The iPod alarm clock field is a crowded one, but iLuv steps up its game with the iMM173 Hi-Fi Dual Alarm Clock, which sports dual docks and can accommodate two of even the newest iPods and iPhone 3G simultaneously. This $149 device has a sleek, relatively compact design, and the sound quality is decent, making this a good option for helping you get out of bed.
The iMM173's 11.2 x 7.2 x 3.4-inch chassis sports an all-black design with a large black and blue LED display sandwiched between two speakers. An extra large Snooze/Dimmer button sits above the display, with two silver Volume and Search scroll wheels on either side. Four buttons let you preset up to eight radio stations, and three small silver buttons denote which alarm is being set and tune the sleep timer.
Uniquely, the iMM173 has two iPod/iPhone docks which sit at the back of the system; a small button in between lets you select which Apple device you want to access. While both docks can charge an iPhone, only the right dock is fully compatible with iPhones; the other dock requires the iPhone to be in Airplane mode.
The iMM173 takes two AAA batteries or can be plugged into the wall for power. Its remote conveniently attaches magnetically to the back of the unit.
A second-generation iPod nano, an iPod touch, as well as an iPhone 3G, all synced up flawlessly. As for the speakers themselves, the sound, enhanced by jAura acoustic speaker technology, is decent but not great. Radiohead's "15 Steps" sounded tinny and distorted during its beat-heavy introduction, but the highs and lows eventually leveled out. After prolonged use, the sound remained slightly cloudy but still very listenable.
Setting the alarm proved to be a bit difficult. The right scroll wheel must be used to set hour and minutes, and it's easy to overshoot the exact time you're looking for. Users can wake up to music from either iPod or iPhone in the docks, the radio (only FM, though), or a buzzer. When playing music from an iPod or iPhone, the music gets progressively louder in an attempt to coax you out of bed.
The $149 iMM173 Hi-Fi Dual Alarm Clock is a good option for your early morning wake-up call, especially if you have more than one iPod or iPhone. The alarm is a bit difficult to set, but once you have it down, it should be smooth sailing. Although it doesn't have quite as many extras as Altec Lansing's Moondance Glow (which is $20 cheaper), its decent audio quality and a big display provide all the basics in a bedside alarm clock.