Top critical review
29 people found this helpful
not up to normal Sony standard
on 1 November 2013
I don't think Sony put much effort into creating this product, it appears they simply took the ICF-DS15IP and put a DAB radio in whilst taking out MW support. I don't mind the loss of MW personally, but there are some other problems with inserting DAB without changing the design at all. DAB requires the display to be able to show station names and other info, but the screen on this device is exactly the same size as the non-DAB model, so to fit that information in, they have chosen to make the size of the time on the display much smaller. It is less than half the size of the FM only model, and if you are short-sighted you will need to have the unit as close to the bed as possible to read it, unless you sleep with glasses on! I would have thought that having a big, easy to read clock was an obvious important feature for any clock radio, but the designers of this apparently did not.
My device also had a nasty feature of making a loud pop sound when you turned it off either by pressing the button or using the sleep feature. This happened both on FM radio and iPod modes, but strangely not on DAB. Hopefully this is just a fault and others will not experience this, if using the sleep feature it was likely to wake you up!
The display lighting is also not ideal for a device that is meant to be used in a bedroom. On medium and high brightness it tends to illuminate a large area and is potentially distracting if you like to sleep in as dark a room as possible. The lowest brightness is ok, but then makes the display very difficult to read in daylight, even on a dull day. My old Sony clock radio had an orange display which seemed to manage to be bright and easy to read in all conditions without illuminating it's surroundings significantly, it is a shame a similar display was not used here.
There are some positives, the DAB reception seemed quite good and picked up stations fine despite officially being slightly outside official coverage. The iPod features work well and the app is quite helpful giving an easy way to set alarms etc. The sound quality is much better than a basic clock radio, although not up to the standards of many docks for the size and price it is acceptable. The device doesn't take up too much more space than a basic clock radio either.