Pros / It has a USB port for charging mobile devices.
Cons / The alarm buzzer is too quiet.
Verdict / The Timex XBBU is simple to use and cost-effective. This is the best alarm clock we tested under $20.
The Timex XBBU alarm clock has a few useful features and is very easy to program. Its USB port charges mobile devices, and it has a backup battery, so the alarm clock always goes off at the time you set, even when the power is out. The design is lightweight and easy-to-use, but we have some durability concerns.
The snooze button is large and easy to locate without fumbling, but it stayed noticeably depressed into the case after one minute of repeated pressing. It didn’t affect the button’s functionality, but it is a design flaw. The other buttons and flimsy plastic case are susceptible to breaking if it falls onto a hard flooring surface. If your bedside table is on a tile or hardwood floor, we recommend the Sony ICFC1T, which is the most durable alarm clock we tested
The snooze function has a default setting of nine minutes, which is the standard time for the alarms we tested. However, this is one of the few alarm clocks we compared that allows you to adjust the snooze time to fit your sleeping habits. It has a lithium button cell battery that serves as a backup if the power goes out. All the alarms we tested have a battery backup, but the one in this clock keeps it fully functional – most battery backup systems only maintain the alarm and time settings.
The XBBU has a USB port on the back panel for charging mobile devices. Fewer than half the clocks we reviewed have this useful feature, and it is particularly useful if you don’t have many wall sockets close to your nightstand. You can’t use the USB port to play music from your phone through the clock’s speaker, but the charging function is still an important and convenient feature.
The Timex XBBU has dual alarms, for two separate wake-up times. This is useful for couples who prefer to wake up at different times and don’t want to purchase two clocks. Both alarms are progressive, which means they start out as a quiet buzz and gradually get louder until they reach a maximum volume of 57.3 dB. This is the quietest maximum volume off all the models we tested, so you should consider another alarm clock if you have a hard time waking up to faint buzzing sounds.
The Timex XBBU is the best alarm clock we tested for less than $20. The USB charging port and dual alarm features are convenient, and because of the backup battery, all the functions work when the power is out. You should consider a different alarm clock if durability and low volume are concerns for you, as this clock did not fare well in either of those tests.