Keep these tips in mind when shopping for a table radio
Features, build quality, aesthetics, value and most of all sound quality
are the hallmarks of a good table radio. A long list of features is impressive
on a spec sheet, but only adds to the price if you don't want or won't use
extras like an iPod dock or CD player. If you live in an area where radio
reception isn't always solid or you want to listen to a station that's distant
or weak, look for a radio that has an above-average tuner. Here are some
other things experts say you should consider.
- Size matters. Modern table radios
can be surprisingly large -- so much so that they crowd out everything
else on a typical nightstand. Keep the amount of available space in mind.
for a dimmable LCD screen. The LCD on some clock radios can get very
bright and be a distraction in a bedroom. Most but not all table radios
have displays that can be made dimmer or brighter as needed.
- Check for compatibility. The docks in some table radios won't accept every iPod model. Some
table radios, like the Boston Acoustics Duo-i plus, are shielded to allow
docking of an iPhone without getting interference from the phone signal.
Reviewers say that some models without shielding can still be used with
the iPhone as long as the phone is set to airplane mode.
- Check the warranty policy
before buying from an unauthorized dealer. Some makers have restrictive
policies regarding who can or can't sell their products, including table
radios. For example, if you purchase a Boston Acoustics table radio from
an unauthorized dealer either online or in a store, the company says
you won't be covered by the manufacturer's warranty.
If you're primarily interested in speakers for your iPod and don't need
radio or CD player features, see the companion ConsumerSearch report on iPod speakers.