Sony's alarm clock radio adds iPod support as if by after-thought - the dock is retractable and slides out of the right side of the unit. It also has a USB port which, unlike those on the other products featured here, can be used to present photos and video on the ICF-CL75iP, as can a docked iPod and memory cards tucked into the SD and Memory Stick slots in the back. Yes, that big, 7in colour screen is put to full use here, though it's mostly a clock face. Sony packs in the features - there's an FM/AM radio on board, and two alarms, each with their own controls and linked to a big Snooze button on top. All these sources can be used for alarm sounds, and you can even record your own or play the built-in "nature sounds" - sea, bird song, rain and so on. Features aplenty, then - if only the sound was a little less basic and boxy.
Reg Rating 70%
More Info Sony
VitaAudio describes the R2i as a "tabletop stereo" and if you plan to put in the bedroom you'll certainly need a large bedside table for this boy - and probably not too close to the bed. Its imposing size, spring-loaded shuttle-style volume control, and posh stereo looks - it's wrapped in walnut veneer - suggest a higher class of hi-fi, but I found the sound to be over-resonant. Switching off the R2i's "3D sound" and "loudness" options helped, but it still felt as if it were straining to hold back distortion. In addition to the iPod dock, the R2i has FM and DAB pick-ups, plus RCA input - and output - ports. And, yes, you can set alarms just as you would with any bedside unit. But this is a box that would be happier in the living room.
Reg Rating 70%
More Info VitaAudio
Ten... bedside iPod docks
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?