Customer Reviews: Emerson CKS3528 SmartSet Projection Clock Radio with Dual Alarms (Silver) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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on November 9, 2010
I had to laugh at some of the remarks by others. It has a warranty so use it! I've had mine for 2 years and works perfect everyday. Plug it in and stand back it does the rest. If I recall you do have to set your time zone. There is the dual alarm feature and the radio to setup to your liking but the very best thing is the "projection time" for me (my wife likes it too). I have never needed an alarm - I just wake up when I should and it so nice to be able to just look up and see the time on the ceiling. The alarm does work because my wife uses it. The large RED time on the face is easily seen in the daytime or night. I came online to order 3 more for each offspring. For the sound experts out there, the radio works but is in no way a Bose unit. It does the job intended (for me) perfectly. I mean really, what do you want for around $25.00? We have had the power go out a half a dozen times and it is right back to the correct time when power is restored. The really cool thing is that should you need to move or unplug the clock it does all the resetting for you. A very satisfied customer. :-)
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VINE VOICEon June 2, 2009
I was looking for an inexpensive clock with big numbers and easy setup time. This clock exceeded my expectations. All I had to do was plug it in and it automatically set the time and date in less than 5 seconds! I couldn't ask for an easier setup process.

The projected time cannot be seen very well during the day but what can you expect. I would take a lot of power to project the time bright enough during the day ... on the other hand it works great at night.

I don't use the radio much so I don't have much to say about the radio.

Lastly and most importantly ... cannot be the price for what I got!
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on October 30, 2009
I loved this clock for about the first three months that I had it, then the auto set feature broke, or something with the power supply broke, or something with the receiver broke . . . well, something broke. It now auto sets itself to 12 am on Tues, Jan 1, 2007 every morning at 8 am - it's currently October 2009. Nothing was changed or moved, it just stopped working. It was too cheap to justify paying shipping to have it repaired, so I've decided to trash it and buy a new alarm clock. That said, I loved the features and everything worked wonderfully . . . for about 3 months.
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on November 9, 2008
I love this clock!! I live in an area where we loose our power often. The clock resets itself to the correct time without worry. The projection is not too bright (I'm a light sleeper and even the dimmest light bothers me). I love having 2 alarms on it which can be set for Monday - Friday, Saturday and Sunday, or both. I can't say anything negitive about this clock. It works great for us.
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on September 29, 2010
This alarm clock is by far the best alarm clock I've ever purchased. The jumbo LED display is easily seen from anywhere in the room. It has a projection feature that allows me to see the time without rolling over, and can be any of 3 colors. The lighting isn't so bright it keeps me awake. The dual alarm is great for mine and my husband's different work schedules. It is super easy to push the snooze button without worrying about turning the alarm off accidently. And it's easy to turn the alarm off once I decide to finally get up. It allows us to set the alarm for work Monday-Friday and not worry about setting it again, as it won't go off over the weekend. (You can choose everyday, weekdays only, or weekends only for the alarm.) The snooze goes off every 9 minutes until you turn the alarm off. It has a radio and buzzer alarm. But the best thing to me is that it is so easy to set, you can set it in the dark. My last alarm clock was so complicated I had to get out the instructions every time I needed to reset the time. After searching the internet for hours looking for a new alarm clock that would meet all my needs, with trepidation, I decided to get a talking clock that was going to cost me a little less that $100. I went to Target and found the Emerson SmartSet 3528 on clearance instead and bought it. Needless to say, it is one of the best purchases I've ever made. I've had this clock for several months and have no complaints. It is wonderful!! I highly recommend it!
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on December 11, 2012
My husband bought me this clock when our old projection alarm clock stopped displaying the numbers correctly. He took it out of the box and plugged it in and encouraged me to RTFM, because I had some sort of a mental block with our old clock, whereby I could never remember how to set it without referring to the instructions (and we had it for at least 4 years). This new Emerson unit was very self-explanatory as far as setting the alarms, indicating your preference of sounds (beeps or radio), setting the projection color and brightness, indicating if you wanted the Mon. - Fri. alarm or 7 days-a-week alarm, yadda and blah blah. I was happy.

The next morning when the alarm sounded, I tried hitting snooze, but only got 3 minutes instead of the 9 the instructions promised. When the alarm went off after the blink-of-an-eye-3-minutes, I tried hitting Alarm 1 (what the instructions say to do to silence the sounding alarm). The unit beeped at me tauntingly, scathingly, for at least a full 60 seconds (which felt like 20 minutes at 5:45 a.m.). Cursing, I stumbled into the shower, already composing the blistering Amazon review in my head.

That night, my husband, assuming I was having the same malfunction with our new alarm clock that I never seemed to overcome with our previous one, kindly suggested that I give it another chance, noting that everything seemed to be set right to give me the desired result. Same story next morning. At this point, I am scrounging around in the recycling bin for the box, packing materials and packing slip that brought this scourge into my household. And I have written to Emerson's customer service to complain about the problems.

Went to bed the next night, but, distracted by holiday festivities and my young son singing the same 4 lines from "Mr. Heat Miser/Mr. Snow Miser" over and over again, I forgot about the twist my knickers were in over this piece of supposed junk that was making my mornings such a grump-fest.

After another morning of me grousing excessively about the broke-a$$ clock that my spouse purchased for us, he decided to test the unit himself. I made the mistake of not accompanying him while said test was performed, so when he reported that he tested both Alarm 1, Alarm 2 and the snooze function and all worked properly, I was in quite a state of, um, how shall I say, ALARM?

After no response from Emerson, I was at CVS looking for a stand-in (being addicted to the handy projection feature, however, I was not willing to plunk down money for a "one display only" clock). I should note that my husband sleeps with earplugs (a holdover from military flight line assignments), so the alarm not working properly hasn't affected him beyond having to tolerate my incessant griping; though in reflection, I could see that my tantrums may have also been a wee bit annoying. Just a wee bit.

Perhaps he should have removed the batteries from the OLD unit instead of unplugging it and placing it on the bottom shelf of the nightstand. The battery backup was doing its job and faithfully causing the alarm to go off a few minutes after I had set the new unit for. So when the new alarm clock went off and I hit snooze, it was the old one that went off 3 minutes later. No amount of me mashing buttons on the new alarm clock, nor hurling creative epithets, was going to stop the old alarm clock from beeping at me. And when the new alarm clock burned through its 9 minutes of snooze, I was already in the shower composing my scathing review and my spouse was evidently rolling over to push the button that he thought I wasn't finding to turn off the sounding alarm. Since this discovery, the Emerson SmartSet has performed admirably. I am apparently a DumbSet unit.
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on April 15, 2011
The clock has a lot of nice features but once I took it out of the box it worked fine, for about an hour. Then the display froze, so I tried unplugging the clock and replacing the battery. After plugging it back in, the display was completely blank and the clock never worked again. It was an OK clock for about an hour...
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on January 2, 2012
My wife and I were super excited about this product. It worked great for three days and now has died. At first it started resetting the time repeatedly. Then it started showing random numbers. Now it just blinks.

For those three days we were living the dream. The projection time was awesome. We loved it so much we will see if Emerson wants to make this right. (They have some mention of paying $9 for shipping to get warranty service. That is not going to happen.)

If there ends up being a happy ending, I'll update this review.
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on July 27, 2011
After a power outage caused our old alarm clock to skip a wakeup (why would it not just go off when the power came on?), it was time for a new alarm clock. I was not interested in spending $100 on a super sound system - I need something to wake me up, on time, and reliably if the power fluctuates. This clock has an internal battery backup, auto-sets its time, and is generally easy to use. On power-on, you're prompted to set your time zone (have those instructions handy), and that's it. Quick, easy, and no big deal.

The projector is new to me. It's not nearly as bright as I feared it would be (I'm a very, very light sleeper who is particularly light-sensitive) and it does have an off switch. It is great to not have to sit up and bug my wife to see what time it is when I wake up, but the numbers are only visible if it's a really dark room, which ours rarely is. Not a big deal either way, but handy when it works.

The alarm was a welcome surprise. Before I bought the clock, I had discovered a "smart" alarm mode on my phone that starts off with a very quiet set of whisper-like tones and slowly progresses over a few minutes. It's wonderful for someone like me - I'm up long before it's loud enough to wake anyone else in the room. But, I don't like having my phone there, because it also beeps with email, etc., and I don't want to have to deal with it. Well, it turns out that this clock actually has the same type of alarm, so that it starts off quietly, and works its way to a louder beep. No more being jarred awake by a screaming buzzer. Usually, I'm awakened by the subtle click of the speaker being activated, but on those mornings where I'v eput my pillow over my head, the progression of the alarm is great, rather than using a really quiet radio and hoping I wake up.

The radio is the clock's downfall - it's a dial/bar tuner, using the plug wire as an antenna. While our old radio was able to get our local stations in very well, this one can pick up 3 or 4 of the strongest signals, and that's it. I miss my NPR in the morning while I get ready, but for the price, I really can't complain.
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on August 13, 2011
This clock is a bit larger than I thought it would be, and the clock face is quite big as well; there really shouldn't be any problems for anyone trying to see it. The dimmer for the clock face, however, does not dim the light very much. It's quite bright still, and as someone who needs to sleep in pitch darkness, I'm going to have to cover it up. I'm having problems with the brightness of the projected time, too; changing to the red coloring reduces the light some, but there's still a box of light around the numerals that is quite bright.

A few things to note that I have not seen covered in other reviews:

-While this clock says it has a battery backup, you will not be able to see the time when the power is out. The only thing the battery does is keep your alarm active. I was disappointed by this, but it does preserve the lithium battery this way. Also, if the power goes out after you've hit the snooze button, you're done. It does not preserve the snooze and it will not go off.

-The projector has a switch to flip the time display upside down. This way if you have your clock on the other side of the room, say facing you, you can flip that switch and the projection won't be the wrong way.

Other miscellany:

-The clock feels really cheap. It doesn't really look cheap, thankfully (though mine came with some scratches), but the focus knob for the projector feels like total junk. It doesn't seem to focus much, either, the numbers stay pretty fuzzy. People with poor distance vision might have a problem with that.

- The radio sounds absolutely awful. This clock is replacing a clock radio I've had for over 20 years, and the radio on my old one sounds worlds better than this one. I did not have any trouble finding my stations, though, and I'm in a rural area surrounded by tall trees. The antennae for the FM band is in the power cord, if you're having tuning issues, move your power cord around and see if that helps.

- In a room with all shades closed, during the daytime the projector is not visible; they weren't kidding when they said the room needed to be very dark for it to be seen. If you would be using this during the day in a room without blackout curtains, or if your windows have streetlights or some such outside of them and you don't have blackout curtains, you'll want to pass on this.

ETA Aug. 30, 2011: This clock did not weather the power outage from Hurricane Irene. We lost power on Friday night and had it restored Monday afternoon. It kept the memory of when the alarm was set but did not keep the regular time correctly. I am glad I checked it before heading to bed (I keep the bright clock face covered) or I would not have woken up at the correct time for work.
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