ceiling with this Pictek alarm clock radio. The large curved LED screen is also very easy to read.

Projector function – The projector can be tilted through a range of 120 degrees.  If you press and hold the “project” button, the time will be flipped vertically by 180 degrees. The projection brightness has 4 adjustable levels (Dim, medium, bright or off). The projector can be turned off at any time. The time is always displayed on the LED screen of the device itself.

Alarm function – Set two separate wake-up times for two people with individual wake-up settings. There are 4 choices for the alarm sound: Radio, sea waves, birds or chord ringtone. The alarm volume increases progressively, starting quietly and getting louder and there are 3 volume levels. There is a 9 minute snooze function with a big snooze button.

7 inch wide LED screen – The LED screen is slightly curved and 7 inches wide and has 6 brightness settings making it very easy to see and read in all light conditions. There are 2 color models of this clock radio – Blue LED or white LED.

FM radio – This FM radio has a frequency range of 87.5 MHz – 108 MHz. There are 15 radio station presets and digital tuning. The radio has a sleep timer function – You can listen to the radio when you go to bed and you can program the radio to switch off automatically at a specified time of up to 90 minutes. With that function you can fall asleep without having to worry about turning the radio off.

USB port – Charge your phone, MP3 player or tablet.

Battery backup – The radio is powered by electricity via the AC power cord (included). The radio also has a lithium backup battery included (in case of a power failure). The projection feature only works when plugged in.

Size: 7.1 x 1.1 x 3.1 inches (180 x 28 x 79 mm)

Pros

  • Project the time on a wall or ceiling: No need to strain your neck to see the time!
  • Big snooze button: Very easy to quickly turn it off without fumbling!
  • Big curved LED screen: Easy to read LED screen on the radio itself.
  • 15x radio presets: Save your favorite FM radio stations and access them quickly via the presets.

Cons

  • User manual a bit confusing
  • Sound quality is a bit tinny 

Conclusion

For a good all-rounder with all the essential features, I’d recommend the ANJANK model. It was by far the best one with everything you’ll probably need.

If a nice gentle wake-up is important and if you also need help dropping off to sleep, I’d recommend the TITIROBA Wake-Up Light.

Finally, if you want the time projected on the ceiling or wall, go for the PICTEK projection alarm clock radio.

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