There are three in total, all made by Sonic Alert, an American company specialising in alerting systems; the Sonic Traveller, the Sonic Boom and the Sonic Shaker.
Want to know which is the best one?
A mains powered alarm clock, the Sonic Traveller comes in two parts. Firstly, there’s the alarm clock itself, and secondly, there’s a vibrating pad (also described as a bed shaker) powered by plugging it into a small port in the back of the clock.
Size: its a relatively small clock of around 5 inches long (the vibrating pad is 3 inches) and shaped like a small rugby ball that fits snugly into the palm of your hand. In terms of being portable, it can run on both a 9v battery as well as mains electricity although the battery, I think, is intended to act mainly as a fall-back in case of mains power failure. Therefore, if you’re travelling, you’d really be looking to pack the clock, vibrating pad and then the mains power lead. You might have room for it if you’ve a bigger bag for a reasonable stay away from home, but you might feel differently if you’re only going away for an overnighter.
Alarm: The clock has a loud buzzer (up to 100dB) which is adjustable for duration, volume and pitch, and the bed shaker has a good strong vibration. In addition, it has a snooze facility that can be adjusted from 0-9 minutes. The clock can be set for a ‘buzzer only’ alarm by simply unplugging the bed shaker.
Display: The display consists of large red LED numbers and is easy to read. The display can be switched between 24 and 12 hours.
Ease of use: The clock is very intuitive to use and easy to programme, and I was able to set up the time and alarm without needing to look at the instructions.
Other features: Finally, as an additional feature, the clock has a very handy USB port that can be used to charge phones and small electronic gadgets.
The Sonic Shaker is a small vibrating alarm clock with an integrated vibrating system (i.e. there is no separate vibrating pad).
Size: its a small round clock of around 3 inches in circumference, (or about the size of a large doughnut), hence, its very portable and could easily be packed away in luggage or in a handbag. It runs on 2 AA batteries to power the Vibrator and a single AAA battery for the clock itself.
Alarm: It has a loud buzzer (despite its size, my decibel counter registered it at 90dB), but there is no means of adjusting its duration, volume or pitch. When switched to vibration mode, the clock has a good strong vibration. In addition, it has a snooze facility that stops the buzzer for around 4 minutes. The clock can be set for buzzer, vibrator or vibrator and buzzer together.
Display: The LED display is folded flat into the body of the clock when not in use, but once lifted up, it reveals the functions buttons set underneath it for setting the time and alarm. The display has large LED numbers and during the night a small switch (doubling up as a snooze button) can be used to light up the display. The display can be switched between 24 and 12 hours.
Ease of use: Its very easy to programme and I was able to set up the time and alarm without needing to look at any instructions. However, due to its size, if you have large fingers or difficulty with your sight, you might struggle to depress the buttons and see the controls properly.
Other features: Finally, the clock comes in a smart neoprene pouch and has a clip which enables it to be attached to pillows, ensuring you don’t lose it in the bed overnight.
The Sonic Boom is a mains powered, bedside alarm clock that comes with an additional vibrating pad that can be plugged into the back of the clock and then placed in your bed.
Size: Although described as a travel and bedside alarm clock, its a larger clock of 6 x 3.5 inches and mains operated so not really that portable – at least not for just an overnight stay. Its also quite deep (2 inches) to accommodate the 9 volt battery casing which can keep the clock running in the case of power failure.
Alarm: There are four settings available including vibrate, buzz, vibrate and buzz, and off. It has a VERY loud buzzer (more like a warbling sound), which is adjustable for volume as well offering a wide range of pitches. The vibrating pad is also VERY strong and would be better positioned under the mattress than just under your pillow – the pad is in fact, described as a bed shaker. In addition, it has a snooze facility that stops the buzzer for around 9 minutes.
Display: The display is a large LED display that is very clear to see at night and can also be adjusted in terms of its brightness. The display can be switched between 24 and 12 hours.
Ease of use: Its very easy to programme with its main functions set out on its top edge and again, I was able to set up the time and alarm without needing to look at the instructions. However, I’ve noted that in some reviews posted elsewhere, some people have found the buttons small to operate single handedly. As well as the controls on the top, there is a rotary volume control at the bottom and two side sliders to control the display brightness and for changing the buzz/vibrate options.
These are all great vibrating alarm clocks that are very effective and offer standard features such as 12/24 hour display and snooze functions. If you’re very hard of hearing, then the Sonic Boom might be the best one to go for, for everyday use at home. However, for mild and moderate deafness, the buzzers on the other two clocks would be equally effective for everyday use, although the Sonic Shaker doesn’t have an adjustable volume. (This might not be a problem if you need a loud alarm, but if you find it too loud, then you obviously can’t adjust it down).
If you do a lot of travelling, however, I would go with the Sonic Shaker simply for its compact size. It still packs a powerful 90dB in its buzzer and it has a very strong vibration that should be effective in waking most people up. Its benefits over the Sonic Traveller are the fact that it has a clip to attach to your pillow and so won’t fall out of the bed, and its simply a smaller size which makes it easier to pack than having to take a clock and separate vibrating pad.
Ultimately, whatever your personal preference, you won’t go wrong with any of them.
Readers, are there any vibrating clocks that you would recommend?