year in review

Strat Haul: This Voice-Controlled Alarm Clock Is the Best Thing I Bought in 2017

If you’ve read any of our Strategist editor hauls this year, you’ll know that we buy a lot of stuff, and even though we think carefully about each thing that goes into our cart, there are still standouts. To close out the year, we’re asking each editor to write about the best thing they bought. Today, writer Lauren Levy on the alarm clock that transformed her morning routine.

The very end of 2016 marked the first time I started snoozing regularly. After a lifetime of waking at the first sound of my alarm and enjoying life as a morning person, I was just tired. When my gently-revving-motorcycle iPhone alarm started up, I hit nine-minute snooze after nine-minute snooze, sleeping away any extra time I had to get ready. It was new and different, and I wanted to be a morning person again.

And then one day in the very beginning of January, I was walking around Brooklyn when I ended up at Regular Visitors, what would be called a general store if we lived in Brooklyn 200 years ago, but what I prefer to call an artisanal bodega, and I told myself that if they have an alarm clock here, I’ll buy it. They had two. The classic round Braun that we’ve since named the best alarm clock. And the more unusual Braun Voice-Activated Alarm Clock, which only activates snooze once you say, out loud and in a stern voice while facing the clock, “Stop.”

I bought the voice-activated one because I liked that it was the ’80s Dieter Rams designer version of Siri with whatever basic technology was available to Braun at the time, and also because I thought if I had to look at my clocks and yell stop the second I was woken up, I would be less likely to fall back asleep. That turned out to be true. I started talking to my alarm clock, and I stopped snoozing. It transformed my sleeping habits. I didn’t have to look at my iPhone last thing before bed or first thing in the morning, or check the time at any point in the middle of night. It was exactly what I needed at the time, and it made me feel like me again. It got me through just about all of 2017, and we’ll be ringing in 2018 together.

Braun Classic Analog Quartz Alarm Clock

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The Best Thing I Bought in 2017 Is This Alarm Clock