DreamGear i.Sound Time Travel Clock with iPod dock
If you can live with some sacrifices, the i.Sound Time Travel iPod alarm clock offers an inexpensive and attractive way to wake up to music from your iPod.
If you're in the market for an alarm clock that works with your iPod, there's no shortage of contenders. The bad news is that most of what passes for iPod alarm clocks are usually just iPod speakers systems with a clock shoved in. Our first impression of the i.Sound Time Travel alarm clock ($59.99) was it actually looked like a functional alarm clock, complete with a real snooze button.
The designer of the i.Sound Time Travel iPod alarm clock obviously understands Apple's obsession with the rounded rectangle shape that dominates all of its products. It measures around 4 inches wide and 2.75 inches tall, making it small enough to travel with (hence the name). Our favorite design element on the Time Travel clock is its luxuriously large Snooze button. But the Snooze button alone is not enough to make us forgive this clock's poorly designed LCD display. We found the numbers on the clock display mysteriously disappear when the clock is turned at certain angles. There are enough obstacles involved in getting out of bed without having to crane your neck to see the time.
The i.Sound Time Travel system was designed first and foremost as an alarm clock. We've seen a slew of iPod speaker systems come though our doors that claim to be alarm clocks simply because they support the iPod's very limited built-in alarm clock feature. While the Time Travel may not produce the sound quality of an Altec Lansing inMotion system, its alarm clock didn't let us down. We were happy to find that even without an iPod connected, the Time Travel reverted to a simple beeping alarm by default--a key feature missing in many wannabe iPod alarm clocks. The Time Travel can run off of four AA batteries, or it can be powered from a wall outlet, which also gives you the ability to charge your iPod while it's docked.
Sadly, the i.Sound Time Travel alarm clock is missing a built-in radio. It's hard to imagine that adding an AM/FM tuner would have been that hard or expensive, especially considering that clock radios can be purchased for less than $10 at most local drugstores. Granted, you could plug in your own radio through the auxiliary input on the back of the Time Travel, but that seems like a lot of trouble for a feature that should have come included.