XtremeMac Luna iPod Alarm Clock

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At the end of last year, I reviewed the iH5 iPod Clock by iHome. I liked it well enough, but it left me wanting more. The latest iPod alarm clock to grace my night stand is XtremeMac’s Luna. If you’re wondering if the iH5 that was next to my bed before, has now been banished to my shelf of discarded gadgets, you’ll need to keep reading to find the answer.

From the size of the box that the Luna came packaged in, I thought this clock would be a lot larger than the iH5. Luckily this wasn’t the case. The clock has a 11.25 x 6.25 x 3.00 inch footprint.

Package Contents

IR Remote
AM antenna loop
FM antenna
AC Adapter
2 AA batteries for settings backup

The Luna has an iPod style to it with White shiny plastic, chrome accents and a Black metal speaker grill that wraps around all sides.

If you look down on the top of the device, you will notice how simple and clean the design is. The top surface is White with a round chrome knob or button in each corner. An iPod docking cradle is sunk into the front. The Luna doesn’t come with any special sizing adapters to use with all the various iPod models. That said, I had no problems using this clock with my iPod nanos and regular full sized iPod Video.

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The back two chrome disks are push buttons that activate and deactivate the two individual alarms that can be set with this clock. A simple press will toggle them on and off. Holding the buttons down for several seconds will take you into the time set mode for the alarms. At that point you then use the front knobs which rotate to set times and scroll through various setting options.

The Left front knob controls volume by turning it clockwise or counter clockwise. Pressing the button will toggle between the different audio sources (iPod, FM radio, AM radio and Aux). Turning the Right knob will control the display dimmer, which goes from completely off to bright (White on Black). Pressing the knob takes you into the menu system and holding it down for a few seconds will activate the sleep timer, which can be set from 1 to 90 minutes. I enjoy this feature because I like to fall asleep to relaxing music. It’s easy to adjust the sleep timer after it has been activated by spinning the wheel or using the included IR remote.

If you look on the back side of the Luna, you’ll see a panel with various connection points for the included AM and FM radio antennas, AC adapter and an Aux line in.

On the bottom of the clock you’ll find a backup battery compartment for the included 2 AA batteries. These batteries keep the time and date if the power should go off.

The mono display on the front of the Luna is a nice size and is easy to read. It is through this display that you will make all the various settings for the alarms. The folks at XtremeMac must have been really confident when they created the menu system, because this clock does not come with a manual or user guide. All it does come with is a card that tells the function of each of the 4 chrome knobs. I’ve never been one to read a product manual anyway, so let’s explore the menu system…

By default, the display will be in Time / Date mode as shown above. If you have one or both of the alarms activated, the alarm time will be displayed along the bottom of the screen. As you can see here, Alarm 2 is set to go off at 5:47pm.

If you press the Right button, you’ll be taken into the menu system. From here, you can set one or both alarms, change various clock settings, radio settings and sleep settings. The Luna has two alarms that can be set independently with different times, different alarm sounds, and volume levels.

You can set the alarms to wake to the iPod, Radio, Buzzing, Beeping, or Ringing sounds. No matter which one you choose, you can then set the max volume level that the alarm will have and the ramp time it will take to reach that level. So for example, if you set the max volume to be 10 and the ramp time to be 30 seconds, the alarm will go off and music will quickly become very loud.

If you want to be awakened by the radio, you can set the channel through this interface. There are 4 presets that you can configure as well.

The Luna has quite a few customizable settings that make it a really nice alarm clock. Through my testing, I only noticed a few oddities. The first one I noticed is that if you set both alarms for the same exact time, it’s a toss up as to which alarm will fire. Only one will.

Another thing I noticed is that by default all the sound based alarms are set to Buzz if you set the alarms by holding and pressing the upper buttons. If you want them to be set to Beep or Ring, you have to go into the Alarm menu and change them there.

It would also be nice if you could specify a playlist, album, artist or song to play as an alarm. As it is, whatever music was playing last will be the music that plays if you have the iPod selected as the wake-to sound. This is probably my biggest and pretty much only gripe with this alarm clock.

In addition to being a nice alarm clock, the Luna also doubles as a nice speaker system for your iPod (or any other audio device using the Aux in jack). It has great sound for a small system and with the handy IR remote, you can lay in bed, or sit on the couch and control playback of your music.

$150 is a bit pricey for an alarm clock, but so far, this one is the best iPod alarm clock that I’ve had the opportunity to test. I just hope the next version allows the option of picking songs or playlists to use as alarms. That feature would make the Luna close to perfect.


Product Information

  • iPod models with docking connectors
  • Easy menu system
  • 2 independent alarms
  • Sleep timer
  • Display can be turned off
  • Can't specify playlist or songs for iPod alarms

26 thoughts on “XtremeMac Luna iPod Alarm Clock”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Julie,

    The dock uses the universal dock adapters that come with your iPod when you buy it.

    Other than the dual alarms, what does this offer to happy iHome iH5 users?

  3. Due to the fact that the iHome Audio iH6 doesn’t allow waking up to a particular playlist (as well as the iH5 and this clock), I’ve resorted to using my iPod in a dock attached to a set of speakers via the dock’s line-out port as my alarm clock. The only drawback is the lack of a snooze alarm, but on days that I feel I may need a snooze alarm I use my Treo and Spb Time.

  4. Tyler:

    The Luna has radio presets, dual alarms, display dimming (to completely off) with sleep timer, DST setting, 3 different alarm sounds and a nicer physical design.

  5. [INDENT]“The folks at XtremeMac must have been really confident when they created the menu system, because this clock does not come with a manual or user guide.”[/INDENT]

    I work under the rule that if you have to read the manual to use a product, it’s not designed right. I’ve had this unit for about 6-months and love it. The FM receiver isn’t that good — I probably need a better external antenna. But, the iPod integration is great.

  6. Hi Mike 🙂

    I wonder when a company will eventually market an iPod clock that allows you to pick the music you want to wake up to… That’s about my only gripe about the Luna so far.

  7. I bought the Luna after buying and returning the iH6, and am very pleased with it. Oddly, though, mine did come with inserts for the dock.

  8. Julie, I’m wondering if a possible workaround might be to set the Luna for, say 8:30. However, also enable the iPod’s alarm clock for the same time, selecting the playlist desired. Would be interesting to see which hardware wins. I’m hoping that the Luna’s alarm enables the speakers, then the iPod overrules and selects the desired playlist.

    Willing to try this?


  9. forget me not! 😀 (BTW, you could always just set it a minute or two into the future and get this silly guy off your back!) As always, appreciate your help.

  10. ack! I did it again 😉 Tonight for sure! I even have the iPod on my desk at home, so I won’t forget. (famous last words).

  11. Ok, I finally did the requested test (bout time right?) and the results are that setting an alarm on the iPod and specifying a desired playlist is a good work around for not having a playlist option on the clock itself. You just need to get the two device clocks synced as close as possible for it to work the best. Or, you can actually use the iPod to give you a 3rd alarm as music will route thru the speakers when it goes off.

  12. Hi
    Just got one of these, doesnt seem to recognise my iPod Mini however. Does it matter if the iPod is formatted in either Windows or Mac?


  13. Geoff:

    I don’t think it should matter… Have you tried any other iPods with the clock? Maybe the docking port is defective.

  14. I contacted support via email at XtremeMac, got a prompt reply with a solution which was to update the software on the iPod, now all good.

  15. After operating the device as a bedside alarm clock for a couple of days here are my comments.

    1. Very nice sounding on iPod, FM seems to suffer from excessive “hiss”.
    2. Cant find happy medium with display brightness, just right in darkness is too dull when curtains are open in daylight. Brightness adjustment by light sensor or program by time would have been good. So in routine of setting alarm brightness to 8 which seems OK for day time (which is odd it doesn’t appear to return to pre alarm brightness) and then dimming upon retirement.
    3. A line out jack for external speakers would have been good.
    4. No USB port so unless there is a clever way to update via iPod then no chance of firmware improvements.
    5. The toggle on / off and separation of alarm buttons is excellent.
    6. The display of alarm times when armed is excellent.

  16. Geoff:

    Thank you for your comments. So, are you going to continue using this clock, or are you going to look for a replacement? Right now I’m not using an iPod alarm clock. I’m still in the market for a perfect one…

  17. I’ll continue with the Luna, overall I haven’t seen anything that is so much an alarm cock with an iPod dock. Most others appear to be good speakers with iPod dock and some clock features.

    The ultimate for me would be a high end clock radio with a USB port, wireless second stereo speaker and sub woofer jack. Just plug in your USB memory stick with your evening selection.


  18. Hi Julie,
    I received an Xtreme Mac Luna for xmas…and was excited…untill I found there is no ipod listed on the source selector of the clock/radio. The dock is there, and the charger works for either of my ipods, but the selector source options are FM, AM, Aux, and OFF, no ipod? So I am very disapointed with what I thought would be a high end ipod device. I have not yet heard an ipod through the system.
    Any thoughts?

  19. Darren:
    I no longer have this clock, but I know it worked fine as an iPod speaker system. I just don’t remember how to access it. I hope someone else responds to your comment.

  20. The ipod option does not appear until there is an ipod plugged in.

    Source options will be FM, AM, Aux, and Off with no ipod attached.

    Unfortunately for me, my clock seems to be 3-5minutes a month fast. Still trying to work out how to fix that…

    Cheers Roger

  21. Does anybody know how to set the time manually? I’m going crazy trying to figure it out and my iPhone wont sync and the companies website is crashing! Please help!

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