541 of 544 people found the following review helpful
I searched a long time for a combo clock radio and docking station for my iPhone. Although there are several on the market, I wanted something that took up as little space as possible on my night stand, had a display with large numbers, would charge my iPhone, play music from my iPhone as the alarm instead of the radio, and was easy to use.
I FOUND IT!! This Sony clock radio is great, and has TONS of features. I like the large illuminated display, which has different settings depending on how bright you want the light at night. Setting the alarm is very easy (you can go forward and backward through hour and minutes, without having to run completely through the cycle like most clocks), and there are TWO alarm settings. You can set an alarm for weekdays to get you up for work, and then a separate alarm for the weekend. Pretty cool.
The snooze button is nice and big on top of the unit, and let's you take the standard 10 minute snooze, or you can keep pressing the button and lengthen the snooze time up to 60 minutes in 20 minute increments. A nice feature.
There's a sleep feature timer so you can listen to radio or iPhone/iPod music while you fall asleep. For the alarm, you can have a buzz, AM or FM radio, or a tune from your iPhone, and it works great.
Buttons on the front and side are nice and large so you don't have to grope in the dark, and there are a variety of customizable settings.
The best part is the hidden slide-out docking tray. Pop it out when you want to charge your iPhone/iPod or listen to music through the clock's speaker, and push it back in when you don't need it, making the unit's footprint as small as possible. The docking tray comes with adapters to fit iPhone or iPod. I use mine without either adapter because I have a protective case on my iPhone, but it still fits in nicely.
In reading back my review, I sound like a Sony employee, but I'm not. Have no connection to the product, other than I'm a satisfied customer, and would recommend this unit highly to anyone looking for a docking station/clock radio for their iPhone or iPod. There are too many other features to go into here. Have fun discovering all the great things Sony thought of to include on this unit.
Thanks for a great unit, Sony!
505 of 523 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2009
First off, I want to say that I like almost everything about this alarm clock and that I went to a Best Buy first and tested it (music and all) right next to its bigger Sony sibling (the one with the CD player, called Sony ICFCD3iP CD Clock Radio for iPod and iPhone) as well as the iHomes and Logitech and other competitors. Essentially this one came out the winner in every way IF what you're looking for is an ALARM CLOCK. This is not a speaker system by any stretch (it's not even stereophonic, one speaker), it's not designed to party to or have it produce massive bass sounds. I know this is obvious to most of you but there's always some imbecile who doesn't seem to realize that a little alarm clock barely bigger than your iPhone can't possibly be a stereo system.
As an alarm clock, I loved this little system precisely because it does so much and takes up so little space. The LED lights are not too bright when you go to the lowest setting, the sound is definitely loud enough for you to hear even if you're in the next room at high volume, the iPhone dock is easy to use and can be used with a case on your iPhone. It also looks good and it's nice that the dock cradle slides in, overall it looks A+.
Since I also compared this one in person to the Sony ICFCD3iP CD Clock Radio and tested them both simultaneously, I can offer you these observations if it's helpful to you. I ruled out the iHomes, by the way, because all systems that make you stick your iPhone on top like that are horrible looking, maybe that was cool in 2007 if you thought having an iPhone is cool and you want it brandished like it's a trophy, but that now looks tacky, dated and cluttered. This comparison is between this Sony product vs the one with the CD player:
--Size: I liked the CD player one more because I actually thought this one looks a bit too small. This is purely personal preference, if smaller is better for you then go for this one.
--Layout: I call this a draw. One thing that's better on the CD player one is that since it's bigger, there was room to put the tuner and the preset switches on the sides of the device rather than on the back which is not as convenient. You probably won't use these two switches much though so this probably doesn't matter much. One thing I liked better on this one is that hitting the snooze as you're groggy is pretty safe, but on the CD one, since the opening for the CD player is right in front of the snooze button, you can very well accidentally open the CD tray violently if you hit the snooze and aren't careful.
--Speaker, sound: Basically a draw for me. The Sony descriptions on Amazon, and indeed even on the boxes of the two products, tell you nothing about power. I had to look under the devices themselves (which got me bad looks from the salespeople) to find out that this alarm clock's speaker is rated at 10 watts. The CD player's speaker rated at 16 watts. Normally I'd say this means the CD player clock is better, but oddly at similar volumes in the store, I actually found this alarm clock's speaker to be better defined than the bigger one from the other Sony, and almost as loud. The bass was slightly better on the other one though. But since this is an ALARM CLOCK and not a speaker system by any stretch, I frankly didn't care either way, they're both plenty loud to wake up to music or the radio to and close enough in quality despite the different wattage.
--iPhone dock: here I expected them both to be the same, but I was surprised that the iPhone dock trays are not designed the same, and that this Sony's design of the tray was actually better than the CD player's. The CD player's tray hangs in the air, in that when it opens up there is space under. So when you put your iPhone in you kind of have to grab the tray or else the whole thing tilts, it's not a good setup. The tray that comes out of this clock, on the other hand, has the end of it flush with the clock's bottom and whatever table it's on. So it's much more secure and you can just dock your iPod on it with one hand and not worry about a thing. So the clear loser is the CD alarm, as this one is better designed. Both can fit an iPhone with the case on by the way, just don't use the tray inserts that come with this.
--LED illumination: here too this Sony beats out the CD Sony. Both clocks have three light settings. I put them side by side and tested them both. The upshot is that the bigger one has much brighter LED lights. When I compared both at the lowest setting, the bigger clock was still pretty bright and would be annoying in the dark (unless you're scared of monsters at night and want a night light). At its lowest setting, this Sony here was still just a bit brighter than I would have liked, but not nearly as annoying as the CD player's light. This is a big reason why you see good reviews of this Sony here while the CD player's reviews are generally bad with lots of complaints about the light level.
I did buy this alarm clock and all in all, I really wanted to love it, but over the past two weeks it has infuriated me with one BIG design flaw that is making me return it because it is fatal. It simply can't reliably stay tuned to a radio station so as to wake you up to it.
Now if you don't care at all about waking up to radio, consider this a 5-star review and move on. But I like to wake up to NPR, a strong FM station in my area. I've had an 9-year-old CD player alarm clock beside me before this Sony, and not once did it fail to wake me up to a strong NPR signal when the alarm was set. This brand new Sony, on the other hand, comes in and out! You can test it before going to sleep and the sound is 100% clear, and yet when it comes on in the morning it sounds like it is barely tuned to the station unless you play with the ugly and unsightly antenna cable that sticks out of the back of it. Even if you didn't touch that unsightly cable all night.
Even WORSE, when it comes on like that in the morning, if it is not receiving the FM station well, you don't even get static noise (which at least would still wake you up), you get nothing but a very faint buzzing that doesn't wake anyone up! I've already been late to work three times on account of this clock's failure to maintain a lock on a station. I've even tried testing the position of the ugly antenna before going to bed and having the volume very high, yet still for no apparent reason at all it sometimes fails to lock on in the morning and you sleep peacefully to 8:30 am to a very low audio buzzing sound that seems to lull you into an even deeper sleep.
The culprit is that Sony really cheaped out on the FM receiver.
How they can make such a colossal design flaw on a product that costs more than competitors like iHome that are larger and with better speakers is inexplicable. I really wanted to love this, but it's an ALARM CLOCK and if it simply loses connection to a station in the morning despite the ugly antenna cable and can't wake you up, what good is it? Shame on Sony for having such a design flaw by cheaping out on internal components. Whoever was in charge of approving that is incompetent and should be fired because he doesn't understand retail products, this is not a $20 alarm clock on which you can use cheap transistors to save 50 cents. This is an alarm clock aimed at a slightly higher market and there is an expectation that at the very least it can be reliably counted on to wake us up in the morning.
REVISED REVIEW FROM HERE ON OUT
I am revising my review, going from two to four stars, because as time as gone by the radio reception seems to have improved (but only after careful placement of the antenna cord and making sure it's never moved), and I decided that all the positives and the lack of a good competitor warrants better than two stars. It's still the most compact, efficient and best looking alarm clock out there... I just wish they used better components for the radio receiver.
93 of 96 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2009
I wanted to add a quick note about this clock radio because most of the other reviews for clock radios don't address the issue that was the most important to me- the strength of the antenna. I was looking for an alarm clock that would get better reception in our bedroom than the one we presently own. This clock is able to pick-up stations that are either too fuzzy to hear or don't even come in on our current clock.
I also like that the iPod dock slides out, so that I don't have a large piece of machinery sitting on my bedside table! I am very pleased with this clock radio and my husband is going to be thrilled on Father's Day!
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2009
O.K. I read all the reviews and saw that other complained the clock radio was rather bright. I figured they probaby didnt know you could adjust the brightness of the clock radio and purchased one anyways. I was wrong. The clock radio is extremely bright at night. On the lowest setting it lit up the entire bedroom and I could not sleep unless I put a T-shirt over the clock radio, and a dark t-shirt at that, a white one didn't reduce the brightness much. So beware, it is bright, but other wise works great and charges my 3GS iPhone every night.
I've solved the brightness problem by applying a small piece of leftover automotive window tinting film. The Gila window treatment would work too. Or the cling type film new parents put on car windows to provide shade for new babies. But it needed something. I used a cup to cut out a circle and applied it with water that activates the tinting solvent. Works great and no more spotlight on me at night.
The dual alarm function is great. I've had no problems picking up radio stations at all.
111 of 131 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2010
I purchased this alarm clock because of the glowing recommendations, after a lot of research. I payed particular attention to those that mentioned the brightness of the clock face, as I like a reasonably dark room when I sleep. All of the reviews that I read mentioned that it wasn't bad at all, so I was excited to go ahead and try this alarm clock. Those reviews were wrong - the clock face illuminates my whole nightstand and several everything else surrounding it for several feet. This is when I'm using the "low light" setting - I can't imagine what the medium or high settings would look like! I had started to sleep with the clock turned toward the wall to keep the light down - and yes, it still reflects off the wall - and one morning about 1/2 hour before it was set to ring, my husband turned the clock around to see what time it was. He ended up pushing a button and completely resetting my alarm from ringing on a Mon-Fri schedule to ringing on a Sat-Sun schedule. Needless to say, the alarm didn't ring that morning and I was late for work. I have never owned an alarm clock that allowed you to reset the alarm with the push of a button (unless it's ringing at the time, like with a snooze button) and I consider this a design flaw. I am happy with everything else about this alarm clock, so if you don't mind a nightlight on your nightstand, this might be the clock for you.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2009
I like this alarm clock radio, but the clock is too bright even on the dimmer setting. I literaly have to cover it up at night or it illuminates the entire room. I like how when the iphone is on the docking station and rings it comes through the speaker so that I can hear it no matter what room I am in.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2009
This is a great clock! It charges my iPhone with no problems and despite the small single speaker, has a surprisingly good sound. Not audiophile quality, but certainly not tinny. Pleasant listening. Radio works great too.
I am VERY nearsighted, but the display is large enough for me to see on my nightstand. It's been difficult to find a clock with a large display that also was not too bright. The display supports three different brightness levels, so it's not too bright at night.
My only concern is with the sliding docking tray. Feels a bit flimsy, but I suspect that won't be a problem. Most people really won't slide it in and out, so I wish they'd designed it with a fixed docking station.
Despite having a plastic DLO cover on my iPhone, there is no problem docking the phone. I am not using any of the docking adapters that came with the clock. Works fine without them.
Controls are easy to operate and setting up alarm functions is quite simple. Users can set two separate alarms (A & B) and customize for weekdays. weekends, or 7 days a week. The controls for the A & B alarms are located on opposite sides of the clock on the sides and I like that they are totally separated to reduce accidents.
There are two models made by Sony. This one does NOT have a CD player. I didn't want one. If you DO want the CD player, look at Sony ICFCD3iP CD Clock Radio for iPod and iPhone (Silver)
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2009
This is by far the best alarm clock I've ever had. It's nice and small as not to waste any more real estate on your night stand than necessary. It has a remote! The remote really does come in handy for controlling the Ipod/Radio/Vol etc, considering I intentionally make the alarm hard to reach so that I don't just keep pressing snooze. It has an actual antenna, like the ones you get with stereo systems and such, so it picks up stations really well. It has a digital tuner, so you can actually see which station it's on as opposed to guessing if the line is between this station and that. Furthermore it allows up to 20 presets, so you can store all your favorite stations and cycle through them with the remote. It automatically sets the time and updates it when daylight savings takes effect. It lets you set your alarms for only weekdays, weekends, or both so if you only want a alarm for work then you can do so Mon-Fri. Also, when setting up the alarm to wake to radio for instance it allows you to specify which preset to wake to and at what volume to play it at. Overall just an amazing alarm clock. My one gripe, which for most people will probably not be an issue is that the power cord has a transformer on the end of it and it is not detachable from the unit, this presents a problem if your nightstand has a hole in it designed to feed the cables through so that it looks nice, since the transformer is too large to fit through nearly any cable management hole, my night stand has a hutch on it so I can't just let it hang off the back, rather I have to loop it around the front in a very awkward and messy looking configuration. With that said, I still love it, and I'm sure many people don't have a hutch on there nightstand so this likely won't be an issue.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2010
I like the clock for several reasons.
First, the alarm can be programmed to only sound during the week and not on the weekends. Therefore, I can leave the alarm on over the weekend and not have to remind myself to turn it on Sunday night. It has good sound and good tuning. Both of the alarms can be set and to different stations, at different times, and at different volumes. Handy.
There are several problems. First, and worst, is that it is too bright, even on the lowest setting. I have no idea who has the lights at their highest: corpses? Second, pretty much every time I touch the clock, I accidentally push a button, either turning on the radio, turning off the alarm, or something. Finally, when I put my iPhone in the dock, the radio emits a low hum. So, I don't do that anymore! But I'd like to...
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2009
Having used this for a few weeks now, I really like it. The sound quality is acceptable, but don't expect something this size to sound all that great. All the controls are very intuitive and its really easy to setup dual alarms. I recommend this product, but there are a few things to keep in mind if you're shopping around:
- There is no way to specify a "sleep" play list and a "wake" play list...both the sleep and alarm functions just play whatever music your iPod is currently on. This means there is no way to fall asleep to one type of music and wake up to another...seems like a major oversight. You can just wake up to a regular buzzer, though.
- The little slide out cradle where the iPhone sits is a little flimsy, and since the whole device is really pretty small, it's easy to tip it over trying to insert your iPhone.
Gripes aside, this thing does work, it works well, and it's intuitive to use. I'm happy with it, and the price seems fair for what you get.