My search for the ultimate alarm clock has led me to
American Innovative’s Neverlate
7-day Alarm Clock. Although this clock radio was designed with the busy college
student in mind, I thought it might have the right set of features to earn a
permanent spot on my bedside table.
As the name implies, this clock has 7 individual alarms; one for each day of
the week. So, if you’re a college student and happen to have an early class on
Monday, a late class on Tuesday, and no morning class on Thursday, you can set
each alarm accordingly so that you can maximize your sleep. I’m not a college
student though and haven’t been for… wow, about 20yrs… So for me, I like to
have the same wake up time Monday through Friday and then different wake up
times for the weekend days. With this clock, I can easily accomplish this task.
But before we delve into the programmability of this product, let’s take a
closer look at the hardware.
The Neverlate is constructed of what feels like pretty rugged plastic. With
all the dials and knobs, it has a decidedly retro-geek look to it in my opinion.
It plugs into a standard 120V wall outlet. Two AAA batteries (optional) retain
the time and alarm settings for several days in the event of a power outage.
The front has the LCD and two knobs. One knob is the tuner for the built-in
AM/FM radio and the other is the volume adjust knob. I have to say that I was
pretty disappointed that the radio did not employ a digital tuner. Using a knob
is very retro. I found that not being able to see the station
frequency displayed on the LCD made precise tuning slightly difficult.
The display is backlit while you are interacting with the clock (i.e. while
buttons are being pressed or dials being turned), after 15 seconds of inactivity
the backlight dims to a level where it is just barely visible in a dark room.
This may be a problem for people like myself that have crummy eyesight at night
with my glasses off, but great for those people that hate bright clocks in a
On the top of the clock there are 5 buttons and 2 dials. There is a button
assigned to turn the radio on and off, one to toggle between AM and FM, one to
put the clock in setup mode, one to go into sleep mode and one to go into nap
mode. Each button is clearly labeled and easy to access.
The Setup mode button is used to initially set the current time, day of the
week, and snooze duration. The large dial is the value dial which is the main
(and only) way to set time values. Basically you just continue to spin backwards
or forwards till you spin to the correct time. This can take awhile if you’re
going from 6:00 to 12:00.
The inner dial allows you to turn alarms to either Run or All Off. This dial
also allows you to select the day of the week when setting each daily alarm.
Setting the alarms is just a matter of picking the day and then spinning the
larger dial to the desired wake up time. That’s all there is to it. You can tell
when an alarm has been programmed when the day of the week has bars around it
like: |Mo| on the display. You can also see when the next scheduled alarm
is by pressing the snooze bar. Doing so will show the day of the week and alarm
Some other little touches include the ability to customize the snooze
duration during the initial time setup. This time can be set between one and
thirty minutes. Same goes with the Nap timer. Just press the nap button and then
spin the value dial to nap between 1 and 120 minutes. While you are napping, the
remaining nap duration counts down on the LCD. Like to fall asleep to music?
Then you can press the Sleep button. Doing so will automatically shut the radio
off after one hour, or after whatever duration you select.
The Neverlate 7-day Alarm Clock is a very good value and is a couple steps
above a typical clock radio. That said, it still falls short of earning my title
of The Gadgeteer’s ultimate alarm clock. In order to come close to that, there
would need to be 2 alarms per day. I would like the radio to come on first and
then have a 2nd alarm where the buzzer sounds. This way you could wake up to
something a bit less harsh than the buzzer. During the review period I actually
used this clock with another one, so I could have both a radio alarm and a
buzzer alarm. Not the most convenient setup… By the way, the buzzer on this
clock is sort of a high pitch beep. It will definitely wake you up so that you
can get to either your job or morning class.
7 individual alarms, 1 for each day of the week
Easy alarm set
Adjustable snooze time
Radio does not have a digital tuner
Only one alarm per day
Can’t have buzzer for one alarm and radio for the next