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best radio alarm clocks

The Best Radio Alarm Clocks in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

The radio alarm clock accompanies you musically into the day – for a successful start. Our team has investigated various tests and comparisons on the Internet and was able to create a list of the best radio alarm clocks, which also includes ratings for wake-up times, FM, DAB, weight and much more.

USCCE Digital Alarm Clock Radio

 Our Pick
USCCE Digital Alarm Clock Radio
  • FULL DIMMABLE DISPLAY – The brightness of the 3.4-inch…
  • CUSTOMIZABLE ALARM – Dual alarms with separate…
  • MORE THAN JUST AN ALARM – FM radio saves up to 40 stations,…
  • BATTERY BACKUP – AC-powered, but you have the option to…
  • If you have any questions or comments, please don’t…

Emerson SmartSet Alarm Clock Radio with Bluetooth Speaker

Emerson SmartSet Alarm Clock Radio with Bluetooth Speaker
  • Bluetooth V4.1
  • USB output for mobile charging 2.1a 5V.Button cell battery…
  • Digital Tuning FM radio, 20 station memories. Patented…
  • Easy-to-read, 1.4” Cyan LED clock display, dimmer control….
  • The alarm can be programmed to operate on weekdays only,…

REACHER Dual Alarm Clocks Radio

 Our Pick
REACHER Dual Alarm Clocks Radio
  • Dual alarms for weekdays and the weekend: One goes off on…
  • The 3.25-inch LCD display has a dimmable range of 0-100% and…
  • The FM radio can be tuned manually to your desired…
  • Power failure? No problem. The 3 AAA batteries will maintain…
  • Although it is a multi-function device, it is easy to use…

Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock, LBell Clock Radio

Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock, LBell Clock Radio
  • 💗【7 Colors Night Light/ Alarm Clock for Bedroom】The…
  • 💗【 Wake Up Sunrise Alarm Clock】Sunrise simulation,…
  • 💗【Sleep Aid Feature Alarm Clock 】Simulate the feature…
  • 💗【FM Radio Clock&USB Port 】The clock radio offer the…
  • 💗【Dual Alarm Clock Feature 】Considering there may…

Bedside Radio Alarm Clock with USB Charger, Bluetooth Speaker, QI Wireless Charging

Bedside Radio Alarm Clock with USB Charger, Bluetooth Speaker, QI Wireless Charging
  • ✔️ CHARGE WHILE YOU SLEEP: We have listened to your…
  • ✔️ WAKE UP HAPPY: Dual alarm function allows you to set…
  • ✔️ ROOM FILLING SOUND: Use the Dawn as a Bluetooth…
  • ✔️ STYLE AND FUNCTION: The Dawn Bedside Alarm Clock…
  • ✔️ BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: i-box are a UK company…

Digital Alarm Clock, ELEGIANT Alarm Clocks for Bedrooms with FM Radio

Digital Alarm Clock, ELEGIANT Alarm Clocks for Bedrooms with FM Radio
  • ❤【Dual Alarm Clocks Setting & Adjustable Snooze Time】…
  • ❤【FM Radio Station & Sleep Timer】ELEGIANT bedside…
  • ❤【Clear 6.7” Display & Auto-Brightness…
  • ❤【USB Charging Port & Battery Back-up】 ELEGIANT radio…
  • ❤【2 Ways of Alarm Clock】 ELEGIANT digital alarm clock…

Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock, 7 Colors Bedside Night Light

 Our Pick
Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock, 7 Colors Bedside Night Light
  • ⏰【7 Colors Light & Natural Sounds for Kids】The 7…
  • ⏰【Intelligent Sunrise / Sunset Simulation】Simply set…
  • ⏰【Personalized Alarm Settings】Uneasy to get up from…
  • ⏰【Dual Alarm Clock Function】Considering you may have…
  • ⏰【FM Radio Clock】Want to wake up and hear your…

iHome iBT29BC Bluetooth Color Changing Dual Alarm Clock FM Radio

iHome iBT29BC Bluetooth Color Changing Dual Alarm Clock FM Radio
  • Wake and sleep to mobile devices via Bluetooth. Wirelessly…
  • Speakerphone features include a built-in microphone, digital…
  • Alarm Can Be Set To Bluetooth Audio, FM Radio Or Built-in…
  • Translucent cabinet and display changes color at the touch…
  • Six selectable cabinet/display colors: blue, green, amber,…

Digital Alarm Clock, with Wooden Electronic LED Time Display

Digital Alarm Clock, with Wooden Electronic LED Time Display
  • 【Dual plus Alarm Setting】- Updated in 2019 from dual…
  • 【Stylish Wooden Design for Décor】- This must be the…
  • 【Multiple Brightness Level Adjustable】- Allows you to…
  • 【Temperature and Humidity Detect】- with temperature and…
  • 【Power Cord Operated】- This clock is operated by USB to…

Frequently Asked Questions: Radio Alarm Clocks

What is a radio alarm clock?

Radio alarm clocks are understandably found mainly in bedrooms and children’s rooms. These are devices that can not only display the time and date, but also have a radio. The special feature of these devices is that you can be awakened both via an adjustable alarm tone and with radio music.

The compact clock radios are also colloquially known as clock radios. In addition to modern designs with piano lacquer look and luminous LED displays, you can also find trendy retro devices that are, however, equipped with the latest reception technology.

Visually, clock radios present themselves in a plastic casing, with at least one speaker on the top. On the front, you can read the time, the day’s date and also the respective radio stations. The controls can be located on the sides, above the case or right next to the LED display.

However, modern clock radios can do much more. They have an SD card slot and a USB port, so you can also plug in and play other multimedia devices and memory cards there. Likewise, many devices have Bluetooth and wifi connectivity. It is easily possible to connect a smartphone, tablet or MP3 player there.

It is noticeable that most clock radios only have a digital time display. The typical and traditional hands or the analog time display are usually no longer offered by these devices.

How does a radio alarm clock work?

We would like to briefly explain how such a clock radio works. Digital movements are used to display the time and date. In many clock radios, these are also supplied with power via the power plug, but sometimes also have a battery for safety.

The radio reception part is interesting. For most users, traditional FM reception is perfectly sufficient. Consequently, these clock radios have an FM tuner. Meanwhile, however, there is already Digital Audio Broadcasting as DAB. This is called the successor of FM, although the transmission performance is not nearly as good. Many users refused to buy DAB radios, so ultimately this technology was discarded due to lack of acceptance.

As a further development, DAB+ was developed, which not only offered better reception quality, but also a longer range. The difference to analog FM reception is that with digital DAB+, program information such as artist and title can be displayed in addition to the station. DAB+ is currently broadcast in addition to FM. Many modern clock radios therefore support both technologies.

An interesting alternative are the clock radios with WiFi functionality. These devices sometimes even have an Internet radio, so you can access many thousands of stations.

As already mentioned, good clock radios also offer an SD card slot and a USB port. In this respect, audio signals can also be played from there. However, you often have to accept compromises in terms of sound quality. Although FM is broadcast in stereo quality, the clock radios are usually only designed for mono playback.

How does a radio alarm clock work?

In our clock radio test, we would like to briefly explain how such a clock radio works. Digital movements are used to display the time and date. In many clock radios, these are also supplied with power via the power plug, but sometimes also have a battery for safety.

The radio reception part is interesting. For most users, traditional FM reception is perfectly sufficient. Consequently, these clock radios have an FM tuner. Meanwhile, however, there is already Digital Audio Broadcasting as DAB. This is called the successor of FM, although the transmission performance is not nearly as good. Many users refused to buy DAB radios, so ultimately this technology was discarded due to lack of acceptance.

As a further development, DAB+ was developed, which not only offered better reception quality, but also a longer range. The difference to analog FM reception is that with digital DAB+, program information such as artist and title can be displayed in addition to the station. DAB+ is currently broadcast in addition to FM. Many modern clock radios therefore support both technologies.

An interesting alternative are the clock radios with WiFi functionality. These devices sometimes even have an Internet radio, so you can access many thousands of stations.

As already mentioned, good clock radios also offer an SD card slot and a USB port. In this respect, audio signals can also be played from there. However, you often have to accept compromises in terms of sound quality. Although FM is broadcast in stereo quality, the clock radios are usually only designed for mono playback.

Advantages of Radio Alarm Clocks

In our clock radio test, we have listed numerous models that offer different functions. You can use a clock radio to be gently woken up from sleep in the morning. For this purpose, the devices offer both typical ringing and warning sounds, but also radio reception.

However, if you want to be woken up by radio, you can’t be sure that it will be gentle wake-up music. Often, you will hear the radio commentator instead, which will give you the morning news.

With a radio alarm clock, however, you can not only be woken up. Many devices offer a sleep aid. You can listen to the sound of the sea, birdsong or the wind blowing through the treetops. We have summarized the most important advantages for you below.

Advantages of a radio alarm clocks:

  • gentle wake-up with radio music possible,
  • clearly readable LED display,
  • also suitable for acoustic alarm sounds,
  • can be used as an ordinary radio,
  • many connection possibilities.

Types of Radio Alarm Clocks

Before you choose a radio alarm clock test winner, we would like to introduce you to the different types of these devices. Maybe this way you can find your desired clock radio even easier.

Classic Radio Alarm Clocks

Most clock radios present themselves in a flat plastic casing. On the top are the most important settings, such as for the time and date setting, for the alarm time, the volume control and the station selection. Partially, the clock radio offers a practical search function with storable program slots. A so-called snooze button can be used to turn off the alarm melody.

Depending on the manufacturer and model, some clock radios even offer two individually adjustable wake-up times. The disadvantage of all devices with this basic equipment is that all settings are lost in the event of a possible power failure. The classic clock radio also only has traditional FM reception. Apart from a headphone jack, no other devices can be connected to it.

It should not go unmentioned that only a moderate sound image in mono quality is possible due to the compact dimensions. A separate throw antenna is not required. A small antenna is integrated into the device. Partially, however, the device must then be aligned so that a good reception is possible.

Advantages of a classic radio alarm clock:

  • only FM reception possible,
  • gentle wake-up with radio music or via alarm tone,
  • easy to read LED display,
  • can be used as an ordinary radio,
  • headphone jack,
  • relatively inexpensive.

Disadvantages of a classic radio alarm clock:

  • no digital reception possible,
  • moderate to poor sound quality,
  • few connection options.

Digital Radio Alarm Clocks

The modern clock radios for digital DAB+ reception are particularly stylish and often even have a piano lacquer surface. However, these models can also still receive the conventional FM frequencies.

It is striking that these devices are equipped with a large LED display. As already described above, this not only displays the time and date, but also the title and artist for DAB+ radio reception. Unlike the classic radio alarm clocks, we do not have to set the time on our own here. This is done for us by the automatic radio signal synchronization. So you never have to manually set the time and date even after a power failure.

Digital clock radios also have many connectivity options. You can play music files on SD memory cards via an SD card slot. You can connect memory sticks, MP3 players and other multimedia devices to an existing USB port.

In many cases, Bluetooth connectivity is also available, so you can directly connect your smartphone or tablet to the clock radio. The sound quality is slightly better than traditional clock radios. Dynamic bass features can provide a rich sound despite compact dimensions. In many cases, these devices still offer dimmable displays, so you will not be disturbed by the LED display even of the night.

Advantages of a digital radio alarm clock:

  • DAB+ and FM reception possible,
  • gentle wake-up with radio music or via alarm tone,
  • large LED display with advanced display function,
  • can be used as an ordinary radio,
  • SD card slot and USB port,
  • partially Bluetooth enabled,
  • rich sound,
  • Time and date are radio synchronized.

Disadvantages of a digital radio alarm clock:

  • Higher price.

WiFi Radio Alarm Clocks

An interesting addition to the previously described clock radios are the models with wifi connectivity. With WiFi, the device can be easily connected to the in-house WiFi Internet router. Advantageously, you can also operate your clock radio as an Internet radio via it.

This plays an important role especially for all those who want to listen to more than the local radio reception. Otherwise, these devices have the same range of functions as the other digital radio alarm clocks.

Advantages of a wifi radio alarm clock:

  • Can be used as an internet radio,
  • DAB+ and FM reception possible,
  • gentle wake-up with radio music or via alarm sound,
  • large LED display with advanced display function,
  • SD card slot and USB port,
  • partly Bluetooth capable,
  • good sound,
  • Time and date are radio synchronized.

Disadvantages of a wifi radio alarm clock:

  • Requires wifi connection to the router,
  • Higher price.

Retro Radio Alarm Clocks

Finally, we would like to introduce the retro radio alarm clock. These are models that can receive only FM as a classic clock radio, as well as DAB+ with digital technology. The special thing about these devices is the design, which is reminiscent of the historical radio receivers.

Interestingly, there are actually also clock radios here that do without an LED display and instead display the time via pointers and the frequency band via a pointer bar with rotary control. However, regardless of the design, behind the case hides a modern and reliable technology.

Advantages of a retro radio alarm clock:

  • stylish retro design,
  • partial DAB+ and FM reception possible,
  • gentle wake-up with radio music or via alarm tone,
  • good sound,
  • attractive price-performance ratio.

Disadvantages of a retro radio alarm clock:

  • Time and station have to be set somewhat awkwardly,
  • larger design takes up more floor space.

How are Radio Alarm Clocks tested?

We have compiled the following test criteria for you to show how the respective devices were put through their paces.

Reception

Our radio alarm clock test first dealt with the reception technology. Simple devices can only receive the pure FM band. This is still completely sufficient for most people today. FM is transmitted in a clean stereo quality.

Of course, the models that can also receive DAB+ are advantageous. Although digital radio reception is being expanded further, it has not yet established itself everywhere. However, it is worthwhile to fall back on a combination device here in order to consider both reception options.

Finally, it should also be noted that we took a closer look at some models that can be used as an Internet radio with their WiFi connection. This function is quite practical, but actually superfluous for a clock radio. We think that normal radio reception is perfectly sufficient for waking up.

Sound

We have already pointed out that clock radios are not hi-fi systems. As a rule, we get mono quality at most here. There is usually only one relatively small speaker inside, which is of course due to the compact dimensions.

The output power varies between 0.5 and 20 watts, but each model also sounds different. However, the quality is always sufficient for waking up and getting out of bed, especially since clock radios are placed in close proximity to the sleeper. Nevertheless, some clock radios achieve a rich sound, so that even listening to the radio for a longer period of time does not become an agonizing affair.

We consider the usually available headphone jack to be superfluous. Hardly anyone sleeps with headphones and will also connect them to their clock radio during the day.

Power Supply

Most manufacturers have come up with something when it comes to the power supply. Generally, clock radios are operated via 230 volts at the wall socket. As soon as the power fails, all basic settings have to be made again for many devices. In particular, setting the time, date and alarm time cause problems for many.

Useful are those clock radios that can rely on a battery charge for the time in case of power failure. In this case, a battery compartment is included underneath the device. Depending on the manufacturer, however, there is also the possibility of being able to operate the complete clock radio with batteries. This is a great advantage, especially when traveling.

What should I look for when buying a radio alarm clock?

Before you decide on one of our radio alarm clock test winners, we would like to give you the most important buying criteria.

Functionality

Of course, a clock radio must have an alarm function. But beyond that, you can also find models that even allow you to program two different alarm times. This way, your partner, who might have to get up later, will also be woken up in time.

On the subject of waking up, it’s worth noting that you can choose between an acoustic alarm tone and a gentle wake-up through radio music. These two options are the main functions of a radio alarm clock.

Another feature is the so-called snooze button. With this, the alarm can be delayed for additional minutes. This is always worthwhile if one or the other wants to lie down for a while after the first alarm.

Some clock radios also offer a useful sleep timer. With the help of a sleep timer, you can lull yourself to sleep while listening to radio music. The device is switched off by itself after a preset time. Likewise, there are other aids, such as the sound of the ocean or birdsong to help you fall asleep.

Connectivity

In this day and age, hardly anyone can manage without their smartphone or tablet. Some clock radios therefore have a USB port or Bluetooth connectivity, so you can connect your smartphone to the clock radio. In this way, the music stored there can be played on the radio. You can also connect an MP3 player or a memory stick to the USB port.

The aforementioned headphone jack, on the other hand, will rarely be needed. Another interesting feature would be a WiFi connection, so that you can turn your clock radio into an Internet radio. Streaming online music is becoming more and more popular.

Last product update on 2021-03-06 | Source: Amazon Affiliate