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on May 17, 2009
I bought this to replace my old alarm clock. It has a sleek design that takes up very little space. It has two alarms and can be set to radio, beeps or songs and has an adjustable snooze setting. The built in radio works well and there's a sleep setting so that if you like to fall asleep to the radio you can have it automatically shut off after a certain amount of time.

It has an adjustable brightness level, but I found its default/highest level to be suitable. At that level it's bright enough to see in the dark, but not bright enough to keep me up. The alarm is easy to wake up to and gradually gets louder on the beep setting. It automatically set itself to the correct time and date as soon as I plugged it in, all I had to do is set the time zone. It has a DST feature that can be turned off or on.

The only feature lacking is the ability to customize the alarm for either weekdays, weekends or both. It's not a big deal, especially with two alarms but it would have been nice. Overall I'm very pleased with this alarm clock.
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on July 31, 2009
Decent alarm clock for the price.
Pros: inexpensive, preset time, dst auto adjust, battery backup for power failure, easy to tune radio stations, easy to read display, brightness of display is adjustable.
Cons: Alarm "A" can be set to chime or radio, Alarm "B" can only be set to chime or an electronic tune. Both alarms cannot be set to the radio. Cannot adjust or view the alarm setpoint unless the alarm is turned on, so when you pass the current time the alarm activates. Radio sound is poor but in line with the price of the alarm clock. The snooze can increased from 10 min to 20 min to 30 min etc, but if you hit the snooze button twice while initially silencing the alarm, you go straight to the 20 min snooze.
Overall: a good alarm clock for the price but I would have paid more for a full featured clock radio had I know its limitations up front.
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on June 14, 2009
The item description is very accurate. If you want a dual alarm clock radio similar to those from 10 years ago, that is exactly what you will get and that is why I ordered it. Nothing fancy, just basic but with the Sony dependability. There are a few nice things though - the time is preset, options for the dual alarms sound, adjustable brightness, battery backup, very easy to operate and the AM radio actually works well, unlike other clock radios. This clock radio has no frills but for the price, it is good and dependable.
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on August 3, 2011
I feel like a complete goof for reviewing an alarm clock, but I love this one. I have had 4-5 alarm clocks in the past few years that I have either gotten rid of or just tolerated. The old alarm clock that I have been using for the longest time wasn't working properly so I bought this. I couldn't be happier. You can intuitively figure out how to program it w/o a manual. The plastic is a slightly shiny and nice looking; the face is very clear. The two alarm options were a requirement for me. The 1st allows a tone or radio and the second allows a tone or a weird melody tune.... thing. I like the buzzer because it is a little higher pitched than I have heard on so many alarms and SIGNIFICANTLY less jarring in the morning. It's not a ENNNNHHH ENHHH ENHHHHH!!!!; it's more of a beep beep... beep beep, similar to a watch. It doesn't jar me out of bed and immediately stress me out in the mornings like most other alarms. The time auto set to DST and is powered by some kind of cell battery that is included (no 9 Volts). Several brightness options are there. I would have preferred another slightly dimmer brightness setting because sometimes I am very sensitive to light, but that is a nit picky detail. Regardless, the lowest setting is lower than most other alarm clocks I have seen / used. The price was below twenty five, which was a bargain. The radio is clear and free of static, the tuning is adjusted vial dial (vs. buttons). The alarm programming can also be done both ways and fast forwarded in EITHER direction (vs. just fast forward and slow backward).

I would recommend this to a friend solely due to the more friendly buzzer, let alone the pleasant look and the ease of programming.
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on June 30, 2010
I have been using this alarm clock for 6 months now and I couldn't be happier. After years of searching for the right alarm clock I finally found it.

Positives:
1) I can see the display! I have moderately poor vision (glasses prescription is -3.75) and if I wake up in the middle of the night I can clearly see the time with this clock at my bedside. The green light plus the large numbers are very clear.
2) The progressive alarm wakes up even my heavy-sleeping husband. The first few beeps are slow and they gradually speed up to grab the attention of the heaviest sleepers.
3) You don't have to set the time! What more can I say? You set the timezone, plug it in, and it sets the time. It even catches daylight savings.
4) If the power goes out the small battery saves your alarm settings so when the power comes back on, the clock resets itself and you still have your alarms ready to go. This has saved me from being late to work more than once after a late night power outage.
5) The display light is adjustable. I've had green/blue alarm clocks before and the display was so bright it practically light up the whole room. The dim setting is fine at night, I can see it but it's not acting like a flood light, and I can still see the display just fine during the day too on the dim setting. Though during daylight hours I do have to get a little closer to the clock to see it.
6) I love the full 10 minute snooze. I don't understand why other clocks have a 7 or 9 minute one.
7) You can turn off the alarm when it's in snooze-mode, you don't have to wait for the alarm to go off again.

Neutrals:
1) The radio isn't great, lots of static and the speakers don't sound perfect. But I wasn't buying a radio, I was buying an alarm clock so that doesn't really matter to me. If you want a radio go buy a radio. *shrug*
2) The alarm isn't terribly loud. This is counter-acted by the progressive alarm beeping.
3) It's a little bit large, but for the big display numbers I assume that's kind of necessary.

Cons:
I really don't have anything bad to say about this clock.

One other note:
Some people have mentioned in their reviews that you cannot set the snooze back to 10 minutes if you go too far. If this happens wait until the snooze display clears off (takes a few seconds) then re-hit the snooze button, this will reset it to 10 minutes.
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on July 18, 2013
Only two reasons why I didn't give it 5 stars. 1) even on the dimmest setting the light is a little too bright. 2) the second alarm doesn't wake you to the radio, only a built in melody (which is pretty good)

Also a plus, the radio has much better reception than my old GE
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on July 3, 2012
Let me begin by stating I cannot review the radio or the alarm features as I have not used them, nor do I intend to. This clock was the result of a long search for one that I could set on the opposite side of the room and read without glasses at night.

I will be as scientific as possible here since "too bright / dim" is quite subjective. My requirements were that the digits could be read in the darkness at a distance of 15 feet without glasses (I'm nearsighted at -1.75), and must be dim enough that a shadow could not be created with its light at 4 feet from its face (eg it should not be very visually darker on the backside of an object held 4 feet from the front of the clock - I used a paperback to test). I tried a number of different clocks, and most failed one or both tests. Commonly, if I could read the digits at distance, the light was bright enough to cast a distinct shadow. If a shadow was minimal or not cast, I couldn't make out the digits. The most common issue was leakage of the light that illuminates the digits in areas where there weren't digits.

This clock passed both tests with flying colors. Not only can I still read the clock at 20 feet, but it doesn't create a shadow past 3 feet. I was curious as to why this is the only clock that has worked thus far, so I (an engineer to the bone) disassembled a few to find out. If you're not interested in the technology behind common clocks, you can stop here.

There are 3 types of main clock technologies I found.
1) A standard LCD display which is illuminated either from the side or rear of the display.
2) An electro-luminescent style display which is self-illuminating.
3) A facade which has "transparent" lines representing the possible number configurations, with each line segment backlit by LEDs (the Sony ICF-C414 is this technology).

The issue with the first type is that in order to make the dark digits on the LCD visible enough in the dark, the lights have to be fairly bright. If it gets too dim, you won't be able to read the digits and all you will have is a night light.

The issue with the second type is that EL displays require a certain minimum voltage to even work. The cheaper the EL, the higher this voltage. This is why a clock with cheap EL digits is always bright; the material is not capable of operating any darker. The more expensive EL digits can go very dim, because the material is higher quality, and can operate at a lower voltage.

The issue with the third type is that most manufacturers only use 1 LED per line segment (for a total of 28 LEDs). This means that to get the entire line segment to light up instead of just a dot of light in the middle, they need to keep the LED bright so there is enough light to get to the line tips. For instance, if displaying the number 7, the two line segments on the right and the top line segment light up, meaning 3 LEDs are on. If they got too dim, it would look like 3 dots instead of 3 lines forming "7". This Sony, however, uses 2 LEDs per line segment (for a total of 56 LEDs). This means the LEDs can be lit less brightly since the light is already more evenly distributed across the line segment.

And that is today's lecture. This will be on the midterm.
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on January 30, 2010
The time on this clock was already set, right from the factory. All I had to do was plug it in.
Uses a very common coin battery, which was already installed and activated.

What's great -
* Alarm will sound, even if power is still gone.
* Large, bright display
* Easy-to-set dual alarms
* Nice-looking clock
* Good-sized buttons: no fumbling

What's less great -
* Can't set both alarms to radio - Alarm 1 can be set to radio, but alarn 2 can only be set to tone or melody. If someone has figured a way to get both alarms to sound with radio, please let me know!

Final comment - Buy this clock radio. I bought one, and a month later, bought another. It's that good.
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on May 11, 2011
I cannot believe how much I love this alarm clock. It is the simplest to program (the alarm), has 3 different dimmer settings for the light, and has 2 separate alarms - one for radio and one for a very pleasing tone.

I travel very extensively, and have been forced to figure out literally hundreds of alarm clocks over the years. This one is the best I've ever, ever used.

I like it so much I bought 4 of them for our home, and threw away the clocks in every bedroom.

For the first time ever, it seems like a designer actually took the time to design a simple, intuitive alarm clock.

A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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on March 4, 2011
I hesitated to get this because I could not find any information on the ability or lack thereof to disable the Daylight Savings Time. In Arizona, we would rather NOT save our Daylight in the summer. :D So I was very happy to discover that this is a feature that can be disabled.

The controls are easy to use, the alarms speedily configured, but the sound quality is a tad tinny. Still, I didn't buy it for the sound, so I'm very satisfied with this clock radio.
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