The Gadget: Logitech’s Pure-Fi Anytime alarm clock for your iPod or iPhone.The Price: $230 (although you can find it for $130 online).
The Verdict: Without a doubt, this is the best iPod/iPhone alarm clock I’ve tested. The key ingredient for its success? The orange time display – most iPod alarm clocks I’ve tested use a blue backlight, which not only doubles as a spotlight in a darkroom, but makes reading the black text difficult to read. The Logitech, on the other hand is simple to read, and not too bright that it keeps you awake at night.
I used the Anytime with both my iPhone and my iPod Photo (remember those?) and both worked well, charging while plugged in and easily controllable by the included remote. The sound quality from the speakers is pretty decent – there’s some bass distortion at higher volumes, but this is an alarm clock, and you don’t want it to be too loud.
As well as having the iPod dock, there’s an AM/FM radio and a stereo line in, and you can program the alarm to work off any of these. There’s also a buzzer function, although why you’d use it is beyond me.
One of the most practical, and also gimmicky, features of the Anytime is the inclusion of a motion sensor on top of the unit. This has two functions: Firstly to light up the buttons in a dark setting, so you can see what you’re doing without having to turn on the lights, and secondly as your snooze option.
And I’ve got to say, until you’ve snoozed by waving your hand in the general direction of your alarm clock, you haven’t lived. Sure there’s a big-ass snooze button on top, but you don’t need it. Just wave your hand and enjoy another 10 minutes of sleep. On the downside, this makes it all too easy to have 3 snoozes too many…
The Anytime also has three shortcut buttons that link to playlists in your iPhone or iPod. The catch is that you have to create the playlists and name them ‘1’, ‘2’, or ‘3’ to correspond with the buttons. While that’s not a bad thing in itself, being able to map different playlists to those shortcuts would be even better.
It’s not the perfect alarm dock though. For a start, although there are three brightness settings available for the display, it would be nice to have the softest setting even dimmer. Another hiccup I had was when it crashed completely – normally that would be easy fixed by unplugging the power cord. But the Anytime’s backup 9 volt battery, which you need a screwdriver to get to, meant that the simple act of resetting the device was a horrible ordeal which involved searching for a Philips head screwdriver in the early hours of the morning after partaking in a rather large quantity of alcohol.
Other than that though, my experience with the Pure-Fi Anytime has been one of peaceful wakings and blissful, motion powered snoozes. And you can’t ask for any more from your alarm clock, can you?