8 Best Clock Radios in 2020

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the best clock radios
Is it morning already? Do you really have to get out of bed and start your day? These are questions that haunt most of us at the dawn of a new day.

But what if you could wake up without trying to suppress your desire to smash the phone/clock into the nearest wall? Can you imagine that? A morning where you’re happy to get out of bed and can’t wait to start working?

It may sound a bit utopic, but it can be achieved (at least some days). The best clock radio is a modern device that helps you feel refreshed and energized even if your wake-up time is 5 am!

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How To Choose The Best Clock Radio

As you can see from our reviews, everyone can find a product they’ll like. So, to make it easier to identify the best clock radio, we focused on features that improve the waking up or falling asleep experience.

So, here are the features to consider:

Respect for the Natural Sleep Cycle

The main problem with standard alarm clocks is that they disrupt the natural sleep cycle. To avoid this, modern alarm clocks use a technique that’s more in-tune with our bodies, creating a pleasant morning experience.

This can be achieved through light and sound delivered progressively for a gentle awakening which will leave you feeling refreshed and energized.

Easy Snooze

Every now and then you may want those extra minutes of lying in bed. So, the snooze button shouldn’t be difficult to find. Also, it should allow every user to set their own snooze interval.

Customizable Alarm

Nature sounds, radio, your favorite song, or the good old buzzer – make sure to get an alarm clock that offers options when it comes to the alarm sound.

Smart Features

This is not mandatory, but it can be helpful if you like a clock that can be controlled by voice or paired with a smartphone or tablet.

Keeps the Phone Away

This is the number one reason you should have a dedicated alarm clock! Health specialists have warned us (and keep doing so) about the negative effects of going to bed with a phone glued to the hand. It takes a toll on health and personal life and it can easily become addictive.

So, if you’re looking to improve your life, start with a clock radio with the right features for your needs.

8 Best Clock Radios

Echo Show 5

A Best-Sounding Clock Radio with Smart Features

echo show 5
The Echo Show 5 is so much more than an alarm clock radio! It’s a multi-purpose device with a 5.5” smart display, speakers, microphone, and the possibility to connect with Alexa.

As such, you can use it to stream movies, watch YouTube, make and take calls or video calls, and listen to your favorite tunes with Amazon Music. You can also listen to your favorite internet radio channels and ask Alexa to help with various chores such as To-Do lists or calendars.

In addition, you can ask Alexa to play the latest news or ask for traffic reports in the area. Of course, there’s the alarm clock functionality, which can be customized to your liking. And, if you feel a bit weird about having an online device with mic & camera in the house, there’s an off button (for those times when you want privacy).

As long as you pair it with Alexa, there are no limits to what this device can do!

Pros:

  • Extremely versatile when paired with Alexa
  • The ambient sunrise lighting feature
  • 1MP front-facing camera with built-in shutter
  • Supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi networks
  • A2DP BT support
  • One 1.65” built-in speaker
  • One 3.5 mm stereo audio output (for headphones or other speakers)
Cons:

  • The materials are of medium quality
  • There are not that many options for video play apps
  • Screen resolution is not great

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DreamSky DS206 Alarm Clock Radio

The Best Radio Alarm Clock with FM Channels

dreamsky ds206 alarm clock radio
Following the idea that we should be less exposed to screens right before we go to sleep, the DS206 alarm clock comes only with basic features. As such, there is a display (4-inches large LCD screen), but it will only show the time (12/24h), alarm information, and indoor temperature (℃ or ℉).

While you can’t watch movies or YouTube videos on it, the device does have FM radio and a built-in sleep timer. This way, you can fall asleep listening to your favorite channel. Now, the device may look small, but the integrated speaker is powerful enough for falling asleep or waking up with it.

There’s also a buzzer alarm (3 levels) that starts faintly and grows in intensity (for an optimum end of the sleep cycle). And there is a snooze button, for those times when you want a bit more time in bed.

Lastly, this is a portable alarm clock (works with both DC power and batteries) and comes with a USB charging port (for smartphones, tablets, and other similar devices). Also, the interface is easy to understand and buttons easy to use.

Pros:

  • Compact & nice-looking design
  • Built-in speaker with volume adjusting
  • User-friendly interface
  • LCD screen with brightness control
  • FM radio with sleep timer
  • Customizable alarms
  • Snooze button
  • Batteries for backup and portability
Cons:

  • No low light setting (only medium)
  • The external wire antenna doesn’t cover much range

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JBL Horizon Bluetooth Clock Radio

The Best Dual Alarm Clock Radio & Music Speaker

jbl horizon bluetooth clock radio
This is basically a roundish BT speaker with a built-in clock radio feature. In true JBL fashion, the speaker is made from durable materials that are nice to touch and look pretty good in most rooms.

As you can expect from a JBL speaker, the sound is powerful and room-filling, so it’s like having a very compact boombox on your nightstand. Of course, there is the possibility to adjust the volume according to your needs. We also love the LCD display that transitions nicely into the center of the speaker and the ambient light, which is a very useful feature for an alarm clock.

The speaker supports BT streaming, but it also comes with dual fast charge USB ports (for phones and tablets) and two customizable alarms. The speaker also has five radio presets and a battery backup, in case of a power failure and for increased portability.

The alarms can be set to either FM radio, original digital alarm tones, or music from your phone/tablet. Also, the ambient light is connected to the alarm and will participate in gently waking you up.

Pros:

  • A room-filling sound that’s rich & crisp
  • Durable materials
  • Charging USB ports
  • Battery backup system
  • Nice alarm clock features
  • Up to 5 radio presets
  • Ambient light that’s connected to the alarm
Cons:

  • There is a bit of a learning curve for the initial setup
  • Controls are difficult to find in the dark

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Sangean RCR-20 FM-RDS (RBDS)

The Best AM/FM Clock Radio

sangean rcr-20 fm-rds (rbds)
The RCR-20 is a compact AM/FM stereo digital clock radio with a series of interesting features. For instance, the system packs a ported bass tube so it will deliver a better balance between bass and treble. Also, each user can adjust this balance according to their preferences.

The radio supports 10 stations presets (5 FM, 5 AM) or 18 presets when controlled via the remote. It also features adjustable tuning steps and auto-seek stations functions. It also has an adjustable sleep timer, a snooze function, and 2 alarm timers. You can choose to be woken by the radio or by the buzzer (equipped with humane wake system).

The large LCD display is easy to read and offers information on time and connected devices. Speaking of which, the RCR-20 supports streaming via BT (A2DP and AVRCP1.4 profiles) and NFC (for one-touch pairing).

Lastly, a 5v USB port allows users to charge their phone during the night.

Pros:

  • Compact design with powerful sound
  • User-friendly interface
  • Versatile connectivity (Aux-in, headphone jack, and USB A socket)
  • Bluetooth & NFC pairing supported
  • AM/FM radio settings with station presets
  • Great value for the price
Cons:

  • The bass is not very strong
  • The first setup is a bit cumbersome

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Sony ICFC1PJ Alarm Clock Radio

Modern Design with Interesting Features

sony icfc1pj alarm clock radio
It’s small and cute but packs a powerful speaker and a wall projector! So, if you’re looking for a modern alarm clock radio, this Sony design is a perfect choice.

The cube-shaped device has an entire face turned into an LCD screen with white backlight (for easy reading) and brightness control. As such, it’s easy to see the time even if you’re across the room. Not to mention you can project the time on a wall, to avoid turning and looking at the watch.

As an alarm clock, it lets users choose between waking up with the radio (5 AM & 5 FM station presets), the buzzer, or nature sounds (five options). The built-in calendar comes with an automatic time setting and automatic daylight-saving features. And the built-in snooze system can be set from 10 to 60 minutes – for those mornings when you want to sleep in.

The device is equipped with an adjustable sleep timer (15 min./30 min./60 min./90 min.) and can be used to charge devices due to the USB charging port. Lastly, the device uses a CR2032 Lithium battery as a backup.

Pros:

  • Compact design
  • Impressive features
  • Decent audio capabilities
  • It projects the time on the wall
  • AM & FM radio
  • Adjustable snooze time and sleep timer
  • Dual alarm times
Cons:

  • Buttons are loud to press
  • The buttons are small and difficult to identify in the dark

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iHome IBT29 Dual Alarm Clock Radio

A Versatile & Colorful Option

ihome ibt29 dual alarm clock radio
The IBT29 is a cute and modern alarm clock fit for anyone who wants a bit more color in their life. The device comes with a color-changing cabinet that features five hues and six color modes. So yes, your morning will be filled with color (literally)!

Besides its cheerful coloring, this alarm clock is round with an LCD screen in the center where the time and various settings are displayed. It’s also equipped with BT, FM radio, and aux-in port (it’s a speaker).

As an alarm clock, IBT29 has a dual alarm feature and allows users to set their favorite musical options for morning and bedtime tunes (if you’re not happy with the built-in tones). This is possible by streaming music, audiobooks, or podcasts from a paired device.

Lastly, this alarm clock comes with a built-in mic and speakerphone, in case you need to answer a call from the bed. To make sure there are no distortions during the call, the speaker is equipped with digital voice echo cancellation.

Pros:

  • Cute design with a wide range of colors
  • BT & aux-in connectivity
  • Dual alarm feature
  • The possibility to select your favorite tune for alarm
  • Built-in mic and speakerphone
Cons:

  • Buttons are a bit difficult to find in the dark
  • The speaker material is not as high-quality as expected

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HeimVision Sunrise Alarm Clock

Wake Up with The Sun By Your Side

heimvision sunrise alarm clock with fm radio
Standard alarm clocks are not designed to account for our natural sleep cycle, which goes through several stages during the night. As a result, even after a good night’s sleep, we risk waking up grumpy and tired instead of being refreshed.

This is why an alarm clock like HeimVision Sunrise makes a lot of sense. This device is designed with sunrise & sunset simulation.

This means that the built-in lighting system can gradually increase or decrease to give you the impression of sunrise or sunset. The light is accompanied by sound, improving the stimulation.

In addition, the clock can connect with Amazon Alexa Echo and Google Home Assistant, via 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks. This means you can control it using voice commands and you can use it to stream your favorite music. Of course, the sound quality is not going to be similar to a CD-player or a turntable, but it’s enough for waking up or falling asleep to it.

As an alarm clock, there are 7 types of sounds for alarm (birdsongs, streams, waves, piano, and more) and there is the possibility to hook the FM radio to it. Of course, there is a big Snooze button that will give you an extra 15 minutes of sleep.

Overall, the HeimVision alarm clock is easy to control (via the app or using built-in controls), can be paired with various devices, and supports FM radio.

Pros:

  • Sunrise & sunset simulation using light and sound
  • Can connect with smart assistants
  • Supports FM radio
  • Can double as a desk lamp
  • Built-in USB charging port
Cons:

  • You can’t add your own alarm sounds
  • There is no one-color mode

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Philips SmartSleep HF3520/60

The Real Sunrise Alarm Clock

philips smartsleep hf3520-60
Philips managed to create the closest version of a personal sunrise and sunset in your bedroom. The light raises or fades progressively, without jumping from one stage to another (as it happens with other similar devices). To help you feel closer to the natural waking up process, the light has a slight yellow hue, that gets brighter in a 30 minutes interval.

The alarm gives users five sound options (Bird Song, Birds in the forest, Zen Garden, Gentle piano, and Seaside Sounds) and the possibility to wake up or fall asleep with FM radio. Of course, if you’re not yet ready to start the day, you can tap the light and snooze for another 9 minutes.

In the event of power failure, the clock has a backup system that maintains settings for up to 8 hours.

Pros:

  • Natural sunrise and sunset simulation
  • The light gets progressively brighter or dims away
  • Tap for Snooze
  • Good backup system
  • Nature sounds & FM radio
Cons:

  • The controls are difficult to reach
  • No automatic turn off on weekends
  • The light gets dim, but it can’t be turned off completely

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Summary

Our lifestyle requires an alarm clock, there’s no doubt about it. However, waking up shouldn’t be a dreaded moment in your day. It should be something you enjoy and look forward to. After all, why would you want to wake up at the loud noise produced by your phone when you could have your own sunrise?

Even more, the possibility to have nature sounds tickling your ear in the morning is way better than the noise of an alarm. And, the thought of falling asleep to the voice of your favorite radio show host is absolutely soothing!

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