Our Top Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Bass Shakers

Out of all of the accessories you can get for your media room, bass shakers are one of the more entertaining options. At their core, bass shakers are transducers that attach to your home theater seats and deliver a rumblingly-good tactile experience whenever there’s a large amount of bass on-screen—whether you’re watching a movie or playing a video game, there’s no denying the added level of immersion a bass shaker provides.

While we’ve talked about the basics of bass shakers in the past, we’re here to look at how you can get the most (quite literal) oomph out of your bass shakers. Whether that’s what to look for when buying a bass shaker or what kinds of movies pair well with them, we’ve got you covered.

Better Bass, Better Immersion

Like most technology out there, not all bass shakers are built equally. Thankfully, even if you don’t have a ton of money left over in the media room budget after getting some high-end pieces of home theater furniture, don’t fret. Most bass shakers—even the good ones—won’t break the bank too much. 

When you’re shopping for bass shakers, make sure to pay close attention to the wattage listed for each product. The higher the wattage, the more powerful your shakers will be. In particular, keep an eye out for transducers that are at least 50 watts, which are solidly-powered for most people. Anything less, and you run the risk of having your bass-equipped theater chairs give you fairly low tactile output. 

If you’re an audiophile and want the best sonic experience out there while watching movies or gaming, there are shakers out there that will go up to a staggering 1500 watts—if you want to feel every boom, vibration, and rumble from your decked out seats in your home theater, shakers with substantial wattage are without a doubt the way to go for the ultimate immersive experience. 

Dial Up the Bass a Notch

If you want to take the best advantage of the bass shakers on your theater seats, you’ll want to start thinking about a separate amplifier and additional bass shakers.

Bass shakers, like most other audio equipment, usually hook up to a receiver. Receivers are no doubt convenient, because they carry all the necessary components to get a home theater up and running like amplifiers, preamps, radios, and tuners. However, if you’re trying to build your own custom home theater setup and really play into the bass shakers, you might want to get a separate amplifier.

Having a separate amplifier gives you more control over your audio output, and they will give your tactile transducers a bit more rumble power—for example, if you go with a powerful bass shaker like the appropriately-named ButtKicker, you’ll need an amplifier that can match and keep up with its output potential. When you’re shopping around for amplifiers, look for ones that are meant to power subwoofers. These amps will pair best with your bass shakers, since tactile transducers are more or less silent subwoofers.

Depending on your seating configuration, you might also want to think about mounting multiple bass shakers onto the frame beneath your media room seating. If you have, for instance, a home theater couch that seats five people, one bass shaker might not cut it, with the haptic feedback not being distributed evenly to further away seats. While you might be able to get away with spacing apart three shakers in between seats, to give everyone the same level of immersion, having one bass shaker under each seat could be a better idea—just don’t get too crazy with the wattage on the shakers here!

Take Advantage of Your Shakers with Bass-Heavy Movies

Once you’ve gotten your configurations figured out, and your bass shaker theater seats are ready for use, test them out and get ready to be blown away with some movies that really play up the bass with some earth-shattering sounds.

The best movies to show off your bass shakers will naturally be ones that contain consistent, heavy bass. Think of movies that feature consistent action, explosions, and fight scenes. Some bass fan favorites include the Transformers series, Thor (and any movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), Cloverfield, and so many others.

Bass doesn’t have to rely entirely on live action movies either—animated films are just as good for experiencing all that bass shakers can offer, featuring some powerful drops. Movies like How to Train Your Dragon, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and Disney’s Bolt all feature impressive, room-shaking bass. Our favorite specific animated scenes for heavy bass are Mulan’s battle scene on the mountain with juxtaposing, heavy drops of bass and quiet moments, and the scene in Monsters, Inc. when Boo laughs and causes an immediate, city-wide power outage. While these are just a handful of examples that can take advantage of all that bass shakers have to offer, there are plenty more movies out there capable of producing seat-shaking rumbles.

Adding some accessories for your home theater like bass shakers can elevate your theater and dial you in to an aspect of movie-watching and audio production that you’ve never considered before. Get ready to sit back, pop on your favorite movie, and feel the real-time vibrations from the bass.