How we choose
Let’s face it – iPhones have been around a long time. Since their first release in 2007, they have been constantly changing their look, design, and software. That’s what we love about them: they are keeping up with the times, and setting the pace for all other phone companies.
But since the release of the iPhone, alarm clock docks have been available for them. That means that there is a lot of saturation on the market for this product. Over the years, we’ve looked at quite a few of these devices and figured out what they did well, and what they could improve on.
This guide will help you choose the perfect iPhone alarm clock dock for your bedroom table based on features, compatibility with your phone, and more.
Do You Even Need An iPhone Alarm Clock Dock?
iPhone alarm clock docks can be useful, but only in specific cases. These are somewhat outdated, as most people use Bluetooth speakers and just use their phone for an alarm clock.
If you just want a speaker for your device, there are plenty of options for you on the market. Alarm clock docks are always going to be a bit more expensive due to the extra hardware they require, so if you’re just looking for a way to play your music, don’t choose one of these.
Also, if you don’t mind not listening to your music specifically in the morning, you can always choose an alarm clock radio instead. It will wake you up with a radio station of your choosing. Some even come with phone chargers to keep your phone charged and ready to go when you are.
Overall, the iPhone docks are slowly falling out of style. You should only purchase one if you want to use all of the functions it provides. For only a handful of features, there are much less expensive options on the market.
Are you in a hurry? Here are the most important things to consider while you shop for an iPhone alarm clock docking station.
- If you own an iPhone 4S or older, go for an alarm clock with a 30-pin connector.
- iPhone 5 and newer can use a Lightning USB dock.
- Newer iPhones can charge wirelessly and connect with Bluetooth.
- Make sure that the alarm clock is going to work with your case.
- Consider other people that might use it with features like multiple alarms or Android compatibility.
- iHome devices will work best with Apple products, but they are more expensive.
iPhone Alarm Clock Features and Options
There are a lot of iPhone alarm clocks on the market, and it can be difficult to choose the perfect one for you. Here are some important features you can look for while you shop.
Options: Lightning USB, 30-Pin, Wireless
The most important feature to consider when you are looking to purchase an iPhone alarm clock dock is the type of dock connector. While most alarm clocks will let you know what iPhone models that can use the dock, it’s important to know the specific type of connector that your phone uses.
Lightning USB charging is the most common. Newer iPhones (from iPhone 5 and up) use this connector.
30-Pin connectors are the wide iPhone, iPod, and iTouch cords that came with the first models. If you have an older iPhone, you likely have a 30-Pin connector.
Finally, there are wireless docks. These are some of the newest and most expensive, high-quality alarm clock dock models. Some of the newest iPhones have wireless charging capabilities, which means that you don’t even need a cord to charge the phone. Instead, you place the device on a wireless charging pad and allow it to charge that way.
Some new iPhone alarm clock docks have wireless charging pads built in. You only have to place your phone on the charging pad and it will keep it charged while you sleep. Some of these docks even come with Bluetooth capabilities so that you can play your music wirelessly, too.
Whether or not an alarm clock dock will charge your phone is one of the most important features to consider. Most people charge their phones at night, which is when you’ll need it to be docked on the alarm clock that you choose.
While some of these docks have USB ports, allowing you to charge your phone with a cord, choosing an alarm clock that can charge your phone will clear up the clutter on your bedside table and provide two convenient functions at once.
Keep in mind that while some alarm clock docks have charging capabilities, it can only charge the devices that they are compatible with.
Whether you are a new Apple enthusiast or have had an iOS device for years, you probably know that there are a lot of different models. Each model has a different connector and certain software limits.
It’s important to know what models are compatible with any specific iPhone alarm clock dock. Here are some basics.
- Up to 4GS. Before the iPhone 5 came out, Apple used a proprietary 30-Pin connector to charge your iPhone and transfer data. Early iPod Nanos and iPod Touch models had the same 30-Pin connector. If you have an older iPhone or Apple device, you’ll need an alarm clock dock that uses this 30-Pin connector and is compatible with older iPhones and iPods. Note that if you plan to use the alarm clock dock with an iPod, you may not be able to charge the device via the dock.
- iPhone 5 and Up. From the iPhone 5 until the latest iPhone X models, Apple has chosen a smaller connector. It’s still proprietary, but the lightning USB charger is meant to be faster and more compact. If you have a newer iPhone model, choose a dock station that uses the lightning connector on the dock. Otherwise, you won’t be able to connect your device with both charging and audio streaming at the same time.
Works with Cases
Everyone has their favorite phone case. As iPhones are some of the most popular devices right now, there are limitless options when it comes to cases that make your phone personal.
However, some iPhone alarm clock docks won’t work while your iPhone has a case on it. Because of the way the dock is designed, you might not be able to set your iPhone up on the connector while it’s safe in your case.
If you want to keep your iPhone in pristine condition and can’t imagine ever taking it out of its protective case, it’s important to look for an alarm clock dock that works with cases.
Some iPhone alarm clock docks will also allow you to listen to the radio. If you like to listen to the radio while you get ready or prefer to wake up to the radio, look for an alarm clock dock that has an FM radio function.
Some of the latest iPhone alarm clock docks will allow you to connect your phone via Bluetooth. Once Bluetooth is enabled on your phone, you will be able to pair it with the alarm clock with a few simple steps.
When your iPhone is paired with the alarm clock, you will be able to stream music to the speakers right from your phone without a cord. This is useful for wireless charging iPhone alarm clocks. In addition, you can still use the speaker system on the dock while you have your phone in your hands because the Bluetooth function doesn’t require the phone to be plugged in.
It’s a nice extra feature that allows you to use your iPhone the way that you want.
Some of these iPhone alarm clock docks come with remote controls that will allow you to change the song, adjust the volume, or find a new radio station from across the room. This is a really convenient feature, especially if you plan to frequently use your iPhone alarm clock while doing other things.
Auto-Sync is a relatively new feature that allows your iPhone to automatically sync to your alarm clock dock. When your phone is in range, it will automatically update the time on your alarm clock, adjusting for daylight savings time and other time changes.
You’ll never miss an alarm, and your alarm clock dock will always be accurate. It might be a small feature, but it can be useful for those times when you just forget to change your alarm clock time.
Compatible with Android
While we are talking about iPhone alarm clock docks, you might need a dock that works with Android phones as well. Whether your spouse or significant other uses Android while you use an iPhone or you are thinking of switching, choosing an iPhone alarm clock dock that is compatible with Android, as well as iOS, could be beneficial.
If you want a dock that just about anyone can use with their phone, look for one with the Android compatibility feature.
Gone are the days when alarm clocks had a single alarm setting. While there are clocks that only have one alarm, the majority of iPhone alarm clock docks have multiple alarm settings. There are a few different ways that they might handle this.
- Dual Alarms. A dual alarm clock will allow you to set multiple alarms each day. If you and your partner have to get up at different times for work or other obligations, you can set two different alarms from the same device.
- Progressive Alarms. These alarms allow you to set a different alarm for each day. Your alarm for weekdays (Monday-Friday) can be different than your alarm for Weekends (Saturday and Sunday). Instead of having multiple alarms for the same day, these alarms are programmed to go off at a set time on a specific day. This can be great for work schedules.
How Do You Want to Use It?
Before settling on an iPhone alarm clock dock, consider how you want to use it. What are you looking to get out of it?
If you want your music to wake you up, choose a dock that connects directly to your iPhone. Some wireless docks have this capability as well and will play your music via Bluetooth.
If you want to use the alarm clock to also double as a speaker for your music, choose one that has an FM radio, AUX port, and USB port. Bluetooth-enabled alarm clocks are also a great choice. This gives you a ton of different options for playing your music.
If you aren’t planning on using the alarm clock function at all, choose a speaker dock instead.
What devices you have, how many alarms you need, and whether you want to use the dock as more than just an alarm clock are all important features to consider before you buy.
How Much Should You Spend?
With iPhone alarm clock docks, you are getting what you pay for. Spend more, and you’ll have a better response, compatibility, and a wider range of features and options.
Still, they don’t have to cost a lot. For a decent iPhone alarm clock dock with a connector, expect to spend about $50-$100.
Wireless charging docks can run you a little more and may cost more than $100 depending on the features.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t ever pay more than $150 for an iPhone alarm clock dock unless it has a unique feature that you absolutely cannot find anywhere else.