Best Atomic Clock Reviews

So you want an accurate timekeeping device present in your life (office, house, school, etc.)? The answer is atomic clock. It’s way more accurate than quartz crystal and pendulum clocks. Pressure and temperature cause quartz crystal and pendulum clocks to lose time.

But, this is not the copied NIST-F1 atomic clock located in Colorado to bring in your house. Instead, this is a radio-controlled clock.

A special radio station (WWV) made to transmit information about time from atomic clock continuously broadcasts all the time, up til now. There are 6 in the world, one is in the US. Your clocks/watchs receive that radio wave signal and decode it.

Since its timekeeping source is originated from atomic clock, well it’s said atomic clock.

The advantage of this radio-controlled atomic clock is not only accurate but also automatic. In comparison to quartz and pendulum clocks, you have to correct the time for a certain period. Imagine if the clock is wall mounted. Meanwhile, your atomic wall clock can synchronize itself to the correct time.

If you are looking for a new atomic clock (radio controlled clock) and trying to get the best one for your need, this post is for you. The top 10 best atomic clocks on the market below are for you to check out. They are our selection. We write the buying guide as well for you.

ProductPictureSpecificationPrice
#1. La Crosse
WT-3102S
[Best Overall]
Mounting type: Wall
Features:
- autoset to exact time
- auto-update for DST
- 4 USA Timezone Settings
check price!
#2. La Crosse
WT-3143A-INT
[Best Analog]
Mounting type: Wall
Features:
- 4 USA Time Zone settings
- larger analog display,
- autoset by radio signal for accuracy
- autoadjust for daylight savings time.
check price!
#3. La Crosse
WS-8117U-IT-AL
[Best Digital]
Mounting type: Wall & table
Features:
- 12 moon phases display
- wireless indoor/outdoor temperature
- instant transmission
- auto-update for DST
check price!
#4. AcuRite
75077A3M
[Best Weather
Forecast]
Mounting type: Wall & tabletop
Features:
- self calibrating forecast
- indoor/outdoor condition monitoring
- large display
- 7 supported timezones
- DST.
check price!
#5. Monex
Atomic
Talking Clock
[Best Alarm]
Mounting type: Wall & tabletop
Features:
- Full range alarm sound
- able to speak time, day, date, & hourly time
check price!
#6. Sangean
RCR-3
[Best Radio]
Mounting type: Tabletop
Features:
- dual time display (LCD and analog)
- 4 alarms by HWS buzzer or radio
- 14 memory presets (7AM/7FM)
- adjustable LCD display brightness
- portable digital player connectivity
check price!
#7. Hito 3.8”
Atomic Clock
[Best Bedside
Type]
Mounting type: Tabletop
Features:
- 4 timezones
- glow in the dark
- indoor temperature
- 5 languages selection.
check price!
#8. River City
801-403C
[Best Pendulum
Model]
Mounting type: Wall
Features:
- Wood case of cheery finished alder
- Auto-adjust for daylight saving time
- Great for long term use.
check price!
#9. Oregon
Scientific
RM313PNA
[Best Projection
Alarm]
Mounting type: Tabletop
Features:
- Autoset to the US atomic clock
- Indoor thermometer
- Time projection onto ceiling, wall, etc
- Alarm with snooze.
check price!
#10. Sharp
SPC569
[Best Desk
Model]
Mounting type: Tabletop
Features:
- Dual alarm
- Colorful calendar and weekday
- Battery back-up system
- Adjustable backlight.
check price!

Top 10 Best Atomic Clocks 2021

1. La Crosse Technology WT-3102S 10” Atomic Wall Clock [Best Overall]

best atomic clockIt is such common knowledge that La Crosse Technology is a world leader in atomic time and weather instruments these days. Their products always claim the atomic clock market’s top-tier lists. If you are really searching for the best atomic clock, then La Crosse Technology WT-3102S is the best choice for you.

It is equipped with the 4 USA Time Zone Settings: eastern, central, mountain, and pacific. With this, you can set the time according to where you stay in certain US regions.

It can automatically set to the exact time. You do not need to worry about spring and fall because it automatically updates daylight saving time (DST). To get the best clock setting, keep in mind putting or placing the clock near the window and face Colorado. It is because Colorado is where the radio signal station exists.

Its frame is featured black inner trim with a chrome-colored finish. The flat lens will cover the clock face from dust and debris. The price is lower than WT-3143A despite having the same 4 USA timezone settings. However, its display is smaller than WT-3143A. The manufacturer also includes the instruction manual and user guide alongside the product itself. So, you will be well-informed about the product in a short time.

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Pros:

  • Wall clock model (for most uses)
  • 4 USA Timezone settings
  • Autoset to exact time
  • Autoupdate for DST
  • Lower price

Cons:

  • Smaller analog display

Frequently asked questions:

Q: battery lifespan?

A: A good AA alkaline battery can last about 24 months.

Q: supported timezones?

A: Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific.

Q: Clock position?

A: Do not place the clock near any electrical appliances. The best spot is near the window and facing Colorado.

2. La Crosse Technology WT-3143A-INT 14” Atomic Wall Clock [Best Analog]

best analog atomic clockAs the leader of atomic time globally, it is not a surprise if La Crosse Technology will claim the best analog atomic clock. An analog clock is known for having the hours, minutes, and second’s hands. If you require the best analog atomic clock, then WT-3143A-INT from La Crosse Technology will be the best for you.

It is designed classically with a sturdy plastic framework. The display is a 14” clock dial, 2” wide frame, and larger than WT-3102S. Therefore, it becomes easy to read.

For the operation itself, it is mostly auto-set, auto-update for DST, with one AA alkaline battery, which could last over 12 months and over 3 years with two additional batteries. But you can switch off or on the auto-update DST depending on your need.

The four supported timezones are pacific, mountain, central and eastern. If you have little knowledge about the atomic clock, rest easy because the manufacturer already includes the user manual and FAQs to guide you about the atomic clock.

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Pros:

  • For most uses (wall clock type)
  • 4 USA Time Zone settings
  • larger analog display
  • auto-set by radio signal for accuracy
  • auto-adjust for daylight savings time

Cons:

  • more expensive

Frequently asked questions:

Q: battery lifespan?

A: one AA alkaline battery could last over 12 months and over 3 years with 2 additional batteries.

Q: Supported time zones?

A: mountain, pacific, central, and eastern. If you are not in the region where DST is needed, then switch off the DST button on its back.

Q: best position for the clock?

A: six feet away from any household electrical appliances, near a window, and facing Colorado.

3. La Crosse Technology WS-8117U-IT-AL [Best Atomic Digital Wall Clock]

best digital atomic clockThe digital atomic clock is not free from La Crosse Technology’s influence. As expected of the world atomic time leader, it offers the best digital atomic clock. In case you are looking for one, this product will definitely be the best choice.

It offers the new wireless technology, called instant transmission, designed and developed by La Crosse. That said, it will enable the immediate update from all outdoor data measurements. It aligns with the feature of wireless indoor/outdoor temperature monitoring.

For the display, it has a dual LCD, upper and lower. The upper LCD is for standard time display (hour, minute, second), radio reception icon, WWVB time, alarm icon, and clock battery indicator. Simultaneously, the lower LCD will display the sensor battery indicator, day, date, indoor and outdoor temperature, and the twelve moon phases.

It also has an alarm with snooze. The weekday display is adjustable to one of four available languages (English, French, Spanish, and Germany). The temperature is selectable weather in Fahrenheit or Celsius. The time zone settings will be available for Atlantic, Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific, Alaska, Hawaii, and GMT. With these many features on a single clock will be undoubtedly beneficial for you to have one.

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Pros:

  • 12 moon phases display
  • Wireless indoor/outdoor temperature monitoring
  • Auto-update for DST
  • Alarm with snooze
  • Perpetual calendar
  • Instant transmission

Cons:

  • No backlight
  • Battery consumption is higher in a harsh environment

Frequently asked questions:

Q: faint LCD?

A: change the batteries

Q: no WWVB signal reception?

A: face the clock to Colorado, try to wait overnight, make sure it is at least six feet away from electrical appliances, take the batteries away for five minutes, then put it back and wait overnight

Q: incorrect time display?

A: select the right timezone and daylight saving time

4. AcuRite 75077A3M [Best Atomic Clock with Weather Forecast]

Best Weather Forecast atomic clockHaving the standard atomic clock is an ordinary thing. However, imagine that there is an atomic clock with a weather forecast. In addition to that, it can self-learn and forecast the next 12-24 hours. It is going to be definitely awesome and beneficial to have one. AcuRite 75077A3M will be the best weather forecast atomic clock for you.

The strongest point making this digital clock more outstanding is its self-learning mode to predict the next 12 to 24 hours of weather.

For display, it is large to view and easy to read. It shows you the atomic clock’s data, selected timezone, weather icon, learning mode status, outdoor temperature (highest and lowest), indoor temperature (highest and lowest), day, date, and outdoor sensor reception bars.

The supported timezones are more than 4 usual timezones. They are pacific, mountain, central, eastern, Atlantic, Hawaii, and Alaska. The mounting can be hanged on the wall or put on the tabletop. If you are searching for a digital wall clock (atomic surely) and home weather station, then this is a great option.

Drawback: For most people, the only drawback is it needs five batteries to operate—three for the display unit and two for the outdoor sensor.

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Pros:

  • Another atomic wall clock option
  • Self-calibrating forecast
  • Indoor/outdoor condition monitoring
  • Large display
  • Seven supported timezones
  • Daylight saving time

Cons:

  • Requires more AA batteries.

Frequently asked questions:

Q: outdoor sensor reception shows no bars?

A: reposition the outdoor sensor and/or the display unit

Q: display screen error?

A: you probably need to make a battery replacement

Q: inaccurate forecast?

A: make sure that the learning mode already complete.

5. Monex Atomic Talking Clock [Best Atomic Alarm Clock for Women]

best atomic clock with alarmAn alarm is one of the common features a clock usually has. However, what about the talking alarm? Well, this feature surely has more advantages for the owner. Moreover, Monex atomic talking clock undoubtedly will be the best alarm clock for them, especially when used by blind or people with bad vision.

It is featured with full range alarm in human voice form and date announcement. The alarm is settable from the volume button. To operate, it needs 2 AA batteries. It can adjust automatically to summer/winter time by radio signal. It has hourly time announcements from 8 AM to 10 PM and can be deselected. The alarm sound could be 5 minutes long, with a beep tone and the current time announcement.

For some buyers, the drawback is it has a female voice only with a British accent. At the same time, some customers may need a male voice as the time announcer.

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Pros:

  • Full range alarm sound
  • Able to speak time, day, and date
  • Help people who could not see very well

Cons:

  • Only one alarm available can be set.
  • An only female voice with a British accent
  • No backlight

Frequently asked questions:

Q: really speak of the day, date, and time?

A: press the top button once for telling time, twice for telling day and date.

Q: speak another language?

A: No, English is the only language provided here.

Q: type of spoken English accent?

A: it speaks with a female British accent.

6. Sangean RCR-3 AM/FM Atomic Digital/Analog Clock Radio [Best Radio with Atomic Clock]

AM/FM Atomic Digital/Analog Clock RadioSince its establishment in 1974, SANGEAN electronics has been a reputable manufacturer of world band radio, portable pocket radio, and advanced audio equipment. It offers a radio product that may differ from most radios out there. Sangean RCR-3 will be the best atomic clock radio for you, as many benefits will be yours.

Like how common radio works, it can tune for 14 memory preset stations, both 7 AM/ 7 FM. It has a dual-time display: the analog clock and LCD—no need to worry about the display brightness because it is dimmable and adjustable. There are four different alarm options to set by radio or HWS buzzer.

The supported timezones cover both European countries (-2H, -1H, 0, +1H, +2H, +3H) and US (EST, CST, MST< PST, ALAS, HAW). It is also featured with a 3.5mm aux-in socket that allows the users to connect their digital player such as iPod, smartphone, MP3 using a male-to-male 3.5mm stereo cable. Remember to put the clock on a flat surface like a tabletop. Aside from those benefits, you may need to spend an extra budget as its price is a bit expensive.

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Pros:

  • dual display, analog clock, and LCD
  • 14 memory preset stations (7 AM/7FM)
  • adjustable display brightness
  • 4 alarms by HWS or radio
  • portable digital player connectivity
  • European and US timezones supported

Cons:

  • expensive

Frequently asked questions:

Q: supported timezones?

A: it supports European (-2H, -1H, 0, +1H, +2H, +3H) and US (EST, CST, MST, PST, ALAS, HAW)

Q: power supply?

A: 120V/60Hz for the US version and 230V/50Hz for the Europe version.

Q: suitable digital player?

A: iPod, smartphone, MP3 or CD player.

7. Hito 3.8” Atomic Clock [Best Bedside Model]

Best Atomic Clock Bedside ModelHaving a clock at the bedside is really convenient, moreover, if you are a punctual person. A solid and pocket-size clock would be suitable for this case. Hito offers its product Hito 3.8” which is absolutely going to be your bedside clock.

The unit supports four timezones. It has five languages selection for weekday while the default is English. The alarm volume will ascend to a loud enough level. It will also tell you about the indoor temperature.

The unique feature is the nightlight, where it auto-adjust the brightness to dim enough for sleeping. This is important for your quality sleep.

The drawback it has is its small display because of its solid and compact size.

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Pros:

  • affordable price
  • 4 timezones
  • Glow in the dark
  • Indoor temperature
  • 5 languages selection

Cons:

  • Small display

Frequently asked questions:

Q: alarm volume?

A: loud. The duration is 60 seconds. If snooze is activated, it will go off 5 times in a 5-minute interval

Q: clock readability in the dark?

A: there is smart auto-light or nightlight mode. Switch it on for night use.

Q: supported timezones?

A: pacific, mountain, central, and eastern.

8. River City 801-403C [Best Swinging Pendulum Model]

Best Swinging Pendulum Model Atomic ClockEven though the era has come to the modern age, some of us prefer having the classic model such as the pendulum model as our clock. If you prefer the wall clock model, this option can be your choice.

But what if the classic model also works with the principle of the atomic clock? La Crosse Technology makes it possible with its product named River City 801-403C. This product is definitely going to be worth it for you.

It is designed and very well built of cherry finished alder wood case. To operate, it needs two AA batteries. It adjusts automatically to Daylight Saving Time. If the user wants to deactivate the DST, there is an unmarked button to press after pressing the timezone button. The unit has no chime in case the users expect it to have one.

The drawback of this one has is that it has no hand for second.

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Pros:

  • Wood case of cherry finished alder.
  • Auto-adjust for daylight saving time
  • Great for long term use
  • Accurate nice wall clock option

Cons:

  • No hand for second

Frequently asked questions:

Q: what kind of chime does it have?

A: it has no chime.

Q: can DST be deactivated?

A: yes, it can be deactivated.

Q: what to do if the clock has been searching for some time?

A: try to reset and replace the batteries.

9. Oregon Scientific RM313PNA Atomic Alarm Clock [Best Projection Alarm Model]

Best Atomic Clock with Projection AlarmThis atomic alarm clock model is awesome to own. Not only is it accurate, but also its features. It tells you about time accurately by showing it on the wall, ceiling, or any surface. Oregon scientific RM313PNA would be the best atomic alarm clock for you.

Despite its cute appearance, it has features that will make you drop your jaw. It comes with the feature of auto-set to the US atomic clock. Aside from time, date, and weekday, the display also shows you the indoor temperature. The strong feature is it can beam the large red-light projection of time onto a wall or ceiling. The drawback is unsurprisingly its small display.

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Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Autoset to the US atomic clock
  • Indoor thermometer
  • Time projection onto ceiling, wall, or any surface
  • Alarm with snooze

Cons:

  • Small display

Frequently asked questions:

Q: projection failure?

A: try to replace the batteries.

Q: how to deactivate the alarm?

A: push once for one day off and twice to turn the alarm off.

Q: backward projection?

A: hit + or – to flip the projection.

10. Sharp SPC569 Atomic Clock [Best Desk Clock Model]

Best Desk Model Atomic ClockSHARP is believed that people in the world already know the name. It’s been producing alarm clocks for over 25 years. Sharp SPC569 will be the best companion at the office desk for office workers to help stay on track.

The Sharp atomic clock is equipped with dual alarms that will definitely help you as reminders of certain things or activities. The ascending alarm volume will not surprise you so hard such as a standard alarm. The alarms icon is enriched with the status shown on display. It will tell you which alarm is on or off. The time, date, and weekday are shown by different colors on the display. That feature makes it easy to read for the users.

The backlight can be adjusted with three-steps dimmer control. To do so, you need to press the snooze button on the clock top. The whole display will be illuminated for 5 seconds. When the alarm is on, the backlight will also be active. The unit has a battery backup system. It requires two AAA batteries. It will work when the main power source goes out or gets interrupted. Its function is to save time and alarm settings.

As we found, the only drawback that we see of this desk clock model is the bad (narrow) viewing angle.

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Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Dual alarm
  • Colorful calendar and weekday
  • Battery back-up system
  • Adjustable backlight

Cons:

  • Bad viewing angle
  • No alarm volume control

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: how to power this unit?

A: it operates by standard AC power. The battery backup is only to save time and alarm settings when the main power is troubled.

Q: how to increase the alarm sound?

A: it has no volume control, unfortunately.

Q: work in Europe?

A: no, it works only in the US.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing Atomic Clock

1. Suitable Geography Location

The atomic clock operates by depending on radio signals. There are some locations where the radio signals are weak or even get blocked. If you stay or live in a place like that, some troubles might happen for your atomic clock. The clock might not function well and show the wrong display of time or even lose time suddenly.

2. Features

As the technology is more sophisticated, many devices are combined or bundled with other test instruments in one package. So are the atomic clocks. The most common feature equipped with it is a thermometer, which shows data of temperature. The more features offered will likely increase the price you have to pay to own it. The modern types often come in a digital display with a night vision feature to help the owners know when the night comes.

3. Mount Type

Aside from various sizes, the atomic clock products also differ in the mount type. The old ones are most likely to be a wall mount type. While it is indeed old and outdated, there are still people who fancy the classic over the modern ones. On the other hand, the new ones come with a fresh and brand new mount type. Desktop and bedside type are two breakthroughs for the atomic clocks to give the owners a new experience.

4. Where to Put

Another thing to concern about when picking a certain atomic clock model is where you put it. If it’s okay or matching to put close to a window, it’s good. The atomic time reception is best near a window; the signal is strong.

How Radio-Controlled Atomic Clock Works

Well, the radio station broadcasts all the time, but your clock can be set to receive it all the time or not.  But actually, you cannot proceed the signal all the time to correct time. The reason is signal. Daytime’s signal is weak, while midnight is the best to synchronize.

It is a clock/watch consisting of radio receiver and decoder, receiving time information from atomic clock to your clock through radio wave. Special radio station, WWV in the USA, is built for this reason to broadcast the time.

If you have the receiver and decoder, you can turn your ordinary analog clock to be atomic clock.

Well, the radio station broadcasts all the time, but your clock can be set to receive it all the time or not. But actually, you cannot proceed the signal all the time for time correction. The reason is signal. Daytime’s signal (radio waves) is weak due to interferences, etc, while midnight is the best to synchronize.

Some models such as Casio WV58DA watch can turn off and on the synchronizing function. If you concern about the battery, you could turn on once a month. If you are looking for a budget atomic travel clock, this can be your choice.

How Accurate is Atomic Clock?

As we have said, it’s more accurate than quartz clock, pendulum clock, and hourglasses for sure. According to NASA, the atomic clock only loses time one second per 10 million years.

Is there more accurate than cesium atomic clock? Yap, optical clocks are the next generation.

Conclusion: What Best Atomic Clock We Like More

If you are still confused about which one to buy, we love to say that WT-3102S by La Crosse Technology is the appropriate atomic clock that you should buy. It’s a wall clock model. So, it should be suitable for most uses. Aside from its analog display and affordable price, it gives you the experience of a clock with 4 USA timezone settings.

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