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I have owned several other clocks before and I have to say that this is the best clock I have ever owned. The clock is easy to use and set up. I had it up and running within 5 minutes out of the box. It works really well if you want to wake up early in the morning. It's loud enough that it can be heard throughout my whole house and only be at half volume. The screen show green numbers if you're wondering what color it is. The nice thing about this clock that I liked about it is the fact that it has it's own separate battery inside when you purchase it. It comes in handy because there's no need to reset the time when there's a blackout or if you're moving it. This is really the reason why I bought this clock and what makes it different from all the other clocks out there. There's no hassle when moving it just unplug and plug back in; there's no need to reset the time. This clock is still going on strong after two years of use and accidental drops. Theres only one bad thing about it though; the radio isn't the best and it take a while to find a station with no static.
I am a big fan or my radio alarm clock which has served me well and contnues to do so. The actual product I have is the Sony ICF C28 Radio Alarm Clock and although it may not look the most fashionable radio alarm gadget on the market at the moment, and I know you can get more up to the minute models, this partucualr one is strong, reliablee, robust and sturdy and has yet never once let me down when I need to get up for work.
It is dated in its appearance, I agree but if its nor broken, why fix it, so to speak. It cost me £14 about five years ago and I know and trust the brand Sony and find its a reputable brand. I own many Sony gadgets.
The design may be described by some as rather large and bulky, but I prefer it to be this way as my eyesight isn't too great when I first wake up and I want to be able to find my alarm to be able to switch it off so I can turn over in bed and have a few more minutes.
It is a grey casing with a black face and I like the fact that the digital number display is so large. I don't have to squint too hard on a morning to be able to make out the time and the blast of the radio makes sure I wake up at exactly the right time I set it for every morning without fail. The green display glows brightly and doesn't fade and I plug it inot the mains though you can make use of the battery compartment if you are unsure of a power failure during the night.
Its very simple and easy to set and comes with full instructions though you are unlikely to need them. The radio itself is digital and I can tune into and find the required station pretty easily. I also love the large buttons so that I can just smash my hand over the top on a morning and it cuts out the noise - I find little knobs impossible to find and control. The qulaity of the radio is impressive and the sound / volume control are adequate. It is sturdy and strong and has been knocked onto the floor more times that I care to remember and still works just fine.
All in all an impressive clock radio. Possibly a little behind the times in looks and style but very reliable nevertheless.
Review also posted on Ciao as sorehead
==Sony ICF C28 Radio Alarm Clock==
I am not one for early mornings and I used to find it extremely hard to get out of bed (this was before I had my little boy in need of breakfast) and one thing that makes me feel physically sick is the noise of an alarm clock and the "URGGG URGG URGG" of the horrendous beeping that most alarms have. So with this in mind I decided to try and get an affordable radio alarm clock that will wake me up without the horrible alarm sound but rather the morning music of the radio and this is how I ended up purchasing this item.
==Price and Availability==
As with most of my electrical goods, I purchased this from Argos and having had a look on the internet, the price that they are selling it for really is quite competitive so I know I didn't pay over the odds for it. At £14.95 pence the price when compared to a lot of other clock radios is pretty standard although you can get a lot more expensive ones that now have the ability to connect to your ipod/iphone although at the time I purchased this I had neither of these items and even now I have them I don't think if it had this capability I probably still wouldn't need it.
This particular alarm clock seems to be available from a good few places and although does now seem a little dated for my needs this is the best type of alarm clock I feel you could get for this money.
==Look and Design==
Although on the bulky side, this alarm clock does look very good and I especially like the fact that the digital time that glows is a green colour rather than the red most alarm clocks seem to have. The screen which shows the time is large and means that even without my glasses on or my contact lenses in I can still read the time from across my bedroom without too much squinting. It has a 12 hour clock (so not much thinking is needed to work out the 24 hour time if this doesn't come naturally to you) but the dots which indicate PM/AM are clearly seen.
The buttons of the alarm clock are all placed in the right type of areas and this means that it is easy to hit the snooze button (very important) especially when this is the largest and longest of all the buttons on the top of the clock. There is a dial on the top which clearly states which setting is chosen for the alarm and you can choose from the radio to wake you up or the dreaded beeping of the alarm itself or even better turn it to the off position. As soon as either the alarm or the radio is selected to wake you up a green LED light illuminates on the front of the clock to let you know that the alarm will go off at the desired time.
I guess the alarm clock has to be a bit bulky because of the fact that it is also a radio and the speaker for this is located on the top of the product giving it a kind of 2 in 1 ability and it does actually take up less space than a radio and a separate alarm clock would do.
This alarm clock is a main powered one although there is the option to have a battery inserted into the underside of the item as a bit of a backup although I personally have never used this aspect of the product.
The radio tuner is not the best dial to select the radio station as it is a manual one which like old radios is tricky to find the channel you want if you don't have a steady hand. Seeing as the radio is not digital you can only have the one selected radio station at a time which I find a bit of a pain as I like to listen to a few different stations depending on how I am feeling and of course this always needs to be changed manually each time I want it changed. The dial which shows the position of the tuner is not overly clear either as this is shoved at the bottom of the clock under the digital display and is not as obvious as it could be.
One great thing about this alarm clock is the fact that it has a automatic time adjustment which means that if the time changes in the spring or the autumn it will amazingly know this and update itself! If the power to the alarm clock is cut off by either a blown fuse or simply because it is being moved from one plug socket to another, as soon as the clock is plugged back in it blinks up with the correct time! Amazing and so helpful!
Setting the alarm time is pretty simple although perhaps not as straight forward as other budget alarm clocks I have owned before as you have to move a little dial from left to right and the time settings are pretty fast moving especially if you hold onto the switch for a little while the digits speed past so you have to be a bit careful.
The radio of the clock always seems to get a good signal with the radio stations that I choose (I.e. Radio 1 and Radio 2) however other stations seem a little more difficult to pick up especially with the dial with which you have to use to select the station. However once the radio is selected the sound that the speaker in the clock gives out is pretty clear and it can also get up to quite a high volume without getting too distorted at all and considering it is only a small unit the sound quality is really quite impressive.
This alarms clock has been serving me well for a good number of years now and it is still going strong which hopefully it will continue to for a good while to come. I have found it very reliable and the fact that it is simple to use is a bonus as well. I like the green large colours of the digital display and I find waking up to the radio far better than using the horrible beeping of the classic alarm clock. This radio hasn't given off any sort of buzzing noises when not switched on to the radio which is a big problem I have had before with other cheap alarm clocks so I am really happy about this.
All in all I can't find a single fault with this radio/alarm clock. It has a good sound and for the price gives me more than I could ask. I would highly recommend it to anyone in the market for a clock radio as it is simple to use and even if it takes up a fair bit of space on my bedside cabinet does look pretty slick.
I think a top score of 5 out of 5 stars is well deserved by this Sony radio/alarms clock.
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you.
Many thanks for taking the time to read.
I purchased this alarm clock about two months ago, because the alarm on my phone stopped working and when I have to be up at 6am on a weekend for work I NEED a reliable alarm. I had a £20 voucher for Argos and wanted an alarm with radio, so that narrowed down my choices and I ended up getting this Sony model.
Compared to a lot of the alarms on the market at the moment, this one is not visually appealing. It is quite bulky compared to its slim line competition measuring (H)7, (W)14, (D)14cm according to the Argos website. It has a black face with green neon lighting telling you the time, and the rest of the design is silver.
The buttons are on the top include snooze, alarm settings, radio on/off and buttons to change the date and time. On the side, you have a wheel to change the volume and the radio station. I think it is well designed since you don't want to knock wheels accidentally when putting the alarm on snooze.
So for appearance I would give this product 3/5 because while it is a standard alarm clock and not visually appealing, it does have a good layout of buttons.
For an AM/FM radio it is quite good quality (no DAB quality though) when you first set the radio to you favourite channel it will take a few slight movements with the wheel to get in the right place to avoid crackling but once it is set it doesn't go in and out of signal like some radios.
Therefore for quality I am going to give it 4/5 because while it is decent, I would have liked it to have an auto tuner feature.
I would say that this alarm is very reliable and has gone off every morning that I have set it. So 5/5 for reliability.
EASE OF USE
This product is very easy to use, there is a dial to set your alarm to "Off, Beeper or Radio" and I always set mine to Radio or Off. It is easy to set the time of your alarm, there is a circle at the top on the front right of the alarm and this has a slide in, which when tilted to the right increases the time and if you tilt it to the left it decreases the time.
I have never used the snooze function as I find it is not necessary with the radio and I need to get up at the time I set my alarm.
The only difficulty with this product is distinguishing am from pm. On the left of the LCD it says AM and PM in small print and a small green light appears next to the correct one. However, I did once accidentally set my alarm for PM rather than AM in my sleepy "I want to get to bed" state. So just for my scatterbrain moments, I would like this to be more glaringly obvious.
Finally, I like the fact that if you do turn your alarm to "off" to have a lovely lie in, you don't have to reset the alarm time next time you turn it on as it will remember the previous time that you wanted your alarm.
So for ease of use, I would give it 4/5 because it is simple, I didn't need the instruction manual but it is possible to make stupid mistakes like setting your alarm for 6pm rather than 6am (or that might just me :P)
I have mentioned a lot of the features already, but here is a simple list of them copied from the Argos website:
- FM/AM analogue tuner.
- Wake to radio/buzzer.
- 12 hour clock.
- am/pm indicator.
- Adjustable sleep timer.
- LCD display.
- 1 x 9V battery.
I have mentioned all of the other features other than the battery, I use the battery as a back-up in case of a power outage during the night as opposed a main power source. The rest of the time it is plugged into the mains.
Since I was wanting a simple alarm clock with a radio, I will give the features 5/5 however it would get 10/5 if it brought me coffee in the morning.
VALUE FOR MONEY
This product retails at Argos for £19.99 but I bought it at a discounted price of £14.99 and the offer is still on a couple of months later. I would say the product is good value for money since I use it most mornings as an alarm and daily as a clock.
I had a Sony alarm clock which died after twelve years of use. Because of the durability of the previous one I decided I would go for Sony again and purchased the ICF C218.
Its a nice colour as my previous one had been white, which faded to yellow over the years, because its silver I should not have this problem.
It comes with an inbuilt FM/AM analogue tuner which is clear and doesn not have crackling or hissing.
The sound from the speaker is reasonable considering its just a basic radio alarm clock.
The alarm is simple to set and you can choose to be woken by either the radio or buzzer. The buzzer is a good volume not too loud that you jump out of your skin, but not too quiet that you will sleep through it. It has a snooze function for them extra minutes in bed.
Its dimensions are (H)7, (W)14, (D)14cm.
It has a large LCD screen, however I find this too bright and have to angle the clock away from me or it keeps me awake.
I paid £16.99 for it from Argos so I feel it is good value for money
ICF-C218 features space saving appealing design with the ability to choose your own snooze time instead of being held captive by the short time intervals of other snooze times.