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As clock-radio-alarm combinations go, this device from Philips is a beautiful creation. It is the perfect size for and will fit in most bedroom spaces. Rather than offering the ugly, cube design of many other clock radios, it has rounded off edges, which make it even more aesthetically pleasing and easier to hold. Its glossy mirror front is also an attractive feature, though it can at times glare under the light and make it impossible to see at any of the brightness settings other than the highest. Nonetheless, it has all the important features that you would look for if you were in the market for a clock radio such as alarms and different frequencies like DAB and FM. Nonetheless, it has a reasonable sound quality, though tuning can sometimes make it difficult to find less common radio stations.
Though it is overall a stylish and elegant device, it does have some minor issues, that whilst being irritating, can be either ignored, forgotten or overcome. Firstly, the user interface is challenging, with a number of buttons and many functions such as the alarm requiring different combinations of buttons and the amount of time you press each button. However, this is something you can eventually do instinctively and so it becomes less of a problem over time. Other minor issues do arise though. Due to the mirror front of the clock, the speakers are positioned at the back, which means that when you are listening to the radio or an MP3 player you have linked up, your sound quality is not as good as it would be if it faced the opposite direction. Moreover, I have often found that in trying to work out button combination, you can disrupt some of your settings such as deleting or creating radio station presets or suddenly needing to re-tune the entire system. This is often infuriating at best. Overall, though, this is a stylishly designed clock radio and is worth buying despite some minor issues.
When your work day starts at 6:45am you need to be up bright and early, and some days even before it's bright! With this in mind it is of the utmost importance that you have a good alarm clock. A mobile phone simply doesn't cut it, I don't know what it is but with a mobile phone alarm I always manage to press sleep 15 times before getting out of bed. Luckily my girlfriend was nice enough to spot this problem and bought me a proper alarm clock, a Philips AJB1002 Clock Radio.
The words "clock radio" conjure up images of old contraptions my father owned but nowadays it means something completely different. Out of the box you are greeted by a silver, almost mirror like finish and a glossy black display. I have to admit that it is a very attractive product and looks great on my nightstand. The time, date and radio station title are displayed in crisp grey lettering, which is very easy to read and with the adjustable brightness is not too harsh on your eyes at 5:30am! Pricing is very competitive too with models available on Amazon for £29, and about £40 in a brick and mortar shop.
Unfortunately that is about where the positives end. The user interface on this alarm is possibly the most infuriating piece of engineering I have ever encountered. Every time the clock is turned on it resets back to DAB mode, while I do listen to DAB more than FM it is very annoying that it can't just recall the last listened to station. Similarly if I want to listen to the radio a small bit before going to sleep it tkes about 20 different button pushes to get it all set up at the right volume and brightness. Maybe all clock radios require this amount of work but my god I am not able for that at 5:30 in the morning!
On a more positive note, the radio reception isn't bad at all. I have a larger set-top radio in my living room and the Philips can pick up just as many stations. Sound quality is decent enough as well, a bit light on the bass but the higher notes are clear without much distortion. It would probably make a real audiophile cringe but it's more than good enough for my uncultured ears!
This item is a tough one to summarise, it looks well, and sounds great but it requires you to have an engineering degree to set an alarm. For a radio it is sensational and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone, for a clock radio I'd only recommend it to someone as an April Fools joke. So there you have it in simple terms, no if only using the bloody thing was as easy.