The fancy ones

Altec Lansing inMotion Max


The Altec Lansing inMotion Max was the best overall item on the list.Pros: It has a big sound from little speakers and includes an auxiliary input and AM/FM radio if you get sick if your ‘Pod. It also mutes the music if your docked iPhone rings.

Cons: The bass definition could be clearer. The display is small.

The final word: It really fills a small room with sound without taking up much space.

Boston Acoustics Duo-I


The Boston Acoustics model was a great choice with superb sound.Pros: This product has excellent sound and fluid controls. The entire thing is one big snooze button — touch it anywhere if you want to get a few more minutes of sleep. The display even adjusts to the ambient light. It comes in a variety of colors.

Cons: We snoozed a lot.

The final word: You can get Boston Acoustics quality for under $200. So get it. It’s a close second to the Altec. The Duo-I is terrific.

Cambridge SoundWorks i765


The Cambridge model was nerd-gasmy.Pros: It has a DVD/CD player built in, dual alarms, radio and a clear, well-defined sound. It’s everything you’d expect from a compact tabletop radio. We can channel our inner-nerd with this one.

Cons: The DVD player surely inflates the price. Logistics is a worry. Can you really fit the height of an iPod in the space where you keep your DVD player under your television?

The final word: This product used to cost $500. When Cambridge SoundWorks restructured their business operations and closed their retail stores, the prices plummeted. We reap the benefits.

Functional and practical

iHome iH51BR


The iH51 was neat, but impractical Pros: It has rich, full-range sound, dual alarms, and a radio.

Cons: The subwoofer seemed like overkill, especially for a clock-radio. The product feels clunky, instead of sleek and modular as we’ve come to expect from iHome.

The final word: The price is right, and iHome is a good name for docking your iPod. I just don’t know if I LIKED this one.

Logitech Pure-Fi Express Plus

$78 Original review

The PureFi Express Plus is compact, but makes up for its small size with a big soundPros: It has a good, well-defined sound in a very small package.

Cons: Poor remote range.

The final word: This is a maximum value product — good sound, great price.

iHome iH4B

$39.99 Original review

This is an oldie but a goodie if you're looking for something inexpensivePros: It is very compact and easy to use. It’s very cheap.

Cons: Sound is a bit tinny at times. Doesn’t support the latest iPods and iPhones.

The final word: Some devices are stereos with alarm clocks, and some are alarm clocks that play music. This is the latter.

Artsy and fun

Sprout Creation Vers 2X


I really doted over the all-wood Vers productPros: The Vers 2X sounds wonderful and is made of wood instead of plastic like nearly everything else on the market.

Cons: No clock, no alarm, no radio – just the iPods, ma’am.

The final word: You’d be supporting a local (Wayland) small business by buying one.

Don’t miss John Guilfoil’s Spending Smart columns on certain Sundays in The Boston Globe

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About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

One Response

  1. Karin Burgess

    Just wanted to note that Vers also makes the 1.5R which does offer clock/radio features. Great size for a bedside table and all of the sound and beauty of the 2x.


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