Modern clock radios offer a variety of features. This is a nice evolution from the ones available decades ago that could display the time and connect to an AM radio station. Eventually, FM radio came into its own, and the functionality became a little more pleasant. Still, functions were limited to time display and being able to listen to music from a tinny speaker. Today, however, anyone searching for the best clock radio has so many options, it is important to find one with the right features.
What’s the best alarm clock Radio?
The answer to this will be entirely unique to everyone based on everything from how good your hearing is, to individual preferences for alarm, equalising settings and portability. However, as a guide, there are common things to look for when selecting the best clock radio for you. Let’s take a look at some of these in our guide.
Best Clock Radio Buyers Guide
Ease of set up
When it comes to ease of setup, not all clock radios are the same. The easiest are the self-setting clocks that set themselves once they are plugged in. Nobody is quite sure how these clocks manage this feat. They, do, however, and it is amazing. Actually, how they manage this is known. Once you plug in a self-setting clock, it receives radio-wave signals from long-wave radio transmitters. Once the signal is received, it is able to determine time and time zone.
Manual clocks, however, are pretty much exactly how they sound. They require you to manually adjust day, hour, and minute. Some also have an LED light, the brightness of which can be adjusted.
Ease of operation
With all the advances in technology, most clock radios offer a lot of features. Some clock radios are very user friendly with buttons and self-evident icons that represent their specific function. Others, however, especially smart clock radios, require in-depth study of the user’s manual. Others have online user’s manuals or tutorials online.
There are several different types of display. They can vary in size, color, and can also be projected. Pick the one that meets your personal preference, knowing, also, for instance, that blue light is a better light for night time sleeping. Dim orange light can also be very unobtrusive.
Next to being able to display the time, speakers are, perhaps, the most important function on a clock radio. Whether you want to wake up to music or simply listen to it during the day, speakers with deep bass will offer the best sound.
There are a few clock radios that go beyond the basic buzzer-and-radio-alarm option. Some clock radios connect to internet. Others allow you to control your smart home. Others have schedule settings that allow you to designate which days will not sound an alarm.
It is important that your alarm goes off even during a power outage. Several clock radios include a battery backup system. However, not all battery backups are the same. Some, for instance, store the preset stations and alarm settings only. They do not sound an alarm. Others, however, will continue to work and be able to sound the alarm at the pre-designated time without even needing the power to be restored.
Even knowing the features can result in you being unable to choose. You are in luck. Following are the top clock radios with all their listed features.
Best Clock Radio Reviews
This hands-free, smart alarm clock offers much more than your typical clock radio. The voice-recognition technology allows you to go beyond simply setting your alarm and choosing the type of alarm you will wake to. Instead, just connect the Echo Spot to Alexa, and you have instant access to weather, audiobooks, music, lyrics, and more. To switch between features, all that is required is to ask Alexa.
The Echo Spot will also stream music from your favorite music service as well as allow you to listen to audible books. For sound quality, you can adjust the treble and bass.
Regarding connectivity, you can control your smart home or make video calls via Skype. The features are almost endless. For instance, if you get hungry, you can order a pizza (seriously).
- connect to additional speakers via Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable
- connect to your smart home
- Alexa required
Because the DreamSky clock radio is blue and the LCD screen is four inches wide, seeing the display is easy from anywhere in the room. You can choose to awaken to a buzzer or to the radio, and the adjustable volume allows you to wake up to your preferred level of sound. Equally impressive is that the volume options include three optional levels for the buzzer and up to 15 optional levels for the radio.
The speakers offer rich bass and clear treble and allow for comfortable listening to FM stations. The DreamSky clock radio also includes a sleep timer, which allows to you to preset the amount of time you would like to listen to the radio as you drift off to sleep. Drift-off times can range from 10 to 120 minutes. Finally, the USB port allows for convenient charging of your smart devices.
- four-inch LCD display
- indoor temperature display
- timer option to fall asleep to music
- USB port
- battery backup for power outages
- no in-depth smart-home options
The user-friendly clock radio by Alphasonik is designed so perfectly that setting it up is a breeze. The buttons are clearly labeled, and the LED screen is large enough for easy viewing from across the room. For audio, three audio drivers and AlphaBass technology result in a listening experience that is unrivaled. In addition to the FM radio, there is an SD card option that allows you to import your own library of recorded music.
- dimmable display
- Bluetooth speakers
- micro USB 5V
- 22 hour battery
- no USB charging port
This alarm clock by Mpow has a 120-degree adjustable projector, and it offers four brightness levels: off, dim, medium, and bright. Although it is easy to see anywhere in the room, the recommended distance for the ideal projected image is seven to ten feet. You can also press and hold the “Project” button to flip the projection 180 degrees upside down.
The five-inch screen comes with six levels of display brightness, and dual alarms allow you set two different alarms for the day. Finally, the alarm offers three sounds: chord ringtone, chirping birds, or crashing waves. For people who prefer music, it has the capability to wake you up to the FM radio.
- 15 preset FM stations
- dual alarm
- four alarm sound options
- fall asleep to music with sleep timer
- 5V/1.2A USB charge port for smart phone
- back-up battery for power outages
- no smart-home options
The Sunrise alarm clock offers a feature for people with slight hearing loss. For instance, it offers “sunrise simulation,” which involves the display gradually brightening over a 30-minute span. Once the “sun” has risen, the alarm sounds for two minutes.
The alarm can be set to a favorite FM radio station, or it can be set to a traditional beeping. Additional alarm sounds, however, include nature sounds: birds or waves.
For the night time, there are seven soothing display colors to choose from: green, blue, warm white, indigo, blue, orange, and red. The display colors can also auto-rotate, one-by-one, throughout the night.
To complement the sunrise feature, a sunset simulation slowly turns off the display, signaling that it is time to sleep.
- sunrise simulator
- seven display colors can auto-rotate
- ten brightness levels
- USB allows connection to computer
- No USB port to charge smart phone
The Magnasonic projection alarm clock radio will project the time or temperature onto your wall or ceiling. The 3.6-inch LCD display is a warm blue, and if it is not bright enough, the option exists to adjust the brightness to the level you prefer. The 20-preset-station option allows you to wake to your favorite AM or FM stations. However, if you prefer, you can opt for the buzzer or the projected time to wake you.
Additionally, the 3.5 mm AUX supports Android, iPad, or iPhone connectivity, so you can listen to your favorite music library.
This clock radio is self-setting. Once you set the correct time zone, the correct time and day are set automatically. Finally, following a power outage, the clock will restore the last-known time, day, and alarm settings. For those sensitive to light, there is an auto dimmer that turns off the display for night-time use.
- projects time and temperature
- 180-degree swivel projection
- automatically adjusts to Daylight Savings
- dual alarms
- option to disable alarms on weekends
- AM/FM radio
- no USB charger
The DreamSky Digital Alarm Clock Radio’s display is 1.8-inch wide with an adjustable brightness function: low or high. Whether you choose to wake from the buzzer or the radio, you can do so gradually using the auto-ascending volume.
The FM radio comes with 16 volume levels as well as a sleep timer to lull you to sleep each night. A headphone jack allows you to listen to music without bothering others. You can also charge your smart devices, such as an iPad or smart phone, via the USB port.
- headphone jack
- sleep timer
- USB charging port
- alarm has ascending volume feature
- small display
- two AAA batteries required but not included
The alarm clock radio by Boctop is extremely easy-to-use. All of the buttons are clearly labeled and user friendly. The Boctop uses a 12-hour system. For instance, a PM indicator light emits when you are setting the alarm for night hours. If the PM indicator is not illuminated, the clock schedules the alarm to go off in the morning hours.
You can choose to awake to the radio or the buzzer, and for going to sleep, the FM radio also includes a 10- to 90-minute sleep-timer feature. It also has the option to auto-search stations, or you can manually dial in your favorite station. Although the alarm volume is not adjustable, it does gradually increase in volume until it reaches the loudest level.
- 5V / 2A USB charging port
- 10- to 90-minute sleep timer
- auto search FM stations
- Since this clock radio uses a 12-hour system, you could accidently set your alarm for nighttime if you are not paying attention.
The Hondream digital alarm clock radio has replaced the typical buzzer alarm with peaceful music to bring you gently into your day. You can adjust the alarm volume to suit your personal preferences. However, if you prefer, you can wake to a favorite FM radio station.
There are ten preset stations available, allowing you to easily choose among different stations. The two-inch display shows the time, temperature, alarm-set status, and current FM station. The brightness is adjustable, making the display easily visible no matter the time of day or night.
- two USB charging ports
- adjustable alarm volume
- 10 preset FM stations
- This clock radio does not include the option to listen to your favorite music from your smart devices.
This no-nonsense alarm clock radio by Electrohome is straight-forward and feature-rich. You can clearly see the time on the 1.2-inch LED display or on the projection displayed on your wall or ceiling. With the self-set technology, all that is required is turn on the clock, and it will automatically set the time and date.
This clock will also adjust the time during Daylight Savings. For couples, it offers a dual-alarm function as well as a weekend-cancellation feature. Finally, there is no need to worry if the power goes out. Even during a power outage, the WakeUP function will sound the alarm.
- USB charging port compatible across devices
- 20-station preset AM/ FM stations
- self-set technology
- battery backup
- alarm includes weekend cancellation
- small LED display