Edifier iF200 alarm clock and speaker system for iPod review

4 out of 5
£39.95

For

Cheap and cute

Against

Lack of decent bass affects the sound quality, and isn't compatible with some of the newer iPod models so check before you buy

OK so it’s been out a while, but everyone from grannies to grandkids seems to have an iPod, so this could be the perfect Christmas pressie for one, if not five, of your family members.

The Edifier iF200 is an alarm clock and a speaker system which is compatible with some iPods (although not the iPod touch, 4G nano or iPhone). But what stands out is its retro design. It looks like an updated version of the alarm clocks most of us would have literally jumped out of bed to turn off at some ungodly hour on a cold British morning - the metal ones with two bells on top.

Well instead of giving out a brain shaking ringing, the "bells" are now speakers (3W) and will play any tune of your choosing from your iPod collection to ease you out of your slumbers. It’s also better looking, in my opinion, than its close competitor - the Cygnett GrooveToons iPod nano alarm clock.

As well as styling (and it’s worth mentioning at this point that the Edifier comes in black, white and pink and white) - the other key advantage of this player is ease of set-up. You can literally take it out of the box and an easy to read dial plate at the back of the cradle indicates which setting you need for whichever iPod model you have. This dial is the plate depth dial and you also have to adjust the 30-pin collector, before slotting your iPod in.

The next step is also easy - but only if you read the three-stage instructions which are enclosed. The Edifier has to "recognise" your iPod, which means navigating to options on my iPod I didn’t realise I even had. And all the while your Edifier will be beeping at you, which adds slightly to the pressure. It basically entails getting to the Extras option in the iPod menu and then "showing" the Edifier where your clock menu is.

Once this is done though it’s plain sailing, picking the track, album or playlist you want to wake up to. But remember that you have to go through the process again if you dock a different iPod.

Features I particularly liked include the chrome volume dial on the back, the sound level you can crank it up to (which was particularly amusing one morning when I was out and about but my other half was expecting a lie-in), and the fact that the Edifier has a 9-minute snooze option, activated by the snooze button on the top.

The sound quality is good in a device this size (14 x 14 x 7.5cm) but not brilliant - a little more bass (yes even in the morning) would have made a huge difference.

Power-wise, the Edifier comes with a UK mains adaptor, but doesn’t have a battery option so isn’t one for taking camping.

The instruction manual warns it doesn’t like the rain or moisture just in case you were tempted though to take it on your travels, this is strictly a gadget for your bedside table.

Verdict

Yes there are loads of us out there who are used to waking up to the buzz of the news on the radio but in today's climate, wouldn't it be even nicer to emerge from slumberland to mellow music instead of reports of economic meltdown?

The Edifier deliver tunes of your choice, and looks good to boot. Do some shopping round though if it takes your fancy as prices seem to vary hugely online.