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Engadget's Holiday Gift Guide: Docks and Alarm Clocks


Welcome to the Engadget Holiday Gift Guide! The team here is well aware of the heartbreaking difficulties of the seasonal shopping experience, and we want to help you sort through the trash and come up with the treasures this year. Below is today's bevy of hand curated picks, and you can head back to the Gift Guide hub to see the rest of the product guides as they're added throughout the holiday season.

Portable media players: from grandma to the nieces and nephews, it seems like everybody's got one. But if they're only using it on the road, they're not getting their money's worth. That's why we've assembled this selection of alarm clocks and docks for every locale and every budget, with the features your loved one will need to get the most out of their device.

Stocking stuffers

iLuv App Station iMM190

Perfect for either the cubicle or bedside table, the heart of the App Station is its alarm clock app, which features wake-to-playlist, temperature notifications, and more. The App Station also features two bases, so it can sit in either landscape or portrait mode, which is great for running any of your other software, regardless of their orientation (hence the name App Station).

Key specs: Functions in landscape and portrait mode, iLuv alarm clock app

Price: $90

For the light sleeper...

Sony Nature Sounds Clock Radio - $60

It's an alarm clock, it features a 3.5mm audio input for your MP3 player du jour, it can project the time on the ceiling, and it boasts not one but five "soothing nature sounds!" Perfect for both the forest ranger and the new age meditation aficionado in your life.

For the bold...

Altec Lansing Octiv Mini - $40

Featuring that "slanted black cube" motif the kids seem to love these days, the Octiv Mini is easy on the eyes -- and the pocketbook. To get the most bang for your buck you'll want to download the iPhone / iPod touch alarm clock app, although this one is compatible with whichever iPod your loved one is currently using.

Oh, you shouldn't have

iHome iA100 iPad stereo speaker system

Just the thing for your favorite iPad owner, the iHome iA100 iPad stereo speaker system is a Bluetooth-enabled FM radio / alarm clock compatible with iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. If that weren't enough, the iHome+Sleep app download features custom alarm and nap settings, sleep stats, social media integration, weather, news, and Bongiovi digital signal processing. That's right -- this thing is a beast.

Key specs: Supports iPad and Bluetooth audio, iHome+Sleep app

Price: $200

For the office...

Sony ICF-CL75iP - $130

Offering more than your average dock, this multi-function LCD clock / radio / iPod dock features a 7-inch display for photos and videos, 1GB of internal memory, support for external storage via MemoryStick, SD card, and USB drive, audio player and more. Maybe it's overkill, but you'll probably make someone very happy with this bad boy.

For the beach...

Logitech S715i - $150

Not only does this look pretty badass, the Logitech S715i is highly regarded for those of us who want great sound quality at a decent price point. There's no fancy app, clock radio, or radio tuner with this guy, just an iPhone / iPod connector and a built-in rechargeable battery that boasts eight hours of use -- which will probably be a decent trade-off for most.

We can't afford the rent now, can we?

Pioneer AV Series XW-NAV1K-K Docking Station for iPod

Speaking of full featured, Pioneer's XW-NAV1K-K Docking Station sports 2.1 speakers, HDMI, component video, and composite video out, Bluetooth audio streaming, a DVD/CD player, FM tuner, USB connectivity for external storage, CD-to-MP3 ripping, and "scaling of DVD video to 1080p near HD resolution." Sure beats that hair brush you were going to buy Della (besides, she already sold her hair to buy a chain for your pocket watch).

Key specs: rips CDs, plays DVDs, HDMI out

Price: $200

For extras in Larry Clark films...

Altec Lansing Mix iMT800 - $300

This is definitely the one for the misbehaving teen in your life. It looks like your old ghetto blaster, but instead of a cassette deck this thing features an iPod / iPhone connector, a 5.25-inch side-firing subwoofer, and two aux inputs. Runs on mains power or eight D-cell batteries.

For Wall Street fat cats...

Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 8 - $1,000

If money is no object (and the gadget lover in your life lives in a Logan's Run-esque palace of straight, fluid lines and simple geometric shapes) the BeoSound 8 is definitely the way to go. Features include a dock connector for iPad / iPhone / iPod, audio cable input, and optional wall mount.

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