BassMe Review: immerse yourself in your movies and video games with the BassMe personal subwoofer!
- Manufacturing quality
Today I propose to you to discover a rather surprising equipment, which does not really have a category, since we are between the audio speaker and the vibrator for couch as we had seen with the Buttkicker for example. The idea here is to have a personal subwoofer, directly on you, to feel new sensations when listening to music, watching TV, or playing video games. Its designer had the idea quite “stupid”, when his bluetooth speaker fell on him and he felt the sound in his body at that moment. That's how BassMe was born! As I love anything that can add a bit of immersion in this kind of activity, I had to give in. After two months of use, I suggest you discover the BassMe in a little more detail…
I. BassMe Unboxing
BassMe is therefore a French innovation, which I even had the opportunity to discover at the CES in Las Vegas last year. A version which was not totally finalized, but which was already very promising. It was then put on sale via a Kickstarter campaign, and finally available for sale to everyone in November.
The packaging clearly shows us the device. Seen in this way, however, we can ask ourselves questions about how it works…
Luckily, a few scenarios in the back of the car teach us a bit more: the BassMe is a device to be worn as a “shoulder strap”, so to speak, or at least on the shoulder.
Inside, we find the main unit, accompanied by two shoulder straps, to be chosen according to your morphology, a Usb cable for recharging, two audio cables, and a user manual.
So the BassMe is this funny device of about 300g, which contains all the electronics:
On the inside is a rubber disc: it is in fact a 26W loudspeaker. This part, leaning on the torso, will transmit the bass to our body, which will then turn into a subwoofer! Don't worry, your body will not vibrate in all directions, the device is CE certified and has passed medical tests ;-)
To communicate with equipment, the BassMe has several connectors on its side:
From left to right, we have the power button, an audio output to headphones, a Usb microphone port for recharging (giving it 6 hours of autonomy), and finally an audio jack input. The sound from external devices will be transmitted through this jack input. Or wirelessly through a Bluetooth connection.
On the other slice, nothing special to report. One will simply admire the rather futuristic design :p
On the inside, in addition to the loudspeaker, we also find a small switch to choose between bass only or all audio, and two hooks to attach the shoulder support.
As said above, we have two sizes of support, depending on your morphology, because the whole must hold and fit your torso, while remaining pleasant to wear.
On each bracket there are several holes available to fix the BassMe at the required height.
The BassMe is simply clipped onto the stand:
Here it is ready to be used!
A quick word about the audio cables supplied: we have a classic 3.5mm jack / jack cable, which will be connected between the sound output of the diffuser and the input of the BassMe. The second cable connects to the BassMe sound output via its 3.5mm jack plug. The other end will be a female jack, so that you can connect the headphones you want. A volume control will be available on the same cable to adjust the listening volume if necessary. It is thus possible to “push” the sound of the diffuser a little to take full advantage of the bass (and thus of the vibrations generated by the BassMe) while having the rest of the soundtrack at a correct volume in the ears.
Let's move on to its use…
II. Using BassMe
Several modes of use are possible.
The simplest: wired.
Most devices, whether smartphone, tablet, TV, home cinema, console, etc. have a headphone output. Simply connect this output to the audio input of the BassMe and then connect headphones to the audio output of the BassMe (using the supplied sound tuning adapter if required). Turn on the BassMe, and off you go!
The least restrictive: bluetooth
The wired method is simpler, but more restrictive because of the different cables that come into play. So the designer thought of adding a wireless connection, via bluetooth. But be careful: in order to take full advantage of the solution, you will need a smartphone that can accept two Bluetooth audio outputs at the same time. The smartphone will be paired with the BassMe, but also with your favourite bluetooth headset. I tested this method on my Samsung S9+, which supports this (like most smartphones up to date with Android). On the other hand, the sound adjustment can sometimes be problematic, to have a different volume between the BassMe (to feel the vibrations) and the headset (to listen to the sound without destroying your ears).
The manufacturer has put a video online that explains these two modes of connection very well:
In practice, I tend to use the wired method more often. Cables are restrictive, and you won't walk around the street with the BassMe on your shoulder to listen to your music (especially since the neighborhood will be able to hear it a bit via the BassMe, which won't be very discreet). But the wired sound is generally better, and more importantly, this type of connection can be used anywhere. Except for the smartphone or tablet, it's not easy to get a Bluetooth connection on other devices. Even if I have bluetooth on my Philips TV (Android TV), it is impossible to watch a movie using this method, the latency between video and sound being too high.
The simplest in my case is usually the use with the Xbox One: the controller has a sound output, which allows you to connect the BassMe to it, and avoid a cable running to the TV in the living room.
Despite its weight, once in place, the BassMe is totally forgotten. The shoulder attachment system is rather well thought out.
On the other hand, new sensations are awakened instantly. Sensations reminiscent of those we experience in a concert hall, for example, when the sound makes our whole body vibrate :p
The question is of course whether this device is indispensable? Clearly not. At least not until you've tried it! As with the Buttkicker at the time, watching a movie without it afterwards seems pretty dull. Because the BassMe is a real plus in terms of immersion and feeling. Of course, this will depend on the type of music you are listening to, the type of movie, or the type of video game.
As the BassMe transcribes the bass, you of course need a soundtrack that has bass: electronic music, trap, etc.. You can also enjoy this type of music without necessarily increasing the volume of the headphones and thus protect your eardrums, which is not negligible.
For my part, I particularly liked it on video games, especially in FPS, such as a good Call of Duty for example: the sound of bullets, the sensations of shooting and the explosion of grenades are perfectly transcribed and improve the immersion! Even on an Elder Scrolls (my online game of the moment ;-), we feel new sensations, and a real stress when the soundtrack accompanies the appearance of a dragon :D In the field of video games, let's not forget the use with a virtual reality helmet. The immersion is already excellent thanks to this technology, add the sensations of BassMe, and it's royal! It has become a must with my Oculus Quest :p
Finally, of course, the BassMe brings new sensations to movies. Here again, you need films that are suitable for this, like big blockbusters like Avengers for example or series that move well. It's hard to capture what you're feeling, but the immersion in the action is there. Moreover, the company has equipped the Mega Castillet movie theater in Perpignan, with the BassMe distributed at the entrance of the theater like 3D glasses.
A good way to add to the immersion experience without investing in expensive 4DX equipment. Other partnerships of this type should take place in the near future, for example with arcades. But there is also talk of concert halls, especially for the hearing impaired, who, if they don't hear the music, could “feel” it.
In short, BassMe is a UFO in the field, and does not correspond to any existing product. But it does add a real touch of fun and immersion in a variety of fields, as we have seen. For my part, I love it! Between the Oculus Quest, the BassMe, and a headset that I will tell you about soon, I have a trio that allows me to have fun, with very good sensations, and all this without disturbing my neighbors :p
Music, movies, or even video games seem flat, bland? Rediscover these universes by gaining in immersion thanks to BassMe, your personal subwoofer, without disturbing those around you!
- Manufacturing quality
- Sometimes a little difficult to set up