So it's back to school time. The end of summer is near and you may have to actually get out of bed at a pre designated time. We're not happy about it either. But with that in mind, if you need a little help consider the Sony ICF-C414 Dream Machine clock radio.
We recently went on the hunt for a basic clock radio for about $20. When it comes to clock radios we have very simple requirements. It must have a big bright display, have hardy controls and be easy to set and include a good AM/FM tuner. Some type of battery backup in case the power goes out is always good to have too.
Now you would think in this day and age that would be a slam dunk. But it's not. We encountered all kinds of junk. Sony is one of the last companies making decent clock radios these days. You can find boatloads of iPhone/pod ready contraptions and even lamps with built in docks for more money. But when it comes to the simple clock radio for $20 or less there's not a whole lot to choose from.
The original "Dream Machine' was one of our all time favorite clock radios. It was a simple white or black cube with all the basic features and battery backup. It worked great.
But then Sony lost its way for a while and started adding too many features and buttons and funky (not the good funky) knobs on the side of its radios and suddenly its Dream Machine lineup became more of a nightmare.
Well we're happy to say the Sony ICF-C414 is a true Dream Machine to use. The display is huge, the controls are simple and the radio sounds pretty good. For $20 this is the benchmark for a good quality, no frills clock radio.