A. Like many items today, the amount you’ll pay for an alarm clock depends on how much technology you want layered onto it. If you desire nothing but a simple analog alarm clock that rouses you with a single tone, you could spend as little as $10. A slightly more sophisticated clock radio might cost $20 or so. If you want a deluxe digital alarm clock with screen projection, Bluetooth capability, MP3 player, or other cool features, you’re looking at a price of anywhere from $40 to $90.
If you're outfitting your new home or apartment, check out more of our great buying guides like the best bar stools, the best light bulbs, the best coffee tables, the best area rugs, the best mattress toppers, the best sheets, the best mattresses, the best pillows, the best clothes hangers, the best cordless vacuum cleaners, the best laundry baskets and hampers, and the best home security cameras you can buy.
In 1815, Francis Ronalds published the first electric clock powered by dry pile batteries. Alexander Bain, Scottish clockmaker, patented the electric clock in 1840. The electric clock's mainspring is wound either with an electric motor or with an electromagnet and armature. In 1841, he first patented the electromagnetic pendulum. By the end of the nineteenth century, the advent of the dry cell battery made it feasible to use electric power in clocks. Spring or weight driven clocks that use electricity, either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC), to rewind the spring or raise the weight of a mechanical clock would be classified as an electromechanical clock. This classification would also apply to clocks that employ an electrical impulse to propel the pendulum. In electromechanical clocks the electricity serves no time keeping function. These types of clocks were made as individual timepieces but more commonly used in synchronized time installations in schools, businesses, factories, railroads and government facilities as a master clock and slave clocks.
If you’re looking for a calmer start to your day, you might want to try the Wake-Up Light. It gradually gets you up and out of bed with a colored sunrise simulation and a selection of nature-inspired sounds, so that you can start the day feeling refreshed and energized—as if you had woken up naturally. For anyone who finds it particularly hard to get out of bed when it’s cold and dark out, this alarm clock makes those winter mornings that little bit easier. It also comes with a nighttime dimming feature so that you can make sure you’re getting your best night’s rest.
The first precise timekeeping mechanism, whose principles of motion were discovered by Galileo, was the simple pendulum (see below). The accuracy of modern timekeeping has been improved dramatically by the introduction of tiny quartz crystals, whose harmonic oscillations generate electrical signals that may be incorporated into miniaturized circuits…
If you have a serious problem sleeping through your alarm, this retro little clock is for you. Because it doesn’t have a snooze button, you’ll be forced to either shut the alarm off completely and risk oversleeping, or you’ll learn to rise with the alarm. Also good: it’s doesn’t have an annoying ticking sound like other vintage clocks, so you won’t be kept awake at night.
In a clock driven by a weight or a spring, the power is first transmitted by the main, or great, wheel. This engages with a pinion (a gear with a small number of teeth designed to mesh with a larger wheel), whose arbor (a turning rod to which gears are attached) is attached to the second wheel that, in its turn, engages with the next pinion, and so on, down through the train to the escapement. The gear ratios are such that one arbor, usually the second or third, rotates once an hour and can be used to carry the minute hand. A simple 12-to-1 gearing, known as the motion work, gives the necessary step-down ratio to drive the hour hand. The spring or weight is fitted with a mechanism so it can be rewound when necessary, and the arbor carrying the minute hand is provided with a simple slipping clutch that allows the hands to be set to the correct time.
Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy (like pillows), but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ‘em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve tried to find the nicest-sounding alarm clocks and ended up with picks for the best alarm clock and a voice-controlled alarm clock, we wanted to see what other ways to wake up were out there. So we found the best alarm clocks on Amazon, according to hyperenthusiastic reviewers. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)