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Best clock radios 2019: budget, premium, Bluetooth

Best clock radios Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best clock radios you can buy in 2019.

While the idea of a clock radio might seem somewhat dated in the days of mobile phones and multi-room speakers, there are still good reasons why you might choose to invest in a separate device and keep your smartphone from your bedside table.

For a start, it’ll stop those late-night phone checks that can keep you awake, helping you to “unplug” and focus on getting a good night’s rest.

It also gives you the option of waking up to something a bit different every morning, rather than your usual monotone buzzer. And they can look pretty nice, too.

When choosing your clock radio, you’ll want to consider what you want it to do – depending on your budget, you can get some that’ll offer you stacks of features as well as their clock radio functionality, while others will be more straightforward, with a clock, DAB radio tuner and little else.

There are also those that are designed with a retro finish, or those that are little more modern, offering a full screen interface rather than a small LCD display.

We’ve pulled together some of our favourites to help you decide which one best suits your needs. And with Black Friday around the corner, it's a good time to be keeping an eye out for bargains.

Best clock radios 2019

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. Amazon Echo Show 5

A great digital assistant that'll work as many things, including a clock radio.

SPECIFICATIONS

FM radio: Yes, via wi-fi | DAB radio: Yes, via wi-fi | Presets: N/A | Display size: 5.5in | Dimmable display: Yes | Wi-fi: Yes | Bluetooth: Yes

Reasons to Buy

Alexa voice control
Decent sound and video
Nicely put together

Reasons to Avoid

Audio quality could be better

Not strictly a clock radio by genre, but the Amazon Echo Show 5 is a real box of tricks that’ll do the job of a clock radio and then some.

Of course as an Amazon Alexa product, it’s a digital assistant first, so ask it some questions, and it’ll answer, but with a 5.5in screen it also acts as a hub for your smart home gadgets, allows you to stream video content and make video calls to friends and family.

When not in use though, that screen displays a large clock, while its physical design lends itself well to being a bedside companion.

You can choose from a plethora of clock faces, ask Alexa to set an alarm using your voice and choose your alarm tone – be that a themed one from Amazon’s vault or a song from Spotify or Amazon Music.

The Alexa Sunrise feature will also gradually brighten the screen when it’s time for the alarm to go off, with a tap of the top of the Show 5 or a word with Alexa enough to snooze it for a bit. Smart.

Read the full review: Amazon Echo Show 5

Best clock radios 2019

(Image credit: Pure)

2. Pure Evoke H2

An Award-winning radio offering refined sound for the money.

SPECIFICATIONS

FM radio: Yes | DAB radio: Yes | Presets: 20 | Display size: N/A | Dimmable display: Yes | Wi-fi: No | Bluetooth: Yes

Reasons to Buy

Textured bass
Detailed sound
Low price

Reasons to Avoid

Outdated display
Not immediately portable

Winning a Best Buy Award at its price point in 2018, the Pure Evoke H2 is great for those who want a more traditional-looking clock radio, with a choice of oak or walnut finish and a compact design that’ll sit happily on any bedside table.

It packs a telescopic aerial for ensuring you get a strong signal and has a handful of connections: one for its mains power plug and one for a 3.5mm auxiliary input, plus there’s a 3.5mm headphone output too.

Once it’s plugged in, the H2 will begin auto-tuning, and you can preset up to 20 FM or DAB radio stations, with three quickly accessible via dedicated buttons on its face.

The built-in clock can be set to wake you up with a specific tone or your choice of radio station, and there’s also a sleep timer if you like falling asleep to some music.

From a sound perspective it builds on its predecessor, the excellent Evoke D2, to sound clearer and more refined through the midrange, while maintaining the detailed, solid sound that we know and love. A bargain. 

Read the full review: Pure Evoke H2

Best clock radios 2019

(Image credit: Pure Evoke F3)

3. Pure Evoke F3

Pure hits the right notes with this nifty take on the traditional radio.

SPECIFICATIONS

FM radio: Yes | DAB radio: Yes | Presets: 20 | Display size: 4in | Dimmable display: Yes | Wi-fi: Yes | Bluetooth: Yes

Reasons to Buy

Smooth, rhythmic and full-bodied sound
Focused mid-range
Smart design

Reasons to Avoid

Closed-in sound
Blunted treble

The Evoke F3 is a multi-talented radio that doesn’t just offer DAB and internet radio alongside the traditional stuff, but also packs Bluetooth, a 3.5mm aux input and Spotify Connect

It still looks very much like a traditional radio, with the left half dominated by a 3.5-inch full range driver, and dials for volume and tuning on the right. But its full-colour screen, about the size you’d find on a portable music player, is the giveaway to its more modern feature set. 

There’s space for storing 20 of your favourite channels across FM and DAB radio, and the screen helps you to easily enter your wi-fi details for streaming.

The sound is focused on being able to carry spoken word as well as music, and as such boasts a full-bodied midrange that lends itself well to both. We’d like a bit more space and separation for more extensive music listening but it works great for radio and more casual listening.

Read the full review: Pure Evoke F3

Best clock radios 2019

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Amazon Echo Spot

Amazon's smallest display-toting smart speaker doubles up as a great clock radio.

SPECIFICATIONS

FM radio: Yes, via wi-fi | DAB radio: Yes, via wi-fi | Presets: N/A | Display size: 2.5in | Dimmable display: Yes | Wi-fi: Yes | Bluetooth: Yes

Reasons to Buy

Sharp screen
Good range of features
Neat design

Reasons to Avoid

Divisive camera
Sound quality could be improved

Another Amazon smart device able to moonlight as a clock radio, the Echo Spot is ultimately a smaller, rounder version of the Echo Show 5, and offers all of the same features, but with a 2.5in screen.

Ask it for the weather, who won the 1962 World Cup or the ingredients for the perfect margarita, and you’ll get your answer. Use it to check in on your Ring doorbell and it will do the job. It’ll even play back music from Spotify with relative clarity for its size.

However, while its circular screen arguably doesn’t lend itself as well to video content as the Echo Show 5, it certainly makes it look more clock-like, and its range of clock faces look fantastic on it. So much so, we praised it as “an almost-perfect bedroom clock".

Read the full review: Amazon Echo Spot

Best clock radios 2019

(Image credit: Revo)

5. Revo SuperConnect

A feature-packed, attractive radio, but it comes at a price.

SPECIFICATIONS

FM radio: Yes | DAB radio: Yes | Presets: 8 | Display size: 2.7in | Dimmable display: Yes | Wi-fi: Yes | Bluetooth: Yes

Reasons to Buy

A feature-packed, attractive radio
Spotify Connect and aptX Bluetooth
Nice to use

Reasons to Avoid

Bass needs toning down a touch
Pricey

We’re big fans of the Revo’s aesthetics: modern with a dash of retro. The 2.7in OLED display and aluminium front panel contrast nicely with the cabinet’s walnut veneer, feeling solid and well made.

Getting the radio set up is nice and simple too – there is a joystick control system on the radio that helps you to navigate the menus on the display, or there is a remote control in the box, which is a good size and easy to use.

Alongside FM and DAB radio, hook the Revo up to your wi-fi network and you can access internet radio and music stored on local network drives, plus it features aptX Bluetooth for streaming from smartphones and tablets.

On paper, the single 3.5in BMR driver and 15W amp don’t sound like a recipe for power, but the Revo kicks out an impressively weighty sound. Be careful not to push it to its limits and you’ll find there’s plenty of scale and authority here.

Bass sounds richer and fuller than we’ve heard on rival radios, but if it’s too rich for your taste, you can turn it down easily using the tone settings. 

With dual alarms that offer sleep and snooze functions, the SuperConnect is not a cheap option for a clock radio, but it's a strong all rounder.

Read the full review: Revo SuperConnect

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