Best USB Alarm Clocks

The best alarm clock is the one that wakes you up, right? If that’s the case, how to you choose the best alarm clocks from the worst ones? Whether you just use your smartphone to wake you, or you prefer a specific make and model with multiple alarms and gentle-waking features, this week we’re going to look at five of the best alarm clocks available, based on your nominations.

Earlier in the week, we asked you which alarm clocks you thought were the best, and which ones you used when it was time to get up from a night’s sleep or a power nap. You gave us some really killer nominations this week—way more than we could feature, even though we were rooting for some of the underdogs. Even so, here are your top five.

 

Chumby/Sony Dash

The Chumby was one of the first great wireless, internet-connected, widget-based alarm clocks. Open hardware that was customizable, multiple models, and tons of widgets and applications to run on it—it was amazing. Chumby no longer makes hardware, but the Chumby software lives on in the Sony Dash line of internet-connected alarm clocks, in their own right are great alarm clocks, that show you weather, news, time, and other useful information as you wake. Both the Chumby and the Sony Dash can wake you to streaming music from the internet, your own songs, the radio, and more. Both devices are sadly on their way out, but you can still find Chumby and Sony Dash products in many places. If you love Chumby and can’t find a device for it.


Philips Wake-Up Light

If you don’t have the pleasure of waking to the light of the sun on your face every morning—or know how pleasant it can be to wake to slowly rising light instead of a blaring alarm, the Philips Wake-Up Light is for you. It’ll set you back about $99, but you get a combination of light and sound to wake you up in the morning, with the light slowly turning up the brightness over the minutes around your wake-up time so you can’t ignore it. The idea is that the light will help you wake up more naturally and gently. The clock also has two selectable soundscapes to help you wake gently, and it’s even recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. Plus, when you don’t need it as an alarm clock, you can use it as a normal bedside lamp.


iHome

iHome makes docks, bedside alarm clocks, and bookshelf speaker systems for a variety of products, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and even Android phones and the Kindle Fire. If you have one of those devices, enjoy using it from bed but don’t want to leave it’s poor battery to drain overnight while you sleep, iHome has a peripheral—wired or wireless—for you. Even though iHome is most popular for its iPhone docks and alarm clocks, which many of your praised for their compatibility (although I imagine iPhone 5 users with an iHome may not be too happy right now, but since I mentioned it, one of you pointed out that an iHome and an old iOS device make a perfect pair for streaming music without keeping your buzzing, beeping phone next to the bed) and affordability. Plus, many iHome docks have apps you can install on your device for even more features.


Sony Dream Machines

Sony’s “Dream Machines” refer to the company’s line of traditional, old school digital alarm clocks that you plug into the wall, set an alarm on a LCD screen, and roll over and go to sleep, knowing it’ll wake you to either a beeping alarm, your favorite radio station, or in some models, your favorite CD. Dream Machines are still widely available actually, and range from $20 for simple AM/FM models to super-expensive multi-hundred dollar night-vision models with screens designed to be readable at night but not wake you. There’s a Dream Machine in virtually every shape and size you might need, and many of you probably got your first one a long time ago, maybe even before your first smartphone.


Your Smartphone

Many of you pointed out that you’ve long eschewed traditional alarm clocks in favor of your smartphone. Whether it’s iOS or Android, there are so many great and varied sleep monitoring and alarm clock applications out there that will wake you to soothing sounds, specific playlists, podcasts, or more that there’s no reason to use anything else. Plus, it’s probably already on your nightstand charging, and you reach for it to check your email and social networks when you wake up anyway—it’s a natural fit, right?

Homtime C12-PRO Iphone Docking Alarm Clock Radio with USB, 5 Modes To Play Music, Bluetooth Hands free Digital Alarm Clock, 4 Level Dimmable, and Personalized Alarm Ring
  • USB Charging - It will support charging 3 devices at the same time, two front USB ports and one top...
  • Big LCD Display & Dimmable Control - 4.2inch LCD large font display for easy readability and 4 level...
  • Bluetooth Hands Free Call & FM - Built in Mic, Portable Speaker convenient for Hands free calling and a...
  • Alarms Personalized & 5 music play modes for your selection - You can set a music you like as an alarm...
  • Multifunctional Service & Battery Backup - Alarm clock with snooze function (snooze max 6 times) and...

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