Since most people have to get up and go to a job at some point in time for at least half the week or more, it often helps to have an alarm clock on-hand to make sure that you do not oversleep. The days of simple alarm clocks have long since passed, and now alarm clocks come with more features in an effort to entice you to buy them.
When it comes to an alarm clock, two of the more popular features are the radio and CD player. Both of these features provide the alarm clock with a way to play music or other audio signals and can often be used in lieu of a standard alarm sound. Of course, you will want to make sure that you get the best clock radio with CD. (READ MORE: Step-by-step Guide for Choosing Best Portable CD Player and Best Sounding Clock Radio).
- Best Clock Radio with CD 2018
- 1. Bose Wave Music System IV – Best Clock Radio with CD (Editor’s Choice)
- 2. Sylvania SCR4986 – Best Alarm Clock Radio with CD Player
- 3. NAXA Electronics NRC-175 – Best Clock Radio with CD Player (Best Price)
- 4. Sony ICF-CD7000WC – Best Sounding Clock Radio CD Player
- 5. DPNAO dpnao-010 – Best Child’s Clock Radio with CD
- 6. Firebox Audio & Video – Best Clock Radio Bluetooth Speaker
- 7. Jensen JEN-JMC-180A – Best Clock Radio with CD Players (People’s Choice)
- Best Clock Radio with CD – Buyer’s Guide
Best Clock Radio with CD 2018
Still, figuring out which clock radio with CD is the best can be a difficult and confusing task. That is why we have put together a list of the 7 best clock radio with CD, highlighting what each one does best. Then we provide a helpful buyer’s guide. So you can find the best clock radio with CD to suit your needs.
|Bose Wave IV|
|2||CD/-R/-RW/MP3||3.5 mm aux, |
|Sylvania SCR4986||2||CD/-R/-RW/MP3||3.5 mm aux|
|2||CD/-R/-RW/MP3||3.5 mm aux|
|Sony CD7000WC||2||CD/-R/-RW/MP3||3.5 mm aux|
|DPNAO||2||CD/MP3/WMA||USB, 3.5 mm aux|
|Bluetooth, USB, SD, |
3.5 mm aux
|1||CD/-R/-RW||3.5 mm aux|
None of the Clock Radios with CD reviewed use CD transport. That is a much higher end and specialized type of firmware/hardware configuration and generally a completely separate type of device used primarily for niche audio entertainment systems. All of the products reviewed use the DAC system.
1. Bose Wave Music System IV – Best Clock Radio with CD (Editor’s Choice)
When you think of Bose, chances are CD players are not necessarily the first product that comes to mind. This is because Bose has made a name for itself far more with speakers and home entertainment systems. That provides arguably the best sound quality available in the consumer electronics market. That said, since the technology for keeping time, picking up radio stations, and even playing CDs is no longer cutting edge. Bose can easily tack them onto their impressive sound systems with excellent results.
While it is not strictly the most compatible clock radio with CD that we saw, the Bose Wave Music System IV is too terribly far off of that mark either. For instance, this is one of the few clock radio with CD products that we reviewed that can connect via a wireless Bluetooth protocol. Though you will need to purchase the Bluetooth adapter separately. Which will further drive up the price of the already most expensive clock radio with CD that we reviewed. On top of that, the Bose Wave Music System IV can play every format of CD as well as MP3s. It can even display the track information that is encoded onto the file.
2. Sylvania SCR4986 – Best Alarm Clock Radio with CD Player
Though not the oldest company on our list, Sylvania has been around for over 2 ½ decades. That said, Sylvania is not actually the company though there is a separate company named Sylvania and is instead merely the brand of consumer entertainment electronics owned by the conglomerate Curtis International. Still, the brand has been manufacturing consumer-grade electronics for its existence and understands how to provide a solid blend of features at a low price that is difficult to deny.
While the Sylvania SCR4986 may not necessarily blow too many people away with its options. It offers a solid mix of features some of which are not found on competing models that cost twice as much. For instance, this clock radio with CD has 2 independent alarms, so partners can be woken up at separate times. On top of that, the Sylvania SCR4986 also provides a USB charging port, to charge your smart devices while you sleep though this USB port does not accept signals. So you will not be able to play music from your smart device through the USB port. Thankfully, the Sylvania SCR4986 comes with a 3.5 mm input jack. So you can play music from your smart device via that connection.
3. NAXA Electronics NRC-175 – Best Clock Radio with CD Player (Best Price)
As a company, NAXA Electronics shows what can be accomplished when a company that was primarily an only online seller makes decent products at lower prices than their competitors who have higher overhead budgets. That said, it should be understood that NAXA Electronics is squarely a consumer-grade manufacturer of electronics. So you will not necessarily find features on their goods that are unique or even all that rare. Also, this company has been known to “borrow” designs from other manufacturers.
Of course, when you make it a point to find the least expensive product within a given market, you should always expect to run into a few issues that other companies charge to ensure do not occur. Thankfully, for the NAXA Electronics NRC-175, those issues do not actually involve how well the product itself functions nor how durable the product is. Instead, the biggest problem with the NAXA Electronics NRC-175 is that it can be devilishly difficult to use. Specifically, many of its functions that do not involve simply playing the CD player are buried within numerous presses of buttons that are not intuitively labeled or designated.
4. Sony ICF-CD7000WC – Best Sounding Clock Radio CD Player
When it comes to consumer electronics, there are few companies, which can match Sony on virtually any metric. Whether you consider the fact that many of the highest-end products are made by Sony, the fact that it is one of the oldest manufacturers of consumer electronics in the world and by the one with the most storied history on our list. The Sony is regularly responsible for pushing whole markets forward with product innovation. The fact remains clear that Sony is a juggernaut in the electronics department. As such, it should come as little surprise that the Sony ICF-CD7000WC captured our editor’s choice best performing clock radio with CD.
It may seem to get overlooked in a discussion about clock radios with CD, but the clock function of this product market should arguably be one of the most important. Of course, when the basic functions of clocks are not that difficult to accomplish. It generally gets pushed to the back as an afterthought. That said, Sony is apparently not content to let the primary function exhibit a lackluster performance and includes a couple features which make it better than most. This is the only clock radio with CD player on our list that features an automatic time setting function. On top of that, this feature even takes into account daylight savings time.
5. DPNAO dpnao-010 – Best Child’s Clock Radio with CD
You should not feel too bad if you have never heard of DPNAO since the company has only been in existence for a little over a year. On top of that, DPNAO is a company that utilizes the only online business model. So that it can cut its overhead costs and provides products at a lower price than its competitors though that does not always pan out. That said, DPNAO does at least specialize in clocks specifically with a strong focus on clock radios with CD players. It allows them to provide a solid product that exceeds its inauspicious origins.
Speaking of which, the DPNAO dpnao-010 also exceeds expectations for a company founded recently utilizing an only online business model. It provides a USB port that can be used for more than just charging your smart device. If you plug in either a smart device or even a USB thumb drive, the DPNAO dpnao-010 will be able to play CDDA, MP3, and WMA files. Of course, if that port is otherwise occupied on your smart device, you can also use the 3.5 mm aux input jack to stream your audio files. While the 3.5 mm aux output jack allows you to listen privately with headphones.
6. Firebox Audio & Video – Best Clock Radio Bluetooth Speaker
Firebox Audio & Video is definitely a somewhat unique company on our list in that it uses an only online business model, but it has not yet achieved the critical mass of reputation and sales to catapult it to the next stage of a brand’s development whereby it can seek other outlets for its products. That said, Firebox Audio & Video is almost certainly well on its way as this clock radio with CD offers far more modern features than any other product we reviewed including from brands with far more prestige.
With the robust compatibility offered by the Firebox Audio & Video, you could easily be content paying a little bit more than you would for some of the competing clock radio with CD that we reviewed. However, the Firebox Audio & Video is not content to offer a modest improvement as this clock radio with CD also provides the most robust file format compatibility we saw too. For one, it plays all of the common CDDA formats, including those from CD-R and CD-RW discs, as well as MP3s and WMA files. Still, going further, this is the only clock radio with CD that we found that will also play WAV files.
7. Jensen JEN-JMC-180A – Best Clock Radio with CD Players (People’s Choice)
If there is any company on our list that has as long and storied a history as Sony, it would be Jensen Electronics, which actually surprise a few of you. This is because Jensen Electronics has been positioned as a budget and mid-tier consumer electronics company for many decades now. It is actually responsible for developing the first loudspeaker. That said, it seems that in an effort to appeal to more consumers, Jensen may have forgotten its roots.
If you do choose to mount the Jensen JEN-JMC-180A on your wall, chances are that you will not want to have to get up out of bed every morning simply to turn off the alarm unless you do that specifically to ensure that you do not repeatedly hit the snooze button, making you late for whatever the alarm was used to wake you. Thankfully, the Jensen JEN-JMC-180A comes with a handy remote control. Though it does not provide full functionality with every feature of the Jensen JEN-JMC-180A. It still allows you to control all of the relevant ones.
Best Clock Radio with CD – Buyer’s Guide
Though it may be the unsung hero of a clock radio with CD, the alarm is arguably the reason that you would choose to purchase this product in the first place with the radio and CD functions merely serving as icing on the cake. That said, there are a couple aspects of the alarm function that can definitely make one clock radio with alarm stand out from another. For example, it is always nice to have 2 different alarms with the same clock especially if you live with a partner who has a different sleep schedule than you.
When it comes to any device that has an audio playback function, it is important to check and see what kinds of file formats the device can read. It may not be well-known, but even CDs have a digital file format on which the audio data is stored. That said, in the world of audio electronics, there are plenty of file formats to choose from some of them that can offer higher fidelity as well as a smaller file size.
This is the standard file format for all CDs and is the one that will always be included on a clock radio with CD. That said, CDDA file formats are not a single universal type of digital audio file. In fact, if you want a clock radio with CD that can read CD-R and CD-RW discs, then you will need to make sure that the product in question can read those specific file types as they are slightly different than the standard CDDA file type.
In terms of “truly” digital audio file types, the MP3 is undoubtedly king. It is not too terribly difficult to understand why most users and devices prefer the MP3 file over others. For one, this file type is smaller than most. It allows you to fit more files on a CD or a memory card whether USB, SD, or others. Also, this file type can utilize numerous bitrates which will allow you to fine-tune the quality of audio fidelity the file provides.
WMA is similar to MP3s in many respects. Though it can potentially exceed MP3s in some of the most relevant categories. That said, the WMA file format is actually the proprietary digital audio file type made by Microsoft for Windows applications. Though Microsoft may claim WMA to be superior to MP3s, most studies that were not funded by Microsoft found users could not readily tell the difference and did not prefer the WMA file type.
While clock radios with CD are not noted for their power, there is still a possibility that the manufacturer attempts to mislead the consumer by providing a power rating that is not at all representative of the clock radio with CD in practice. In this case, we are talking about the watts output by the speakers, but the speakers will actually have 2 different wattage ratings: RMS and peak.
Peak wattage is just that: the maximum amount of watts the speaker can put out when under strain. This rating only applies to power surges that generally last in the thousandths of seconds and are usually not even registered by the listener. RMS wattage, on the other hand, is a representation of the maximum continuous wattage the speaker can push. It will give you a much better idea of the speaker’s true capabilities.
As we can see, there is not going to be a single clock radio with CD that is the best for all people. Some people may want a more simplified product that just offers them the best quality performance when it comes to the three primary functions of a clock radio with CD. Though, there will always be other people who want the secondary functions to shine as well.
For those of you who find yourself in the first camp, we recommend the Sony ICF-CD7000WC. In terms of the basic functions of the product, there are few that can compete with this clock radio with CD as it is the only product reviewed. Which automatically sets its clock and even accounts for Daylight Savings Time. On top of that, it also has one of the best DACs we saw.
Of course, if money is no option and you want to get the most out of your listening experience, then we recommend the Bose Wave Music System IV. Making use of Bose’s proprietary waveguide technology, the Bose Wave Music System IV is able to provide far more sound and volume at a much higher quality than every other clock radio with Cd that we reviewed. The Bose offers numerous options when it comes to the file formats as well as the connectivity compatibility functions.
Though our primary recommendations also happen to be the most expensive, for a less expensive option, we recommend the Firebox Audio & Video as it easily provides the most formats and connectivity options, allowing you to enjoy your audio files any way you wish. On top of that, it is also incredibly convenient with a hand-pull switch, wall-mounted option, and remote control too.