RCA Digital Alarm Clock

Last updated date: March 25, 2019

Review Melt Score
9.3

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We looked at the top 1 Alarm Clocks and dug through the reviews from 5 of the most popular review sites including New York Times Wirecutter, PC Magazine, 5 Product Reviews, The Consumer Guide, Indenpendent and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Alarm Clock you should buy.

Overall Take

This simple, easy-to-use alarm clock is one of the most affordable on the market. You can customize the brightness to keep your room dark while you sleep. You'll also get convenient buttons, including a wide snooze button that will be a big help during those groggy early waking moments. In our analysis of 67 expert reviews, the RCA RCA Digital Alarm Clock placed 2nd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note March 26, 2019:
Checkout The Best Alarm Clock for a detailed review of all the top alarm clocks.

Expert Summarized Score
10.0
5 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.8
5,034 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The least expensive alarm clock we reviewed is also the easiest to operate, with minimal controls, a big, bright display, and reliable alarm features.
- New York Times Wirecutter
With a battery backup, a full-width snooze button, and adjustable brightness, this classic LED alarm clock has earned its four-star Amazon review average.
- PC Magazine
February 20, 2018 | Full review
It not only gives clear times but also gives you enough information on the day, month, year and the temperatures of your home. Multi-faceted, it’s quite versatile and can be used on various surfaces as well.
- 5 Product Reviews
November 29, 2018 | Full review
This basic clock has a large full-width snooze button that is easy to reach, even when you’re tired. The clock allows you to control the brightness so that the color doesn’t disrupt your sleep. This clock is compact but has an easy to read the screen.
- The Consumer Guide
February 19, 2019 | Full review
This is one of the simplest alarms you’ll find – and one of the cheapest. The large red numerals are exceptionally easy to read and can be set to a high or low brightness level.
- Indenpendent
May 29, 2018 | Full review
What experts didn't like
The minute and hour buttons go in only one direction, so if you get distracted while setting the time and go too far, you’ll need to cycle through again.
- New York Times Wirecutter
This LED-based digital alarm clock from RCA isn't quite as retro as the analog model above
- PC Magazine
February 20, 2018 | Full review
The clock only shows the time in a 12-hour format, which some may not like. There’s only one alarm and the only sophistication is a nine-minute snooze button.
- Indenpendent
May 29, 2018 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Sometimes you just need something simple that's easy to use. RCA has you covered, with a streamlined alarm clock offering snooze, a simple interface, a large 1.4-inch display that's easy to see, and No Worry Corded-Electric or Battery back-up that lets you rest easy too. Refer to the User Manual for troubleshooting steps.

Overall Product Rankings

1. American Lifetime Digital Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 9.8
Expert Reviews: 4
2. RCA Digital Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 5
3. Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 9
4. iHome Bluetooth Color Changing Dual Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 9
5. Sonic Alert Travel Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 1
6. Sonic Alert Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 11
7. Travelwey Home LED Digital Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 6
8. Electrohome Projection Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 10
9. Sony Radio Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 6.9
Expert Reviews: 5
10. Kkafu Wireless Bluetooth Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 6.6
Expert Reviews: 2

An Overview On Alarm Clocks

Waking up is never easy, especially if you don’t get to do it on your own. Alarm clocks have been used for more than a century for pulling people out of a deep slumber, evolving in sophistication along the way. Many people today use a smartphone to wake up, but there are still benefits to an alarm clock. It frees you from the burden of having your smartphone next to you as you sleep, for one, while also giving you a wider range of options as to how you’ll be awoken.

If it’s been a while since you’ve gone alarm clock shopping, you may be surprised to hear about the many options now available. You can still get the standard digital alarm clock that lets you choose between disruptive beeps and other noises versus waking up to a local radio station. But there are also alarm clocks that sync to your phone, letting you wake up to music from your playlist.

There’s another option that you may have missed along the way. The Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock uses light therapy techniques to wake you up gently and naturally. It simulates the natural light from the sunrise, working with your body’s circadian rhythms to gently nudge you awake. Even some digital clocks use changing colors as a wake-up technique to combine this new approach with traditional alarm clock design.

One thing to consider is the ease of use of your alarm clock. You’ll likely want a digital readout that you can decipher when you roll over in the middle of the night, but you also don’t want it to be so bright that it lights up your entire room. If you’ve ever struggled to set the time or change your wake-up alarm time, you likely know the importance of ease of use. It’s important to consider that feature when you’re shopping, especially if you wake up at different times every day.

Review Melt Fun Fact

The need to wake up at a designated time predates alarm clocks. In ancient Greek and ancient Egypt, sundials and obelisks were used to tell time, but that didn’t help with the need to rise and shine. In ancient China, timers in the form of candle clocks were used for the purpose. A candle clock combined wax and nails, with the nails hitting a metal plate once the wax melted beyond a certain point. The noise served to wake up nearby sleepers. In 725, an engineer in China came up with something known as the “water clock,” which used a water wheel and gears to set off gongs at specific times.

The Alarm Clock Buying Guide

  • For visually challenged consumers, the American Lifetime Digital Alarm Clock stands out above all others. Not only is its display the easiest to read, but it also gives you details you can use after waking up, including the day of the week and whether it’s morning, afternoon, night or evening. If you want to use it for reminders, it even offers an alert that reminds you when it’s time to take your medicine. The information on the screen on the American Lifetime Digital Alarm Clock is clear from every angle.
  • If you’re looking for something simple and straightforward, consider the RCA Digital Alarm Clock, which is small but features the numbers prominently enough for you to make them out even in your sleepiest state.
  • Brightness preferences can vary dramatically from one person to the next. The RCA Digital Alarm Clock has a high/low brightness control that lets you find exactly the level of light you want your clock to put out. The iHome Bluetooth Color Changing Dual also has that feature, but the minimum brightness still may put out too much light for some.
  • There’s an alarm clock for every budget, from the RCA Digital Alarm Clock, which retails for less than $20, to the Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock, which tops $100. Between those extremes are the American Lifetime Digital Alarm Clock and iHome Bluetooth Color Changing Dual, which each sell for less than $50.
  • Simple designs also mean easier operation. The RCA Digital Alarm Clock has easy-to-use buttons and a full-width snooze buttons for those mornings when you just can’t get going. The only downside to this alarm is that the minute and hour buttons go in only one direction, so you’ll often find you have to run the full cycle to get to the desired time.
  • Although it sounds complicated, setting the Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock is surprisingly easy. You simply choose the wake-up time and select from one of five wake-up sounds. You can also customize the light to the intensity that works best for you. Thirty minutes before your scheduled wake-up time, the simulated sunrise will begin, reaching full intensity at the end of that time period.
  • Morning isn’t the only time your Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock will help you. Use it as a bedside lamp to read at bedtime each night. As it gets closer to your preferred bedtime, the lamp will dim slowly to gradually ease you into sleep.
  • The iHome Bluetooth Color Changing Dual has a unique round design with five different light-emitting colors that you can change at the touch of a button. In a dimly lit room, the chosen color can set a mood.
  • If you want to be able to wake up to FM radio, you’ll need to choose between the Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock or the iHome Bluetooth Color Changing Dual. The iHome Bluetooth Color Changing Dual has the best sound, as well as strong FM reception.
  • If you want to wake up to your own music, the iHome Bluetooth Color Changing Dual is the best choice. You’ll get Bluetooth connectivity that will allow you to stream music from your smartphone. The built-in speakers will make the songs on your phone, mp3 player or tablet sound great.
  • If the power dies overnight, what will happen to your alarm the following morning? With a battery backup, you’ll be covered no matter what. The American Lifetime Digital Alarm Clock, RCA Digital Alarm Clock, Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock and iHome Bluetooth Color Changing Dual all have battery backups. With the Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock, you’ll get backup for up to eight hours after a power failure. The RCA Digital Alarm Clock’s backup uses a 9-volt battery that isn’t included.