urgently need new alarm clock/radio...
by pianoplayer88key - 8/4/09 3:53 PM
Hi all, I'm not sure what forum to post this in, so considering I would mostly use this at home on AC power, and don't really need mp3 playback capability, I posted here, and not in an mp3 subforum.
The time has come (and is actually way overdue) for me to replace the alarm clock radio I am currently using with a better unit. Price range is preferably around $25-50, but I could consider going a little higher if necessary. I don't need some high-tech features like WiFi capability, HD Radio, etc, but I do want a few others:
very good quality AM/FM tuner (AM is most important - I often will be waking up to a weak station on 1110 that's 120 miles away, and a local station 7 miles away on 1130 bleeds over onto 1110 on most other radios in the house, except for a pocket Sangean DT-210 and Sangean DT-400W I'm evaluating)
ability to set the volume and tuner for the alarms independently of the sleep timer and normal listening, for example:
maybe have normal listening set at ~55dB volume on AM 1090
the sleep timer at 30dB on AM 910
alarm 1 radio tuned to 1110 starting at 40dB ramping up to around 70dB (note: 1110 is a near-fringe station. there's a strong local here on 1130 - at cnet HQ it might be like getting 1320 KCTC out from under 1310 KMKY)
alarm 2 buzzer or something starts playing shortly after alarm 1 reaches 70dB (with both playing at the same time)
and if I still haven't awakened, then alarm 3 would preempt 1 and 2, and come blasting with 115dB on 980 (which from here would be an extremely weak fringe station - for example try listening to 1660 KTIQ from CNET HQ)
I don't need an ipod dock, wifi connection, internet radio, HD radio, etc. Having mp3 playback capability via SD card or mp3 CD would be nice, but lack of it won't be a deal breaker. (Also just having a line in jack wouldn't work, cause I would be at the mercy of whatever my other music player happens to be playing at the time.)
I've noticed there haven't been very many reviews recently on CNET of these units, except the ones that have features I don't need. What should I look for? (I'd prefer to buy it at a local Fry's or another B&M.)
Most important features:
multiple alarms, with independently adjustable volume and radio tuner for each alarm
very sensitive and selective AM tuner (FM would be nice but isn't as important) that's good at resisting overload (stations bleeding on multiple channels, producing images, etc)
radio/alarm can be quite loud even if I'm tuned to a very weak station (I'm a very heavy sleeper. I even had the idea of mounting springs under my bed on one side like the ones around the shocks on monster trucks, and setting it up so the springs are fully compressed while i'm sleeping but when the alarm goes off they pop open, but I figured I'd get pancaked against the bottom of the top bunk.)
Brands I'm considering are Sony & Sangean, and I'm open to others.
So are there some decent units I should look for, or a better place to ask about this? (I've had a thread open for a couple days on radio-info.com, but so far have no replies.)