Philips Fidelio DS3000/05
One of the smaller units in Philips' Fidelio range of iPod speaker docks, this model seems oddly devoid of features when you take it out of the box. But plug in your iPod or iPhone and you'll be invited to download a free app that can be used to set the unit up, check the level of its batteries - four AAs, able to provide up to eight hours' untethered playback - and set any number of alarms, including a set of pre-loaded "nature sounds" if you want to wake up to the call of birds or church bells.
I like the DS3000/05's spring-loaded dock connector which keeps the player tightly tucked up against a pad at the back, and the mini USB port for hooking up your computer for syncing, but I like the unit's warm, bassy yet clear sound more.
Reg Rating 80%
More Info Philips
Pure Chronos iDock series II
This DAB/DAB+ and RDS FM radio from Pure packs in the features, and it's one of the most button-laden gadgets I've rounded up here. Quite apart from the eight buttons and dial on the front of the unit, there's a mini remote control if you want to move it from your bedside up onto a shelf. You might want to shift it because the Chronos iDock is a large, triangular-footprint device that seems bigger than it is when it's on your beside table. Worse, it has a very boxy sound that remains unrelieved by the unit's treble and bass settings. Talk radio sounds fine, but iPod- or aux-sourced music doesn't. A tune to wake you up - Chronos II has four alarms - is bearable but this is not a gadget you'll also want to use for general music listening.
Reg Rating 60%
More Info Pure
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How can there be ten essential bedside docks?
Surely you only need one, but if they're essential that implies you need them all.
i suppose the english language can suffer the pollution and loss of just one more word...
I did have a whole diatribe written up about And Clover's post but I've realised that I can't be Arsed so i'll summarise my thoughts as follows; this is a round up of iPod alarm clock things. given that iPod is the dominant force in the mp3 player market companies make accessories for it. if there were some other equally successful device then manufacturers would make a broad range of accessories to suit that as well or instead.
oh but wait... there is no competitor close.
good thing I don't have an android phone... try finding me an alarm clock that will dock with any android phone... or a windows phone 7 for that matter....
You say closed and expensive.... i say standardised, integrated, reliable, dependable.
say for argument's sake I splurged £300 on one of those alarm clock radio dock things....I could say that there's a fair chance that I might well have it ten years if not longer (given that I've had my current alarm clock twenty years it's highly feasible. At least I can say that i am 90% confident that the next iphone or ipod i buy is going to be able to dock with it... and the one after, and the one after that.
For non-iPod users
How about some alternatives for those of us who prefer not to buy in to Apple's closed and expensive MP3 player ecosystem?
For example, can the Sony device play audio from SD/MS as well as video, and can it do it on a wake-up timer?
This device works well as an MP3-playing alarm clock for me (from USB memory stick): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Naf-Clock-MP3-Stereo-Radio/dp/B0028YGY1K
Ten Essential... bedside iPod docks???
Essential? All ten of them?? Good grief... So glad I don't own an iPod!
I have an iPod dock / clock / radio that looked & sounded great in the shop... but the LCD display goes from 'light up the room' blue when switched on, to 'dim' at night which is still bright enough to read by.
Setting alarms and time is also pretty easy, but still largely made more difficult because they use buttons & a limited LCD display. Its stupid to manually have to adjust the dock time after say daylight saving kicks in or when the power has gone out, when the iPod docked to it has already has the correct time; and can offer a far nicer UI for setting stations, alarm times etc.
In the end, I use the dock (with a book over the display so I can sleep at night) as a charger & to play music at times, but use the cellphone or iPod for an alarm.
Would like to see reviews that mention this sort of detail.
Makes me wonder of course, if any of the product designers actually use the things beside the bed as intended?