The Best Clock Radio

Updated on 16 February 2023

After 16 hours of extensive research among 25 models, 10 of which were tested, we have concluded that the Google Nest Hub (2nd generation) is the best clock radio for its good value for money.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best mid-range

Google Nest Hub (2nd gen.)

This connected model offers all the latest and necessary functions to fall asleep or wake up in the best possible conditions. The sleep analysis is a great advantage over its competitors.

£ 89.00 on Argos

Google nest hub 2

It has a tilted touch-screen, voice assistant and a limited number of buttons, making it easy to use. Thanks to the light sensor, it adapts to all environments. However, some settings still need to be made via the Google Home app. With the creation of morning or night routines (with relaxing sounds) and the dawn simulator, it offers a number of interesting functionalities for sleep. What appealed to us the most during our test was the sleep analysis, which we found to be fairly consistent with past nights. Moreover, in our opinion, the sound is good, loud and even customisable, allowing you to play music on Spotify. There are also other options for those who like to control their home or those who are looking for a daily companion. However, we regret the lack of a USB-C port.

 

 

Best budget

Lenco iCR-210

It is a simple, affordable clock radio with basic, yet useful and straightforward, functionalities. Its easy and intuitive handling and its battery comportment make it a safe bet to accompany your nights.

Price search in progress… please wait

Lenco iCR-210

Light and compact, it fits perfectly on a bedside table. The display is small but readable. In our opinion, the 9 physical buttons are noisy but well placed, especially the snooze button which is easily accessible even when you are asleep. Thanks to the clear instruction manual, everything is pretty easy to understand (although you have to memorise every control) and during our test, we quickly got used to how it works. As far as power is concerned, it must be connected to a socket and a battery compartment allows you to save your settings in the event of a power failure. Among the functionalities, we note the double alarm, the snooze function, the sleep timer and the frequency memory, which makes it a fairly basic device. However, although the radio reception is good, the sound quality is average and you can choose to be woken up with the radio or an alarm which is not very pleasant.

 

Best high-end

JBL Horizon2

Its design is elegant and multi-functional as it works as an alarm clock, a radio, a bedside lamp and a Bluetooth speaker. But its strength is really its audio quality.

Price search in progress… please wait

JBL Horizon 2

Heavier and more massive, it has an elegant design that fits perfectly in an interior design with its mirror effect screen. The brightness sensor ensures that sleep is not disturbed. The large control wheel is easily accessible and intuitive to manage settings but we found it harder to reach the physical buttons in the dark. In case of power cut, you can rely on the battery compartment to hold your information. The management of the functionalities related to the alarm clock is excellent, since the essential functionalities are included (double alarm, snooze, memory, etc.). Moreover, the light on the back acts as a bedside lamp and the progression of the light and sound makes waking up pleasant. But what impressed us most during our test was its high power, excellent sound quality and Bluetooth connection, which allows it to be used a speaker. However, we would have preferred USB-C ports instead of the two USB ports for charging our smartphone.

 

Mid-range alternative

Sony ICF-C1PJ

Its attractive cubic design, its wall projection, its good sound quality and its options dedicated to waking up and falling asleep quickly make you forget its more complex handling.

Price search in progress… please wait

Sony ICF-C1PJ

This cube-shaped clock radio has a modern and elegant design. The display is clear and easy to read, whether on the screen or on the ceiling, as it has a the adjustable wall projection of the time with focus. Thanks to the adjustable intensity, the light does not disturb in the dark. During our test, however, it took us a while to get the hang of it because there are so many buttons. The backup battery is useful in case of a power failure. As far as functionalities are concerned, it provides the essentials (double alarm, snooze, station memory, etc.) and even more (automatic time change, programming of a sound to fall asleep). The sound quality is good and the sound is quite loud for this type of product. We also found the nature sounds pleasant when waking up or falling asleep. However, a USB-C port would have been preferred instead of the USB port.

 

High-end alternative

Philips HF3531/01

This intuitive model is suitable for sunrise/sunset lovers with its combination of progressive sounds and lights. It, therefore, allows for a natural, customised wake-up and adapts to any environment.

Price search in progress… please wait

Philips HF3531/01

This sun-shaped dawn simulator takes up more space on a bedside table. It has both touch and physical buttons and despite the lengthy instruction leaflet, we quickly got to grips with it. The adjustable brightness allows it to cope with any environment and the battery compartment ensures that data is backed up for 8 hours in case of a power failure. In addition to its basic functionalities, there is an interesting combination of lights and natural sounds to simulate a sunrise and sunset to wake up or fall asleep more easily. Furthermore, there are many interesting settings for customised use and during our test we found the alarm clock to be very pleasant. It also works as a bedside lamp for a warm atmosphere before going to sleep. Despite this, there are a few shortcomings (no battery compartment, no station memory) and it would be wise to convert the USB-C ports.

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best mid-rangeBest budgetBest high-endMid-range alternativeHigh-end alternative
Google Nest Hub (2nd gen.) Lenco iCR-210 JBL Horizon2 Sony ICF-C1PJ Philips HF3531/01
This connected model offers all the latest and necessary functions to fall asleep or wake up in the best possible conditions. The sleep analysis is a great advantage over its competitors. It is a simple, affordable clock radio with basic, yet useful and straightforward, functionalities. Its easy and intuitive handling and its battery comportment make it a safe bet to accompany your nights. Its design is elegant and multi-functional as it works as an alarm clock, a radio, a bedside lamp and a Bluetooth speaker. But its strength is really its audio quality. Its attractive cubic design, its wall projection, its good sound quality and its options dedicated to waking up and falling asleep quickly make you forget its more complex handling. This intuitive model is suitable for sunrise/sunset lovers with its combination of progressive sounds and lights. It, therefore, allows for a natural, customised wake-up and adapts to any environment.
£ 89.00 on Argos £ 21.33 on Amazon £ 119.99 on Amazon £ 79.00 on Amazon £ 169.99 on Amazon

 

300+ Comparisons
3000+ Products Tested
100% Impartial

Why trust us ?

Selectos compares and tests hundreds of products to help you buy better. We sometimes receive a commission when you buy through our links, which helps fund our work. Learn more

 

How did we do the testing?

To test the clock radios, we spent a few nights with each model. This allowed us to evaluate the general ergonomics (button positioning, voice recognition, etc.), the handling and the display quality (both in the dark and the light). Of course, we also judged their design and bulkiness on our bedside table.

As far as power is concerned, we checked the length of the cable as well as the presence of a battery compartment or memorisation of the settings to deal with power cuts. As for the functionalities, we focused on those related to sleep (dawn simulator, nightlight, double alarm, relaxing sounds, etc.) and radio (station memory, reception, etc.), while taking into account the additional options (USB port, multimedia content playing, bedside table, etc.). Finally, the audio quality and power were also tested.

 

How to choose your clock radio?

The clock radio may seem trivial in this age of smartphones and other phone-based alarm applications. Yet, as its ubiquity on the market demonstrates, it is a reliable device that does not fail to prove useful.

Radio réveil

In order to help you in your choice, we have listed a few points to take into consideration. 

  • Ergonomics and durability: of course, clock radio come in different shapes and styles, but beyond the design, you should think about practicality. The display should be large enough to read easily and the buttons should be accessible. You should also choose a sturdy model that can resist an unexpected fall from your bedside table.

Radio réveil

  • Convenience: in an ultra-connected world, the emergence of new functionalities can sometimes be difficult to assimilate and understand. For this reason, the clock radio should be easy to use and offer simple and intuitive programming.

Radio réveil

  • Double alarm: this option is useful if you need to wake up at different hours each day or if two people use the same alarm but do not wake up at the same time. Note that some of the latest models even allow for more than two alarms to be programmed.

Radio réveil

  • Audio quality: most of these devices have speakers to play the radio, tones or music from an external audio player. Sound quality is therefore really important.

Radio réveil

  • Additional functionalities: digital tuner, sleep timer, display on the ceiling or dusk simulator are additional functionalities that can make using a clock radio even more comfortable and, above all, more fun. Staying under the duvet is no longer an option. If you are particularly interested in the dawn simulator functionality, we have an article about these products.

Radio réveil

  • Backup battery: while this may seem unimportant, especially as most clock radios are connected directly to a power outlet, the backup battery is still necessary. Having one means that you can hear the alarm clock ring even if the power goes out in the middle of the night. It is even better if the battery in question can restore the previous alarm settings.

 

Other clock radios we recommend

Metronic 477003 (£29.13 when published): another simple and low-cost model. It does not take much space on a bedside table, has a simple display and physical buttons, that are small and noisy but well located. After reading the manual, we quickly understood how it works. The batteries save your information in case of a power cut. As far as functionalities are concerned, there is everything you need (double alarm, snooze, sleep timer, station memory). Moreover, if the radio reception is good, the sound is less precise, but this is not surprising at this price. The other sound option is the alarm clock, which is unpleasant in our opinion.

Echo Dot (5th generation) (£54.99 when published): a connected speaker without a display. Its ultra-compact ball-shaped design fits perfectly on a small bedside table. To navigate, you can use the Alexa voice assistant, the four buttons and the touch control for some functionalities. Still, there is no display, and while in a sense it does not disturb sleep, you cannot tell the time. All settings are made from the app, but during our test, it took us a while to get used to the number of functionalities and interactions possible. One of the interesting options of this article is that you can create routines to start your mornings or nights as you wish.

Echo Show 8 (2nd generation) (£119.99 when published): a connected speaker with a display. With adaptative colorimetry, the display adapts to all environments, but it sometimes lacks responsiveness and is sensitive to reflections. This is why we focused on voice commands during our test. At first, it took us a while to understand the range of functionalities (video calls, calendar, video surveillance, audio and video streaming, etc.). With the many programmable routines, the nightlight function and the dawn effect, your mornings and evenings are set to the rhythm of your desires. However, it takes up a lot of space on a bedside table and some options are dependent on a good Wi-Fi and a Prime subscription.

 

Other clock radios we tested 

Geemarc Sonic Bomb (£43.74 when published): this aggressive bomb-shaped alarm clock has a loud alarm and a vibration pad that can be slipped under the mattress to wake up heavy sleepers or hearing-impaired people. While this alarm clock is effective to say the least, it lacks a radio function.

Philips HF3505/01 (£99.99 when published): this dawn simulator is intuitive, simple and pleasant with its unique combination of natural and progressive lights and sounds. However, it lacks some essential functionalities (no memory of settings in case of power cute, no sleep mode, no memory of station, no double alarm, etc.). 

 

 

Translated by Laura Wautier

Leave a comment