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Tong ZhangModerator
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Ivation GLOW Review
      07/01/15 07:29 PM

The Ivation GLOW is a multi-purpose Bluetooth device that can function as an alarm clock, a Bluetooth speaker, a bedside lamp and a charging station. The GLOW combines a modern design and the most essential digital audio functions in one attractive bedside clock and lamp form. The all-in-one device is easy to use and it works with any smartphone and tablet with built-in Bluetooth. It can store two alarms so that two people can share the alarm system in one device.



Design

The Ivation GLOW has a clean and modern design. The chrome base is weighty to balance the speaker unit above it. The stereo speakers live inside the hard grille, and they shared half of the space with the topside lamp. The bottom-side lamp emanates light from the base through a milky light cover. There's a lever that's easy to press to quickly turn on or off the lamp. The top of the GLOW has a milky white cover, and capacitive touch-control buttons live under the cover. Each control button has a white LED light under it so that you can use them even in the dark. Hidden LED lights will illuminate through the grille when you adjust the volume of the speakers, the brightness of the lamp and setting time, date and alarm.

The GLOW needs to be plugged into AC power and it comes with a proprietary AC adapter. The power port along with an AUX port and a USB port live on the back side of the chrome base, and the GLOW comes with an audio cable for connecting your smartphone, tablet or MP3 to the speaker.



Features

As a bedside alarm clock, the GLOW rocks. It offers two sets of alarms, which means two people can share the alarm clock. It's very easy to set up the alarms with the touch buttons on the top of the speaker. The GLOW comes with three preset bells to wake you up. These alarms sound gentle, not screechy. If you prefer waking up to your own music, use Bluetooth to pair your phone or tablet with the GLOW and set your phone's notification sounds or music as the alarm sound. If you like to listen to the radio in the morning, select a radio station and set that as your alarm sound.

As a Bluetooth speaker, the GLOW sounds decent. The audio has good clarity and volume is average. The stereo speakers have decent dynamic range but the audio is noticeably lacking in bass. The GLOW functions perfectly fine as your bedside alarm clock, but it won't replace your high-end portable audio systems like the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio Bluetooth speakers. We tested the GLOW with several phones and tablets, and found it very easy to pair it with mobile devices.

In addition to being an alarm clock, radio and speaker for your phone, the GLOW is also a bedside lamp. The LED lamp offers gentle lighting that doesn't hurt your eye or disturb your sleep at night. The GLOW also offers three brightness levels and a gradient of color hues from light yellow to milky white to light blue. You can choose the color and brightness to match your alarms as well. The LED that displays time is clear but gentle as well. Unlike many night clocks that broadcast bright background or zingy colors, the GLOW's display won't disturb your sleep at night.

The GLOW offers one more convenience for mobile device users: a full USB charging port on the back. When you plug your phone, tablet or watch into the USB port, the GLOW will pass the AC power through and charge your device.



Conclusion

The Ivation GLOW achieves the balance of functionality and easy-of-use. It can work simply as your bedside lamp, or an alarm clock, or a Bluetooth speaker, or a nighttime charger; yet it can be all of the above without complicating the controls and it's still very easy to operate. We love the gentle LED lamp and the LED time display that don't disturb you at night, and two sets of alarms for a couple to share. The Bluetooth speaker is clear and loud enough as an alarm clock and radio speaker, though as a portable speaker, it lacks bass.

Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4.5
What's Hot: Two sets of alarms, easy to use, attractive design.
What's Not: Audio lacks bass.
Price: $149.95

Reviewed by: Tong Zhang








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