Gadling Gear Review: Geneva Model XS Travel Alarm Clock And Speaker System

The travel alarm clock was once required equipment on any trip. These small, usually battery operated, clocks were essential to getting us up and moving in the morning no matter where we slept the night before. Slowly over time, the travel alarm clock has mostly been replaced by our cellphones, which have included alarm options for years. But if Geneva Sound System has their way, the travel alarm clock is poised to make a big comeback in the form of their Model XS.

Stylish and elegant the Geneva Model XS is unlike any travel alarm clock you’ve ever seen. As you would expect, it packs a bright, easy to read LED display and an alarm that is powerful enough to wake you from the deepest of sleeps. It also has three incredibly loud, yet clear, speakers (2 tweeters, 1 woofer), an FM radio receiver, integrated Bluetooth for streaming audio from a smartphone or tablet and a built-in lithium battery that promises five hours of untethered play time. On top of all of that, the entire package comes wrapped in a high-quality faux leather hard case that looks great and keeps the unit well protected from the rigors of the road.

It only takes one look at the Model XS to see that Geneva has put a lot of thought into the design of this device. When the case is open the lid serves as a natural brace for the speakers and clock, which collapse neatly inside for storage when not in use. Touch controls line the top of the case and are logically laid out and simple to use. They also light up nicely, making them easy to find in the dark, which is much appreciated when you’re on the far side of the planet, suffering from severe jet lag and need to be up before the crack of dawn.Geneva is quick to point out that the Model XS is not simply a travel alarm clock but is in actuality a portable sound system. After hearing it in action it is hard to argue with this assessment as it definitely delivers clear, high quality audio from a variety of sources. The device includes a direct line-in option that allows it to work with any audio source, but it is the wireless Bluetooth capability that really sets it apart. Once paired with a smartphone, tablet or laptop it is a breeze to send your favorite music, podcasts, or streaming audio to the powerful speakers, which actually have the ability to fill a room with sound.

The addition of an FM receiver to this device also helps set it apart from the competition as it is often nice to listen to local radio when visiting a new destination. A hidden telescoping antenna helps to pull in the signals, but unsurprisingly the audio quality wasn’t nearly as good when compared to streaming from another device. Radio reception was a mixed bag, with some unexpected static even on strong stations, but overall it performed about as well as you would expect.

It is actually hard not to be impressed with the Model XS, which simply exudes class and quality in every way. But the device is a bit large in size, which could be a turn-off for travelers who like to hit the road as light as possible. The unit measures just over 6 inches in length and weighs in at 1.1 pounds, which makes it much larger and heavier than a typical travel alarm clock. It also lacks features like dual time zones or multiple alarms, which can come in handy for road warriors.

The size of the device isn’t the only thing that is large on the Model XS. The system also sports a hefty price tag as well. Geneva has priced the unit at $250, which makes it an expensive option for many travelers who simply need a lightweight clock to carry with them when they hit the road. Then again, this device isn’t really aimed at that market and for those looking for a great portable sound system, that also happens to tell time, the Model XS is the perfect choice.

Available in three colors (red, white and black), the Geneva Model XS is a beautifully crafted piece of technology that packs excellent sound. For travelers looking for a great portable sound system to take with them on the road, this is a fantastic option, provided they don’t mind adding a bit of extra weight to their bags. The clean, classic design of the device makes it stand out both at home and while on the go, which will make this a popular product with those who appreciate high quality portable audio.