January 11th, 2005
We’ve had our alarm clock for quite awhile. It’s old, and it hurts Terah’s ears sometimes. We’d like to get a new one that has a nice digital FM sound. Then, we could move our radio down to the kitchen for her to use there. Features such as a gradual buzzer, weekday/weekend mode (so you don’t have to turn off the alarms for the weekend), CD player, nap mode (a separate timer for a nap), and NIST atomic clock synchronization would be nice to have, too.
So I start searching. First thing I discover: not one alarm clock that Sony makes has any kind of decent battery back-up. Even their high-end ones will only save your alarm settings for 60 seconds. We could have a 5-minute outage in the middle of the night, never notice, and not get awakened. It’s just stupid to not put this feature in an alarm clock. Even our old one has this.
Timex has some nice models. But their multi-alarm models all seem to annoyingly only let you use the buzzer with one of the alarms. Panasonic clocks seem to have the same problem.
Then we have some RCA models. According to reviews on Amazon and Circuit City, these things have terrible quality. There are lots of reports of CD players failing within 18 hours and being able to tune in only 2 or 3 radio stations.
Next we come to Philips. They have one clock, and it has only a 3-minute backup. At least give me the option to put in a AA battery or something!
Finally, there is Sangean. They have some truly nice-looking clocks: the RCR-1, the RCR-2, and the RS-330. However, they don’t publish battery backup information for the RCR-1 or RCR-2. Rumor has it that they have a decent-sized backup battery, but nobody really knows how long it lasts, and the RS-330 supposedly makes a noticable hum. That would annoy me in our quiet house.
What’s a good, geeky alarm?