TwinMos miniBooMx Review
Since about 1992, we’ve been waking up to a rather ugly piece of ancient gadgetry called the Sony Dream Machine. It is white, with an actual FM/AM dial on the front. It has a horrible mono speaker, and can wake you either with the radio or an air-raid style hooter. It has five clearly labelled buttons, and a slider thing for switching between modes. It’s worth about a tenner, and was purchased from Argos.
It’s not the most fashionable piece of kit in the world, but it gets the job done. Sadly, in this sense, it is in stark contrast to the miniBooMx from TwinMos.
A radio alarm clock with an iPod docking station, the miniBooMx is a fashionable gadget, with its curvy looks and touch-sensitive buttons. But we’d rather stick with our archaic Sony Dream Machine than fiddle with this horror show of an interface.
The unit itself is good to look at. Available in black or white, it has a bright digital display that shows the time and date, along with the radio information if you have radio channel selected. The sound is pretty decent too – with 2.1 stereo speakers with a 15W 3in subwoofer facing downwards on the bottom of the unit.
Sadly, it’s the implementation of the features that let the miniBooMx down. First impressions are not good, as you wrestle with the unresponsive and painfully slow remote control. Button presses on the remote and on the buttons on the front of the unit take ages to register, making setup particularly frustrating.
The alarm function itself is also poorly implemented. The volume of the alarm is set much too high – it blares on at the selected time at a volume that we found much too loud. There’s no way of adjusting the volume once the alarm comes on either – you first have to turn the unit off and back on again. For many users, this will be enough to push them over the edge first thing in the morning.
There’s also no manual snooze function, so you can’t turn off the blaring alarm for a few minutes after it’s woken you up. Instead, it plays for five minutes, turns off for five minutes, then plays for another five. That’s it – and if it hasn’t spurred you out of bed after that, you are highly likely to oversleep. If you press any of the buttons when the alarm is playing, the whole thing just powers down.
The TwinMos miniBooMx is a decent speaker set housed in a smart-looking box. Sadly though, its general usability is infuriating. Worse, the alarm clock isn’t really fit for purpose – heavy sleepers will oversleep again and again if they rely on this to get them out of bed.