Rise and Shine
Continuing my investigation into more pleasant methods of being aroused from a deep slumber brings us to the next candidate which is the PIS4. This rather nondescript title actually refers to a Speaker Alarm Clock for the iPod from Prestigio. For those who are unfamiliar with this company, as I was until very recently, Prestigio is currently headquartered in Cyprus and operates in the EMEA region through various partnerships. With the stated aim to enhance the quality of life for the user, the company has developed a range of products such as desktop and portable computers, GPS navigators, notebook bags, digital photo frames, ebook readers and storage devices plus, of course, the Speaker Alarm Clock which is the subject of this review.
Cuboid in shape with bevelled corners, this Speaker Alarm Clock unit has dimensions of 14 x 10 x 9cm (W x D x H). Predominately black in colour, apart from the mirrored silver faceplate, the Speaker Alarm Clock has an attached wire aerial for the radio feature at the rear along with sockets for mains power and connecting to an auxiliary device such as an MP3 player. Leads are provides but neither is over-generous with regards to length. The main power lead measures 114cm while the audio lead is just 40cm in length. A battery compartment, holding six AA batteries, is located on the base of the unit, for when mains power is not available.
Mounted on top of the unit is a standard iPod dock which had no problem in accommodating my iPod Classic. Positioned in front of the dock are a ridged volume wheel on the left and a snooze / brightness control switch on the right. A centrally positioned circular clock is located on the front face of the unit. Along with the current time, this display offers status feedback regarding the selected source mode and whether an alarm has been set.
When setting up this Speaker Alarm Clock, the various control options are to be found on a metal ring surrounding the clock face. Taking up the 12.00 o’clock position is the on / off switch. Moving round in a clockwise direction you will find options to select the sleep / alarm feature; move forwards through options and tracks; start playback or select a preset; choose from the three different modes of iPod, FM Radio or Aux; move backwards through options and tracks; and set up the clock. A supplied mini remote control unit can be used to carry out several tasks.
Instructions on how to set up this unit are provided. They are to be found in the multi-lingual Quick Guide. I did encounter one typographical error (button instead of bottom) in the two-pages set aside for the English version of the instruction. I wonder whether this mistake has been repeated in the other languages.
When setting up the alarm feature you have a choice of opting for every day or just week days. The alarm can be sounded by a buzzer, the FM Radio or your iPod. If the alarm is set for an iPod and it is not mounted on the dock then the buzzer will be used instead. When the FM Radio is the chosen alarm then it will use whatever was the last used frequency rather than allow you to select from the nine presets supported by this product.
Generally the audio delivered by this product is of a reasonable quality although you will need to use the supplied wire aerial to get reception from many of the stations. However, as often happens, the volume level achieved when using the Aux option with my MP3 player was much lower and I was forced to turn the volume wheel up to its maximum level. While those with a reasonable memory might remember to readjust the volume level when switching to another mode, some, like myself, can easily forget to carry out this task with the results that ears will be assaulted by the excessive volume level.
Apart from this problem, the Prestigio Speaker Alarm Clock performed without any problems. It may not have a killer or must-have feature but it should not let you down. This product has been priced at £49.99.
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