I am on the prowl.

I am going out on the prowl for a new clock radio alarm clock.

Seems pretty straight forward - right?

It is not. When it comes to "gadgets", I get very fussy. I get so fussy that no one even wants to shop with me. I start to drag whomever may be there with me into the dark abyss of my mind. As an example, when my last watch broke, I started looking for a replacement. I had a list or desirable features, but I could not find a watch that was "exactly" what I wanted. I found many that came "close", but instead of just making a decision, I kept watching / looking / waiting / shopping for EXACTLY what I wanted. I spent over three months searching. My wife refused to help me look anymore, and when I finally boarded the train for looney-town, (well, started going crazier than I already am...), I went out and replaced it with the same exact watch I previously had. I spent months looking for a watch, drove myself, and others around me to the brink of insanity and all for NOTHING.

I am now on the lookout for a new clock radio.

I had a Timex "Nature Sounds" Clock Radio, but because of a fall it took from the night stand, the antenna wire was yanked from the radio resulting in a wonderful staticy radio experience. (The antenna wire was tied to the lamp for better reception - ironically what gave the radio better reception was also what caused it's demise..)

The reason I bought this clock radio is because it was one of the first (affordable) "Nature Sounds" clock radios. What a great concept - drifting off to a blissful state of slumber to the relaxing sounds of a babbling brook, ocean waves, or from deep in the heart of the forest. It sounds all well and good, but in reality, the "low-res" digital sounds that are "oh-so-cool" in the store, start to show their ugly faces in the dark reality of the bedroom while trying to fall asleep. You see, the nature sounds (brook, ocean, or forest) are each about a five second recording that loops. They loop over, and over, and over, AND OVER. When you are at the store (with all the other background noise, and the stress of the crowds) the soothing nature sounds call to your inner spirit like a siren (not the police car type), telling your spirit this clock is what you need, what you want, and what you should have. When you get it home, and turn it on in the quiet bedroom, laying there trying to fall asleep, you can hear the ever-so-subtle background sounds (like that little birdie chirp of "forest", or that back-to-back bubble sound of "brook", or the seagull in "ocean") that you start to hear the sounds repeat. That "cycle" of repetition starts to drive you crazy! I think I used the "Nature Sounds" on the radio for about a week, and since - have never returned.

Side Note: I do enjoy "nature sounds" and find them very relaxing! If you are interested in falling asleep to "nature sounds", may I suggest that you instead purchase a clock radio with a CD player, and buy a quality set of "Nature Sounds" CD's. It does the same thing, only without "drive you to homicide" repeating sounds.

One thing I did like about that clock radio was the options you could have in which alarm you wanted to be awoken to. You could the radio, or choose cathedral, mechanical bells, or chimes. You could choose to be woken to a (starting softly, and increasing volume) set of what sounded like church bells, an old time mechanical "hammer and bell" alarm clock, or the typical electronic chime of your run-of-the-mill alarm clock. I preferred Cathedral.

Now, I have an opportunity to do this right (driving myself and those around me crazy while doing it too!). I would like to make sure I find "just the right clock radio" for my wants and needs.

Ideally, my perfect clock radio would include the following features.
- Dimming LED display or REVERSE LCD display
- Projection clock (displays the time on the ceiling in very dim red numbers
- Atomic Clock
- Battery Backup
- Adjustable Snooze
- Nap alarm (no need to reset the actual alarm time).
- AM/FM/CD (that plays CD, CD-R, CD-RW, and CD-mp3 discs
- Digital tuner for AM/FM.
- Aux Input (in both mini-jack, USB, and SD card slot)
- Headphone Jack (for headphones or my pillow speaker)
- S.A.M.E. technology Weather Radio
- Interior and Exterior Temperature display (exterior from a remote temp sensor).

I really like the looks (and sound) of the Bose Wave Radios, Boston Acoustics MicroSystem CD, and/or the Boston Acoustics Receptor Radio, but lets face it - how realistic is it to have a clock radio that is worth more than you car is worth? That is just not going to happen.

So, as I started checking into clock radios. I found one that had most of the (realistic) features I wanted, and I really liked the look of too! It is called the Pure Chronos. The more exicted I got about it, the more I realized something must be wrong. It is too good to be true! Sure enough, Pure Chronos is made in England, and the (approximately) 90.00 (Euro) price tag I found translates to around 180 (US Dollars) - again, just a wee bit more than the budget allows for. (Not to mention it operates off 240v.)

GOOD NEWS! While writing this post I just discovered the Chronos actually operates off of DC power (9v). It comes with a 240vAC to 9vDC converter. So, I could find a converter (wall wart - like most people's Cellular phone charges with) that WOULD operate this clock radio in the US! It does receive DAB Radio (which is useless here in the USA), as well as AM and FM.. If only the price.... Hmmm.... I need to think some more on that... It has suddenly become a bit more "viable". I sent an email off to customer support to find out more about using the Chronos here in the US. Perhaps they would like to send on out to me on a "beta testing" basis!

Some of the (more realistic) contenders include (in no particular order) the Timex TM-80-BR (really nice with the USB and SD card access!), Timex T-617-S (the radio I am really leaning towards - so far), RCA RP-5640 (which has received several poor reviews), the RCA RP-5600, Teac SRL50, and the jWin JL-CD811.

Anyone have any special suggestions for an "out of this world" clock radio?

Post Script: Just to prove to you all that I am indeed as crazy as I say sometimes... Ask yourself who the heck would write a post THIS LONG about a clock radio?? But (and maybe even more importantly) don't forget to ask yourself how crazy a person is to actually have READ this whole long post about clock radios??


  1. good lord, Dave.

  2. I have Pure One DAB radio that is simply superb.

    Pure have been involved in the DAB system since its launch and their products are recognised as being better than most but not in the same millionaires paradise league as Bose who's outlet salesmen seem to think that several hundred pounds for an item that you let play for ten seconds in a morning before you hit it with your fist is a good investment.

    DAB radio rools ok - apart from in countries where you cant get the reception of course :)

  3. I was realy expecting more from your "significant post" . . . oh you say this was not it, good.

    Let us know what you decide on, I will be needing a new alarm clock soon also, Christmas maybe?


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