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on November 5, 2012
Sharper Image EC-B150 Premium Sound Soother, Serial Nr. of this unit appears to be #2912. Although the stock item photo appears to show the top buttons surrounded by brushed silver backgound, the one I received is actually glossy black background with flat black selection buttons...just for what it's worth, it looks great either way. The unit as received has a tight, professional appearance, and looks very nice when installed.

The display is a backlit liquid crystal, visible by day but not overly obtrusive at nite. The intensity of the display is adjustable by a rear mounted 4 position slide switch (Off, L, M, H). Medium works great for me. Rear mounted as well is a slide switch that enables or disables onboard automatic time adjustment for Daylight savings time. The items displayed when the unit is done being set up make real sense; very large Time of Day, a very small icon showing alarm(s) that are set (along with an icon showing what will be the alarm type sounded), also the actually day name, and the date (short month name and day number)are shown.

This unit allows the user to listen to one sound by timer to go to sleep by, and a DIFFERENT sound (or FM radio or alarm) to wake up to. From what I have read, the previous models did not offer this.

The unit is fairly lightweight, but has non-skid feet that stop is from sliding around. There are a pair of small speakers mounted rear facing that provide the sound. I find if I position the unit a little ways away from the wall behind the headboard, the Sound Soother does a good job of filling the corner of the room with sound. Better yet would be to position the unit as you would a white noise generator, (across the room, not so close to the head of the bed).

Some of the sounds on this are better than others to me. Certain sounds are cyclical by nature and lend themselves to the fairly short loop that the unit uses (Surf's up, Ebb tide, Dockside,ect). Several sounds are very nice just because of their content; I like the distant rooster in Everglades for example, and Rainforest is nice as well. The wake up sounds come on low volume at first, and then becomes louder over several minutes which is another nice feature. The box mentions clock "AutoSet", and I do not know what they mean by this. I was required, as part of setup, to tell the unit the month, day, year, hour and minute, AM or PM; I didn't see anything automatic about the clock setup. The clock has options in it for setting the alarm to only operate during the week (M,T,W,Th,F) with one single toggle setting, a nice little option.

I'm happy with this purchase, and I think this model is a improvement over some of the earlier models. I have not used the digital FM radio included in this model, so I have no opinion on the radio portion of the machine.
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on March 11, 2013
I have owned the earlier incarnation of this alarm clock for about 4 years. The sounds are great and the loops are, for the most part, well camouflaged. I have thoroughly enjoyed this - except for a slightly too bright display - and look to replace it only because white noise helps my baby boy to sleep, so he gets the old one.

However the build quality has clearly gone down since those bygone years (sic). And by this what I really mean is the speaker. I already returned one and had it replaced, only to find that the new one has exactly the same tinny buzz to the speaker. This was not at all the case with the older EC-B100. For a device that is designed specifically for its soothing sounds, I am astonished that speaker quality is where they would choose to cut corners.

For those that don't know it, Sharper Image went bankrupt 4 years ago and was bought out by a new set of investors. Three guesses what they have on their minds, and for sure 'quality' is not it. Very disappointed.
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on April 4, 2013
i have owned many sound machines before but this one seems to be the best. it dose not feel cheap and is quite loud i like the white noise the best because that is what i am use to. check out my full review of this on YouTube (Coming Soon) to get a much better review if it
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on February 28, 2013
I have read all the negative reviews & cannot believe this has not been mentioned- because it is clearly a glaring design flaw, not something that's just wrong with my unit.

When I was setting up the alarms I noticed right away there was no way to set alarm volume separately. It immediately occurred to me this may be problematic, as I purchased this alarm to be a "Sound Soother"- I need white noise all night long, followed by an alarm sounding to wake up.

I went ahead & set the alarm & then went about browsing through the sounds included, to 'sooth' me through the night. Here is ground well covered in other negative reviews- the sound quality is appalling. The only sound that was remotely 'soothing' & didn't have annoying noticeable tiny playback loop was "White Noise". It is LOUD. I had to turn it down to 6 just to be able to sleep to it. The next morning, when the alarm went off (set to radio), it did not wake me up, because '6' is not loud enough for the radio setting! So, the 'soothing sound' is recorded onto the machine at way too high volume to be compatible with using the radio to wake up to, since the volumes cannot be independently set.

I tried the next morning to use the "Tone" (regular beeping alarm sound) to wake up, assuming it MUST be pre-set as super loud. Wrong again, it failed to wake me up-- set at '6' volume, it sounded like a tinny beeping played from down a mile-deep well.

This alarm is very lightweight (cheap) feeling, but it's attractive & a good size for limited space on a nightstand. But if, like me, you found this as one option in a VERY limited field of decent looking clock radios that offer a 'white noise/soothing sound' feature, look elsewhere. (and if you find one, let me know!) How this item could be on the market this long with this glaring design flaw (AND garner 4 stars) is a mystery to me!!
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on November 30, 2012
I bought this item as a tool in promoting sleep but this has not really worked out. It's very easy to use and that design is good,but the speakers are very poor and have a cheap old transistor radio sound. It's as if there is a little "white noise" in every setting.For $40 it seems Sharper Image could have included speakers that reproduced somewhat the real sound of the ocean or birds singing. The other major defect in design is that the "tracks" used in each setting are very short and this VERY irritating. When I'm trying to get to sleep I easily get "locked" into predicting the "next chime". The track repeats so soon that I begin to focus on it, when that is exactly what I'm trying to let go of. Also the "train" track sounds like a child's toy.
So please put a little more in to it. I'm giving my unit away- Really the price for this quality should be around $15.
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on December 5, 2012
After 30 days of use, the time display stopped functioning all together. The sound quality of the white noise was okay, but I expect better quality from Sharper Image. Fortunately, Amazon takes care of its customers, and they have sent me a replacement with two-day shipping. I will be interested to see if the replacement lasts longer.
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on February 26, 2013
I almost didn't buy this sound machine because of the negative reviews. But then I thought it looks good, fits my needs, and most people go online to complain when they write reviews, so it was worth a chance. We are thrilled with it. It's a nice size, a nice form factor and style, it produces very good, clear sound effects, and my favorite feature is by far the day and date on the unit! There's nothing like know what day it is when you wake up bleary eyed! It has a very good selection of clear sounds to choose from. Previously we were using a fan for white noise, but in cold Chicago winters it was getting way too cold to do that; and it used a lot more electricity. We laugh every time we hear the fog horn sound noise and wonder who would want that one, but I found the ocean waves and another water one the best for me. I accidentally had it on the real radio static for a few days and it sounded like one of the sound effects, haha. It's my favorite alarm clock that I've ever owned and the fact it's a sound machine + day/date just makes it perfect for me! Thank you, Sharper Image!
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on January 15, 2013
I'm probably closer to 2.5 stars on this one! Here's why:

I owned a Sharper Image soother/alarm/radio, and it finally died after about 15 years. I loved it. My favorite alarm sound was church bells... Made me feel like I was in Europe.

Here are pros/cons of the new one:

Cons:

Speakers are in the rear! You need the clock face to be front facing, but the sounds are coming out of the back of the unit. I expect this was a cost cutting move, but it's poor design.

You cannot see how the alarms are set from the front screen. You have to go through the alarm set functions to check the alarm times.... Kind of a pain. The old one displayed... AL1: the time and then ON OFF .... Same for Alarm 2.

Sounds... Are OK. The short loops don't bother me (as they do other reviewers), but they eliminated some pleasant sounds in favor of roadside; (for example). Anyone really want to listen to roadside sounds?

Speakers ... Poor quality.

Here's the big one: the clock has reset itself 5 times in a few days. First, the time reset, necessitating a complete redo of the initial set up (on three occasions, precipitated by moving the device.... Bad connection? Plug was tight. Short? I don't know yet.). Last night, I turned the alarm back on after a few days, and the settings were GONE... Another complete reset.... Time, sound type, sound for each alarm. Waste of time. If this continues, I may have to return the device.

Pros:

(I admit these are weak, now that I'm writing this, but I really want to keep the device).... Display is good.... Easy to read and has three brightness settings.

Small footprint, though not without cost.

Dual, increasing alarm sounds.

Sleep timer.

Twenty sounds available.

NOTE: Put in the backup batteries. I will see if this helps the 'reset issue' and post again to this review in a few days.

Any questions? Drop a note, and I'll get back to you.

I hope this helps.

Enjoy!

**** Update 1/20/13 ****

I inserted the batteries, and so far, the settings have held. If the problem recurs, I will post again.

**** Update 1/31/13 ****

re: the settings... so far, so good.

I wanted to add one more thing to this review:

There are times when the display cannot be read.... the numbers seem to disappear into the background. I've tried a number of adjustments (light behind the device, angles, everything I can think of). I thought I had it fixed, then woke up this morning, and again, could not read the time. FYI. I'm headed towards 2 stars!

I hope this helps.
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on November 23, 2012
the multiple light settings for the face are nice, tho I keep it on the lowest one, since the others are so bright. I like the fact that it also gives you the day and date, as well as the time. The 20 sound settings are something else. What to choose? I think I like 'em all except for "white noise"...why have that when you have so many nice ones to pick from? And I like that if you use the sound as an alarm it starts off soft and gradually gets louder. So why only 4 stars? I was disappointed that the steam train sound didn't have a whistle to go along with the chuga-chuga. Maybe the next generation!....Oh I also liked the packaging. NO syrofoam, but a cardboard insert tray. Way to go!
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on December 1, 2012
Been looking for a nightstand alarm clock for a few months. Been looking at reviews for "soothing sounds" alarm clocks and saw prices from $20 to $100. There were not too may reviews to judge user satisfaction but decided to take a chance on this one. The dimmer has 4 settings H,M,L and off - the low setting is perfect - readable at night but not distracting. The "soothing sound" are adequate to create some background noise and the wake-to-sounds feature is pleasant. At $35 it was on the high side of my expected price but it was worth it.
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