Chapter in this post:
A few days ago I got the Anker Soundcore Wakey, which has only recently been available on the German market. In principle, it is a radio alarm clock, which, however, brings the clock radio concept up to date. It has a Bluetooth connection, white noises for falling asleep and even a Qi charging station on the top. It is available for about 100 euros on Amazon. You can read here how well the Soundcore Wakey did in my test.
Today I received feedback on my article and the criticisms it contained from the Anker PR manager for the DACH region. Accordingly, a firmware update for the Anker Soundcore Wakey is planned for August, with which some points of criticism will be resolved. The thing with the lack of setting options for the alarm clock volume and the excessively high light intensity in the darkest setting will be discussed again in the team and then possibly also addressed. The fact that Anker is open to criticism is a good sign.
My reader Micha (see comments below) wrote to Anker's support and asked when the new firmware with a darker display will be available. The answer from Anker was that the problem cannot be solved with new firmware. Instead, the Wakey is now available with new hardware, with which the display is fundamentally much darker. The new model was sent to Micha at no extra cost and he was able to keep the old model. That's a nice service.
Despite everything, the old Wakey has also been updated with new firmware. Now you can set a period (for example time from 1:00 to 6:30) during which the display of the Soundcore Wakey is completely switched off. With this, Anker is addressing the many customer complaints that have (legitimately) criticized the bright LED display at night.
Let's deal with the boring "specs" right at the beginning so that we can get to the interesting details afterwards:
It is set up using an app called "Soundcore" (here in the AppStore and here in the PlayStore). Since it speaks to the Wakey via Bluetooth, you first have to pair the device with the iPhone in the Bluetooth menu. Once that's done, you can open the Soundcore app and it will recognize the wakey. It then shows a nice menu that you can use to adjust the settings for the Bluetooth alarm clock. In detail, the following points are:
The wakey is then ready for use. The clock radio gets the time via the app. Fortunately, there is no fiddly setting up using any buttons.
[appbox app store id1331876603]
One area in which there is nothing to complain about in my opinion is the sound of the Soundcore Wakey. It has a decent bass, but the sound is round and you can also understand the news anchor or podcaster very well. In terms of sound volume, I would roughly classify it with the Bose Soundlink Mini, although this maybe creates a little bit more surround sound. With the radio alarm clocks available on the market, the Wakey should play in the upper class of sound without any problems.
In terms of design, I really like the Wakey. It is completely white and has a light gray fabric cover on the front that covers the speakers and the LED display. Since the cover is "full of holes", you can still see the advertisement well. There are seven touch buttons underneath the fabric cover, which are labeled with light gray symbols.
Here comes my first criticism: It is of course nice that everything is kept white and light gray, but with the best will in the world you can hardly see the symbols on the buttons unless you are in a brightly lit room. A clock radio, however, tends to be more for bedrooms and there is rarely any glaring light there. For this reason, you should definitely have activated a slight lighting of the keys permanently.
The lighting of the keys is built in anyway, because as soon as you operate a touch field, the symbol of the key lights up. Why not dimmed it permanently when the room is dark? The Wakey also has a built-in light sensor.
Otherwise, there isn't much to complain about about the design. This adapts to almost every bedside table and is very friendly due to the light color. Only the radio antenna, which is simply a black cable, could have been made even fancier. But if you don't listen to the radio, you don't have to use it.
The operation via the app is quite pleasant, but unfortunately you always "lose" the Bluetooth connection when you walk out of the house. If you come back, there is a good chance that the iPhone and Wakey will find each other and pair again, but in some cases I had to select it again via the Bluetooth menu on the iPhone.
Fortunately, functions such as radio on / off, a station forwards / backwards, louder / quieter or stopping the alarm clock can be carried out directly on the wakey. On the other hand, you can only set an alarm clock in the app. This is a bit impractical in everyday life because - if you have paired the wakey via Bluetooth - phone calls also come in via the wakey. For me, that's a reason to use it more as a standalone device with no Bluetooth connected. But then it also loses many functions that distinguish it from a normal clock radio.
Otherwise, the operation is so far intuitive and the touch buttons work reliably. I mentioned above that the symbols on the buttons are a bit difficult to see, depending on the lighting conditions. Since there are only seven keys, you will have learned their places after a short time anyway and you can do without the symbols.
All operating commands are acknowledged via the LED lighting, which shows the time as standard. This shows, for example, the volume level, the alarm time, symbols for play / pause and the like.
With a modern device like the Wakey, you might have expected an integration of Internet radio stations. In fact, it "only" plays stations in the FM frequency range. I assume that the integration of internet radio transmitters would on the one hand have significantly increased the price and on the other hand the power consumption would have surely increased, since it would have to have integrated a WLAN module and some technology. For this reason, I understand that Anker limited himself to a classic FM radio here.
The idea of installing a Qi charging pad on top of the Wakey is very clever. If you go to sleep, you can simply put the iPhone on top of the Wakey and it will charge the smartphone wirelessly. There are two USB-A sockets on the back of the Wakey so that you can also plug in a charging cable for the Apple Watch. This way, both devices can be charged at night.
As already mentioned, you can define a total of 15 alarm clocks with the Soundcore Wakey. The days of the week can be selected individually for each alarm clock (even several). Then you set an alarm tone or radio station and define a snooze time. Times from 5 to 30 minutes can be set here, which are then repeated 1x, 3x, 5x, 7x or 10x. I think that after sleeping 10 times, you can lie down straight away. : D
With these variants, the right program should be available for every late riser. Unfortunately, Anker forgot only one feature with the alarm clock: the volume of the alarm tone or the radio station cannot be specified. It is not even the case that the volume is used here that is currently set for the Wakey, but simply a "medium" volume is used, which should apparently be suitable for all people. This is of course not a good solution and should be changed by Anker with a firmware update.
A special feature of the Soundcore Wakey are the white noise tones that can be played to help you fall asleep. You define a time for how long they should run and then use sliders to put together a suitable mix of the following noises:
If you want to use the white noise mix to block out background noises while working, you can play your set without any time restrictions. The compilation is ok, but the sound files are a bit too short and you can quickly hear the repetitions.
If you are really looking for good white noise sounds, you should check out the app "Mynoise"Look and buy. I haven't had anything better on the iPhone and even after weeks I'm still impressed by the perfect sound curtains that this app produces.
[appbox app store id813099896]
There are a few things that Anker didn't properly think about when designing the Wakey. The first sticking point is the LED lighting, the brightness of which can be adjusted in five steps, but which is still far too bright for a bedroom even at the lowest brightness level. Anchor should urgently make improvements here. I hope this happens soon via a firmware update as this has been criticized by many users.
Alternatively, you can set the wakey so that the display is switched off after a few seconds. Then unfortunately you have to touch a key to see the time. Personally, I find that impractical, but tastes are different.
The second point is the volume of the alarm sounds. I can choose between radio stations and classic alarm tones, but unfortunately I cannot change their volume. The preset volume is way too loud if you don't want to wake your partner or if you can wake it up easily anyway. A little more flexibility would be important here, as the alarm tone and its volume is a central feature of a clock radio.
The last point is the display of the Qi charging status. A blue LED lights up permanently here, which does not bother you during the day, but can be a bit annoying at night if you have the wakey next to your head. It would be perfect if you could deactivate or dim these in the app.
Basically, I think it's very good that Anker has taken on the radio alarm sector. The concept of the wakey is well meant, but from my point of view it still fails because of little things, such as the LED display that is too bright. The sound of the Wakey is extremely good and features such as FM radio and white noise sounds are nicely done.
I hope that Anker will improve it with a firmware update, because then you can absolutely recommend the Soundcore Wakey as a modern version of a radio alarm clock.
For me personally, he will not be a permanent partner - at this point in time - because I prefer to be woken up by the vibrations of my Apple Watch on the one hand and don't need any sound in the bedroom on the other. I read most of the time and get up in the morning without pressing the snooze button ten times.
If you want to take a look at the Anker Wakey, you will find it here on amazon or you can call up the product page via the following box:
In some posts on other blogs, readers have always mentioned alternatives that may be more suitable for one or the other than the Wakey. These are briefly summarized here:
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.
The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de