Review: XtremeMac Luna (Verdict: a clock dock that rocks)

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I remember when XtremeMac was a mediocre brand of Apple and iPod accessories. What you see now is unrecognisable compared to the old days. Things look sleek and sexy over there now, and we got our hands on the XtremeMac Luna ($299), their newest iPod alarm clock docking station. After a week of it sitting upside the bed, did it pass muster? Short answer: hell yes! Long answer: read on.

What's really great about the Luna is the huge range of settings available, letting you get everything exactly how you want it. The LCD display has dimming, contrast, and colour invert. Whooppee, huh? It's actually really helpful because you have a remote for the Luna, so you can put it anywhere in the room, which can make a big difference on how visible the screen is from where you are. But the best of the tweaks are in how the alarms can be set.

There are two alarms on board, with independent settings on what you wake to (iPod, radio, or buzzers — with different buzzers to choose from), the snooze allowance, and volume control. Volume even allows for stepped wake up, so it will start off mellow before blasting your head off if you haven't switched it off. And you can set how long each step takes to kick in. You can set playlist selection or shuffle play for the alarm too.

But we're talking music, so the speakers need to cut it if it has any chance of coming up with the goods. The bad news: it doesn't sound as good as the better speaker docks out therel the good news: it is better than a lot of speaker docks, and pretty much every other clock dock. It is a bit tinny, with little bass, but you can tweak your audio levels too to get something pretty damn good.

There are better options if you're thinking of dropping this on an office desk, but for bedroom alarm action, the Luna really has the goods.

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