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iHome Travel Alarm Clock: You Can Bring It All With You

I never use an alarm clock. I'm almost always up most of the night writing or watching bad movies, so I tend to just sleep until my body wants to wake up.

The problem is, my night shift life doesn't work well with doctor appointments or airline schedules. Sometimes I have to wake up just a few hours after going to bed; in these cases I need an alarm that I can rely on and that has a snooze button. It also needs to be loud so I don't sleep through it.

Enter iHome's iH16 Travel Alarm Clock. It's perfect for home and travel, and it's totally versatile. I can plug it into the outlet (here or anywhere else in the world - it has dual voltage) or I can run it off of four AA batteries. The nice thing about batteries is that if the power goes off, the alarm will still work. (You can't run the iPod off of the batteries, but when using the wall adapter, I can charge my iPod while I listen t music or as long as its in the cradle.)

I can wake up to my favorite Jay hawks' song, which starts of gently and slowly increases in volume (iHome calls that "Gentle Waking"), or I set the alarm to a regular buzzer noise. The snooze gives me nine minutes of snooze time, and once the music comes back on (I never use the alarm sound) it'll play for an hour before the speakers shut off automatically. The cool thing is -- if I want to wake up at the same time every day, I just hit the power button to reset the alarm for the next day.

Another cool thing - I can set the alarm to play my iPod for up to 90 minutes, and gradually fade so that I can fall asleep to my music. I love this feature when I'm traveling because I can block out traffic noise while I'm drifting away. Since there are only a few buttons on the alarm, it's pretty easy to figure out. Still, read the manual because I initially couldn't figure out how to set the clock.

When I'm traveling, my iHome Travel Alarm Clock is my iPod speaker system. I work in bed a lot (the writer's life), so it's great to have my music on when I'm performing mundane tasks such as updating my database or editing photos. For a small little guy (he's about the size of a hot dog bun), my iHome travel alarm, clock, iPod speaker cranks out a nice full sound. Never scratchy or tinny. It's got a nice clear sound.

Comes in three colors (gun metal, white, and blue) and with cradle attachments for the new nano, the 120 classic, and the itouch iPods. There's also a line-in plug in the back that allows me to use the clock as a speaker system for my older model iPods.

Bottom Line: Why wake up to a crappy alarm sound when you can wake up to your favorite music? This all-in-one gadget is ideal for travel and home.--E.D. (Aug 09)

Price : $59.99, shop at Compusa. icon, save $10 at radioshack.com.

Manufacturer's Site : www.ihomeaudio.com

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