Edifier Tick Tock SD/USB/FM Radio Review

 

 

Amidst Edifier’s current lineup of contemporary designs, the retro Tick Tock looks somewhat out of place. It’s shape is reminiscent of the shrill, headache inducing alarm clocks of old. But the Tick Tock is hardly something you will want to throw against the wall to silent, because this little unit is heads and shoulders above ordinary clock radios when it comes to sound quality.

 

 

Intro

Tick Tock SD/USB/FM Radio by Edifier takes ou back in time with this easy to use, multifunctional retro-styled alarm clock. Plug in a preloaded SD card or USB memory stick and listen to your favourite music that is easily controlled using the track, input selection and volume keys located on top of the clock. An auxiliary input allows for other media devices to also be connected to the clock as well as built in FM radio giving every user a wide selection of music and alarm source options. MF240 has two 360˚ degree omni-directional full range speakers that provides rich, multi-directional sound.

Features

  • SD card reader
  • USB input port
  • FM Radio function (24 preset channels)
  • Auxiliary 3.5mm input port for additional audio activity
  • Alarm clock function with SD, USB, AUX, or FM input choice
  • 11/2 inch omni-directional, full range speakers
  • LCD display screen for FM, SD, USB, AUX, Alarm, Time & Date
  • Volume, track navigation, FM tuner and input selection controls.

 

Specifications

  • Model Number: MF240
  • Total Power Output: RMS 3.5W x 2
  • THD + N (testing level): 10%
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: ≥80dBA
  • Frequency Response: 80Hz - 20kHz
  • Distortion: ≤0.5%
  • Input Sensitivity: 450mV ± 50mV
  • Channel Separation (dB): ≥65dB
  • Audio Input Type: SD card, USB, Auxiliary, FM Radio
  • Adjustment: Power, volume, input, mode, track navigation, play/pause, set, snooze
  • Full Range Speaker Unit: 1 1/2 inch (40mm), magnetically shielded, 8Ω
  • Dimension: 130mm x 126mm x 89mm (WxHxD)
  • Color Option: Black, white, beige

     

    Design

    While the Tick Tock occupies the lower end of the company’s Image line, the designers at Edifier have hardly skimped on build quality. The all plastic body has a solid heft without any loose seams or shaky internals. At the center of the Tick Tock’s face is an LCD that displays the current time, day of the week, and alarm status. A soft backlight makes it easy to check the time throughout the day, without being too overpowering in complete darkness. Moving radially outwards from the soft LCD is a glossy black ring sporting the Edifier logo, what looks to be a large speaker grille, and finally a silver bezel. The silver trim and glossy white finish help the Tick Tock fit in with most modern desktop hardware. Ports for USB stick, SD card, auxiliary input, and power are located around back, along with buttons for changing any settings. All buttons sport a rubber coating and good tactile feel. Using these buttons blindly while looking at the front of the radio can be a hassle, but we are convinced that Edifier chose the perfect location. Afterall, every cable and button remains easily hidden by the Tick Tock’s large frontal profile. A USB stick protruding from the top or side of a device is a surefire way to ruin aesthetic appeal.

     

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    Performance

    The two 1½ inch omni-directional full range speakers are recessed underneath faux bells that sprout from the back of the device. The curved undersides of the bells help to project sound in all directions, allowing the Tick Tock to fill a room with crisp audio. The clarity of the sound is quite impressive and doesn’t experience any degradation when the volume is cranked. Bass, on the other hand, is definitely lacking. Showing off these speakers at your next house party isn’t recommended, but they will trump your average pair of laptop speakers. We eagerly plugged a notebook into the Tick Tock’s AUX input and marvelled at the difference.

     

     

    Functionality

    Aside from the built in FM tuner, the Tick Tock comes ready to accept an SD card, USB stick, or any device with a 3.5mm jack. Keep in mind that unless your flash memory is formatted in FAT-32, the Tick Tock will fail to recognize any music files it may contain. The clock is equally picky about the format of the music files themselves, choosing only to play MP3s. Any AAC or WAV tracks will be ignored.

     

     

    The Tick Tock has three modes of operation: playback, date and time setup, and sleep timer setup. Changing the input between FM, USB, SD, and AUX is accomplished by a single button. Once playback has started, you can shuffle, repeat, or single-repeat by depressing the function button. Switching between modes of operation and changing their settings is accomplished via four soft buttons on the bottom of the Tick Tock’s control panel. Changing the date, time, snooze timer, and alarm settings are equally as straightforward. All the features we’ve come to expect from an alarm clock radio are there, and the Tick Tock allows you to set up to five separate alarms. Putting the radio in standby mode, which only shows the date, time, and an alarm indicator, is accomplished by holding down the play/pause button for a few seconds.

     

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    Final Thoughts

    We were truly surprised at how something as unassuming as the Tick Tock could produce such wholesome sound. Edifier has succeeded in reflecting the sound quality of their larger systems in a small package that’s fit for any nightstand. Anyone who hates the feeling of being jarred awake by a piercing alarm will appreciate these efforts. After using the Tick Tock on a daily basis, the retro styling has grown on us, and prospective buyers will appreciate the addition of iPod docking and Bluetooth capabilities to the Tick Tock lineup. There are, however, a couple limitations to point out. It is impossible to change the alarm settings while in standby mode, meaning you will need a quick trigger finger to exit or pause media playback without waking anyone. While the 5-day or 7-day alarm options are nice to have, we were surprised by the lack of a weekend-only option. The only workaround for this is to switch to a separate 7-day alarm just for the weekends. Also, given the size of the unit, we don’t think battery powered operation is too much to ask for. A Tick Tock that combines the omni-directional speakers with a long lasting battery could make a nice camping companion.

     

     

    Pros:

  • 1 1/2 inch omni-directional speakers can easily fill a small room with sound
  • Attractive retro styling
  • A host of inputs that remain well-hidden behind the device
     
    Cons:
  • An $80 price tag is quite steep for any alarm clock radio
  • It is not possible to change alarm settings without entering media playback
  • Only 5-day or 7-day alarm options
  • Lack of battery powered operation

 

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