A Wake Up Call
click image to enlarge
“Wakey! Wakey!” (some older readers may well remember this as the catch-phrase of a popular band leader and BBC personality) could well be the clarion call for a new device from Doro. With the rather unintuitive title of HearPlus 332cl, this product is a vibrating, amplified alarm clock that gives you a choice of wake up calls using a radio controlled time piece.
The kit consists of the main clock alarm unit, pillow shaker (more later on this element), mains power lead, a lead for attaching a telephone to the alarm for those who want it triggered by any incoming call plus a multi-lingual user manual. Adopting a slightly curved box shape, the main clock alarm unit is predominately white in colour. The clock face does stand out as it is mainly black with white numerals and clock hands. Measuring 114 x 127 x 94mm, the clock unit is not too demanding with regards to space.
All the various connection points and settings options are kept well out of the way at the rear of the unit. There are sockets for attaching a phone; linking to a telephone wall socket; attaching the pillow shaker unit (you will have to wait a little bit longer for more information); mains power plus an external alarm device for the really sound sleeper or those with a hearing impediment. This external device could be the Doro CarePlus or Doro SeePlus. A column of selection switches allow you to set up the device to your own taste. You can turn on/off the phone alarm feature; choose the alarm mode from any combination of sound, flash and shaker; set the alarm volume level with a low or high frequency option; choose the appropriate time zone (GMT for the UK with Daylight Saving); and opt for a bright, dimmed or no backlight feature.
As well as mains power, there is an option to insert four AA batteries into a compartment found on the base of the unit. This belt and braces approach is just in case there is a power cut. In such an instance, the Doro clock will automatically switch to the battery back up although this does disable some features. Doro states that the clock can continue to operate for around one year on battery power – not unnaturally I have not had the time to test this claim.
Running across the top of the clock alarm is a flip bar that will display the current alarm time in digital format when flipped forward. By pressing on this bar so that it flips backwards, you turn off the alarm which otherwise continues for nine minutes unless turned off or you press the snooze button which sits in front of the alarm bar. The snooze button gives you nine minutes of peace and quiet before the alarm is reactivated.
Setting the actual time should be carried out automatically. Once power is supplied to the unit, it will conduct a search for an appropriate time signal and adjust the digital and analogue clocks. While the initial review unit was able to set the correct time for the digital clock, it was unable to repeat the process for the analogue clock. However once the unit was replace, there were no further problems. As mentioned earlier, the digital clock then displays the alarm once it has been set manually by the user. This is carried out using the large jog wheel and centrally positioned button found on the right side of the clock alarm that allowed you to work backwards or forwards through the time.
And now for that information on the pillow shaker I mentioned earlier. This does not buff up your pillow in traditional nurse fashion. Rather this flattened, circular device with long trailing lead needs to be placed under your pillow(s). At the set alarm time the device will start to vibrate while the main clock unit will flash and/or emit a beeping sound depending upon the chosen settings. The vibration was strong enough to be felt through three pillows with enough strength to awaken you. While it could perform its designated task, it was not a sensation I particularly enjoyed. I much preferred to be woken by the audible alarm.
Priced at £58.71, although I have seen it available at £49.99, the HearPlus 33cl is easy to set up and can give you a choice of method to awaken you at a set time. While the vibration element does work it might not be to everybody’s taste but you do have other options. One slight criticism is that you have to manually turn the alarm back on after every deactivation.
|add to del.icio.us||Digg this review|