Who is Guitammer?
Today we have a unique product to share with our readers. The original Buttkicker was developed to solve a problem that bands had on stage: How to allow the bass player and drummer to feel the low frequency sound without disturbing the rest of the band. The Buttkicker product line has been around since the first Buttkicker Shaker was commercialized in 1999 when a patent was issued for the magnetically suspended transducer. Since then, Guitammer has found markets for their product across the spectrum. Besides bands, the Buttkicker has been implemented to satisfy the needs of custom home theaters, the Warner Bros. 200-seat theater in London, amusement parks, virtual reality, sound design firms, and now, gamers!
The Buttkicker Gamer was designed to allow gamers to feel the sound effects from their games. The best effect comes from First-Person Shooter (FPS) games where the gamer feels the sound generated while firing their weapon. However the Buttkicker Gamer also works great for feeling the bass in your favorite music and enhancing the action scenes in movies.
The other benefit of using the Buttkicker Gamer is that you can still get the full audio effect of your game, music of movie during times where the wife or parents do not want to hear your fraggin' on the other side of the house. The Buttkicker Gamer will let you feel the bass while in an environment where you can only use your headphones!
The Buttkicker Gamer includes everything needed to setup your unit to your computer or gaming console. The included instructions (also downloadable from the buttkicker website) were a little confusing, but was easy to figure out with a little knowledge of how to connect audio equipment.
Using the Buttkicker
To use the buttkicker, position the victim so they are facing away from the device. Drop a pen or something and when the victim bends over to pick up the pen, press the big red button on the remote trigger. The buttkicker will provide a swift 'kick' to the victim's a...... oh, wait... we're still on the Buttkicker Gamer review! Let's get back on track.
The Buttkicker Gamer securely fastens to most metal post office chairs. The Buttkicker Gamer connects to the amplifier by a Class 2 (heavy duty) speaker wire rated at 300 Volts!
The amplifier provides controls to set a low or high frequency cutoff and adjust the volume (intensity). The cutoffs can be enabled/disabled by just pressing a button. After playing around with the controls, I found myself playing without any frequency cutoffs most of the time, but found that setting a high frequency cutoff would be useful when wanting to quickly limit the intensity of the vibrations.
The Buttkicker Gamer provided a completely new feature to the games, movies, and music on my computer. Most of us are already able to watch and listen to the games and movies we interact with, but the Buttkicker Gamer activates a third sense: the ability to feel what we are watching. For me, this took my gaming experience to the next level and made some of the games I've already played 'new' again.
Most of the sound systems we have on our computers do not have the power to let us feel the bass. The Buttkicker Gamer fills this void. Now that I've used the Buttkicker Gamer, I feel like something is missing when I'm watching TV or the radio in my living room.
The Buttkicker Gamer does have its limitations. The Buttkicker website gave me the impression that the Buttkicker Gamer could travel with me to LANs. However, at most LANs you will not be bringing your office chair with you. Most likely, you will be using a provided folding chair. Well, the down side is that the metal bar on most folding chairs will be too small for the Buttkicker Gamer to fasten securely. I do not recommend trying to use the Buttkicker on a chair that it can not fasten securely to, because it could cause damage to the chair and/or the Buttkicker.
I did try wrapping a rag around the folding chair leg, then attaching the Buttkicker. This worked for the most part, but with each vibration the buttkicker slowly slid down the leg of the chair.
Another side-effect of the Buttkicker Gamer is that the vibrations caused all the loose parts of my office chair to rattle noisily. This is not the fault of the Buttkicker Gamer, but could cause a reason why you may not be able to bring the Buttkicker to work with you. Since most office buildings use cubicles, I'm sure the noisy rattles of your chair would disturb your fellow co-workers. However, if you have an office where you can shut the door, then you will probably be able to get away with using the Buttkicker Gamer at work while listening to your favorite music.
Overall, I must say I love having the Buttkicker Gamer on my chair at home while gaming, watching movies, or listening to music. It activates a third sense that enhances my gaming experience. With a slightly high price tag of ~$111 shipped (at the time of writing), the Buttkicker Gamer may only appeal to those who were looking to upgrade their computer sound system anyway. However, I'm sure anyone who is looking to bring their gaming experience to the next level will be happy with their purchase!
Legit Bottom Line
The Buttkicker Gamer may not be as sufficient for the workplace or LANs as the marketers would like, but given the right environment, this device will bring your gaming, movie, & music experiences to the next level by allowing you to feel the vibrations of the low-level sound effects.