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Published on August 21st, 2011 | by Greg

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Brighten Up Your Morning With Stem Time Command

First off, no, it doesn’t ac­tu­al­ly let you con­trol time. Nor does to­day’s prod­uct have any­thing to do with flow­ers. In­stead, we’ve been wak­ing up to one of the lat­est and most in­ter­est­ing dock-clock com­bos, one with some fea­tures that make it an ap­peal­ing pur­chase for many peo­ple. Most docks can play mu­sic and charge your de­vice, many of them fea­ture a clock and alarm func­tion­al­i­ty, but few are so tight­ly in­te­grat­ed.

The Stem Time Com­mand iPod clock dock of­fers an al­ter­na­tive to most oth­er au­dio-ca­pa­ble docks, fo­cus­ing in­stead on the alarm func­tion­al­i­ty. One of the most frus­trat­ing things about alarms is that most docks can’t uti­lize the ones that you’ve set on your iPhone. This one is dif­fer­ent, trans­fer­ring your set­tings both from clock-to-app and from app-to-clock, and set­ting the time cor­rect­ly as well for one less thing you need to wor­ry about. Did you park your car and set an alarm for mov­ing your car from the dread­ed street clean­ers? Sim­ply dock and for­get. And the clock here isn’t bad, with some nifty op­tions like dimmable bright­ness and a nice size snooze but­ton.

Un­like some oth­ers, this one can take an iPad or iPad 2 as well, and you’ll want to uti­lize the free uni­ver­sal app. If you don’t have an iOS de­vice, you can pass this alarm up- it can still func­tion just fine, but the neat­est fea­tures are re­served for those with­in the Ap­ple ecosys­tem. While many docks of­fer ad­di­tion­al au­dio in­puts, that isn’t the case here- it’s strict­ly the dock­ing port. Al­so, this isn’t a trav­el mod­el- you can pop in 2 AAs, but they sim­ply serve as a back­up in case the pow­er goes out, thus pre­serv­ing your alarms. We loved how easy the whole pack­age was to use- smart prompts, and a nice GUI in the app make set­tings alarms al­most a plea­sure. And one nifty fea­ture that we tried out was the Wake-by-Light out­let at­tached, which serves as a con­trolled passthrough for a be­side lamp. Ba­si­cal­ly, the alarm can al­so turn on your lamp to help wake you up (or even fall asleep)- it works pret­ty well, though we wish we could have a bit more con­trol over the bright­ness and dim­ming rates.

Fi­nal­ly, au­dio does not get short shrift here. We’ve seen all sorts of docks, in­clud­ing those that bizarrely add a kitchen scale. But while we wouldn’t use it as a pri­ma­ry mu­sic source- it doesn’t have quite enough punch for a par­ty for in­stance- the clar­i­ty and sep­a­ra­tion was im­pres­sive for a night­stand unit. Bass won’t im­press, but the mids and tre­bles are clear and mel­low, not hol­low. And a nice touch was the in­clud­ed equal­iz­er, with some dif­fer­ent modes for var­i­ous types of mu­sic, some­thing miss­ing in many docks. Even the dock­ing con­nec­tor it­self is smart, with a nice spring-load­ed touch that ac­com­mo­dates de­vices even in their cas­es. The Stem Time Com­mand isn’t small, but feels sol­id and durable, and the mat­te plas­tic doesn’t pick up fin­ger­prints. In short, count us in- we just wish it could fit two phones, and maybe co-or­di­nate with some of the wake as­sis­tants, like the Wake­Mate or aXbo that of­fer flex­i­ble alarms. At $100, and avail­able on­ly from Ap­ple stores at press time, it’s a good deal and the best alarm dock yet.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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