Saturday, March 22, 2014

My Review of the Capello CD Alarm Clock

When I received a CD alarm clock for Christmas, I was really quite pleased. I had been dealing with a CD alarm clock that had been deteriorating for some time and it was time for an upgrade. As a rule, I enjoy practical gifts. I like to get socks. I like to get boxers. And so I was quite excited to put my new alarm to use. This was a well-thought gift from my wife, and I was grateful for it.

The CD Alarm Clock from Capello has everything you could want from one. It has a clock--with brightness settings. It has a snooze button. It has a sleep button, though I've never quite figured out what those do. It has two alarm settings. It has three wake up sounds: clock radio, annoying buzzer, and CD. Very good. This is what I wanted.

I myself like the CD setting. If I did not, I would have only wanted a clock radio or perhaps just a basic alarm. Some people might like to listen to the radio or that buzzer when they waken, but I prefer to choose the song I want to hear. Easy enough. This alarm allows me to do that.

Unfortunately, this is where the product utterly fails. The alarm does awaken you to the sounds of your CD, and on the song you selected, but it does so at maximum volume! Yes, when the alarm rings, you will be blasted out of bed to the sounds of 2Pac's "California Love" or the theme to Rocky.

Before I go further, I am quite aware that this is a first-world problem. Fair enough. But what is the point of even having an America if in this America you cannot select the volume setting you would like to wake up to? The second we start allowing the machines to pick the volume of our music...well, friends, I don't have to tell you what's next.

If I was single, this wouldn't be so bad. When "Welcome to the Jungle" rips me from bed, clutching my chest in a desperate attempt to quell a potential heart attack, I would most certainly be awake. Do not let it be said that this alarm clock does not wake you up. However, I am not single.  Nor do I wish to be. See, when this alarm sounds, it not only wakens me in a panic. It wakens my wife. And my five-year old daughter, who often sneaks into bed. And the dog. And probably the next door neighbors. Now the instructions claim that the alarm will "gradually" increase in volume, but I must have a wildly different definition of the word "gradually" than the Capello company. There is nothing gradual about this.

This brings me to my next issue with the clock. I've given up on the CD part of the alarm. My marriage and sanity demand it. As such, since I cannot wake up to a song of my choosing, I wake up to the annoying buzzer. The buzzer may get many people out of bed on the first ring, but it does not do so for me. Which means I am using the snooze button.

My experience tells me that most snooze buttons go for 10 minutes. I don't know if it is an industry standard, but it sure seems like it. But Capello knows better. They have set their snooze to last 5 minutes. Does this mean I get up with the first snooze? Of course not. I hit it again. Once I've committed to using the snooze, I want my ten minutes. I believe most would feel the same.

Lastly, the snooze button on this CD alarm clock is placed strategically among the CD buttons. Which means that when I am fumbling in the dark for snooze, my fingers often drift to the play button on my CD player. In theory, this should not be a big deal. When I do use the CD playback function, I do so at a reasonable, marriage-saving volume level. Every music playback device I have owned will resume playing at the volume level previously selected during the last listening period. Now this can sometimes lead to awkward moments if you were rocking out in your car to something cool and hip when you left and return to a Kesha song, but overall it works well. But Capello knows better. When you resume playback with their device, it once again returns the volume to its highest setting. Which means that if I am not careful in the morning, and my clumsy fingers hit play, then I am once again waking up the room.

With that, I cannot recommend this CD alarm clock. As a buzzer alarm clock, if you don't mind the 5 minute snooze, it works OK. As a CD player, it works well. But as a CD alarm clock--an important distinction--it works very poorly. Therefore I see no suitable rating but a one star.

1 comment:

  1. How did you manage to set the time on yours? I bought one of these but couldn't get the time set function to work, so I exchanged it. But now I can't set the time on the second one, either. I actually read the manual, so it's kind of hard to think this is operator error. Any suggestions?