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The Philips DC200 we reviewed last month earned a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars because of its form factor, dual alarm function, iPod docking station, USB port, and Aux-in. This time around, we take a look at its brother, the AJ301D, and see what this small tower has in store.


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Like the DC200, the AJ301D comes with an iPod docking connector with adapters, FM radio function, AUX-in port, and an alarm clock. It even comes with a remote control for easy FM and iPod browsing.

The remote comes with 12 buttons – a Power, Dock, and Tuner/Aux buttons on top, a Play/Pause button in the middle, and the Previous/Rewind, Next/Forward, Preset up and down, Volume up and down, Sleep, and Mute buttons at the bottom part of the remote. Unfortunately, there is no way for to browse through the iPod’s menu, forcing users to stand up and change the playlist or album manually.

The front of the unit hosts the iPod dock and is surrounded by eight buttons (Next, Previous, Play/pause, Tuner/aux, Volume up, Volume down, Sleep, and iPod), while a display which shows the time, alarm, and FM station can be found right above it.

 


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The left spine hosts the power button, time set, alarm toggle switch (iPod, Buzzer, and Tuner), while the right side hosts the five FM preset buttons. The left spine hosts the power button, time set, alarm toggle switch (iPod, Buzzer, and Tuner), while the right side hosts the five FM preset buttons. In addition, the unit’s repeat alarm/brightness control, alarm 1, and alarm 2 buttons can be found on top of the clock for easy access.

Finally, users can find a wOOx loudspeaker, a power port, an Aux-in port, and pigtail antennae at the unit’s rear.

Users can listen to any FM station and can store up to five favourites, with users being able to listen to their own music stored on the iPod (this includes the 3G iPhone that we have in the office). Users can also utilise the Aux-in at the back of the unit to play music from other sources (CD player, mobile phones with a 3.5mm jack, mp3 player). What we didn’t like about this unit though is the fact that it did not come with any AM tuner, preventing us from listening to talkback stations.

The time is constantly displayed on the top part of the screen, with the small part of the screen displaying the radio station or alarm time. Users can set up to two different alarm times, which is useful if you don’t want to wake up at 6am on a weekend. The AJ301D comes with three different wake-up modes to choose from: tuner, buzzer (that increases its beep tone frequency every few seconds), and dock mode. The unit can also be set to shut down after 120, 90, 60, 30, and 15 minutes of use with its Sleep function.

 

The clock radio also comes with a self-powered back-up function that keeps your preset stations, alarm and clock time settings to be stored up to 10 minutes (in cases of power interruption).

Sound quality is good, with the unit producing warm, rich, and rumbling bass in our audio tests. According to Philips, this is all because of the wOOx technology found on its radio alarm clock that ‘allows you to hear and feel fantastically deep bass, while precise tuning between the main driver and the tweeter ensures smooth transition from low-mid to high frequencies.’ Mids and highs were also clear and accurate, making it a good system to have on top of your bedside table.

Overall, the Philips AJ301 is a system that sounds great, has all the features you need to wake you up, and has a very attractive price to boot.

See page over for product specifications and final rating.

 

Philips AJ301D Product Specifications:

iPod compatibility:
3G iPhone, iPod touch , iPod classic, iPod nano 3rd Generation, iPod 5th Generation, iPod with color display, iPod nano 2nd Generation, iPod nano 1st Generation, iPod mini

Tuner/Reception/Transmission
Tuner Bands: FM
Auto Digital Tuning: Yes
Station Presets: 5
Antennae: FM Antennae
Audio Playback:
Cradle Playback Mode: Charge iPod, Play and Pause, Next and Previous Track, Fast Forward and Backward

Convenience:
Clock/Version: Digital
Alarms: 24 hour alarm reset, Dual alarm time, Buzzer alarm, Radio alarm, Repeat alarm (Snooze), Sleep timer.
Display Type: LCD
Backlight: Yes
Backlight Colour: White
Remote Control: Multi-functional

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Philips AJ301D Docking Entertainment System | $139.95 |  | www.philips.com.au

For: Sound quality; Compatible with any iPod; Dual alarm function; Aux-in; Clear FM reception
Against: AM tuner missing; Can only store five FM stations; No ipod controls on the remote
Conclusion: A solid clock radio from Philips that keeps on rocking.

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