Aura bass shaker

Reviewed by Jerry Toga on .

Low cost, big heart: the Aura bass shaker will last you years.

Here's the thing: the Aura Bass Shaker IS less powerful than more expensive bass shakers. But don't dismiss this little gem because of that. The very fact that this shaker does not draw attention to itself is in fact its greatest charm.

Rating: 4 out of 5

****

What's the price?

$70 in stores, but try to get them online for under $50.

What's the best Aura Bass Shaker amplifier?

We especially like the Dayton Audio SA70 70W Subwoofer Amplifier. It's low-cost and robust, and can power two bass shakers. However, most people tend to go for the Dayton 100w subwoofer amp because it has a little more oomph.

Why should you consider the Aura?

The Aura has only 50 watts of power. (The ButtKicker, for example, has a minimum power requirement of 400 watts.) However, the AuraSound people understand that not all of us are looking for a bass shaker that screams its existence. Sometimes, we simply want a shaker that augments our subwoofer and gracefully brings out the bass sounds in a subtle way.

The Aura Pro creates a fuller, richer experience of movies and games, without making a song and dance out of it. Your friends will simply think you have the most awesome subwoofer in all the land.

 

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(Note: don't pay more than $50 online)

Technical specs:

    • Usable Frequency Range: 20-80 Hz
    • Resonance Frequency (fo): 40 Hz
    • Effective Impedance: 4 Ohms
    • Force: 15 Lbf (66.8 N) at 50 W
    • Peak Force: 30 Lbf (132N) at ? W
    • Continuous Rated Power: 50 W RMS
    • Max power: 75W RMS
    • Size: 6.2 (diameter), 2.2 (height)
    • Frame Size: 5.4"W x 2.2"H
    • Weight: 3 lbs.

Use our simple comparison table to compare the Aura with with other brands.

 

The Aura Pro is not fussy when it comes to amps

Bass shakers are NOT powered, which means you will also need an amp to make these babies go. The low power of the Aura means that you can attach them to a cheap, low watt amp, adjust the levels, and you're good to go. Other bass shakers (like the Clark or the ButtKicker) require expensive, 1000 watt amps, while Aura Bass Shaker is often more than satisfied with a 35 watt amp. Without any nasty surprises on your electricity bill, this is a power-friendly gadget.

So if you're looking for the best amplifier for an aura bass shaker, don't look too hard! If you have an old, low watt amp lying around at home, try that first before spending money on a new one. The Aura often works perfectly with any cheap, lower power amp. However, if you're in the market for a new amp, I recommend getting one with crossover control, like the Dayton 70w subwoofer amplifier for under the $100 mark. The 70 watt version can power two 50 watt shakers, but many people go with the 100 watt for two. Whatever you decide, don't pump too much power into the Auras. The people at Aura sound recommend an amp that has 75% - 100% of the wattage of the Aura. Remember, an Aura is 50 watts, so you should not be plugging it into more than a 50 watt amp. (When you ask around, tho', you'll hear about people powering them with 200 watt amps and not having any probs. But I think that's overkill.)

Powerful new design

AuraSound originally designed bass shakers to go under car seats to give a big bass sound in a small space without the need for big speakers. However, gamers and movie-lovers soon cottoned on that the Aura Shaker could also be installed under couches and chairs.

Aura responded by bringing out the Aura Bass Shaker Pro, a more powerful model designed for home theatre use. The design has proved so successful that the previous version has now been discontinued.

original_aura_bass_shaker.jpg

The original Aura Bass Shaker, shown here,
has been discontinued.

The Aura shaker lacks super-human hearing

Compared to other brands like the ButtKicker, the Aura Bass Shaker doesn't "hear" the low, low bass sounds. Its usable frequency range stops at 20Hz (about the same as human hearing) while the ButtKicker boasts a range down to 5Hz. However, most films and games don't go any lower than 20Hz, so in most instances you won't miss anything except bragging rights. HOWEVER that is starting to change. Recent movies, like Cloverfield, have started experimenting with lower sounds, dabbling in bass as low as 5Hz, so if you want to connect with the latest sound design, this might not be the bass shaker for you.

Cloverfield_bass_shaker.jpg

Newer films, like Cloverfield, experiment with subsonic sounds. Read my mate Betty's review.

Wired for soundbass_shaker_speaker_wire.jpg

The Aura bass shaker has wires: there is no wireless option. That means you have to run wires from shaker to your amp, and wires from your amp to your receiver. Depending on your room layout, that's a fair bit of gaffa tape. But - do you care? I don't. I freely admit I don't own any wireless bass shakers, and there's no way I'd be paying through the nose for wireless. I have no problem with a few wires snaking around my chair legs. 

Installing your bass shakers is ridiculously fun DIY job: if you've got an afternoon free, you can revolutionize your home theater system.

Jump to 3:15 to see how this guy uses the Aura shakers.

Summary

If you want to subtly increase your immersion in games and movies, this is your best low-cost option. This is a solid, low-priced, well-built little guy that flies under the radar of the bigger name brands and continues to out-perform for its size and price. Lower power means lower prices, but it also means a more subtle, non-invasive experience that might be exactly what you're chasing. If you're looking for a cheap and subtle way to enhance your home theatre, you can't go any better than the Aura.

Rating: 4

****

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