Stem TimeCommand Audio Dock Review: Ideal iOS Alarm Solution

If you’re in the market for a device that can charge your Apple devices overnight and wake you up with your favorite music, or perhaps help you drift off to sleep with dimming lights and calming ocean sounds, or even let you enjoy internet radio while you work, the Stem TimeCommand Audio Alarm Dock priced at $99.95 might just be what you need. This versatile “clock radio” seamlessly integrates with your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, offering a multitude of functions.


The TimeCommand is exclusively available at Apple retail stores and features a cylindrical shape measuring about 7.6 inches across and 3.3 inches high. This size is ideal for an iPad, which can be docked for charging and is supported by two foam pads included with the device. The dock is also compatible with the iPod touch and iPhone, and it accommodates most cases, so you usually won’t need to remove your device from its case to connect it.

At the front, the TimeCommand sports a curved orange LED display that can be dimmed to a comfortable brightness or brightened with a simple tap.

It includes a battery backup system that requires two AA batteries (not included), and features standard clock radio controls like nap, snooze, and sleep.

A notable feature of the TimeCommand is an additional plug on the AC adapter, which allows for a lamp to be connected. The Stem:Connect app, available for free, controls this feature and offers the ability to program the lamp’s dimming. This app also serves as an Internet radio with ten free stations and manages most of the dock’s functionalities.

When your iOS device is docked and the music player is active, a Sonic iQ control panel appears, offering a sound field expansion slider, a 5-band equalizer, and bass enhancement options.


While the audio quality of the TimeCommand surpasses many other clock radios or docks, it doesn’t quite match up to high-quality headphones or speakers. However, the Sonic iQ panel allows for significant customization of the sound to suit your preferences.

For those who dislike resetting digital clocks, the TimeCommand simplifies the process.

Simply dock an iOS device running the Stem:Connect app, and the time sets itself. This integration reflects the thoughtful design and functionality that Stem Innovation has incorporated into both the app and the dock.

The top of the dock features seven buttons with clear, large icons. The most prominent button at the front is for nap/snooze/sleep functions, which is especially useful for those who struggle with mornings. Behind this are three buttons: a central light bulb icon flanked by a minus and a plus button, which control the lamp, volume, display brightness, and music tracks.

For those looking to relax before sleep, the Stem:Connect app allows you to dim or turn off your bedside lamp and choose from six different ambient sounds, which will automatically stop after a set duration.


Donald is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing readers the latest insights and updates on all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail and a love for technology, Donald covers everything from the newest iPhone releases to the latest macOS updates. His articles are known for their clarity and depth, making complex topics accessible to all. When he’s not writing, Donald enjoys exploring the capabilities of his MacBook Pro and capturing moments with his iPhone camera.