First Looks: Memorex iWakeUp iPod Clock Radio

Wakey Wakey

Wakey Wakey

Are you the type that can't get to sleep without music? Or perhaps you are a heavy sleeper with problems getting up in the morning? The Memorex iWakeUp clock radio for iPod promises to help. Not only can it serve as a trusty alarm clock, it also doubles up as an iPod docking and charging station. We take a closer look to see what other tricks it has up its sleeves.

Of Grilles & Buttons

From the press release, the Memorex iWakeUp looked rather bulky, but the actual unit was rather compact and of a nice size - just big enough to sit on your bedside table. The front profile of the iWakeUp clock radio is dominated by speaker grilles, which houses the unit's two speakers. There's a large LCD display, which shows the time and various other functions of the iWakeUp clock radio.

A good thing about the display is that it is bright and easy to read, which is especially useful when you happen to wake up in the dark of the night.

The buttons that control the Memorex iWakeUp clock radio are positioned directly above the LCD display in two long rows. The top most row consists solely of a Snooze button, which lets you get a couple of minutes more sleep when the alarm goes off.

In our opinion, the Snooze button is a tad too thin, making it a bit hard to hit, especially when you've just been awakened and still groggy from sleep. Furthermore, it doesn't help that the buttons are not backlit.

Sonic Boom

The iWakeUp is positioned by Memorex as a handy alarm clock and it excels in that aspect. The alarm works by cleverly increasing the volume every five seconds till it reaches maximum volume. You can set it to play either the standard alarm buzzer, music from the iPod or the built-in AM/FM radio as the alarm tone.

The iWakeUp clock radio has two 2.75-inch speakers, and that's pretty impressive for a unit of this size. With speakers of such proportions, the iWakeUp clock radio can get very loud, such that even the heaviest sleepers will have difficulties staying asleep with the iWakeUp blaring at maximum volume.

While the iWakeUp clock radio may have the volume, it does sacrifice a little on audio quality when used as an iPod docking station to play music. We tried playing a variety of tracks and the iWakeUp sounded muffled and hollow, with weak highs and mids. Hardcore bassheads who have complete disregard for the rest of the sonic range will, however, find the iWakeUp to their liking for its bass was full and punchy.

Final Thoughts

Packing a huge sonic punch in a compact package, the iWakeUp clock radio was clearly designed with heavy sleepers in mind. We liked that it was loud, but was somewhat disappointed with its less than stellar audio quality when it came to playing music. Memorex could also have done better by including backlit buttons.

With a recommended retail price of S$139, we think that the iWakeUp clock radio, with its set of useful features, is decently priced and would make a great addition in bedrooms.