Two of my favorite bass shakers are the Aura Pro and the ButtKicker LFE - but you really couldn't get two more different bass shakers! The Aura is cheap and subtle, while the ButtKicker is exy and brazen. So which is the overall winner in my affections? Let's take a look....
Remember the final scene from Fight Club (below)? Watching this scene with a bass shaker under your chair, you physically feel the huge shock, rupture, explosion and destruction of each detonated building as if you are in the room with the characters. Not all bass shakers are created equal, however, and for me, it comes down to a choice fo two:the Aura Bass Shaker or the ButtKicker.
These two bass shakers are very different. You only need to glance at the specs to see that there's a huge difference in the grunt of these two fellas. You'd immediately think that most people would argue that bigger is better, and give the golden acolades to ButtKicker LFE. But let's pull apart those differences in detail.
The ButtKicker has way, way more power than the Aura Shaker. That means, the ButtKicker is going to shake your couch much more than the Aura. But does more power equal a better experience? That comes down to your own personal tastes. I like bass shakers to subtly enhance my bass notes. I don't want my friends to be aware that I have stuck a gadget under their seat. I like it to feel as if my subwoofer is doing an awesome job by creating a subtle tactile sound. The ButtKicker is too much for me when I'm simply watching a film.
However, I do have a ButtKicker LFE in my gaming chair because when I play Sim race games, it sends massive rumbles through my body with every gear change and with every thud across the off-road track. It's as if you are actually driving a car. (I also have a ButtKicker Gamer on my desk chair.)
So in short, if you just want to enhance the bass sounds, then the Aura will give you what you crave, at a low price. But if you want to shake like a crazed animal, then fork out the cash and go the ButtKicker.
You can see how the ButtKicker works with Sim Racing in the YouTube vid below.
The ButtKicker LFE is amazing for racing sims. It retails for around $200 and is available from Amazon.
The Aura can "hear" as low as 20 Hz but the ButtKicker can pick up 5Hz. That's pretty remarkable really. The human ear can't hear much below 20 Hz, so the ButtKicker does the job of turning that beautiful low bass into tactile vibrations you can feel. This is awesome, but the majority of movies don't go down below 20Hz. That's not to say that there aren't some AWESOME movies that go below 20Hz. For example, Cloverfield (left) goes down to 1Hz! So films and games do exist, and I reckon they'll be more common in the future, but for general viewing and gaming you're not going to miss too much.
Weighing up the first two differences, we now come to the biggest difference of all: price. A quick trip to Amazon will show you the main differences between these two babies.
The ButtKicker LFE bass shaker on its own will cost you around $300, while the Aura will cost you $60. Big difference, no?
And remember, the ButtKicker and Aura bass shakers both need to be hooked to an amplifier.
The Aura will happily work with any cheap little amplifier, like the $100 Dayton Audio 70W Subwoofer Amplifier.
However, the ButtKicker likes a powerful amplifier, and works best with its own amp: the $400 ButtKicker BKA1000-N Power Amplifier. (Be aware that you can get a ButtKicker LFE kit, which contains both the bass shaker and the amp, is often on special on Amazon.)
Clearly, the Aura is a much cheaper choice than the ButtKicker. So again, weigh up what you want from your shaker when you consider the price.
The Aura Pro is like Superman. It looks like a mild-mannered gadget but actually responds quickly - and no-one will know it's there.
The ButtKicker (the Hulk) offers some freakishly powerful brute force that'll turn you green and rip your shirt open.