Picture of the Emerson CKS1708 SmartSet Clock Radio, top front view, showing blue LED display and the buttons.

Emerson CKS1708 Clock Radio Review

The Emerson CKS1708 clock radio is small enough to fit on any bedside nightstand, table, or desktop.  It automatically sets itself to the correct time after a power outage.

This clock system retains time and settings in memory powered by a CR2032 lithium battery.  The battery life exceeds a year. In fact, it last quite a bit longer if the over all time main power is OFF, is short.  Plus, any set alarms still sound during the outage, even though the LED display is dark.  With these two features alone, this unit overcomes so many problems of earlier model clock radios.

But then, there’s also the purchase price to consider.  We paid $20 for ours at Walmart; a virtual steal by yesterday’s clock radio standards; although prices like this for products like this, are typical these days.  Large, bright digits as well, with adjustable brightness.  Over all, for the casual clock radio user, Emerson™ created a winner here.

Picture of the Emerson™ CKS1708 SmartSet Clock Radio, top front view, showing blue LED display and the buttons.
Emerson™ CKS1708 SmartSet Clock Radio, top front view, showing blue LED display and the buttons.

Benefits, Features, Pros, and Advantages of the Emerson CKS1708 Clock Radio 

Sure Alarm­®

Assures that set alarms will sound at the correct times, whether main power is present or not.  However, a smaller driver plays the alarm sounds during power outages; probably to more effectively conserve backup battery power.

Automatic Daylight Savings Time Setting

The clock automatically sets itself to daylight savings time.  It does so on the second Sunday morning in March.  Then it falls back to standard time on the first Sunday morning in November.

Six Time Zone Settings

You may set the clock radio to the following time zones.

  • Atlantic Time.
  • Eastern Time.
  • Central Time.
  • Rocky Time.
  • Pacific Time.
  • Hawaii Time.
  • Yukon Time.

Large Blue LED Display on the Emerson CKS1708 Clock Radio

You can see the jumbo sized 1.4” blue LED readout ten or more feet away. The display stands out in most any lighting except for bright sunlight.

Day of Week Lamp

Displays the current day beneath the time display (MON, TUE, WED, THU, FRI, SAT, or SUN).

Dimmable Readout

Choose from two display brightness levels.  Even at full brightness however, while easily read, the blue LEDs are not so bright as to become obnoxious.  Nor does the dimmest setting appear too dark to read at all.

The Emerson CKS1708 Clock Radio Has All Controls on Top

These top panel controls include…

  • Time Set.
  • Date Set.
  • Time Zone Set.
  • Radio Power.
  • Snooze.
  • Dimmer Level.
  • Sleep.
  • Volume.
  • Tuning.
  • Alarm 1 and Alarm 2.

No buttons, sliders, or lever switches to look for on the underside or back of the CKS1708.

Rear Firing Speaker

This radio is by no means high in fidelity.  But the small speaker at the back plays loudly enough to fill a big room.  Not much treble, and deep bass is very low.  However, the CKS1708 sounds plenty good for run-of-the-mill bedside clock radio.  It may not sound great.  But it WILL wake you up.

Rising Volume Alarms

To avoid abruptness that startles many sleepers, the CKS1708 alarms start out with a low repeating beep sound. Then they gradually rise in volume until either they reach max loudness or the sleeper snoozes or stops them.

Dual Alarms

You may set each alarm  to play the built-in radio or buzzer sound.  Plus, each alarm can sound with the following patterns.

  • Weekdays (Monday through Friday).
  • Weekend days (Saturday and Sunday).
  • All days (weekdays and weekend days).

90 Minute Sleep Timer on the Emerson CKS1708 Clock Radio

Go to sleep to the radio playing, for up to 90 minutes before shutting itself off.

Alarm State Light

Then, besides the time and day of week, the display also shows the current state of the alarms.  For each alarm, it tells whether it’s set to sound, and what that sound is to be (radio or buzzer). The lamp also blinks, letting you know which alarm is going off.

Auto Alarm Repeat

You need not remember to turn on the alarm again after shutting it off.  The CKS1708 automatically resets the alarm to go off at the scheduled time on the next scheduled day.

PLL AM / FM Tuner

Phase locked loop tuning.  Digital control.  You tune by pressing up and down buttons.  No analog knob style tuning means no broken dial cords and no dirty tuner controls.  Note that the radio itself will not play with main power disconnected.  The backup battery only sustains clock time and alarm programs.  It neither lights the LED display, nor powers the radio.

The Emerson CKS1708 Clock Radio Has a Station Scan Feature

Hold down the UP or DOWN tuning arrow keys for a second or two. Then the CKS1708 enters scan mode.  There, it starts at the current frequency. Then it scans through the next or prior channels.  It stops the scan on the next one where a station is present.

Press ON / Press OFF Power Button

One quick click turns the radio on, and then, another turns it back off when you’re finished listening.

Snooze Bar

Press to silence the alarm / radio for some minutes to catch a few more Zzzzzs.

Auxiliary Input Jack on the Emerson CKS1708 Clock Radio

Allows you to play your favorite media player device through the built-in speaker.  Accepts a 3.5mm cord plug from a CD player, iPod, and such.

Low Battery Indicator

The display shows a symbol when the included lithium backup battery requires replacing.

Built in AM and FM Antennae

The power cord also functions as the FM areal.

Storage Space for AC Power Adapter

The radio can be packed up for transport by tucking the power adapter plug into the bottom of the radio.  A locking mechanism then holds it in place until you’re ready to plug it into power again.


8”Wide x 3.7”High x 4.4” Deep

UL and ETL Listed

This product is safe.

Picture of the Emerson™ CKS1708 Sure Alarm Clock Radio, bottom view, showing battery door, power supply compartment, and auxiliary speaker.
Emerson™ CKS1708 Sure Alarm Clock Radio, bottom view, showing battery door, power supply compartment, and auxiliary speaker.

Disadvantages, Cons, Limitations, Drawbacks, and Concerns for the Emerson CKS1708 Clock Radio

Display Digits not Uniformly Lit

The centers of each digit segment glow noticeably more brightly than the ends. This might make confusion about what time it actually is if too far away.  The picture on the original carton downplays this effect.

Tinny Transistor Radio Sound

The mono speaker sounds tinny and thin.  No stereo sound either; not even with earphones.  True though, that hoping for any better sound for the $20 price tag, would be asking too much.

Battery Replacement on the Emerson CKS1708 Clock Radio Requires a Screwdriver

To change the CR2032 button battery, you’ll need a small Philips screwdriver. This is to loosen the single screw that holds the battery door closed.  But these batteries often last for years in clocks like this one. So you won’t have to do this very often, if ever.  Sometimes, they can last the whole life of the clock radio.

Permanently Attached Power Cord

One reason why this clock radio is so lightweight, is the external power supply.  It’s an old-style, “wall wart” transformer type.  Somewhat bulky and heavy.  Surprising that devices like this still use supplies like this one in light of the switch mode supplies these days.  Yet if they must use a power adapter, then we prefer it be detachable.  That way, they user could replace it if it fails.

Picture of the Emerson CKS1708 SmartSet Clock Radio, back view, showing the main radio and alarm speaker.
Emerson CKS1708 SmartSet Clock Radio, back view, showing the main radio and alarm speaker.

Our Rating on the Emerson CKS1708 Clock Radio

We’ve never known Emerson™ Radio to manufacture anything that’s truly top of the line.  However, their stuff isn’t junk either; surprising, given how little we spent for this digital clock radio.  Indeed, we were surprised to see how accurate the clock keeps time. Even in power outages.  Plus, there aren’t any analog controls to fail as dust and dirt slowly works its way in.  Indeed they built the Emerson clock radio CKS1708 to last a decade at least.  And while its music sound is less impressive, it functions well as a run-of-the-mill radio clock combo.  So we rate it at 93 out of 100.

Look for it in the red and white box.  It has the black, red, and white print, at Walmart, Amazon, eBay, and other stores.  This clock radio sports a silver and black case with a dark blue face.

Related Posts to Emerson CKS1708 Clock Radio

  1. Emerson Smart Set Clock Radio CKS1708 Review
  2. Sangean WFR 20 WiFi Internet Radio Player Review
  3. Radio Shack Weather Radio 12-522 Review, Emergency, All Hazards Radio
  4. Denon S 32 WiFi Internet Radio Music System Review
  5. Bose Radio CD Player Review
  6. Micronta Talking Vox Clock One 63-902 Review
  7. AcuRite® Atomic Digital Alarm Clock 13131 Review
  8. Radio Shack 6300452 Talking Alarm Clock Review
  9. Sharper Image Atomic Clock Review

References for this Emerson CKS1708 Clock Radio Review

  1. Emerson™ Radio    Web Site
  2. Owners Manual (PDF)
  3. Where to buy   the Emerson™ CKS1708 Smart Set Clock Radio

Revision History

  • 2019-06-06: Added key phrase targeting for ‘Emerson Clock Radio CKS1708’, removed ad script code, and added more tags and links.
  • 2017-03-19: Revised the tags list.
  • 2017-02-20: Originally published.