GEAR4 AlarmDock Halo iPod review: iPod dock around the clock

By Shem Pennant,

GEAR4 offered us the chance to spend a few nights with their new AlarmDock Halo speaker docking station. How could we say no?

The UK-based audio brand have release a relatively stylish little iPod dock that doubles up as an alarm clock. Small enough to fit on a bedside table the Halo has a little LCD clock just above your iPod and a big old fashioned snooze button just on top of that. The white plastic finish reminded me of iPods of yesteryear and the curved design goes beyond functional.

gear-4-halo

The sound quality from the dock was decent. Whilst lacking in room-filling bass it managed to subtly boost audio to acceptable levels for what is a bedroom-based device. As a living room dock it would average, but for day and night time listening in the bedroom the Halo, which has a built in subwoofer, displayed a relatively robust performance. There is a supplied remote that deals with volume and song playback. It’s a nice and click but a little bit hard to read in the dark – a little frustrating as I spent a lot of time using the unit in the very late or very early hours.

As any reader of this site should know, decent iPod docks are in no short supply. What makes the Halo special is the alarm dock functionality they have included thanks to the SmartDock app that “unlocks” additional functionality – or provides a more appealing way to access it. Installing the app from the walled garden is simple, and syncing is easy – just plug your iDevice in. You can set alarms on the device or on your iPod and they will sync on connection.

The Halo comes with a built in FM radio and has a little aerial out the back for reception. The SmartDock app has an autoscan function that makes tuning easy, and there is a fine tune option if you have signal problems. You can also control iTunes from within the dock, which is nice if you want to set some music to fall asleep to – or indeed a play list to wake up with. If you set music to sleep mode the volume will slowly decrease until the unit switches itself off, which was handy for obvious reasons.

The £99.99 dock should be yours to buy in shops from November.