My other half bought this DAB radio alarm clock so I have no idea how much he paid for it which was over a year ago. He said he paid £39.99 for it as it was half price in the shop however he may have been hiding the real cost or at least trying to make sure that I thought he had got a bargain to off set the fact that I really do dislike this product because it completely lacks any style in the way that it is made, it is chunky and cheap looking.
The case of this device is white and made from plastic, in my opinion it has a very cheap look to it. The speaker is black and the display is also black with white numbers as a display. The controls are set on the top of the radio. I do like the fact that the mains lead is quite long which means it can be located on our bedside cabinet so within easy reach of the snooze button.
Set up was easy and pretty intuitive via a menu button that allows you to scroll through the various functions. Setting the time and alarm is nice and easy. There are some stations already loaded however you need to carry out a full scan in order to get all of the available stations and it is best to do this first so that you can then set 10 of them up as favourites each with its own number to allow quick switching between stations.
Rather than wake up to an annoying alarm I prefer to wake up to the radio and this is easy to set up and choose one of your preset stations as the alarm setting. The big down point for me alongside the poor looks is that the sound quality is not very good. The speaker is not that powerful which in itself is to be expected given the cost however there is a slightly tinny, strained sound to it when music is playing. The positioning of the aerial does help with reception but again it is rather unsightly with it draped over the side of the bedside table
In terms of accuracy it certainly keeps good time, i can never remember having to adjust it once it has been set and it automatically changes when the clocks change which is very useful as this is something I have forgotten about in the past.
If it did not look so cheap and unappealing I would probably give it 4 stars but I'm afraid the lokks drag it down to a three star rating in my opinion.
Sony XDR-C706DBP DAB+ digital clock radio
** Introduction **
I love my music, pretty much at any hour of the day im happy to be accompanied by beats in the background, I also find it a great start to the day with music to my ears at the break of dawn and in addition to this I needed a new alarm clock to go with my other 3 set of alarms that still struggle to wake me on these cold winter mornings. I did some googling finding out some info on the top 50 D.A.B alarm clocks, i figured there wasn't going to be too much variety between the clocks as the purpose is the same throughout.
** About this model **
I then found this smart Sony D.A.B radio from Sony which really looked the part with a fine modern black design which was perfect to fit-in with my modernly furnished bedroom, with its attractive black front and white back and side panels. The screen is black with brightly blue lit LED digits so you can easily see the time in the dark, the controls are based at the top of the unit again with a stylish modern feel.
** Summary **
Installation is easy to follow, and again straight forward in setting clock and alarm, traditional snooze is present as always although I wish it wasn't as it seems to be the curse of my lateness. This particular model is currently selling between £50-£60, I paid £55. Quite expensive to be honest considering its just a clock/radio however it is used daily and works well. The sound quality from the radio is clear but not overly loud, yet efficient enough to wake me up properly now!
Thanks for reading.
I love waking up to music in the morning and used to set my iPod as an alarm. I then decided I wanted a proper clock radio so that I could see the time more easily and settled on this DAB radio alarm clock by Sony. They currently cost around £65 from Amazon although I paid about £50 for mine in Argos.
--- The Look ---
This isn't the best looking DAB but it does have a neat, compact design. The grey plastic speaker is attached to a contrasting white plastic back. On the left of the speaker is an LCD display screen on which the time and station is shown in bright green text. Numerous buttons are located on the top of the radio, each of which is clearly labelled so you know what they all do. The size of 19.2 (W) x 9.2 (H) x 8.7 (D) cm and the vertical design means it can be placed on a bedside table or desk without taking up much room at all. It has an AC plug to power it using the mains which has a decent length lead so it can be placed quite far from a plug socket.
--- The Alarm Clock ---
Once the date and time have been set (you can choose between a 24hr or 12hr clock) the it is very straightforward to use. There is quite a lot of versatility in terms of the alarm options. As well as choosing whether you want to be woken up by the radio or by a classic buzzer, you can also choose what particular days you want the alarm to go off. There are 4 settings to choose from; weekdays, weekends, daily or a one-off alarm. There is a sleep timer as well as an extendable snooze button which gives you an extra 5-10 minutes but I don't use this often, preferring to just turn it off altogether once I've listened to it for a bit. The location of the buttons is a bit annoying as I can't see them without lifting my head off the pillow (not an appealing concept first thing in the morning) and so I often find myself pressing the wrong button. On the other hand it keeps time very accurately and the volume of the alarm always wakes me up every morning. I've never slept through it despite being a very deep sleeper.
--- The Radio ---
One of the best things I like about this radio is the large choice of radio stations. When you first get the radio it already has 20 preset stations but carrying out a scan using the DAB+, DAB or FM tuner allows you to get a lot more. Some of the stations I've picked up include Heart, Capital FM, Planet Rock, Absolute, Classic FM and Magic to name a few. A convenient feature is also that you can save up to 10 of your favourite stations so you don't have to keep finding them manually. You can scroll through the stations by pressing the button and watching the programme information show on the screen. The screen has an illuminating backlight which comes on automatically when the radio is turned on and is really helpful at night. It allows me to easily read the time while still being low enough so that the light doesn't wake me up.
--- Sound Quality ---
The speakers have a fairly good sound quality. There is a decent bass which gives a nice deep sound and the music is nice and clear. The digital signal is really clear and I've never had any problems with interference. Moreover the radio can be turned up surprisingly loud without the sound becoming distorted.
I have owned one of these now for about 3 months and its definitely better that the proper alarm clicks I had before. This is a small but useful radio. It does not take too much room up on my bed side cabinet and has got a decent length cable to be able to plug it in. It has got clear speakers so it makes the radio more clear. The alarm is an easy alarm to set and is more that capable of waking you up in the morning but its not too loud there's nothing worse that a stupid loud alarm. This is also good for when your going on holiday I took mine with me recently as it takes no room and the radio was great. There is a snooze button to snooze the alarm while it is going off bonus 😀 and also the radio can be played as your alarm that's what I set it on some songs set you up for the day
For a few years now I have had an Alba DAB radio alarm clock to break into my dreams or wake me from a blissful slumber. Unfortunately a couple of months ago the signal started to break up on the alarm and worse, it became unreliable and wasn't always going off in the morning.
I decided to buy a replacement but choice is a bit limited if you want a digital radio alarm and the price can vary wildly too. Although I had been happy with the Alba product, I decided this time I wanted to get a Sony one. My daughter has a Sony DAB docking station for her iPod which has an alarm clock and it is simplicity itself to use. Unfortunately Sony only seem to have one product currently available which is purely a DAB radio/alarm clock - the XDR-C706DBP and it can be tricky to track down.
Argos currently have it on their website for £39.99 but I could only find two stores within 50 miles of my home which stocked it and it isn't available for home delivery. One store was less than 10 miles away so I reserved it there but the next best option is Amazon, who sell it for £50.92 including delivery.
~~The Radio Alarm~~
Compared to my Alba DAB radio alarm, the Sony one is far more compact. It is made from plastic with a black speaker and display panel and a white frame. I have to say it doesn't look particularly sleek and let's be honest here - it's hard to make a plastic radio alarm look expensive. Dimensions are 192.5 mm x 92.6 mm x 87.7 mm (width/height/depth).
The radio is rectangular in shape and has a thick base to support it. This thins out to the main part which houses the display, the controls and the speaker.
The display screen is on the front left with the speaker on the right.
Controls are on the top of the radio and these enable you to tune the radio and preset stations, set the date and time, set the alarm, switch the alarm off and change between FM radio and DAB radio.
The radio is mains powered and has a cord aerial.
Powering the radio alarm on and off is easy enough - you just plug it in and the screen will illuminate. You then have to use the Menu button and the up and down buttons (which confusingly have arrows pointing left and right on them) to find the Tune/Select button.
Using these buttons you can set the date, time and the screen display which will enable to you opt between the 24 hour clock or the 12 hour clock.
The radio comes already tuned but beware - it only has a fraction of the DAB stations available and you will need to do a full scan tuning to get the full range of stations. You can then preset your 10 favourite stations .
The clock automatically detects when the time changes at the start and end of British Summer Time.
I have said before that I like Sony audio products because I generally find them very straightforward and easy to use - and that was one of the major considerations I made when I bought this. Unfortunately the instructions are not very clear and as a result I struggled with getting this up and running at first.
Setting the date and time was easy enough, as was setting the alarm to only go off Monday to Friday. The alarm can be set to wake you up to the radio or to a buzzer. I prefer the radio to wake me up and it was getting the stations set using the preset that confused me.
You have to press the "Preset" button and then tune the station in to the number you desire (from 10) and then press and hold the Preset button for it to save. Unfortunately you do have to be quick - if you don't press and hold the Preset button within 7 seconds it fails to store and on some occasions it still failed to store when I was setting my preset stations. I did eventually get the hang of it but the instructions could definitely be better - they also suffer from "poor English syndrome", something I tend to find more frequently when I buy things these days.
Setting the alarm is easier and the instructions are clearer and I am glad to say that this hasn't failed to wake me since I got it, justifying me buying it to replace my unreliable Alba. If you need to unplug the clock and move it, the alarm and time remains stored in the memory so you don't have to worry about setting it all again, which is something I find very useful. There are four alarm settings you can use and in conjunction with these you can select between a Weekdays setting, a Weekends setting, Daily setting and a Once setting, which is useful for me when I am going on holiday and have to be up at stupid o'clock.
When the alarm rings in the morning you can use the Sleep function if you want a little more time but I don't use this - I either listen to the radio for a few minutes or turn the alarm off altogether. It's easy to do this - you just press the Radio On/Off button which is located on the extreme right of the radio.
The radio has been designed so the controls are on the top but sit at an angle. I must admit I don't really like this as above the button you press to turn the radio off is the switch for FM radio and in my befuddled early morning state I regularly hit this in error, to be met with the radio switching to loud hissing from the unturned FM radio which I do not use.
The sound quality on the radio isn't brilliant, which is to be expected from a single speaker radio. Output is pretty weak at 0.4 watts and while the signal is always crystal clear and the sound isn't tinny, it can't be compared to stereo output from a DAB hi-fi system. The volume control is good and allows a wide choice of options so if you want to be woken by music blaring you can be, but I prefer something a little more quiet.
I can also have some problems with interference on the radio and have to have the radio at one side of my bedside table and my cordless phone on the other as the phone interferes with the radio signal. I also find if I have my iPad on the bedside table and it's powered on that can interefere with the radio signal too. If you can put a phone and other electronic items on a bedside table on the other side of the radio alarm so this won't be so much of a problem.
The aerial also has to be completely unwound to pick up the best signal - I find having it hanging down in front of my bedside table gives a better signal than having it on the side of the table next to the wall.
The styling is a bit of a mixed bag - I quite like the shape of it but not the way the top of it is at an angle and I really don't like the white casing much - I really wish they had either made the whole thing black or put a grey plastic frame around the black as that would have looked classier in my opinion. The white just looks cheap. The plastic also makes this a bit of a dust magnet - especially on the black parts.
The display on the clock is brighter than on the Alba but I don't find it disturbs me. You can dim it but even at its dimmest setting it's quite bright but not annoyingly so. If it's going to be a problem you can always just turn the clock radio around so you can't see the time if you are facing it but I personally think this almost defeats the purpose of having a clock radio beside the bed.
Once you have mastered the instructions and got this up and running however it's a great little clock radio which doesn't take up a huge amount of space on your bedside table and more importantly reliably wakes you up in the morning as requested to. I've had this for over a month now and it's not let me down.
For the money this is a decent enough radio alarm but I wouldn't have paid more than £39.99 for it. Argos claim the RRP is a shocking £69.99 and there's no way this radio merits a price that high. The sound quality isn't good enough and the functions don't have much in the way of bells and whistles either so I can only assume you are paying for the brand.