Alarm Clock Buying Guide
What is an Alarm Clock?
Even though an alarm clock is a pretty simple purchase, there are a few things that you will want to consider before you make your purchase.
Is there a battery backup? – Almost all alarm clocks have some kind of battery backup in place in the event of a power outage. It will prevent all of your alarm settings from being lost and will also ensure that you won’t miss any important meetings or work.
Many of the battery backups take a 9v battery but some use AA or AAA batteries instead. Be certain you know ahead of time what type of batteries your back up feature needs so you are prepared ahead of time.
What is the snooze button like? – The snooze button is often hit the first time the alarm goes off. Many times, it’s a lot more than that. You will want to find out a little bit about the snooze button feature on the alarm clock radio that you are considering. Depending on the model, the snooze button can be programmed to go off once only, more than once, or even once every minute or so for a full 30 minutes if it takes a lot of cajoling to get you out of bed in the morning.
Does it have Dual Alarms? – Dual alarms are a very convenient feature when more than one person needs alarms set in the morning, but not at the same time. Rather than the first person to get up having to reset the clock every single morning, two alarms can be set, at the times needed.
Does it have a sleep timer? – If you like to listen to your radio at night but then get woken up by it earlier than you’d like because it’s still running, you’ll like the sleep timer feature. This enables you to set it to shut off on its own after a specified time frame.
Does it have Different choices for alarm sounds? – Many people get accustomed to the sound of their alarms and can sleep right through them. Having access to a variety of alarm noises can prevent you from becoming immune to the sound of the alarm.
Types of Clocks
There are many different types of alarm clocks on the market to choose from. People choose the type of clock they want according to their personal preferences. We have outlined the three different types of alarm clocks below.
- Quartz Analog Clock – This type of clock uses a quartz crystal that tracks the time as it passes. They quartz crystals are made of silicon dioxide. Quartz analog clocks are powered by batteries and can be digital or have a traditional clock face. These are very reliable clocks.
- Digital Clock – With digital clocks, you plug them into a wall outlet and use 60Hz frequency to run the clock. They normally have an LCD or LED display and not a traditional clock face. It is reliable also but needs a connection to the power line to work or a battery backup.
- Atomic Clock – These clocks are considered the most precise of all of the clocks. There are three types of atomic clocks: cesium, hydrogen and rubidium. Cesium is the most common of the three. The major difference between the clocks is how the frequency is measured.
Alarm Clock Features to Consider
There is a large variety of different factors that can influence the choice of alarm clock you make. Things like power source, alarm, compatibility and more all come together and either make up a clock you want for your home or you continue looking for other models that DO have the combination of features that you are looking for.
- Power Source – There are a few different power sources that you can choose from when it comes to powering your alarm clock. Battery powered, electrical (plugged into an outlet) If the clock you choose does require being plugged into an outlet, make sure it has a battery back up in the event of a power outage.
- Type of Alarm – The majority of alarm clocks have the option of playing the radio as an alarm or a buzzing or beeping sound. There are some that have a Human Waking System or HWS which starts off low and then gets progressively louder. There are some that offer vibrations as well.
- Media Player Dock – for a customized way to start the day, some alarm clocks have a media player dock so you can use your MP3 player, cell phone or other device to customize a wake up method such as a special song, etc. To use this feature, your device will need to be compatible with the clock’s media dock.
- Time Display – Most digital alarm clocks have LCD or LED displays so you can see the time. There are some retro designs as well that some may like. You want to easily see the time or date and not have to strain. A relatively new feature on some models of alarm clocks is the projection feature which allows users to project the time onto a wall or ceiling.
- Snooze Button and Timers – Make sure that you know what snooze alarms the clock you want has. Does it have sleep timers for the snooze button? Does it have a nap timer where you can take a short nap? Ideally look for a snooze setting that can be set to repeat again and again. Dual timers are great too since more than one person might be using the clock and alarm.
Additional Features that alarm clocks may have may include the ability to set themselves and auto set daylight savings time, date display, temperature display, nature sounds for going to sleep and waking up and more.
Having an alarm clock is crucial for the majority of people. They are available in many different styles, sizes, and types. Alarm clocks can do so much more than they used to. Consumers will enjoy the variety of features they can take advantage of and use to ensure that they get to work on time and not miss important engagements.
The information contained in this buyer’s guide and the reviews will help you know exactly what features you are looking for and how to sort through the choices available to find the one that is just perfect for you. Make a decision that you can be confident about and enjoy the feature packed alarm clock that you choose.
- Electrohome – http://electrohome.com/
- Timex – https://timexaudio.com/
- Sony http://www.sony.com/electronics/clock-radios/icf-c1pj