Sony Dream Machine Clock Radio Alarm
I have the older version of the clock /radio /alarm shown in the picture and mine is in timeless black.
The approximate specifications of this item is that it features an LCD clock, alarm function with a choice of beeper or music to wake you up or Radio 4 if you like. The radio is set by the old fashioned dial method using the bar reader along the bottom of the unit and it has the little tail as an aerial. The radio picks up AM and FM. The alarm has a very useful snooze function which can be set to the user's own requirements. The clock LCD can be brightened or dimmed and the volume control does operate the annoying alarm buzzer as well as the radio. The snooze function is easy to temporarily stop by pressing a large button on the top front of the unit and the on/off for the alarm is a simple on/radio/off button near to the back. The unit has a single speaker on the left hand side, although I believe from a quick check that the newer version features a speaker on the top. The clock and alarm are set by tripping a button left or right and utilising another button to move the numbers on the display until you get to the time you require. All in all it is a useful packed little system that is easy to use and gets me out of bed each morning. Unless of course we have had an increasingly frequent power cut. Now, whilst that is not the fault of the Sony boffins, perhaps they could work on a clock/radio/alarm that resets itself to the right time It is very frustrating to wake up to view a time that cannot be right and figure out that the power must have been out and come back on, as this machine defaults to 12 midday and continues to work from there. Hey, I've just checked the new version has that type of function, well a battery back up anyway! Amazing, brilliant, somersaulting around my desk!
The electricity cable is about a metre long, which is fine if you have a well designed bedroom. In my old home that involved using an extension lead to position the alarm clock where I wanted to use it.
The Sony is well labelled and the buttons are all robust and easy to use.
The Alarm is easy to set and the snooze button simple to utilise, which is great when you are foggy and need another 10 minutes.
On the whole the radio reception is surprisingly good and the sound quality is also surprisingly OK from the single small speaker.
As mentioned I have checked on Amazon that the specifications of my old Dream Machine are compatible with the version photographed and cannot find any information regarding the time system, but my main issue with this unit is that the clock uses 12 hour clock and am/pm function. It is therefore very easy to set the alarm for the wrong 6.00 and I do like to use a 24 hour clock.
What I love about this item is that it is old fashioned enough to be reassuring - yet modern enough (especially with the time back up) to be 21st Century. Now my old version is definitely a 20th Century product, but hey it is a Sony and they are usually right up there when it comes to innovation - hence my disappointment at the 12 hour clock system.
The Sony is so easy to use, is well made and long lasting and the cube design suits any decor brilliantly.
Conclusion & Stars:
I recommend the Sony Dream Machine Alarm/Clock/Radio to anyone who requires a Alarm/Clock/Radio. This unit has lasted and lasted, is easy to use and a pleasure to own.
However, due to the little niggles mentioned, I am dropping a star, I would have dropped 2 but they have upgraded to ensure the time remains if the power goes out, so that is why I will buy another one when mine eventually decides to stop working.
Price & Availability:
Currently used from 99p on eBay and new around £28.00 from Amazon and other Sony outlets including many independent retailers.
I decided to buy this clock radio after my previous one had decided to stop functioning, and I was attracted to the reasonable price and compact design.
I found the product easy to use, with a small but necessary range of features. It has the standard requirements of any clock radio:
- Alarm, either set to buzzer or radio mode (or off of course)
- A radio on/off feature if you just want to listen to the radio, without being semi-comatosed at the time!
- FM/MW/AM settings
- Large volume range - loud enough to wake the neighbours judging by the repeated bangs on the bedroom wall
- Large snooze/sleep button, so you don't have to fumble around too long trying to switch the thing off
- Perhaps a little clunky, not great if you are a frequent traveller
- Large LED display can sometimes irritate if i'm having one of those toss and turn, sleepless nights.
Recommended, but better products on the market
I brought this alarm clock after an unfortunate incident with my old one, an incredibly early morning, a large heavy book and a window. As I could not use my old alarm clock due to it being a in several thousand pieces i decide after browsing through the web to buy this one and i have to say I'm impressed with it.
This alarm clock has a built in FM/AM radio which is very useful, and much more pleasant than a buzzer (which it also has) for them early morning starts. The radio can be turned on and off at any time.
The clock has two separate alarm system and can be activated individually at different time which is useful if you need one alarm for weekdays and one for weekends, which I do.
Finally it has a large snooze button so it can be turned off easily, without even looking if you want them few extra minutes in bed! The snooze time can also be change easily
Ease of Use
The product is very easy to use, with it's large snooze button and easy operating this is useful for. The buttons are clearly labelled so you don't have to look in the instruction manual every time you need something. Finally the operating is simple with simple buttons for turning on/off and changing times for the alarms.
The sound quality on this is nothing special but good enough to be able to listen to the radio without concentrating to hard however at times it can be a bit of background crackle which is very annoying as it lets down an otherwise good alarm clock
Overall this alarm clock is easy to use with simple operating and features that aren't anything special but all you really need from an alarm clock. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a new alarm clock
Clock radios bring only bad news. They wake you up for work. They don't wake you up for work, and they don't like being whacked when you don't want to get up for work - or involved in violent love making. Who would like to be sent flying across the bedroom by a forearm or right leg whilst someone else is having all the fun! No, nor wood I. In the 1970s people used to have ones that even made your tea in the morning but again it was more clock radio kit to fall on your carpet and ruin it after some hot sex or work reluctance.
Just as we get through tons of cheap electric kettles we get through a lot of clock radios as they are just not hardy enough to take the abuse. I don't think anyone reading this has had a plastic kettle that's lasted longer than 6 months and for me I have the same issues with clock radios. After a while you find yourself pressing harder and harder on the buttons to set the clock because you have ruined them by pressing harder and harder on the buttons, the grubby dirt and grease around the buttons testament to. Then the alarm or clock radio stops going off in the morning and your late for work, the dream machine living up to its name as you spend most of your time still asleep dreaming when one should be up and about because the alarm didn't go off! For the love of me I can't work out why the alarm won't set properly anymore on this thing!!!
It has digital LCD clock radio featuring an easy-to-set alarm function (cough!) with triple time display and a green back-lit LCD. It includes melody alarm, buzzer and Nap Timer functions. The main reason I bought this one is because it has long wave radio along with MW and FM (yes, it has FM so one of those annoying copper wire aerials you have no where idea to dangle). It has two alarms set options and, rather bizarrely, you can set the buzzer or radio to go off in 12 months time! You can also dim the LCD. How nice. The thing is it dims because it's a back lit LCD like a digital watch and so if you get your angles wrong you cant see it. Other features include Sleep and Snooze Buttons. It has no battery or adapter option though. We then have five radio station preset buttons, which are not a lot of use because if you have a power cut they all reset to blank.
Timer - NAP, Sleep, Snooze
Colour - Silver or Black
Radio - FM/ MW/ LW
Size - 6x4x2.
Loud Speaker on top
Illumination/Alarms Alarms buzzer, radio, dual, melody...
Ok, the main problem with this is the alarm is too complicated to set and there are too many buttons and switches that will stop it working when it should. If this was a nuclear bomb on a James Bond movie and ticking down to zero it would explode. When the alarm or radio does go off on time and you try to press the snooze button you can easily press the 'Nap' button or the 'Sleep' button first, but you have no idea you have and so soon fast asleep. And why does this need a Sleep button and a Snooze button and Nap Button??? What's the bloody difference! Well the difference is that when you spend time setting the alarm for work or play the bloody thing doesn't go off because you pressed one of the numerous buttons that stop it going off!! Not only that but when the alarm does rarely go off it displays the radio station setting you are listening to and not the time?? Radio Five Live on '909' is somewhat worrying when you are expecting 7-30!! This really is a Sony exercise in obfuscation.
The snooze button, which allows you to snooze an amount of time you have pre-set it for, is as equally annoying. If you accidentally press it twice as you flail around in the morning it doesn't work and you wake up two hours late for work. There are just too many buttons on this and it over complicates things big time to the point where it's unreliable and so doesn't work. It's around £30 pounds on Amazon but not worth the hassle guys. It's not guaranteed to wake you up in the morning so don't buy it. Just get one of those little simple plastic travel clocks from the pound shop with a press top to stop and start the alarm and then switch your radio on. At least you will know you are awake.
I've been using my new Sony Dream Machine clock radio for a few weeks now and can honestly say it was a good buy and cheap at the price.
The Sony ICF-C317 is an AM / FM clock radio and comes in 3 metallic colours as advertised on the box.......Fame Silver, Flow Blue and Fun Red.
At the time I purchased my clock only the silver was available which i think is a more subtle colour and would have been my choice even if all colours were available.
The clock measures ...........
W 146 x H 69.5 x D 145 mm.
W 5 3/4 x H 2 1/4 x D 5 3/4 inches.
The instruction leaflet is very eay to understand with clear diagrams and gives a rundown on how to set -up and operate the clock radio and after reading the instructions I had my Sony Dream Machine set - up in no time.
It's square shaped and stands on 4 feet which raises it slightly,
I find it's an ideal size, not too big and not too small.
It comes supplied with a 20 inch wire antenna for reception and a 90 inch power cable with fitted plug, but can also be battery operated.
It takes one 6F22 battery which is easy to install and remove via a slide and flip open top on the underside of the radio. ( battery not supplied )
I Have'nt used it on battery only as yet but a good quality battery should last around 20 hours and is a good power back up to ensure you dont lose time and alarm settings.
It's quite a stylish looking clock with the time displayed in bright green LED lighting on the front side along with the radio tuner, the numbers ( time ) are just under an inch high which make it easy to see when you wake up bleary-eyed in the morning !
One of the functions I really appreciate as I guess most will is the large snooze button which is situated on top,
it's a large flat circular press button about 3 inches in diameter and takes up most of the radio ( see photo ),
most clock radio's like my last one have fiddly little snooze buttons but this one being so large and ideally on top of the radio makes it really easy to reach out without even looking and press for an extra 6 minutes snooze time !.
The function buttons are situated around the snooze button and are large enough and easy to see and use, with the volume and tuning dial on the right side of the radio as it faces you.
The alarm can be set to wake you in 3 different modes...........
Radio + Buzzer and will come on at the preset time and will automatically turn itself off after 59 minutes.
The power output is 120 m W at ( 10% harmonic distortion )
and although not extremely loud, it's loud enough to wake me in the morning,
I listen to Talk radio for a little before going to sleep and I find the sound quality is crisp and clear and equally good when listening to music .
The only downside is there is no date function and the stations can't be preset, this is done manually, but for a bedroom clock radio this suits me fine.
A very reliable basic functioning clock radio for the bedroom with good sound quality and reception,
Stylish simple design and easy to operate.
Large LED display
Large snooze button
Analogue tuner FM / AM
Amazon and most other outlets...............£17.97
I bought mine at a local shop for £12.99.