Finding the best alarm clock has become an ongoing issue for many a sleeper. If you've spent many sleepless hours searching for an alarm clock that will keep you happily awake, look no more. We found one that is, without question, our number one choice in alarm clocks. The HoMedics SoundSpa Premier alarm clock radio is our top pick. This time-projecting alarm clock offers more than just AM/FM capabilities, and with its six distinct nature sounds, this ringer easily earns our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award for alarm clocks.
Waking up is never convenient, and it can be downright uncomfortable – especially when the jarring sounds of an alarm clock scream into your ear. As with any alarm clock, the HoMedic SoundSpa offers a traditional AM/FM radio tuner and an alarm which you can wake to. But what is most appealing in the SoundSpa are the six different nature sounds. The different types of sounds are: Waterfall Rainforest Thunder Rain Summer Night Ocean
If waking up feels like a mountain you must climb each morning, you'll like the fact that any of these alarm settings also allow you to wake up gradually. These gentle-wake options give your body the ability to wake up peacefully and in a more restful state. However, if you are a deep sleeper and could sleep through the apocalypse itself, then we recommend sticking to either the AM/FM radio or just the standard alarm.
In addition to waking up to the peaceful sounds of this alarm clock, you can also fall asleep to them. The SoundSpa has a sleep setting you can set for 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes. The natural sounds of the rainforest or the beating of waves on a rocky beach will put you into a trance that will make falling asleep effortless.
When setting up your new SoundSpa alarm clock, the first thing you will notice is the large buttons displayed on the front of the clock, making it easy to set the clock and alarm, or tune the radio. On the top of the clock is larger-than-normal snooze button. The location and size of the snooze button is one of the better physical attributes of SoundSpa because locating the snooze button in the early morning hours is hard enough.
When you want to listen to one of the six nature sounds, it's as easy as the push of a button. The crescendo arrangements of the nature buttons are so convenient, all you have to do is push the button and you can listen to the calming acoustics as you rest or fall asleep. If you want to set the sleep timer, all you need to do is toggle through the timer button until you find the time of your choice. Once the time is up, the clock's sounds automatically turn off. We find this especially useful for people who have a hard time falling asleep. Natural sounds allow your mind to rest easier so you are more calm and relaxed.
Setting the time and alarm is just as easy. Press and hold DATE/TIME SET button until the year flashes, then use the +/- buttons to set the year. When that is set, press and DATE/TIME SET again and cycle through the month, hours and minutes. This alarm clock is arranged so two alarms can be set. All you do is press and hold the Alarm 1 button and follow the same guidelines as setting the date and time. You can also just flip the switch to change time zones or alter the clock to show military time. All these processes are detailed in the manual, which is extremely useful and easy to follow.
One thing we love about this alarm clock is its ability to project the time onto the wall. The projector tube can rotate to project on either the wall or the ceiling. Additionally, you can rotate the projection 360 degrees. Unfortunately, the projector can only move in a straight line. Because you can't move the tube from side to side, you may have to move the entire clock to get the projection in a spot you like. The feature simply turns on or off by the flip of a switch. If you choose to keep the time projection off, you can still benefit from the projection feature. When you hit the snooze button, the alarm clock will shoot the time onto the wall for five seconds. Having the ability to display the time on the wall or ceiling makes it easier to quickly see the time if you wake up in the middle of the night.
The projection alarm clock also displays the indoor and outdoor temperature in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. The clock comes with a wireless sensor to receive outdoor temperatures, which you must install outside, out of direct sunlight and where rain is unable to reach it. The radius of the outdoor sensor can reach up to 100 feet. It's easy to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius by the flip of a switch. The readings are accurate within one degree. The thermometer offers a range of temperature measurements from 32 F to 122 F (indoors) and -4 F to 140 F (outdoors).
Another handy feature on the SoundSpa Alarm Clock projection alarm clock is the nap feature. In order to set the time, just press the snooze button and toggle through your choices of nap lengths. This can be 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes. Once set, the clock will display "nap" on the LCD screen, and when the alarm sounds, just press the power button to turn it off. We especially appreciate this feature of the clock because of its ease in allowing you to take either a power nap or something a little longer.
The HoMedics SoundSpa comes with a one-year warranty and the customer service hours are only from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday. The warranty covers any physical problems or defects but don't worry if your one year runs out and you are stuck with a device that has stopped working. HoMedics will replace the product. They do ask that you try the store you purchased alarm clock from first. If that doesn't work, they will be happy to work with you.
This is hands down one of the best alarm clocks you will find if you are looking for extensive features, options for alarms and good sound quality. The size is compact, and it will work well with any home design you might have. But if you are looking for an alarm clock with a great design, this leaves a little to be desired.
The biggest drawback to the design of the SoundSpa is the setting buttons are all on the front of the alarm clock. Since alarm clocks are generally such small devices, the placement of buttons on the front of the unit means that if you use just one hand to push the buttons, the clock will simply slide along the table with nothing to anchor it. This can be very inconvenient when you're setting an alarm late at night. Using two hands – with one to stabilize the clock – will be the only way to assure a hassle-free setting. If you can find some way to anchor the clock to the table, then this shouldn't be an issue for you. However, HoMedics had the foresight to place the snooze bar – arguably the most important of all buttons – conveniently on top of the alarm clock.
Another issue that you might run into is the brightness of the LCD display. The screen can be set to three levels of brightness, and even on its lowest setting, it still manages to be too bright for some people. If your room offers a slight glow of another light, this will not be a problem. There are also dimming screens you can buy to place over top of the display. Overall, it isn't a terrible problem if you don't mind some extra light while you sleep.
The HoMedics SoundSpa Premier alarm clock radio ranks at the top of its class and gives you multiple options for waking up or falling asleep. The convenience of projecting the time onto the wall or ceiling makes this clock ideal for any kind of sleeper. All the functions of the SoundSpa clock radio come together to create an alarm clock that has so many useable features. It makes falling asleep easier, and you'll wake up feeling rested – all of which gives your body and mind more energy throughout the day.
The time will project onto the wall or ceiling, and there are six different nature sounds.
There is no option to hook up an MP3 player.
The HoMedic SoundSpa offers soothing sounds, temperature readings and a convenient snooze feature.