What is a Sonic Boom Alarm Clock?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Adam Kollin invented the sonic boom alarm clock in recent years for people who find regular alarm clocks ineffective. Though the clock is now used by many who need more than a gentle beep in the morning to remind them to get out of bed, Kollin’s initial inspiration was his hearing impaired grandmother. Now the sonic boom alarm clock is not just for the hard of hearing. Instead, the various types are used by a number of people who just won’t get out of bed without significant activity taking place in their bedroom.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

The standard sonic boom alarm clock emits a blast of sound up to about 113 decibels. For comparison purposes, this sound would be roughly the same as a car horn being honked next to your bed. It’s definitely loud and designed to wake the sleeper who just won’t get up. You can adjust the sound to lower levels, and you may need to experiment to see which level of sound is right for you without waking up neighbors.

The clock doesn’t stop at merely creating sound. Part of the clock can be slipped in between your mattress and box spring to create a shaking effect, similar to a small earthquake. Another feature of the clock coupled with the shaking and sound is lighting. Some of the sonic boom alarm clocks feature bright flashing lights that won’t go off until you actually turn them off. Most clocks come with the ability to turn off any of the “wake-up” features. If a gentle shake of your bed gets you up in the morning, you may forgo flashing lights and loud sounds. Alternately, you may need all three to get you out of bed in the morning.

There are now numerous types of sonic boom alarm clock on the market, most made by the company Sonic Alert® started by Adam Kollin. These include analog clock versions, super macho black alarm clocks like the Sonic Bomb SBB500s®, and even clocks for the sleeping beauties in your house in bright pink heart shapes. Prices vary from about $30 US Dollars (USD) for analog clocks to slightly over $70 USD for versions with extra features like a lamp plug in the back of the clock.

If you do plan on using the vibrating feature of the Sonic Boom alarm clock, you’ll need a good extension cord. And if you already have a good alarm clock, you can buy bed vibrators alone for approximately $30 USD. There are even a few travel versions of the clock, and most feature back up batteries. If you lose power in the night, your clock will still wake you up on time.

The analog version of the sonic boom alarm clock may be excellent for use with seniors, or for anyone who has vision problems. The large numbers on the face and the ease of programming may make this a better choice. In all these clocks have earned rave reviews, though people who hate getting out of bed, may not be quite as enthused when the clocks actually blast or shake them awake in the morning.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


I like the IDEA of a loud sonic boom alarm clock, but I don't know if that would be the best way to wake up or not. I can see where a flashing alarm clock light or a vibrating alarm clock would be effective, but the sonic boom might just be too shocking to my system.


I've never had a problem waking up to a regular alarm clock, but I had a roommate in college who could have definitely used a sonic book alarm clock. I would get up at least an hour before he did, and I wasn't all that quiet. I'd turn the TV up while I was making breakfast, and the sound of clanging pans alone should have woken him up.

If I could go back in time, I'd buy one of those sonic boom alarm clocks and turn it up to full volume. One of his favorite complaints was that I forgot to wake him up for class before I left. I would have loved to see the look on his face when the sonic boom alarm clock went off.

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