SoundShaker Wireless Bass Transducer Review
THE VERDICT
The SoundShaker delivers bass that you can feel which adds another dimension to movies, music and video games.

Design8.5
Features8.5
Value7
Ease of Use7.5
Performance9
The Good
  • The SoundShaker works as advertised. The device adds another dimension to movie watching and music. Bluetooth lets you wirelessly stream audio to the amplifier.
The Bad
  • The SoundShaker is somewhat expensive. Can be a slight lag between the transducer and the subwoofer.
8Overall Score

The SoundShaker is designed to add another dimension to movies, music, and video games. The relatively small device attaches to the underside of your furniture and vibrates and rumbles in tune with the low frequency output generated by your AV receiver. The tactile nature of having bass “that you can feel”, makes watching movies and listening to music far more entertaining. The biggest drawback is the high price tag. For the amplifier and transducer you can expect to shell out a little over $500, but for some, that will be a small price to pay for having a more engrossing listening experience.

 

What’s in the Box

Our review setup consisted of the SoundShaker amplifier and one transducer. The amp package includes one wireless transmitter, two Y-cables, a long cable with connectors that can accommodate 4 transducers, and a base that allows you to stand the amplifier vertically. The rear of the amplifier has connectors for the transducer, as well as a 3.5 mm input, and a headphone jack.

 

Setup

Setting up the SoundShaker is fairly simple. The entire hook-up consists of a wireless transmitter that you connect to your AV receiver’s subwoofer output. You then take the SoundShaker amplifier and place it somewhere near your seating area. The transducer, which provides all of the shaky quaky goodness, needs to be screwed and securely attached to the frame underneath your chair or couch.  This part is crucial because if you don’t securely attach it to your furniture, the unit could easily shake itself off. A cable then runs from the amplifier to the transducer underneath your furniture. The cable is fairly long so you have some flexibility with placement options. In all, the cable has enough connection points to allow up to four transducers to be powered by the amp.

 

The biggest problem with getting it connected is the lack of documentation. The amplifier includes an instruction manual that’s pretty good. It’s simple and easy enough to follow. But the transducer is a different story. There’s nothing included in the box with the transducer. There’s also nothing we could find online as far as how to connect the transducer to your furniture. It’s easy enough to figure out, but we could see how some people may have questions in regards to the ideal placement of the transducer. Also, since you literally have to screw the transducer to your furniture you don’t want to make a placement mistake the first time around.

 

In our setup, we set the SoundShaker’s crossover setting at 80Hz. The higher you set this number, the more active the SoundShaker will be. Keep in mind that your AV receiver also has a crossover setting for your subwoofer, so you want to make sure that the crossover you select for the SoundShaker matches your AV receiver’s crossover setting or is lower.


You can control the intensity of the SoundShaker via the power knob that’s located on the far left of the amp. The higher the number, the more intense the vibrations. Whatever you select for the power setting is applied to all four transducers. An option to control the vibration settings for each transducer independently would have been nice since some people may prefer a little less or a little more intensity.

 

As a bonus, the SoundShaker also has built-in Bluetooth. The front of the amplifier has a knob that lets you switch between wireless mode and Bluetooth. If you plug a set of headphones into the amp, you can stream music via Bluetooth to your headphones and still enjoy the SoundShakers thumping beats. There are also a few AV receivers on the market that can transmit audio via Bluetooth as well as receive. If you happen to have one of these it may be possible to stream audio from the AV receiver to a set of headphones or a speaker connected to the SoundShaker amp. Unfortunately, none of the AV receivers we had on hand were capable of this so we were unable to test this theory.

 

Performance

If you have the cash, the SoundShaker is a no-brainer. For instance, when we watched Pacific Rim on Blu-ray, we not only heard the thunderous footsteps of the giant mechs and Kaijus, but we felt them as well with our seats rumbling in concert with our subwoofer.

 

Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are object-based sound formats which give movie sound mixers the opportunity to utilize overhead effects to create a 3D sonic bubble in your home theater. When you incorporate something like the SoundShaker, it takes both Atmos and DTS:X to the next level. For example, Jupiter Ascending makes ample use of overhead sound effects. With the SoundShaker, the movie became more immersive. During the movie’s climactic ending a mining platform begins to disintegrate. As the structure collapsed, the SoundShaker vibrated in tune with the on-screen chaos as the walls came tumbling down. The SoundShaker combined with the overhead Dolby Atmos sound effects immediately pulls you into the movie making the overall experience far more enjoyable.

 

The SoundShaker isn’t just for movies. If you want to add a little extra kick to your music the transducer will take your music listening to another level. Sit back and listen to a few bass-heavy tracks and you not only hear the bass, but you feel it too.

 

The one minor drawback we encountered with the SoundShaker was that there was a slight delay or disconnect between our subwoofer and the transducer. Sometimes the transducer seemed to be just a half second behind our sub. Luckily our AV receiver had dual subwoofer outs so we were able to account for the sound latency issues with the SoundShaker. If you only have a single sub out, you may not be able to fully adjust for the delay. After spending some time with the SoundShaker, we came to the conclusion that the latency issues were most likely caused by the wireless signal from the transmitter to the amplifier. Most users probably won’t notice the delay, but for some it could be an issue.

 

Conclusion

The SoundShaker works as advertised. When in use, it adds another level of immersion by giving you physical feedback when you’re watching a movie or even listening to music. It does have a few drawbacks such as a slight latency issues and limited documentation, but these items are easily overlooked when you factor in the sheer enjoyment you’ll get when using it.

 


Where to Buy:

See Price on Amazon



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