The Altec Lansing moondance GLOW Review

Like many of you, my days are structured around a general time by which I try to be in bed and a specific time at which I prefer to awaken. In order to get up in a timely manner, I have to use an alarm. I haven’t ever really given much thought to whether my bedside alarm clock could fulfill functions other than simply making sure that I was jolted out of bed when I needed to be, but the new Altec Lansing moondance GLOW has caused me to realize that there might be more to a bedside device that tells the time, than just having a jarring buzzer.

Included in the box are the moondance GLOW iPod dock stereo / alarm clock, a remote control, a wireless snooze remote, a detachable wireless snooze remote base, a detachable FM radio antenna, a power adapter, four different iPod cradle adapters, and a “quick connect guide” (printed on the box flaps).

Composed of glossy black plastic with a black metal screen covering its two 3″ speakers, the moondance GLOW measures approximately 12.25″ long x 5.25″ tall x 3″ deep; in other words, on its own it would need to be placed either on a pretty spacious bedside table or a nearby shelf. The beauty of the system is that the included remote snooze can be placed on even the smallest of tables, allowing the moondance GLOW to then be placed across the room on a larger table or shelf.

The moondance GLOW is meant to work with the iPod mini, iPod with color display, 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation iPod nano, iPod classic, iPod with video, and iPod touch.

The included cradle adapters allow any of the iPods to fit into the retractable cradle on the front of the speaker box. On the top of the moondance, there are the following buttons: Power, Source (FM Radio, iPod, or CD, DVD, or other MP3 players when attached with the included auxiliary cable), Mood (turns the back light on or off), Volume Down, Play / Snooze / Pause, Volume Up, Track Reverse, Track Forward, Alarms one and two.

The “push to open” sticker peels off

The front amber LCD displays the time (either in 12 or 24 hour format), the day, the date, both alarms, and the Source; it’s glow strength can be adjusted to three levels or off. When iPod tracks are playing, the name of the song will scroll across the LCD’s bottom front.

picture courtesy of Altec Lansing

On the back, there is an LED panel from which the GLOW designation is derived. When the Mood button is pressed, this panel will splash one of 17 different colors of light against whatever wall or shelf the speaker system is sitting in front of, in levels of brightness from one to 17.

picture courtesy of Altec Lansing

This is supposed to serve as a mood light when the room is dark, and it might also act as a handy nightlight for some, but I found it to mainly be an obnoxious gimmick; those who feel the same can simply turn it off.

Beneath the LED panel are jacks for the snooze remote, the FM antenna, the auxiliary cable, and the DC power port.

A removable door covers the auxiliary battery bay, which holds a 9 volt battery to save clock settings in the event of a power outage.

The snooze remote is a pretty nifty little feature, the likes of which I haven’t encountered before. It appears to use a Bluetooth protocol to connect to the removable snooze remote base (dangling from the back of the moondance GLOW, when it is attached)…

picture courtesy of Altec Lansing

…and it allows you to put the speaker system on a shelf with only the remote next to your bed when space is a premium. When either alarm goes off, tapping the corresponding button will activate its snooze.

Another remote is included with the system, this one is the more traditional version which allows you to power the system on or off, choose the source, adjust the volume, advance or reverse tracks, choose between four radio presets, or snooze the system. When an iPod is the source, the preset buttons allow you to control playlists, shuffle or continuous play functions.

The moondance GLOW sounds surprisingly good for what is basically a bedside alarm clock, and with its ability to accept alternate music sources through the auxiliary port, it could easily serve as a shelf stereo system for those with limited space. Even though I thought the LED backlight was a bit gimmicky, I suspect that there will be plenty of people who love the feature. If you have been looking for an alarm clock that can do more than just jolt you awake, then this one might just serve your needs.

The Altec Lansing moondance GLOW is available directly from the manufacturer and other retailers.

MSRP: $179.95

What I Like: Tasteful and good-looking; excellent sound; ability to run auxiliary music sources; dual alarms with remote snooze

What Needs Improvement: The mood lighting seems gimmicky; it’s expensive

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
I've had a fascination with all types of gadgets and gizmos since I was a child, beginning with the toy robot that my grandmother gave my brother - which I promptly "relieved him of" in 1973. I'm a self-professed gadget magpie. I can't tell you how everything works, but I'm known world-wide for using a product until I have a full understanding of what it does, what its limitations are, and if it excels in any given area — or not.