If you are like me—a heavy sleeper who can’t get out of bed without at least two alarms placed on opposite sides of the room—get the simplest alarm clock you can find and don’t look back. That’s the RCA RCD20, which for the smallest version. It’s small, it’s simple, and it will do what you want: make a loud noise at the time you have requested. No more, no less.
I tested two Analog alarm clock based off of excellent Amazon reviews and both of them came up lacking. I’m a tentative fan of the Magnasonic MAG-MM176K, and if you’re looking for an alarm clock with more features, it’s your best bet. But I can’t recommend it as an overall best, as even on its dimmest setting its clock face is so bright I have trouble sleeping unless I cover it with tape or wear an eye mask. Its display shows the current temperature and date and it has an AM/FM radio you can digitally set to the correct station. Its coolest feature: a projector that displays the current time on your ceiling so you don’t have to fumble around in the dark to figure out how many hours you have left to sleep. The alarm itself is a little quiet, a staccato beep that wakes me up but with little sense of urgency, but you can also wake up to your favorite radio station.
I also looked at the Sony ICF-C318, a simpler alarm clock with many similar features. It wasn’t as good as the Magnasonic for several reasons, most relating to radio. It’s burdened with an old-fashioned dial, which feels mistakenly transplanted from the nineties. Reviewers say it doesn’t get good reception, and even though I’m in NYC, where every notch of the dial has a different station, meaning I can’t judge if it’s picking up faraway stations well, I tend to agree. Its sound is fuzzier than the Magnasonic’s. If you don’t care about the radio, it still has flaws: even though it can set its own time, I (along with many reviewers) found it did so at least 3 or 4 minutes off the correct time. Automatic but inaccurate.Ultimately, skip fancy alarm clocks unless you have a desperate need to know the temperature or like to wake up to the radio. The RCA RCD20 does everything you need.