Is it old-fashioned to keep a clock on your nightstand? Perhaps, but even in the age of smartphones and smart speakers, I can’t live without one. I don’t like waking up all blurry-eyed, still mostly asleep, scrambling for a phone, and still not really seeing the time. And sometimes I want to wake up to an alarm that isn’t my kids clamoring for breakfast.
I’ve actually combined the idea of a bedside clock with a smart speaker. Right now the honor goes to the Amazon Echo Dot with Clock, and while I am very fond of it, it’s not the greatest clock display. But I keep it for literally the dumbest reason…in the world.
The Grand Tour alarm clock
Over the many years of relying on my phone of choice as an alarm, I’ve grown somewhat immune. I can easily sleep through an iPhone alarm as if it never happened. I tried playing music on an Android phone, but music helps me sleep, not wake me up. I’m one of those people who needs a really obnoxious alarm noise to wake up to. Something that I have to silence.
And I found it.
I give you, The Grand Tour alarm on the Amazon Echo.
My face absolutely lit up when I was browsing the Alexa app trying to find something that would wake me up. Now I’ve found it and it’s here to stay. There are actually two different alarms featuring the infamous trio, but I settled on easily the most obnoxious.
This is how I wake up in a morning, with Jeremy Clarkson yelling at me pic.twitter.com/VLnWMHLJBz
— Richard (@Ricker666) June 29, 2022
If I don’t silence it within a few seconds it very quickly descends into Jeremy Clarkson shouting “WAKE UP WAKE UP” over and over. Frankly, I’m surprised my wife hasn’t turfed me out yet. But it’s effective. No matter how much I don’t want to get out of bed, I cannot sleep through the not-so-dulcet tones of Clarkson, Hammond, and May.
The genius generates gravity
For someone like me, this really is just a tremendous solution to the unfortunate business of having to wake up in the morning. It adds a little fun to something as dull as an alarm, and to the worst part of the day, too.
If you’re not such a fan, or the idea of Clarkson’s gravity-generating genius waking you up makes you feel a little strange, Amazon has a number of alternatives. You can play music or a selection of more traditional alarm tunes, or you have a few alternatives under the “celebrity sounds” category.
But if you choose the “Man City Football” option, sorry, we can’t be friends.
On a more serious note, the Echo Dot with Clock does actually serve extremely well as a nightstand device. The sound quality is good enough and loud enough that it can serve duty as an alarm clock or a radio. The clock is basic but easy to see through morning eyes, though I wish it had the weather, too. For the price, it’s a great piece of tech to use in a place you might not want another display.
The Echo Dot is a slimmed down Echo in almost every way, packing Alexa’s power and decent quality sound into a tiny form factor.