Back when their parents were headed off to college, most students were packing up gadgets like stereos and coffee makers. Today, college students need more tech gadgets to get through the semester. With college starting back in the next few weeks I thought I'd round up some tech gadgets that almost every college student will need for their dorm room or apartment.

Students may think they'll just use a smartphone for an alarm clock but there are several reasons why the new Wakey alarm clock from Soundcore makes a better choice. First, it's not only a bedside or desktop clock, but it's also a Bluetooth speaker, and a pretty good one at that.

Secondly, it has a built-in sound or sleep machine that plays soothing sounds of chirping birds, rain or wind to hopefully drown out any snoring or noisy roommates. The most helpful feature of this clock is the wireless phone charger that's built-in. It's a fast charger, specifically for Android devices and iPhones and it's a smart charger so it won't overcharge while you sleep. The Wakey alarm clock is pretty sharp looking too and doesn't take up a lot of room on a bedside table.

If there's one complaint about thin laptops it is the lack of power ports. New Macbooks, for example, have only one charging port which isn't enough for most students who want to charge their phone or use jump drives to transfer data. The Anker 5 in 1 USB C charger solves that problem by including two extra USB C ports, 2 SD card slots and an HDMI output so they can use their computer to play 4K movies and videos on a TV screen.

Students cannot always find a nearby charger between classes or in a library study session. Portable battery chargers are a must-have gadget to toss into a backpack, purse or jacket pocket. There are dozens of chargers of all types and sizes. Ventev makes portable chargers that have a charging cable built-in so that there's one less thing you have to keep on-hand.

Wireless charging pads are also useful to have in a backpack or at least on the desk in their dorm room or apartment. Newer smartphones have technology built-in that allows you to charge the phone without using the lightning or USB port. Just place the phone on the charger. Ventev and Anker both make fast-chargers for that purpose.

Speaking of charging stations, students cannot have too many charging cables. As the father of a college student, I am familiar with the question: "has anyone seen my charger? Look for charging cables that have multiple plugs with USB, USB C, and lightning plugs.