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A few years back I had a clock/radio-cassette/telephone beside my bed which I used religiously every morning to wake me up. I would wake up each morning to the radio or even my favourite music from cassette tapes if I wished and it served me well for a few years until it broke. I thought about buying a replacement but instead began setting the alarm on my mobile phone to wake me every morning instead. All was fine and I was happy enough waking every morning to music I had stored on my mobile and saw no need to buy a replacement clock radio. That was until one morning when for some unknown reason the alarm on my mobile failed to go off and I overslept. Although the alarm worked fine when I tested it again after its sudden failure, I had no idea why that had occurred that particular morning and it left me wondering if it would happen again.
Not being able to place all my trust in my mobile phone alarm again, I decided to buy a cheap clock radio to use as back up, thinking I could set both alarms and ensure that I would not be let down again. I decided on a clock radio instead of an alarm clock as to be honest I had missed the red glowing digital display of my old clock radio. Indeed I preferred waking through the night and being able to see the time right away without fumbling for my phone to find out the time. Also, I found the glare of my phone screen would make me squint in the dark when trying to see the time and it hurt my eyes. Having the digital display of the clock would eradicate this problem.
When I found this clock radio in Tesco last year priced at under a fiver, I thought it would be ideal. Cheap and basic, just what I wanted. For the money, I wasn't expecting much but there was still a 12 month guarantee with it as you get with most things and I didn't need it to do anything fancy, just wake me up on a morning and provide the time.
The clock radio itself is quite smart to look at. Black plastic, small and compact, it sits easily on even the smallest of bedside cabinets. It is also fairly lightweight and so is ideal to take away with you too. It plugs into the electric socket but also takes batteries as back up, to ensure your alarm will still sound even if you have a power cut. The silver buttons on the top of the clock radio in front of the speaker are what you use to set the digital clock and your alarm. Instructions are provided, but to be honest I didn't need to refer to them at all as it was very easy to set and operate. You can opt to be woken up by the radio or by a buzzer, which I wouldn't recommend at all as it is a very loud and harsh buzzing noise which will ensure you wake up with a start! Waking up to the radio is a far more gentle experience. It also has a useful snooze/sleep button.
Speaking of the radio, you use a small wheel tuner located on the side of the clock radio to find the channels. A FM/AM display is featured on the front underneath the clock display so you can locate the frequency you require. And here is where the problems begin... After scrolling around trying to find the channel I wanted to sound clear, I quickly realised that the actual radio wasn't very good. The ariel is a wire leading out of the back of the clock radio and if you do manage to find a reasonably clear-sounding radio station, just one slight movement of the ariel can ensure it is quickly lost. However, even without any movement of the ariel wire at all, I found the radio stations had a lot of static and could suddenly go off or become very crackly. Therefore, this isn't an ideal radio to listen to. I find it does wake me up, however, it is not always music I wake up to or the sounds of the presenter, it is often just crackle and static. I still rely upon my mobile phone first and foremost and set this clock radio purely as back up. I know I could set the alarm to the buzzing sound to wake me, but I absolutely hate it and it wakes me with such a shock, my heart starts racing!
The thing I do like about this clock radio is the actual clock itself. I much prefer to have the red glow of the display telling me the time, instead of having to look at my phone. Overall I am not sure whether I can recommend this clock radio or not. I like the clock, however the radio isn't very good at all and whilst you can opt to use the buzzer as an alarm, I doubt many people would choose this option once they hear it. The radio is enough to wake me, but it is often just crackling and static I must admit, which can sound similar to the buzzer on occasion! In my opinion the only great thing about this clock radio is the actual clock and the price I paid for it. If you are looking for a clock radio with a decent radio, then maybe this isn't for you.