These days, it’s becoming increasingly unusual to find a radio that’s just a radio.
In a world that’s packed full of exciting digital tools and ever-evolving tech, our tabletop and portable radios can do everything from Bluetooth streaming to charging our phones.
Some of the more advanced radios on the market can let you take calls hands-free in between sessions of talk radio, while others give you access to hundreds of online channels thanks to an embedded Wi-Fi connection.
No matter how advanced the modern radio becomes, there’s one feature that we’ll always need on a great radio: a clock.
Clock radios have been around for decades now, ensuring anyone and everyone can keep track of the time, whether they’re in their living room, driving to work, or pumping iron at the gym.
The best clock radios can include everything from emergency devices that you can take with you on your next hike and power with sunlight, to beside radios that double up as an alarm.
To help you keep your life ticking along smoothly, we’ve researched some of the best sounding clock radio products on the market, as well as those with the best reception, features, and added extras.
Here’s your guide to the ultimate clock radios available today.
1. Prunus J-288 clock radio (best mini radio)
If you’re looking for the best clock radio to take with you around the house, or even into the garden, the Prunus J-288 could be just the thing.
This lightweight and portable AM/FM clock radio is perfect for the person on the go, with a slim design that can even fit in your pocket.
There’s an extra-long antenna included so that you can enjoy a better quality of reception too.
Whether you’re listening through headphones or the in-built speakers, the Prunus will deliver an excellent quality of sound.
There’s a USB flash-drive input included and a TF flashcard slot for playing your own music too.
All that, and you even get a Bluetooth connection for streaming. We were blown away by the functionality of this tiny radio, and how effective it is for such a compact device.
If you’re looking for the best sounding clock radio that also looks incredible on your bedside table or living room counter – look no further.
This Fuse Vert clock radio is one of the most eye-catching products that we’ve seen on the market.
Offering a combination of a vinyl record player, FM radio, and alarm system, the Fuse Vert seems to have it all.
The unique design of this product is fantastic for drawing attention. It holds your records up vertically so you can see them spinning in real-time. Trust us when we say that this is sure to be a talking point in any home.
What’s more, because the device is carved out of real wood, it’s ready to stand the test of time too.
Perfect for bringing the future and the past together in one, this clock radio is brimming with potential.
Have you ever lamented the fact that you have too few outlets next to your bed? Maybe you need to keep a diffuser, laptop, and smartphone plugged in on your nightstand, but there’s just not enough space?
The Brandstand CubieBlue could be the ideal option.
Perhaps the best clock radio for charging purposes, this device comes with two tamper-resistant USB ports so you can charge anything with ease.
The alarm clock is incredibly easy to set, so you don’t have to interpret instructions for hours on end.
Aside from FM radio, this device comes with access to a Bluetooth speaker so that you can stream your favorite music straight from your phone.
There’s also a backup battery built-in just in case your power goes off at any point during the night.
The great thing about this clock radio is that the charging ports aren’t just suitable for phones. Aside from 2 USB ports, you also get 2 outlets that can deliver enough power for CPAP machines and computers too.
If you’re looking for something a little more futuristic in your clock radio, how about something that can charge your device wirelessly as you sleep?
This bedside clock from i-box combines QI wireless charging with a dual alarm so you can set your schedule to suit you.
The compact shape of the radio means that it fits well into any room, no matter the size.
What’s more, because there are five illumination options for the LED clock, you can avoid too much distracting light while you sleep.
Despite its small sound, the i-box is surprisingly good at delivering an incredible level of room-filling sound.
You can tune into FM or play your own music via Bluetooth streaming.
There’s also 10 pre-sets available to help you find the right channels faster. To make life even easier, this wireless charging clock radio even comes with an extra USB port for powering a second device.
9. Crolitec smart clock radio (best with smart speaker)
Sticking with the idea of finding a more modern option for your best clock radio, let’s take a look at the Crolitec smart radio.
This fantastic device combines soothing light-changing features with alarm clock functionality to help you wake up on the right side of the bed.
The linear light simulates sunrises and sunsets, to work with your circadian rhythm. You can set your sunrise light to begin at the same time as your morning alarm, for a more natural waking experience.
There are a range of snooze times to choose from, and multiple alarm settings to suit different needs.
This device comes with smart app voice control. You can link it with Amazon Alexa or Google Home to set your alarms or switch between FM stations with nothing but your voice.
Along with FM radio, you also get 7 natural sounds to choose from when you need help relaxing too.
Like most things in the world of radio shopping, finding the right clock radio all depends on what you’re looking for.
If you’re looking for something that looks incredible and can play more of your music collection when you’re bored, then the Fuse Vert clock radio could be the ideal choice. We were impressed by its unique design and its fantastic full-range speakers.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for the best compact radio to fit into a smaller bedroom, then you might prefer something like the Sony, with its sleep timer functionality, soothing nature sounds to help you fall asleep, and time projection feature.
Here are just some of the features worth thinking about when you’re looking for your new clock radio:
Features: Besides your clock, what more do you need from your radio? Are you looking for something that has both AM/FM connections? Do you need a device that can stream music from your phone and external devices with Bluetooth? Are you hoping for the best clock radio CD player? For charging functionality, we love the Brandstand CubieBlue, which allows you to charge up to five devices from one clock!
Alarm options: What sort of alarm options are you looking for with your clock? Do you want something that just tells the time, or a radio clock that also comes with dual alarms for both the weekend and the weekdays? We love the Crolitec smart clock as an option for waking up with something other than a shrill beeping noise each day. The natural sunrise and sunset features are great for managing your circadian rhythm.
Design: Exploring design options with a clock radio means thinking about how it looks and what it can do. The Fuse Vert clock looks incredible, but it won’t be able to fit into a compact space as well as the Sony clock radio. On the other hand, the i-box wireless charging radio combines QI charging with a compact and attractive design, so you get extra functionality without taking up too much space.
Controls: How much control will you have over your alarm clock radio? The Sony compact radio allows you to project your time onto a wall or your bedroom ceiling, but you can’t control it with just your voice. On the other hand, the Crolitec smart clock connects with Amazon Alexa or Google Home so you can control it from a distance, but there aren’t as many options for dimming your clock display.
Portability: Do you want an alarm that you can take with you when you go camping or travel around the world? Something large and bulky like the Sangean might give you a great tuning experience, but it’s not very portable. For those who want to travel, we would recommend sticking with something lightweight and compact, like the Prunus J-288
Which is the best clock radio?
The best clock radio all depends on you and what you want out of your new investment.
In terms of design, we’re split between the Fuse Vert clock for its stylish appearance and ability to play vinyl records, and the Crolitec for its sunset and sunrise features.
For reception and sound quality, you can’t go wrong with the Sangean WR-2 AM/FM.
This high-performance speaker comes with an acoustic bass compensation built-in to help you get a better quality of sound. The advanced digital tuning system means that finding the right channels is easier than ever.
Which clock radio will you be investing in? Don’t forget to check out our other reviews and lists for insights into some of the other top-rated radios on the market today.