The 10 Best Bass Shakers
This wiki has been updated 8 times since it was first published in December of 2018. Though the ears are the most obvious way that humans experience sound, hearing is also physical. If you're aiming for increased realism in your home theater or gaming system, a good tactile transducer, also called a sound exciter, can produce powerful vibrations. Whether it's mounted on a couch in your home theater or underneath a car seat, the right one will help deliver immersive entertainment. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 09, 2020:
This time around, we removed the SubPac wearable transducer because of a couple long-term design flaws, plus the fact that it's almost impossible to get your hands on one at this point. If you are looking for a haptic feedback vest, we've highlighted one in our special honors that promises to be highly advanced.
The ButtKicker Advance remains the top performer, especially for the price, due to its impressive low-frequency extension. The ButtKicker LFE doesn't get quite as low, but is notably louder, and works very well in a variety of applications. Rounding out their range are the ButtKicker Mini and ButtKicker Gamer 2, both of which are built to smaller scale and work better for chairs, or in multiples.
Both the Clark Synthesis Gold and Clark Synthesis Platinum come highly recommended from the most demanding multimedia enthusiasts. In fact, the Platinum is so powerful that you'll need isolators for your furniture. The Gold is also very high-quality, although it isn't incredibly sensitive, and so doesn't do the best with movies that aren't very dynamic. The Earthquake MQB-1 is focused somewhat more on the mid-range than the ultra-low-end, but for its cost, it makes a great addition to a racing sim. The Dayton Audio Puck and AuraSound Pro, on the other hand, are excellent all-around performers with low profiles and reasonable prices, that should work well for almost any installation. Keep in mind that in most setups, you'll need a dedicated amp to power any of these.
March 07, 2019:
Explosions don't just sound loud, they also feel loud. But it's not exactly a subwoofer's job to produce those vibrations; a sub is meant to create the sound itself. So once you've plugged in a quality subwoofer, the next step is a sound transducer, which makes those loud bangs and booms feel as real as they sound.
To that end, the oh-so-endearingly-named ButtKicker brand makes some truly high-quality equipment. The standard LFE module has long been appreciated as powerful and effective, though it's not necessarily the best value. Their Advanced model reaches all the way down to 4 hertz, and as such is one of the best options for capturing a truly cinematic feel. They also offer a Gamer model, which clips conveniently to an office or gaming chair, and makes every single gunshot and collision feel like you're right there near it. The AuraSound and Dayton products are relatively modular, in that they're inexpensive, and you can install as many as you need to suit your furniture and home theater configuration. They're also decent for car audio purposes, though the Dayton Puck may be one of the best for that, simply because it's quite small compared to the rest.
Clark Synthesis makes a number of models focused on the high-end home theater segment. Their Gold and Platinum operate at much higher frequencies than the rest, which helps to recreate all sounds, in addition to just the lowest ones. And the SubPac is particularly interesting for virtual reality use, where realism is literally the name of the game, and a sound exciter strapped to your back can do wonders for total immersion. Whichever you choose, be certain to use the right size amplifier for the transducer, and make absolutely sure to wire everything properly. Safety is always paramount, especially when dealing with high-wattage signals.
bHaptics TactSuit X Series Quite a bit different from the rest, the TactSuit is a haptic vest designed to offer tactile feedback when playing games. It responds to everything from lows to highs and promises an especially immersive VR experience. bhaptics.com
Crowson Shadow-8 This two-piece set is remarkably easy to install, as it simply rests underneath couch legs and includes two spacers for the rear feet. As long as your amplifier is beefy enough to drive it, you'll almost certainly appreciate what it brings to your home theater. crowsontech.com