Review: Moshi Digital Alarm Clock Radio with Voice-Recognition

Moshi Voice Control Digital AM and FM Clock RadioIf you’re a regular visitor to Gizmos for Geeks, then you know that we love our alarm clocks. And of course, we had to feature a voice-controlled alarm clock, namely the Moshi.

Well Moshi has a new model out, the Moshi Voice Control Digital Clock Radio, that includes an AM/FM radio, and we had a chance to test it out.

Setting up the Moshi was pretty easy. Within minutes, I had it plugged into an AC outlet, and was commanding away.

Voice Recognition
Voice recognition worked like a charm. I didn’t find myself straining to enunciate the words any more than I normally would when speaking, and I also had a few other people try with similar results. Of course, it didn’t work when the music was on, but then that’s a skill that even humans have difficulty with. That meant I had to strain a bit to snooze or turn the alarm off.

Incidentally, Moshi’s success with the voice recognition is due to their use of a blend of 2 different technologies, which I’ll let you read about here if you’re interested.

Now, you can’t do everything by voice control. I would have liked to be able to ‘hack’ my Moshi to have it learn additional commands. Or better yet, even some macros. But I’m probably way too much of a geek for the average user. I’m sure the Moshi designers realized that humans have a limit to how many things they care to remember before getting a bit overwhelmed.

But they got most of the important ones. For example, hit a button for either Alarm #1 or #2 (nice feature by the way), and Moshi asks you what time you want it set to, and what alarm sound you would like.

Sound Quality
The sound is pretty damn good for a clock radio. There are stereo speakers facing 180 (insert degree symbol) away from each other so as to maximize the separation and achieve the best possible stereo effect on a device so small, and it does the trick. The bass isn’t the best, but you really shouldn’t compare it to even a decent set of audio speakers. After all, this is an alarm clock!

This Moshi ships with a standard 8mm female-female audio patch cable so you can plug your MP3/iPod/iPhone into the radio to play back your own tunes instead of the radio. Note that this doesn’t claim to be an iPod/iPhone dock, so it doesn’t control your iP[od|hone].

The FM Radio reception and audio quality is remarkably good. Sure, it’s no CD, but strong signalled stations in your area will come in nice and clearly. There’s even an external wire antenna for tweaking the reception.

What I’d Like to See
The other Moshi model, the Voice Control Alarm Clock, has a sleek glass-backed LED display with a bright backlight, help menu, temperature, date and night-light. But it does not have the clock radio or line-in functions. I’d love to see a new model that blends all of those features.

Overall, there’s a lot to like, nay love, about the Moshi Clock Radio. Voice control can be a powerful thing. And this model is packed with nice features. Still, I’m the feature-greedy type and would love to see a few more of the features from the other model integrated. Here’s hoping the next one will.

By the way, if you like how well Moshi handles voice recognition, then you may be interested in their Bluetooth handsfree car kit with speakerphone as well.

(Disclaimer: Gizmos for Geeks received a complimentary review copy of this product.)

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