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on October 10, 2013
I initially loved this radio. After less than three months, however, it began emitting a low level electronic hum that was just loud enough to be disturbing. Over three days, this noise kept getting louder. Even worse, it would periodically become so loud that it would wake me from a sound sleep. It almost sounded like an alarm buzzer, but both alarms were off. Pressing the top of the radio case made the noise even worse. Nothing I tried would stop the noise. Finally, I gave up and replaced it with a radio from a different manufacturer. This is one of the first times a Sony product has caused me any problem. I would advise caution in the event this is a design defect.
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on September 14, 2013
Bought this to replace a Sony dream machine clock radio, model ICF-C112, that was 10 yr. old because the buttons used to adjust clock time wouldn't always work ... a definite disadvantage. But, I loved the clock because it could wake the dead if you used the buzzer for a wake-up mode and it rang forever. So, I purchased a new clock radio and stayed with Sony because I always had good luck with that brand and I didn't want bluetooth, USB, iPod dock or anything else. Just wanted an alarm clock I didn't have to wind with an FM radio. So, when the new one arrived, I left my old alarm clock hooked up just in case the new one didn't work right. What did I learn?

Things that were similar between both models:
* Numbers displayed in time were the same in size and intensity.
* Two choices of alarm method: AM/FM radio and buzzer.
* Ability to select low or high alarm volume.
* Radio tuning and volume dials.
* Radio with AM/FM switch.
* Battery backup (only operates the clock, not clock and radio).
* You can change alarm time, but both models do this differently. With old model, you press Alarm button and press the H (hour) and M (minutes) time set buttons to change alarm - they only advance forward. With the new model, you use the alarm set dials to advance or go back in time, which is easier because you're only holding one dial but it takes longer because you have to go thru all 24 hours to change the alarm time.

Things that were different:
* Buzzer beeps like a microwave and has extremely low volume even when alarm vol switch was set to high. The alarm couldn't wake a flea. It was so soft that, when I heard it go off this morning, I realized why I woke up late all week long. Definite disadvantage #2 as far as work is concerned.
* You have to re-set alarm each day after you have turned it off for that day. The turn switch for setting the alarm is easy to turn off without realizing. On the old clock, there were definite "steps" in the alarm switch so you couldn't turn it off without exerting more force on the switch.
* Snooze button is not as large and doesn't dip a bit over the top of the clock like the snooze bar on the C112. Your hand has to reach over the top of the clock and hit it just right to turn it off. The snooze bar on the C112 was flat and pressing anywhere would turn it off.
* Time was fast by 4 minutes out of the box.
* Radio speaker sound is a bit tinnier compared with the earlier dream machine.

Unfortunately, the new model was a definite disappointment in time keeping. In one day it gained two minutes in clock time. I am not keeping it to see how long it takes to be one hour fast.
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on November 30, 2007
I bought two of these, (one for my husband and one for my teenage son), since they would automatically reset themselves after a power outage. They both immediately complained that the alarms were not loud enough, (both are VERY heavy sleepers). It does have a very light and polite beep with no volume control. However, the beeps gradually increase in frequency and after week of use, both of them are waking up easily to the sound and without the jarring blasts from our old alarms.
So, it may require getting accustomed to for heavy sleepers, but it's great for those of us who don't like to be blasted awake every day.
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on September 14, 2012
My fiance and I always used our cell phones as our alarms until one morning his phone refused to charge and therefore died leaving him to sleep soundly right through the early morning. Almost late for work we both agreed to finally break down and purchase a real, old school, alarm clock. I searched Amazon for quite some time, some had "soundscapes" others had little vibrating pads you could place under your pillow, but all we really needed was a simple, easy to use, DEPENDABLE alarm. Upon receiving this alarm clock it literally took me under 10 minutes to get it from the box to set for the next morning. As soon as you plug it in you will be able to choose a time zone (they are labeled by numbers, (#1, #2, #3...etc) not by timezones, not a huge problem, but not the most logical labeling. It has "battery backup" meaning that if your power goes out, this little guy will keep the correct time and continue waking you up! The display has three settings: dim, dimmer, and dimmest. Both my fiance and I are picky about the room being dark when we sleep, so we chose the dimmest. The time is still very clear, but there is minimum brightness, good news for those of you who enjoy sleeping in the dark like us! This clock allows you to set two alarms, this works great for us, one for him and one for me. It also wakes us gently, the alarm begins with a single beep, then moves to two, and quickly becomes your traditional constant beeping sound. I find this a great feature since I am a light sleeper and often found myself startled awake by a sudden blast of sound...not the best way to start ones day! The buzzer on the alarm isn't very loud or aggressive, so if you are a very heavy sleeper I suggest setting it to "radio" on the highest volume. Overall I am very happy with my purchase, the clock looks neat, clean and not overwhelming on our nightstand. The dim feature is awesome, along with the choice to set two alarms, and most importantly it has been found very dependable. I highly recommend this if your main concern is finding an easy to use, dependable alarm.
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on July 4, 2017
Like but I don't love it the clock is way too dim its either dim dimmer or out the only way to see it is turn the lights out not good took forever to set up. I thought once I pluged it in it would automatically set it own time itm the whole reason for auto time the tiny lil button set it my was hard to use I ended up taking chap stick container to keep it held down to set the month day and time I'm still not sure about the comment about the yr it never showed up time zone is 2 by the way i had to look it up too sure hope it the electricity goes out i don't have to go through all that again like the size and color white.
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on April 13, 2012

- Fairly idiot-proof alarm setting (the most important thing in an alarm clock)
- Remembers time AND sounds alarm at the correct time, even without power
- Adjustable brightness
- Adjustable snooze duration
- Automatic daylight-savings adjustment
- Semi-gradual alarm buzzer (gentle series of beeps that gets faster and more insistent the longer you ignore the alarm)


- mediocre radio quality (although fair for the price)
- no gradual wake-up to music
- somewhat finicky first-time setup if you need to adjust time, time-zone, or DST settings

I have a love-hate relationship with alarm clocks, except without the love part. Bad alarm clocks have cost me many hundreds of dollars in missed flights, etc, over the years. And by "bad", I mean mostly alarm clocks that are too easy to set for the incorrect time, or to mis-set the alarm, or that have bad radio tuners that drift over time and end up tuned to silence between stations, that kind of thing. Alarm clocks with complicated or program-based alarm setting, or multiple switches that need to be set just so, etc. If you're the kind of person who sets your alarm once for 6am and then leaves it there, you might wonder what I'm complaining about, but if you frequently change time-zones, take red-eyes, or work different shifts, then you will know whereof I speak.

Other chronic problems with clock-radios include: way too bright displays, weird aesthetic design that is poorly suited for bedside adjustment, bad button placement or small and finicky buttons, bad snooze timing (fixed at five minutes? come on!), obnoxious/non-gradual buzzers that wake everyone in the house, dumb multi-press time-setting procedures, really stupid display decisions (e.g., displaying the radio station instead of the time when the radio alarm turns on, or requiring a button-press to light the display), etc.

And the expensive/fancy ones are some of the worst offenders-- I love Tivoli Audio radios, but their clock radios are awful: awesome radio, terrible alarm clock.

My perfect alarm clock would have the simplest and most idiot-proof time-setting controls possible, adjustable brightness, adjustable snooze, option to select between loud/soft/gradual alarm on both radio and buzzer, and a high-quality radio and tuner. An alarm clock is a critical appliance that is operated by people who are either falling asleep or just waking up. There are hundreds of models, they have been around forever, and they are not expensive to produce. Why is it so hard to find one that doesn't have obvious design flaws right out of the box?

Well, this one is pretty close. It's also inexpensive, but I'm not judging it on value. Honestly, I don't think the bar is set all that high when you can buy clock radios at the dollar store. This ought to be the baseline, not the cream of the crop.

For now, having looked at lots of them, this seems to be the best one out there.
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VINE VOICEon May 21, 2013
I have been using this clock for 1.5 years, and am still happy with it. I needed a clock with 2 alarms, and I wanted white to match my decor. So glad I found both, and that this has served me well so far.

It was a little odd to set up, I definitely needed the instructions. However, I have not needed them since that first time, because nothing as become unset, thanks to the battery backup.

I like the separate dials for each of the two alarms. The on/off mechanism of turning the dials was a bit different to get used to when I'd first wake up in the morning, but I like it now.

I am rather sensitive to bright lights at night, so I was pleased that the clock is not too bright on the dimmer setting. Plus the numbers are large enough for me to see at night even though my eyesight isn't all that great without my glasses (which, of course, I am not wearing during the night!)

My one and only issue is the clock has slowly, over the 1.5 years of owning it, gradually run ahead, to the point that it is now 10 minutes fast. I just needed to adjust it (thankfully this is possible), but it is a bit annoying. Adjusting the time back was easy, with both a plus "+" and a minus "-" button, so if it runs fast again I won't wait so long to fix it.

Overall, a great little alarm clock, that I am glad to have.
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VINE VOICEon June 25, 2012
I highly recommend this clock radio for many reasons and the price is right, too. I suggest you buy this one unless you want many more features and great speakers, for which you will pay dearly.

I like the automatic time feature, the two alarms, the ease of setting the alarms, the fact that the backup battery is already installed, the ease of turning the radio on and off (reasonably sized buttons on the top, not miniature buttons on the side or a slide bar), the sleep feature, the snooze feature, and the display dimmer.

As other reviewers have said, the radio is easy to tune in and hear, ESPECIALLY COMPARED TO MANY OTHER clock radios. This is very important if the alarm is not loud enough for you, the radio can be set plenty loud.

The alarm is high pitched and not so loud. Actually this is a good feature because it is not very disturbing to people around you, very discreet.

The alarms are easy to set with big buttons on the side that you just hold and they go in the time direction you want. There is an am/pm light so you know which you are setting.

I got this for my husband who thought we might send it back because he likes the one he has been using since his very expensive, fancy alarm broke. The substitute alarm was a VERY OLD Sony "Dream Machine." BUT that is MY clock radio which I use because the radio is much better than some of the other brands out there that I have bought for spare rooms. This new radio is much better for him than the older one because his eyes and fingers do not do well with miniature buttons.
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on January 26, 2014
I've had this radio for at least a year. It's very attractive, takes up little space, and I can read the time from 8-10 feet away. Radio reception is very good. The time was set when I first opened the package. There are two alarm functions so two people can each have their own setting. I sometimes use both so I have both the radio and "alarm" go off. (Since it's on the other side of the room, I HAVE to get up to shut it off. (-: )

Cons: The clock runs a tad fast; I have to reset it every few months.
The alarm sound could be a lot louder.
There are many function/settings buttons. Since I don't make changes very often, I sometimes have to look for the ones I want. This is especially true with the time change button, and I have to figure out the volume and tuning controls.
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on November 6, 2011
I was looking for a cheap, simple to operate alarm clock and this is it. The dual alarm function is nice, operation is completely intuitive and the clock does what it's supposed to do. I like that it comes with a cord that plugs into the wall, no wall wart or power supply halfway. However, maybe I want the clock somewhere else than within 3 feet of an outlet, Sony?
The backup battery is nice--in our neighborhood power is reliable but it does have it blips, so anything that cannot survive a 1/10" outage will be blinking twice per month. This clock is honey-badger-don't-care about that.
I wish it had the option to show time in a 24h format but hardly any alarm does and for a sub $20 alarm it's not going to be a make-or-break feature.
As mentioned ad nauseum, "automatic time set" means that the time is set in the factory, NOT that it's a radio-controlled clock. Sony never claims anywhere it is, but the term "automatic" might cause some confusion that I suspect is not entirely accidental. Bad Sony! Outside that it's nice to see that this clock, indeed, does handle daylight savings time appropriately.
Finally, the alarm is not the loudest. It wakes me up, but my wife manages to sleep through it. It does have a nice gradual beeping pattern (it's not getting louder but it starts to beep more often) that will be loud enough for most people. But if you're looking for an alarm that makes you sit up straight in your bed, pass on this one.

All together 4 stars - not five, given the modest maximum volume.
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