Equipment review – Sonido portable amplifier
By Alex Gerrard, Senior Outreach Worker
The Sonido portable amplifier is designed to help you hear conversations and other sounds (like the TV) more clearly. Simply point the Sonido in the direction you want to listen and it will amplify the sound you want to hear and reduce the background noise from everywhere else.
I tried and tested the Sonido with headphones and neckloop. The sound quality is very good and it helps with conversations when in a small group and one to one. In my opinion the Sonido is easy to use in or out of the house with volume control and tone control. There is easy access to the batteries, it’s very compact and neat, and the microphone allows you to pick up clear sounds / conversation and tone of voice. I recently tested the Sonido with a client who relies on his hearing aid to access communication and was not able to pick up the tone of the conversation until he tried it with the Sonido with headphones. To his amazement he could hear the difference in the tone.
The Sonido is available in the Action on Hearing Loss catalogue at a cost of £62. An additional neck loop is £12.49 excluding VAT, headphones are £14.99. When purchasing the Sonido does not come with the headset so you will need to choose which headset you prefer. The neckloop works with your hearing aid as long you have a loop settings option on your hearing aid. You will need to choose from a neckloop, headphones, stethoset or ear hooks to make the unit complete. Deaf Direct can provide more information and guidance on the right equipment to suit your needs.
The Sonido is an excellent value listener as it gives you digital quality sounds (similar to that used in digital hearing aids), but at the fraction of the price of other digital listeners. We helped influence the design of this product so we know it’s great for people with hearing loss. The tone control function allows you to adjust the bass and treble of the sound. This is useful because you can tailor it to suit your particular hearing loss.
Listening to the TV
The Sonido comes with an extra microphone on a 5 metre long lead. This can be placed next to the TV to help you hear more clearly. The sound is sent straight to your ears and cuts out background noise. However, if you press the ‘mic’ button you will hear the TV and any other sounds in the room. When you release the button, you will return to the plug-in sound. This is useful if you want to speak to someone while watching TV, or if you don’t want to miss the phone or doorbell ringing. For the very best TV sound you can even buy a TV kit which plugs directly into the TV. Deaf Direct can provide more information on this, please contact us if you are interested.