We found setting the alarm easy enough (you can wake up to your iPod, the radio, or a buzzer), and while the display isn't huge, it's easy enough to read from 5 or 6 feet away, and can be dimmed. If you're comparing alarm functionality, this model only allows you to set the alarm to go off daily, whereas the iH9 gives you the option of setting it to go off only on weekdays, weekends, or every day. It's also worth mentioning that you only get four presets for radio stations; we prefer at least six.
An included AC adapter powers the unit and two AAA batteries provide backup power for the clock and alarm in the event of a power failure. However, the batteries will not power the radio, your iPod, or the speakers.
The iH12 doesn't have any bass or treble controls, but you can engage the "3D sound-enhancement" circuitry with a press of a button on the small remote (which is easy to misplace). We've seen similar modes on other iPod audio systems, and they're designed through a bit of processing magic to expand the sound stage (when you have two speakers spaced only a few inches apart you get very little in the way of stereo separation). While it doesn't make much of an impact, the 3D mode on the iH12BR does improve the sound a touch and you'll want to keep it on once you've engage it.