My first radio alarm clock was a white plastic unit, which lasted many years by my bedside. That was in the days before the Sony Walkman let alone the iPod or iPhone.
My next alarm clock was cube-shaped, small and cute. I think I spilled a cup of tea on it – out of clumsy tiredness rather than waking anger.
I now have a young child, who is also small and cute but can’t wake me up with XFM or the latest Mumford & Sons album.
The i-Station TimeCube from noted audio accessory maker Logic3 is the latest in a long line of cube-shaped FM radio alarm clocks. This one has the added benefit of a dock for the Apple iPod or iPhone, and also boasts a 3.5mm stereo line-in for playing other audio devices (MP3, portable CD, etc).
The TimeCube is pretty dinky at just 90mm cubed, but one whole side has an easy-to-read calendar and time LED display, which has three dimmer levels depending on your night-time light tolerance.
It features two alarm modes (seven day or five days, which is handy when you want a lie-in on the weekend) with the usual sleep & snooze functions, and your choice to wake up to iPhone/iPod, radio or buzzer.
The 4W RMS speaker sound is surprisingly good for such a little unit, and can go loud enough to wake the dead or fill the average bedroom with music.
The FM radio has six memory presets, and depending on reception offers decent sound.
Time and radio setup is a simple matter of a few clicks and selections on the neat top control panel.
The TimeCube will also charge your iPod or iPhone while you sleep so it’s fully powered in time for your waking day.
Like the iPhone the Logic3 TimeCube is available in either black or white.
It comes with an alternative two-pin plug adaptor that can be used in Europe, and it’s certainly compact and light enough to travel with you on your trips away from home.