Don’t be fooled, Soundcore’s Wakey (by Anker) is no ordinary alarm clock. This beautiful timepiece is a Bluetooth speaker with a built-in 7.5W Qi wireless charger, USB charging hub, FM tuner, white noise generator, and of course, an alarm clock.
Wakey’s design is beautiful and almost Apple-y. It’s a simplistic and clean matte white design with touch buttons and an LED clock that shines through grey speaker mesh. There’s a rubber ring on the top for your phone to sit and charge safely. The whole device is not much bigger than the footprint of your smartphone.
It’s not a wireless speaker (which might be why it sounds so good) so it comes with a wall adapter for power. The wall adapter is not a standard cable, but Wakey does feature two full-sized USB ports on the back for charging and powering two other devices. On the back you’ll also find an auxiliary port for playing music from any source and an FM port for the included antenna.
The wireless charger on the top of the device just works. At 7.5W it charges as fast as any other typical wireless charger will. There’s a status light behind the speaker mesh that illuminates when it’s charging. This is important as there’s been a couple of nights where I misaligned my phone and had a dead phone in the morning. The charging area is wide enough that you can plop your phone on top and have it charging about 80% of the time without having to shimmy it a bit to align the charger.
Set up is a piece of cake, you just pair to it like a regular Bluetooth device and let the Soundcore app take care of the rest. The Soundcore app is used to configure your backlight settings, alarms, and radio presets. Unfortunately, you can’t do very much without the app. You can’t custom tune the radio, you can’t set alarms, you can’t turn on white noise, and you can’t control the clock backlight — you need the app for these functions. With Wakey you can control the music source, adjust volume, skip tracks, skip through radio presets, and shut the alarm. Ironically you can’t even set an alarm or turn on an existing alarm. Thankfully these are mostly features that can be solved through a software update. We don’t love touch buttons, but these work fine when you get used to them.
The speaker is incredible for such a small device. It sounds better than almost any portable speaker its size, but that could be because it’s not “portable” and instead tethered to the wall. There’s a 10W amplifier that cranks out pretty loud and clear audio. The sound signature is very well balanced with really natural-sounding bass. Voices and lyrics stand out nicely. We love that we can listen at a very low volume and hear details, and conversely, we can listen at high volumes with little distortion. You can play music softer than a whisper, and it will also get loud enough to power a small to medium party. Unfortunately, there’s no EQ settings or tuning options, so thankfully it sounds great and is impartially tuned.
Aside from being heavily dependent on the App, we have one other big gripe with Wakey: the Bluetooth connection. The connection quality is great and it even supports Bluetooth 5, but the problem is when and how it connects to your phone. You have to manually reconnect to Wakey every time in your phone’s Bluetooth settings. There is no button on Wakey to enable/reconnect Bluetooth, or shut/disconnect Bluetooth. There’s no power button on Wakey, but the Bluetooth button or press-and-hold on the multi-function button should do this. We’d also be happy if Bluetooth was on a timer where it disconnects at, say, 9am and attempts to reconnect at 9pm.
We have some smaller gripes that are easier to live with. There’s a built-in microphone which should only really be used out of necessity. It’s not clear and sounds considerably worse than talking into your handset. There’s no way to activate voice assistant features on Wakey, and if you activate it on your phone, you’ll have to talk through Wakey. We were excited about having a white noise machine but it only works if you pair your phone and turn it on with the app. The white noise feature is customizable and pretty cool how you can mix different sounds, but it’s not much different than playing white noise from Spotify or YouTube on your phone. Finally, a lot of people have also complained about the brightness of the dimmest clock LED setting — we’ll admit it could be dimmer, but we haven’t lost sleep over it.
To sum it up, we have a handful of criticisms but we still love Wakey. It’s aesthetically beautiful, and it’s a really easy and attractive method of charging our phone, and the speaker sounds amazing. We would get a little more use out of Wakey if there was a quicker/easier way to pair to our phone and/or if it was less reliant on our phone. Pricing in at $99, we’d say it’s still a good value for the great speaker, powerful charger, and attractive bed-side timepiece.
The Soundcore Wakey by Anker is currently available at Amazon for $99.