Pros / It has a USB port for charging mobile devices.
Cons / It has a quiet alarm buzzer.
Verdict / The Timex XBBU is simple to use and cost-effective. This is the best alarm clock we tested that costs less than $25.
The Timex XBBU Dual Alarm Clock has a few useful features and is very easy to program. You can use its USB port to charge 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.
For our durability tests, we pushed each alarm clock we reviewed off a nightstand onto multiple types of flooring. This Timex clock showed no signs of functional damage after hitting the floor four times. However, there were some noticeable scuffs after it fell onto the hardwood and tile floors, but that was the case with most of the alarm clocks that have glossy black finishes. This is one of the lightest alarm clocks we tested, so it is more vulnerable to being bumped off a table than larger, heavier models.
The snooze button is large and easy to locate without looking, 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 worth noting. The snooze function has a default setting of nine minutes, which is the standard time for the alarms we tested. This is also 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. Almost 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 also has a USB port on the back panel that you can use to charge mobile devices. Fewer than half the clocks we reviewed have this useful feature, and it is very convenient 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 convenience feature.
Because the clock has a dual alarm feature, you can set up to two separate wake-up times. This is a convenient feature for couples who 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.
- Maximum Volume
The Timex XBBU is the best alarm clock you can get for less than $25. The USB charging port and dual alarm features are convenient, and because of the backup battery, all the functions work when the power goes out. You should consider a different alarm clock if possible cosmetic damage and volume are concerns for you, as this clock did not fare well in either of those tests.