Man has been measuring and marking time for millennia. The concept of an alarm clock, however, didn’t emerge onto the written record until the last couple centuries. Since the first adjustable mechanical alarm clock was patented in 1847, the invention has become a household staple the world over, though the basic premise of the alarm clock has gone largely unchanged for over 160 years. In the early-to-middle aughts, new, wifi-connected “smart alarm clocks” came onto the scene, revolutionizing these antiquated items and bestowing the multi-century-old invention with a host of modern conveniences.
And in the years that have followed, the vast majority of electronics and technology manufacturers have hopped on the smart-clock bandwagon, resulting in an ever-growing number of available smart alarm clocks on the market, all boasting a myriad of features designed to add some ease to your day-to-day life. Differentiating these smart offerings can be difficult however, so, with this in mind, we’ve scoured the web, dug into tech and living blogs, and compiled this condensed list of the 10 best smart alarm clocks.
What To Look For When Buying A Smart Alarm Clock
Alarm-clocks — as their name, when broken down, suggests — perform two basic functions: telling time; and alarm duty. And while smart alarm clocks maintain those two primary functions, what sets them apart from conventional clocks is their connectivity and amenities. Many of these clocks are paired with smartphone apps, allowing them to be programmed remotely, as well as for much more alarm fine-tuning — for say, setting an alarm for a different time on different days (or even different weeks).
Features and versatility are other areas of upmost importance when in the market for a smart alarm clock. Different features that you want to look out for are rigs that will alert you to other vital information you need to face the day, such as traffic reports, weather forecasts, emails and social media alerts, etc. A handful of smart alarm clocks also call on smart home assistant technology, affording them an even greater range of ability to handle different tasks. Bluetooth speakers are also standard fare in many of these products.
Style and aesthetics is the final area you want to take into account. Because smart alarm clocks — and regular alarm clocks for that matter — are home decor, and they sit out in public view, you’ll want to find a product with an appearance that you appreciate. Between the diversity of the offerings on the market and the wide array of colors that many models are available in, there’s pretty much something out there for everyone, regardless of what your taste might be. And while a great many of these items resemble traditional alarm clocks, there are also several that boast tablet-style screens that allow images or artwork to be displayed when not functioning as a clock.
iHome Compact Alarm Clock
For just about as long as iPods have been around, iHome has been making accessories and, as the handheld Apple devices have evolved over the years, so too have the accessory offerings from iHome, one of the latest of which is the brand’s Compact Alarm Clock. Sporting a minimalistic, L-shaped design, the flat base of this smart alarm clock serves as a Qi-compatible wireless phone charging dock, while the vertical part of the device displays a digital clock with a built-in auto-dimming feature that adjusts the light’s intensity based on the ambient lighting in the room. The thing also packs an extra USB port for wired charging a second device.
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen)
While Amazon’s Echo Dot isn’t normally thought of like an alarm clock, it’s definitely one item that shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re in the market for a smart alarm clock. Priced at under the $50 mark, this fabric-adorned puck features Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant and can give you all the vital info you need to get your day going such as reading back texts or emails, traffic and weather reports, and calendar and event reminders, just to name a few. Offered in six different colors, this device can also be paired with other Amazon wireless smart home devices throughout your house.
Lenovo Smart Clock With Google Assistant
The Smart Clock from Lenovo takes aim at the latest and greatest gadgets from the biggest names in tech — namely Google and Amazon — and unleashes a thoroughly competitive product that comes in at a fraction of the price. Featuring a 4” touch screen and Bluetooth-connected speaker, this device can not only tell you any information updates that you might need (weather, traffic, reminders, etc) — thanks to it using Google Assistant — but can also be used to watch shows and movies on streaming services. The high-def screen can also be used to display art, monitor smart baby cameras or smart home cameras, and that’s just scratching the surface.
Amazon Echo Show 5
Though Amazon’s cutting-edge Echo Show 5 is primarily regarded as a smart home assistant, its bevy of features makes it something of the perfect smart alarm clock. It’s 5.5” display can have its clock face customized to your liking, it can be programmed to wake you up to the music, station, or app of your choice, and it can give you live updates on vital morning info like traffic and weather. At night, it can also be used to make your bedtime routine more peaceful, allowing you to make sure you shut off lights and locked windows and doors thanks to the device’s connection to smart home devices and appliances.
Anker Soundcore Wakey
Anker’s Golden Pin Design Award-winning Wakey crams a myriad of tech-focused features into a modern alarm clock. LED lights glow from behind a stretched fabric face, affording a thoroughly modern aesthetic, while the top of the rectangular device doubles as a Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charger. Controlled manually through its buttons or via a dedicated smartphone app, the Wakey boasts 10 different peaceful sounds to wake up to, along with an additional ten sleep-inducing ambient or nature sounds. It’s full-range stereo drivers can also belt out music from your phone or tablet thanks to the device’s Bluetooth connection.
Philips SmartSleep Light Therapy Alarm Clock
The method by which a traditional alarm clock rouses us from our sleep is rather unpleasant. We go from restful slumber in complete silence, to a blaring alarm. The folks at Phillips think they’ve found a better way to more gradually awaken us, in the form of the brand’s SmartSleep Light Therapy Alarm Clock. This modern wake-up device activates shortly before you set your alarm to go off, and it gradually increases the amount of light being emitted, mimicking a natural sunrise and waking you in a less alarming more peaceful manner. Its sleek design means it looks great on any nightstand, and its power backup feature ensures that even in the event of a power outage, you won’t miss your alarm.
Google Nest Hub
While it is a cutting-edge smart alarm clock, Google’s Nest Hub is so much more than that. With a generously-sized 7” LCD touchscreen, the wifi-connected smart device is a state-of-the-art digital picture frame, a virtual assistant, and a media playback center, among a slew of other capabilities. The Nest Hub also enables you to control smart thermostats, lights, locks, or any other smart home devices or appliances that you may have, plus it can be paired with other smart assistants and Bluetooth speakers. Sold in three stylish and modern colors, the Nest Hub’s screen is mounted to a secure base that places at the perfect bedside viewing angle, too.
The Casper Glow Light
Casper’s Glow Light takes the concept of artificial sunrise alarms to the next level, delivering one that affords a more pleasing tactile experience with a more intuitive control system. In addition to lulling you awake in the mornings with a sunrise-style alarm, the light also helps you go to sleep by putting out a soft, warm glow that automatically turns itself off. A built-in gyroscope allows you to control the brightness level by simply twisting the polycarbonate exterior. Fully wireless and refueled via a wireless charging dock, this item can also be programmed or controlled via a dedicated smartphone app. The light can also be “wiggled” to turn on a soft, floor-facing light to help navigate trips to the bathroom or to the kitchen for a late-night snack.
Bulova Glendale Bluetooth Clock
This offering from Bulova delivers the features and conveniences of a modern smart alarm clock in a traditional mantel-style clock package. Combining timeless American style with contemporary tech, with an integrated micro-USB charging port and a built-in wireless Bluetooth speaker with three-hours of playback time. Comprised of a hardwood, ebony-finished base, decorated with silver bun-style feet, a metal dial with illuminated markers and numbers under a genuine glass lens, this elegant item features a blank 0.5” x 3.0” plate for engravings, for a more personal touch.
LaMetric Time Alarm
Winner of a Red Dot Design Award, this playful smart alarm clock sports a vintage game pixel art-themed display that can be used to control smart home systems, project weather and traffic reports, and function as a normal alarm clock. Compatible with iOS, Android, Amazon Alexa, Phillips Hue, Nest, Ring, and a host of other systems and services, this device can also be programmed to display social media metrics such as Facebook likes and Youtube views.
Sound-Off: 10 Best Smart Home Devices
Still on the hunt for more smart offerings for around the house? Then be sure to delve into our picks for the best Bluetooth and wifi-enabled gadgets in our roundup of the best smart home devices.