This is going to be a buttkicker round up review. In total I will talk about 3 buttkickers on the market.
- The AuraSound AST-2B-4
- Buttkicker LFE Mini
- Clark TST209
You need a powerful amp
I went through a lot of cheap Chinese amps looking for something that will drive the buttkickers.
The only ones I can recommend are:
- Lepy LP-168S 2.1CH 2x40W+68W Output Super Bass Audio HiFi Amplifier For MP3 iPod
- Infinity TSS 1200/230 Subwoofer (Purchase amp board spare on aliexpress)
There are many others that output 50w etc, but they don’t put out enough power and don’t have a crossover switch.
The best thing to do is just spend $100+ on 1 good amp instead of suffering through 4 mediocre ones. Buy good buy once right?
The Aura Sound
- Not very powerful. You get vibrations, but don’t expect any big hits or thuds. Think of it like those vibration massage chairs. Its nice if you never tried buttkicker before, just know that there are better ones out there.
- I would call this super entry level, however its cheap and cheap amps like the LEPY can power 2 of them without any grief.
Buttkicker LFE Mini
- This is more what I’m talking about. You can get big hits and thuds under your seat. The only problem is that its power hungry, you need a powerful amp at least 50W+ or else you are not going to bring the full power of the buttkicker to the party.
- Can bottom out. Which is a strange sentence, however what I mean exactly is that on some low bass notes the unit will get suddenly very loud and thump unconvincingly. Most noticeable on songs that have a bass roll. On a mellow aura sound you get vibrations that smoothly change in intensity but on the Buttkicker you get a loud thud/pop that feels like something just broke. Not such a good feeling.
- No matter what I tried I couldn’t power these to get reasonable effect. In fact the transducer can act like a speaker, eg If you don’t have a good crossover you can hear music/voices coming from it. This sounds awful.
- Its probably a good transducer… I will never know as the setup I have on hand leads to poor results. Which is a shame since the buttkicker LFE mini was a simple plug and play for very good powerful results (just have a powerful amp on hand).
- If you are new to it, Aura will work, but 1 puck is not very strong and you will want to get at least 2. For that price you might as well get a buttkicker LFE mini.
- Clark = avoid.
- Buttkickers rock! (But they can bottom out)
Total cost can be under USD 200. The best way to do it is buy a buttkicker packaged with the amp. Its cheap in USA but pricey overseas. So if you can get it US direct you will win out.
$100 for a transducer and $100 for an amp. Don’t go cheaper than this as its just a waste of money on a mediocre effect. You want a smile on your face and a numb backside from all the buttkicking right?
For Sim Racing
There is only 2 ways to use transducers.
- With SimCommander so that you get vibration effects generated from game data
- Running of bass output from your sound card
Basically SimCommander is the only way you want to run it.
Cheap pucks work well to induce vibration effects on your chassis, especially placed near pedals.
I can’t say it feels like you are on the “road” however the effect is nice to have. Makes driving a more visceral experience. It won’t make you drive faster at all though. In fact if you are trying to shave seconds you should probably use a cheap steering wheel with no forcefeedback.
However, listening to music and watching movies is a much more entertaining with bass transducers than without. It is definitely something you will miss not having… everything seems flat afterwards.
You can re-discover games and music because now you can attach a tactile sensation to it. Eg, wow that bass drop feels awesome, literally it feels great on your bum haha.