This post was originally published in 2017. It was updated on January 28, 2020.

I’m not sure if this happens to you too, but usually when I have an early morning flight I end up getting a terrible night’s sleep. I guess it’s nerves, since I get anxious about accidentally sleeping through my alarm (here’s one past fix I’ve tried). Then a few days ago, a reader asked me if I could recommend a travel alarm clock for the hearing-impaired.

This was a great question since an alarm that caters to the hearing-impaired could also benefit early-morning travelers. (My dad would also benefit from one since he’s legally deaf without his cochlear implant in.) I ended up asking listeners of Leo Laporte’s The Tech Guy show (I call in every Saturday at 12:30pm PT), aka devices that help you not sleep through your alarm. These were the two best answers/products I received:

1. The Sonic Bomb Wireless Vibrating Alarm ($38.97 on Amazon)

From Jim B.: “Johnny, I just heard you asking about a loud alarm clock for people that are hard of hearing. I bought this clock from Amazon ($29) last year for my 90 yo mom. She is very hard of hearing and this wakes her up. It also comes with a bed vibrator that says it will shake you out of bed, although she doesn’t use that.”

UPDATED on January 28, 2020: The newest version of the Sonic Bomb, which is pictured above, contains the “universe’s most powerful bed shaker” and can connect wirelessly to your phone. Among the device’s other vitals:

  • You can set multiple alarms and notifications with an app.
  • The user-selectable alarm duration goes from 15 seconds to 10 minutes and the user-selectable snooze time is from five to 30 minutes.
  • You can choose their vibration pattern and strength per their interest.
  • You can turn off the alarm sound on your phone and only use the vibrator.
  • You can name your different alarms.
  • The battery itself lasts six months when used every day. If not used every day, it could last up to two years.
  • The device is covered under a one-year warranty.

2. The Fitbit Alta ($93.99 on Amazon)

Another great option came from Dave S.: “I’m hard of hearing and have had to give up on using an alarm clock because I could never be sure I’d hear it. (Or if I did, it was probably loud enough that I’d have to peal my wife off the ceiling.) I’ve switched to using one of those activity monitor bands and it buzzes me awake without bothering my wife too much. I used to use a Jawbone Up, but they are barely in business anymore. My suggestion would be the Fitbit Alta. It’s small, relatively inexpensive, though there are many that would work. For me, that’s the killer app for an activity monitor.”

Thanks, guys! I really like both of these options but I probably will get the bed vibrator for my dad and the Fitbit Alta for myself. If you have a better gadget, please leave it in the comments section below!


Johnny Jet

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