Saturday's gadget: Suunto Sonic, bone conduction to the marrow

In the world of sound there are two large groups of headphones. The most popular is characterized by using sound waves to vibrate the eardrum and generate sound. They are the helmets and headphones that we are used to. And then there are bone conduction ones, more focused on sports or monitoring, which take advantage of another sound pathway and vibrate directly against the bones of the upper part of the jaw to transmit sound directly to the inner ear, without intermediaries (read the eardrum). This is the case of the new Suunto Sonic.

Obviously, each of these systems has its advantages and disadvantages, but taking into account that the Sonic has been designed by a manufacturer specialized in sports, we will focus on these differences. bone conduction has the benefit of allowing you to hear the environment, since they are not placed inside the auditory pavilion. Generally, they have a headband that guarantees that they do not fall regardless of movement, essential if we are running or skiing. This combination, being alert to the environment without fearing a fall are points in its favor. The negative aspect is that the playback quality is not as good as in regular headphones.

If we are clear about this, if we know that Its goal is not the highest fidelity, but durability, lightness and allow us to be alert to the environment, we will take advantage of it. So, what are the qualities of the Suunto Sonic?

They weigh just 31 grams, meaning they can barely be felt. The Silicone-coated titanium headband It guarantees an optimal fit without putting pressure on the bones and being barely noticeable even after several hours. The only detail that could stand out in this regard is that the parts that vibrate and adapt to the outside of the ear pinna could press against it and become a nuisance in cases of prolonged use. In the case of Suunto this is not a problem and it is easy to forget that we are wearing them.

Due to anatomical issues, bass is not always transmitted through the bones adequately and although these headphones have improvements in this section and are compatible with aptX-Adaptive, At volumes above 80%, vibration is noticeable and can be annoying and distract. The Suunto Sonic have two listening modes, normal and outdoor, the latter raises the volume a little to respond to outside sound (it achieves this through one of the two microphones it incorporates: one to capture the environment and the other to answer calls or record content). You have to test the right limit to listen without discomfort.

In the battery section, it is going very well: 10 hours of total performance, with a fast charge that allows three extra hours if we connect them for 5 minutes. Perhaps this section is one of the ones that draws the most attention: the charging cable. On the one hand, it includes a magnetic connection that works very well as long as we do not move it too abruptly (in a backpack, while we run, the connection is likely to be cut), but on the other hand it has a USB connection. It would have been ideal for this end to be a USB type C: smaller, more efficient and with greater availability of chargers. And, when it comes to asking, if there was wireless charging, it would be perfect.

It has the possibility of double connection via Bluetooth, that is, it can be linked to two devices at the same time and switch between them. Which they don't have memory. Although it is rare for someone to go out running without a cell phone or a watch on which they can track the route or download music, this must be taken into account. The positive aspect is that Suunto does not require it to be connected to any of its products, we can carry the watch or mobile phone we have, without problem. And the connection is fast and efficient.

We have tested them with glasses, caps, panties and cycling helmets: in no case have we noticed incompatibility or lack of comfort: They go very well with all the accessories. The construction is of good quality and, although they are not submersible, they do resist rain without problem, although it is important.

The Suunto Sonic are available in black and lime for €149.


If we are clear that they are for listening to music and not for enjoying in a closed environment and that the price we pay for it is some fidelity, they are excellent helmets for playing sports. One condition is the USB connector, instead of the better USB type C, if it had this it would be almost perfect.