John Lewis Spectrum Clock Radio Review

John Lewis Spectrum Clock Radio

 

Summary:
Performs very well for the price, but setting alarms is relatively complicated and fiddly.

Buy it online:
See on JohnLewis.com

The John Lewis Spectrum Clock Radio is a compact and affordable FM/DAB bedside clock radio. Its features include a dual alarm, a dimmable LCD display and a headphone jack for private listening.

Find out more about what the John Lewis Spectrum Clock Radio can do and how it performs in this review…

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • 3W speaker
  • Dimmable LCD display
  • Dual alarm clock with snooze function
  • 4 preset stations (2 on FM and 2 on DAB)
  • 5mm headphone jack
  • Available in a choice of colours: Black, Slate Grey, Teal, White

Dimensions: 15.7 cm wide x 8.9 cm high x 11.3 cm deep

Performance and use

The John Lewis Spectrum Clock Radio sounds very good for a small bedside radio. It has a clear sound with a pleasant tone quality. Obviously there isn’t much bass or depth to the sound, but the sound quality is more than adequate for its purpose. The radio also has a headphone jack so you can listen without disturbing anyone.

The instructions manual (available online here) has very small text and is quite confusing at times. Setting the alarms on this clock radio is relatively complicated, and it takes a lot of button presses to change the time of the alarm. This can be a serious issue if you are using it for its intended purpose as a bedside radio, especially if you want to change the alarm time frequently. Like most clock radios, the alarm gives you the choice of waking up to an alarm buzzer sound or a radio station.

The John Lewis Spectrum Clock Radio has an attractive minimalistic design and looks very smart on a bedside table. It’s also nice and compact at roughly 16 centimetres wide by 11 centimetres deep. It’s made from a soft touch plastic which feels nice at first, but easily picks up dust over time and is hard to clean.

The radio’s LCD display is a good size and the digits can be easily read. The blue digits can be quite bright at night, and although you can dim the display it still might be too bright even on the lowest setting. You also have to adjust the brightness manually, unlike on some other clock radios that have an auto-dimming feature. This means you will probably need to dim it at night and then increase the brightness when you wake up so that you can read the display during the day.

This radio lets you save 2 preset stations on DAB and 2 on FM. This is much less than most other radios which let you save 10 or more. However, if you only have a couple of stations you listen to most of the time this won’t be a problem.

Pros

  • Feels high-quality and well made
  • Clear sound with a nice tone
  • Smart-looking minimalistic design
  • Clock automatically adjusts when the clocks go forward and back
  • Good size for a bedside table
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Setting alarms could be easier
  • Only saves 4 preset stations
  • Display is quite bright even on the lowest setting

Verdict

The John Lewis Spectrum Clock Radio looks very smart and has above average sound quality for a clock radio in its price range. It’s attractively priced and feels well made, but isn’t the easiest clock radio to use. The main drawback with this radio is that setting and adjusting alarms is quite fiddly, which is a shame as this radio is great in other respects.

In conclusion, it’s a good choice if you’re willing to spend a bit of time learning how to use it, but should be avoided if ease of use is your main priority.

Similar radios

If you don’t mind investing a bit more money, a good alternative clock radio is the Pure Siesta Rise, which offers FM/DAB radio as well as the ability to set 3 separate alarms and a USB charging point.

A more affordable alternative is the AZATOM Horizon, which is one of the best budget DAB clock radios on the market at the moment. One great thing about the Horizon is that it has Bluetooth so you can use it as a wireless speaker.

For some more options, see our roundup of the best clock radios available in the UK.

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