Our days are governed by time. We have times to go places, times to get things done, and a time for everything. To get to work, to go shopping or on an outing, or to attend an event or game on time, we try to use timers and alarms. It’s essential to be on time as being late is considered a social sin. No one likes it when guests are late to an event or when employees arrive late to work.

Many people use their smartphones as alarm clocks because the last thing they use before sleeping is their smartphone. It is convenient, but perhaps it is not wise to store all our eggs in one basket. Technology can fail, and total dependency on only one gadget may likely lead to loss and chaos. If the smartphone battery dies before the alarm could ring, the day will likely only get worse from there.

So, what other options can be used for alarms?

Types of Alarm Clocks

  • Alarm Clock Radio – These are clocks that show the time in numbers and sit on tables. They have many different features as well, such as LED displays, Bluetooth, and radio. They run either on Wi-Fi, a power switch or batteries.
  • Conventional Alarm Clocks – Conventional alarm clocks are the ones most of us have seen on our grandparents’ bedside tables. They are small clocks with a watch face, while the more modern ones have digital displays. They run on batteries.
  • Wall Clocks – The wall-mounted clocks are a common accessory in rooms and have alarm features. Grandfather clocks are known for their deep, melodious bell sounds when the clock strikes the alarm time. These clocks typically run on batteries.
  • Watches – Watches are worn on the wrist and can be analog or digital. They often have alarm features and emit high-pitched tones to wake up the wearer. Wristwatches use small, circular batteries which can be replaced from the back of the watch.

While all these options are in common use, the most modern, convenient and reliable one is the alarm clock radio. They are not only the most functional but also easily available and have a variety of range and extra benefits. We reviewed the top radio alarm clocks to help you make a decision. There are several varieties of alarm clock radios as well.

Types of Alarm Clock Radio

Alarm clock radios have some different types. All these types serve the basic function of ringing a tune at the set time, but they have differences in their working.

Projector Alarm Clocks – These clocks project the time on the wall or any other surface such as the ceiling to show the time and the alarms. Wherever you’ll turn, you will see the time!

Analog Alarm Clocks – These are conventional alarm clocks which are no-fuss and simple.

Melody Alarm Clocks – These are gentle clocks that ring a melody or tune. These are best for rooms in which children are sleeping as well.

Smartphone Dock Alarm Clocks – These serve a dual purpose. A small gadget is set as an alarm. A smartphone can also be docked inside it, and the phone charges simultaneously.

Travel Alarm Clocks – These clocks are light and small and can be moved from place to place by travel enthusiasts.

All-Purpose Alarm Clocks – These are robust all-rounders who can do a bit of everything and are interesting and modern. These are also great room accessories because they come in different shapes, colors and sizes.

What to Look for in an Alarm Clock Radio?

We evaluated these clocks according to the most important requirements of a good alarm clock radio.

Alarm Settings

Single and dual alarm settings, automatic date and time options, adjustments with Daylight Saving Time, and the option to set alarms with the calendar were important in the criteria. Clocks with weekend alarm cancellation programs score brownie points.

Sound Quality

The main point of having an alarm is, of course, to wake up. Therefore, the sound quality is a major factor which has to be looked into carefully. Adjustable sound levels, gradual alarms, and different sound options are essential features of an alarm clock radio.

Display Quality

No one likes to be blinded by a harsh display during the night. The display of the alarm clock must be clear enough to be read without glasses with half eyes closed yet not so bright that it disturbs one’s sleep. The size of the display, number of icons on it, color and projection options count in the decision.

Power Backup

Alarm clocks must have a power backup to ensure that the alarm will ring even if the batteries fail or there is a power outage. Some clocks have a power supply option or use AAA batteries. Lithium batteries are commonly used to preserve enough power for the alarm to ring and to keep the alarm settings saved.

Radio Reception

The radio reception is enhanced by antennas, which is a mark of a high-quality alarm clock radio. Some have built-in hidden receptors, while others have external extendable antennas.


The room clock should be something pretty to look at, as it’ll be right in front of you every day. Clocks add a style element to a room and can complement or contrast the setting and theme of a room. Some clocks still have the conventional, box-type structure, while others have taken a modern twist with curves, sharp angles, and different shapes.


An alarm clock must be practical. It shouldn’t need one to know rocket science to set an alarm time, change the settings, and hit snooze. The snooze and sleep functions are also practical functions which are very useful. Moreover, the possibility of turning a display off entirely, pre-programming times and radio stations, and a Bluetooth/USB/AUX connection to play media devices via the alarm clock are special features to look for.


The Top 17 Best Alarm Clock Radios for the money

These are our reviews – after many sleeping experiments – to find out the best alarm clock radio that suits individual preferences.

This clock has bright, easy-to-see numbers. The Jensen JCR-208A is the best alarm radio for those who wear glasses to see numbers clearly because the 1.8-inch LED display is large and brightly lit. It lays out details such as the alarm time, the actual time, and the radio station. The only complaint against it is that the bright display may be too bright or disturbing for those who like to sleep in complete darkness.

Jensen JCR-208A Features

  • Radio or alarm settings
  • 10 AM and 10 FM presets
  • 1.8-inch green LED display
  • Sleep and snooze functions
  • Easy hi/low dimmer control
  • AM/FM receiver
  • Digital PLL tuning
  • Auxiliary input to connect digital audio players
  • Power requirements: AC 120 V ~ 60 Hz


This Emerson clock is a blast from the past with a rather boring rectangular shape and poor user instructions. However, what it lacks in design, it makes up for it in features, with a good volume in buzzer and music settings as well as an easy, no-fuss setup.

Emerson CKS1708 Features

  • Blue light display
  • Dual alarm
  • Built-in FM antennas
  • Automatic date and time setting
  • Digital tuning FM radio
  • 20-station memory
  • 3-level brightness dimmer function
  • Three alarm modes: Daily, Weekdays Only, and Weekends Only


This Electrohome clock is a mix of traditional and modern with an easy-to-read screen but not many fancy options. It does not have a gradual alarm and doesn’t set time zones automatically. However, the EAAC201 is easy to operate and can be used as a traveler’s clock as it runs on AA batteries for its backup power instead of watch batteries like most old versions of clocks.

Electrohome Digital Clock Radio Features

  • 6-inch green LED display
  • Digital AM/FM radio
  • 20 programmable stations
  • Dual alarm function
  • AA battery
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Sleep and snooze functions


The iTOMA is a beautifully designed, sophisticated alarm clock. It has an easy-to-see large LED display that can be seen even with one eye closed or without sight glasses. It may be a bit tough to set in the beginning, but it is worth it.

iTOMA Features

  • Large auto-dimming 1.4-inch white LED display
  • Single day and dual alarm
  • Individual alarm volume control
  • Built-in light sensor
  • Automatic Daylight Saving Time adjustment
  • Backup battery to date, time and alarm
  • Snooze functions
  • USB charging port
  • One-touch night light


This neat little alarm radio clock is well made and functions smoothly. The main flaw of the Timex T235BY is that it has too many buttons on it, which is a hindrance when trying to turn it off. Otherwise, it is a robust clock with a soft display and a gradually increasing alarm volume.

Timex T235BY Features

  • Radio or buzzer
  • 1.8-inch red LED
  • Time and radio frequency display
  • 20-station memory
  • One-touch control


The RCA Digital Alarm Clock is one of the best alarm clock radios available on the market. It passed every quality and experience test and is unmatched in brightness, practicality, and sound. The rather small screen size is compensated with a robust, reliable build and high-quality feel. If the screen size is not a big concern for you, then this is the ideal solution. The brightness is adjustable, and the number display is quite large, so the actual size of the screen does not hinder visibility.


  • 1.4-inch red LED display
  • Large full-width snooze button
  • Alarm indicator
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Large numbers
  • Clear sound
  • Backup battery


This odd box-shaped clock may look boring but is practical and is a great alarm clock. The Sony ICFC1T wakes you up very gently in a calm manner to make sure you get up on the right side of the bed. It is easy to set up, and it is easy to the eyes and ears as well. It does not have a digital AM/FM radio but holds an old-school analog/dial-in radio. This is the clock for those users who loved using grandpa’s old alarm clocks!

Sony ICFC1T Features

  • Orange LED display
  • Progressive alarm
  • Buzzer or radio
  • Battery backup for clock & alarm
  • Analog/dial-in radio


The Peakeep is a small and handy alarm clock radio. It’s small, conventional structure and good battery backup are good for people who like simple and straightforward clocks. The Peakeep can easily be moved around to listen to everywhere you go during your day. In fact, it is best if you move it around always to keep it close to you because it is not loud enough to be heard from a distance. The Peakeep is the perfect traveler’s alarm clock radio, as it can run on batteries for backup and holds a 30-inch radio antenna to pick up radio transmissions in areas where simple radios cannot catch transmissions.


  • Red LED display
  • Radio, alarm and time functions
  • Dual alarm
  • Buzzer or radio
  • Adjustable 16-level volume
  • 10 FM preset radio stations
  • Memory storage
  • Simple buttons
  • AC powered with AAA batteries for backup
  • 30-inch antenna for radio reception


The Electrohome EAAC470 is another futuristic piece by Electrohome. It packs an all-modern system and has all the functions required for an alarm clock radio. Its design is between conventional and modern, with rounded corners, a triangular shape and a power brick with a 2 or 3 prong cables.


  • 1.2-inch LED display
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Advanced Self-Set technology
  • 20 pre-programmable radio stations
  • USB smartphone charging port
  • Automatically sets date and time
  • Lithium backup battery
  • Memory restore


This doughnut-shaped alarm clock is a style statement as well as a robust and well-thought-out alarm clock with many great functions hidden inside. The main attraction of this clock is its big speaker in the middle of the device, which not only produces a gradual alarm but also plays music from any media device that connects to it with a 3.5 mm headphone jack.


  • 0.9″ white backlit LED display
  • Digital FM radio clock
  • Battery backup
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack for media players
  • Dual alarms
  • Variable dimmer settings
  • Snooze function
  • Soft LED night light
  • Easy-to-read numbers


The Sony ICFC1PJ is a treat for the tech-savvy and for travel enthusiasts who want to have something different to look at. It is small and light for easy traveling and projects the time with a function to remove the time on the display if you don’t want to see it. There is little to criticize about in this clock, except that it only projects the time for 16 hours, after which it switches to idle automatically.


  • Modern, clean cuboid look
  • Rear-mounted speakers
  • Five different soothing nature sounds
  • 180-degree adjustable tilt and viewing angle
  • Programmable sleep timer with radio
  • Automatic adjustment to Daylight Saving Time (DST)
  • Backup power with battery


This well-thought-out alarm clock radio has everything one could wish for. The iTOMA sets the date and time as soon as you plug it in, and its battery backup keeps your settings safe from power outages. It also charges your devices, but it does not indicate on its display which mode is being used, so it may be a bit tricky to master the modes.


  • 1.4″ large blue LED display
  • Automatic time and date settings
  • Auxiliary and USB connectivity
  • Bluetooth function
  • Digital radio tuning
  • 20 programmable preset stations
  • Snooze functions
  • External wire antenna
  • Dual alarm
  • Radio or buzzer
  • CR2032 backup battery
  • USB charging port


The Electrohome EAAC475 is an upgraded version of the EAAC470. It is packed with many practical features. You can turn off the display entirely, which helps those who like to sleep in complete darkness. It is robust and a projection clock, which means it projects the time at a 180-degree tilt.


  • 1.2-inch LED display
  • Pre-programmable alarm
  • High-speed USB charging port
  • Self-Set technology
  • Dual alarm
  • Automatic Daylight Saving Time adjustment
  • 20 radio stations
  • Weekend alarm cancellation
  • Lithium backup battery
  • Memory storage


This is an ideal, simple alarm clock radio for a hassle-free experience. It is compact and comes in different colors. This clock is quite suitable for children to use, as it is operated with the touch of a button. The button that stops an alarm also resets it for the next day automatically, which means one less task to do at night! The clock has a plastic overlay which looks good, but on the white model of the clock, it makes the LED much brighter, while it gives the other colors a yellow halo.


  • Adjustable brightness control
  • Backup battery
  • Gradual alarm setting
  • Snooze function
  • Automatic time
  • Easy Daylight Saving Time adjustment
  • Programmable sleep timer


The EAAC601 is a modern clock for tech-savvy people. Its menu is a bit complicated, but it packs a ton of great functions. Blurred projection displays are a thing of the past with this clock. Not only does it score great in the display area, but it also has a music alarm function to make getting up feeling so much better.

This Electrohome clock uses a 180-degree swivel to project the time and the room temperature on your ceiling or wall.


  • Wide 3.6-inch blue LCD
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Advanced Self-Set technology
  • Automatically adjusts to Daylight Saving Time
  • Pre-programmable alarms
  • Dual alarm function
  • Auxiliary input for media players
  • Built-in Lithium battery
  • Memory restore


This retro clock design is a throwback to the good old 90s era. However, it is packed with modern technology and great, advanced features. The only complaint against it was that it sometimes shone its night light in the day. That is not much of a problem – it is a slight annoyance and does not occur all the time, but we had to mention it nonetheless. The phase-locked loop tuning radio is the best feature of this alarm clock, and it also has a few advanced settings such as weekend cancellation.


  • Statement style piece
  • White LED display
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Auto-set function
  • Night light motion sensor
  • Indoor temperature gauge
  • Snooze function
  • Gradual wakeup lighting
  • Automatic adjustment for Daylight Saving Time
  • Battery backup
  • Digital AM/FM radio
  • Phase-locked loop tuning radio
  • Pre-programmable dual alarm
  • Calendar
  • Weekend alarm cancellation function


This is a futuristic sunrise simulator alarm clock. It combines modern technology with some pretty impressive features to make a clock that topped our list with an excellent sound, display and sunrise experience. This clock has a sunrise and sunset simulation function which helps develop a healthy sleeping routine. For sunrise, the brightness intensifies over half an hour to wake you up, while for sunset, the brightness starts decreasing and, over half an hour, dims automatically to 10% intensity and turns itself off. It transitions through 10 brightness levels for each simulation and uses sounds of waves, birds, and winds to complement a gentle routine.


  • Sunrise simulation
  • Sunset simulation
  • Seven colors LED mood light
  • Ten brightness levels
  • AUX Connectivity
  • Bluetooth 4.0 speaker
  • Smart snooze function
  • Night light
  • Wake up light
  • Nature sounds
  • FM radio
  • Six nature sounds
  • 3.5 mm auxiliary input for media devices
  • Touch controls
  • Anti-slip rubber feet
  • Multiple light modes: Green, orange, indigo, red, blue, purple, warm white
  • Three batteries for power


Bottom Line

This exhaustive list features the best of every type of alarm clock radio you could get for yourself. We’ve put them through multiple tests, and they passed with flying colors. This list is, of course, only a guide and the final choice depends on individual preferences, lifestyle, and routines.

Some of these radio alarm clocks are advanced, sophisticated devices with continuous lighting, pre-programmable alarms, and automatic Daylight Saving Time adjustments.

However, some people just want to have a simple, straightforward radio alarm clock on which they can see the time and listen to the radio without the fancy kicks. There is something for everyone on this list, and we hope it helps you find your perfect bedside companion.

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