Waking up is not as simple as it seems, and the very notion of an alarm clock that will literally shock you awake every morning is something that rises the fine hair on the back of just about anyone’s neck. However, with new technological development come some new and better ways of being woken up from a night’s slumber which are supposed to make you feel less cranky in the morning and generally more energetic throughout the day. Smart alarm clocks are designed to make the experience of waking up easier than ever – and with the added promise that you won’t feel so grouchy in the mornings anymore.
They are meant to ease you out of your sleep cycle and make you feel rested and fresh every day. There are numerous smart alarm clock devices on the market and equally as many manufacturers that are striving to produce the best smart alarm clock, and this healthy competition has actually helped produce many really good quality smart alarm clocks with some very useful and even entertaining features.
These features include things as temperature readings, wall projection of the time and any measurements you like, backlights, various alarm modes and the possibility to create a sleep inducing ambiance by playing some nature sounds in the background. Some smart alarm clocks actually work on the principle of waking you up gradually because it is now proven that being scared awake by a loud noise is not only bad, but has the potential to drain your energy for the rest of the day. A smart alarm clock will wake you up gradually by increasing the volume over a span of time or simulating a sunrise, which is a healthy and natural way to wake up in the morning that will make you feel good and energized throughout the remainder of the day.
We have tested more than 20 specialized alarm clocks with different features by comparing their basic and additional features in the first stage, in which we narrowed our top selection down to 11 best smart alarm clocks. In stage two of the testing, we had our team use 11 alarms for 11 weeks and write down their experience, what they liked and what could have been done better. By the end of week 11, we already had our results, and eliminated another 7 smart alarm clocks out of the batch, which has left us with 4 really good smart alarm clocks that we can now recommend without a second thought. These 4 products that made it through the final cut have some of the best combinations of features we think everyone needs to wake up feeling good in the morning, without the urge to smash the alarm clock with a hammer or the impulse to hit the snooze button one time too many and be late and annoyed.
Basically, the features we are looking for in a smart alarm clock are:
- Efficacy – if the super high tech alarm clock doesn’t wake you up in the morning, it’s useless and you might as well toss it. A good wakeup call we are looking for is gradual – and smart alarm clocks generally have the ability to wake you up gradually during a span of several minutes in order to keep you energized and to start your day off on a good note (and not shock you awake).
- Readings and projections – a smart alarm clock is a cool gizmo, but it is even better if it has some advanced readings such as temperature measurements, weather forecasts and so on. Good smart alarm clock have the advanced feature of projecting these stats on your wall and even having a nice backlight glow that makes a lovely atmosphere in your bedroom.
- Audio – smart alarm clocks generally allow you to pick whatever you like to wake you, but a nice selection of sounds is always a good thing. Some basic things a smart alarm clock should have is a radio, and assortment of general alarm sounds and some soothing and calming sounds that can help put you to sleep, and ease you out of the slumber.
- Ease of usage – if you have a super advanced pre-programmable calendar feature and it is too complicated, it is basically useless. Good smart alarm clocks are very easy to use and their settings are fairly simple.
Best Smart Alarm Clock – Sony Nature Sounds Clock Radio
Sony Nature Sounds Clock Radio is an excellent smart alarm clock by Sony that has all the basic alarm clock features and some really useful and neat additional ones. Mainly, you can choose when and how to be woken up, it has a nice large blue-backlit display that has brightness control in case the light in your room bothers you. Much like all the good smart alarm clocks, it has a built in calendar and you don’t have to bother going through some tedious motions such as Daylights Savings Time adjustments and so on.
Sony Nature Sounds Clock Radio PROS:
Sony Nature Sounds Clock Radio has a lot of great features out of which the nature sounds are perhaps the best. You will have a choice of five different calming nature sounds which are designed to put you to sleep gently and wake you up in the morning easily and even gentler. This is supposed to make you start your day with a smile on your face, and not with a classic alarm clock jumpscare. Additionally, this smart alarm clock has a built in thermometer that will update your room temperature as it fluctuates during the day and night. You have 10 radio station presets, and you can also choose to be awakened by your favorite radio station, for example. Its best additional feature is the projection – you can project the time and the temperature on your wall or the ceiling so that you can view it from a distance, which is pretty cool. The main thing is, it will wake you up gently and without fail.
Sony Nature Sounds Clock Radio CONS:
This smart alarm clock is perhaps not bet suited for those who are not too tech savvy, as they may find the abundance of options and features a bit overwhelming. If you want a basic radio alarm clock, this is not really for you.
To summarize, Sony Nature Sounds Clock Radio is the best smart alarm clock we have tested because it is the only one on this list that has all the basic and additional features anyone may want in an alarm clock, and it is not too expensive at all.
Best Buy Smart Alarm Clock – Moshi Voice Activated Alarm Clock
Moshi Voice Activated Alarm Clock is our second best choice for a smart alarm clock simply because it offers a lot of things for a fair, reasonable price. It is slightly inferior to the Sony Nature Sound, mostly because it has no projection options available, but other than that it is a fantastic alarm clock that is effective and reliable.
Moshi Voice Activated Alarm Clock PROS:
The Moshi Voice Activated Alarm Clock has one really great feature that is hard to find in other alarm clocks and that is voice command. Moshi will respond to 12 different voice commands and has three different alarm sounds: chime, chirp and bell. Other than that, it has three soothing sounds that will make you fall asleep, and those are the sounds of waterfall, chirping birds and the stream of water. You will love the large backlit display that can be dimmed during the night, and it displays time, temperature and your upcoming alarms. Moshi Voice Activated Alarm Clock is very user friendly and easy to set up and manage because the voice commands are excellent. The Moshi Voice Activated Alarm Clock will recognize voices of all ages, and the only thing you will need to do to set an alarm is to tell it the time you need to be up.
Moshi Voice Activated Alarm Clock CONS:
If you set aside the practical voice command feature, Moshi Voice Activated Alarm Clock has a bit less options at approximately the same price as the Sony Nature Sounds, and the Sony alarm clock has more options and additional features. Also, if someone dislikes the voice activation, this alarm clock is not for them at all, as it offers no alternative.
To summarize, Moshi Voice Activated Alarm Clock is a best buy option because it has a lot of cool features for a decent asking price, and primarily because the ease of use and the neat voice commands.
Bestseller Smart Alarm Clock SoundSpa Premier AM/FM Clock Radio
The SoundSpa Premier AM/FM Clock Radio was actually one of the choices for the best smart alarm clock, but the Sony Nature Sounds was simply voted up more times because of its design. SoundSpa Premier AM/FM Clock Radio does not look bad by any measure, and has one more natural sound to play in comparison to its Sony competitor, which makes for six nature sounds in total: waterfall, rainforest, rain, thunder, summer night and ocean. If you like this repertoire better, you can consider buying SoundSpa Premier AM/FM Clock Radio because the rest of the options are all pretty much the same. SoundSpa Premier AM/FM Clock Radio is a bestseller, hands down, and has had more customer reviews than Sony Natural Sounds, despite the fact that it is just a bit inferior to it.
SoundSpa Premier AM/FM Clock Radio PROS:
SoundSpa Premier AM/FM Clock Radio also has the projection option which enables you to project the time and the indoor/outdoor temperature, but this smart alarm clock can only project on the ceiling. It plays six natural sounds that will soothe you in order to enable you to fall asleep easier, and wake up gently. You can have the AM/FM radio feature, and if you prefer, you can be woken up by your favorite radio program in the morning. It also has automatic Daylights Savings Time adjustment.
SoundSpa Premier AM/FM Clock Radio CONS:
The projection is possible only on the ceiling, and not on the walls. It is a bit too bright, and even if you adjust the lights to be dimmer, half of your bedroom will still be moderately lit, which could be a problem for people who have problems falling asleep when there is light in the room. It is less durable than the Sony Nature Sounds, and inferior even to the Moshi Alarm Clock.
To summarize, SoundSpa Premier AM/FM Clock Radio is an okay choice for anyone who likes playing soothing and calming sounds before going to sleep, and doesn’t want to pay the amount of money needed to buy the Sony Nature Sounds or the Moshi Voice Activated Alarm Clock. It is still a bestseller and a good choice, but if you can spare a bit more cash, go for one of the top two recommendations.
Cheapest Smart Alarm Clock – Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock
Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock is the cheapest smart alarm clock on this list, but this does not make it a bad choice by any means. In fact, it is only slightly cheaper than the SoundSpa Premier Alarm Clock, and it offers some great features as well. The only smart alarm on this list that will not fail, ever, is the Sonic Bomb, and this is only because it is designed to shake you awake every morning. These types of alarms are best for people who have issues oversleeping no matter how many alarms they set.
Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock PROS:
This alarm clock will not let you over sleep because it is super loud and, if that fails, creates bed vibrations that are sure to shake you up and get you to get up in the morning exactly on time. It also has the pulsating lights which help a percentage of people to wake up without any loud sounds. Basically, this is a triple system alarm clock with a smart strategy to get just about anyone out of bed.
Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock CONS:
It is too loud for some people, and disrupts the sleep cycle, which is generally not what people are searching for in a smart clock. However, some people need this approach because they have oversleeping issues. It does not have projection or voice commands, or any of the advanced features of our top two products, Sony Nature Sounds and Moshi Voice Activated Alarm Clock.
To summarize, the Sonic Bomb is definitely a bomb and it will get you on your feet in the morning. It does befall into the category of the “shocker” clocks, but some people simply need those. It comes at a decent, affordable price, for which it offers three ways of waking up: pulsating lights, bed vibrations and very loud alarm sounds.
Smart alarm clocks are devices that do not use the boring standard methods of waking you up, and they are designed not to violently interrupt your sleeping cycle and put you in a groggy mood that can potentially last all day long. A smart alarm clock typically offers a myriad of features such as projections, voice commands, vibrations, calming sounds and so on.
You will want to have as many of these cool features for the least amount of money possible. In that respect, the best smart alarm clock that will beat any smartphone application is the Sony Natural Sounds, and this neat alarm clock is followed by the excellent Moshi Voice Activated Alarm Clock that can be completely operated by voice cues.
These two great smart clocks cost about the same amount of money, even though the Sony smart alarm clock is still slightly better option-wise. The SoundSpa Premier smart alarm clock is the best selling smart alarm clock because of a nice measure of features for a lower price than the one you would pay for either Sony or Moshi smart alarms. It is a good solid choice, but it has some minor flaws when compared to our top two.
The Sonic Bomb, which is the cheapest smart alarm clock, is a bit different from the first three on this list in respect to its methods of sounding the alarm – it is loud, it shakes your bed and pulsates the lights in order to wake up even the ones who sleep like logs. In that respect, it is a bargain as it will not let you oversleep and be late for any appointment ever again.