All about that low-frequency? Feel the bass with this subwoofer for your wrist

1121800 autosave v1 2 basslet
Great ideas fail everyday, so when a seemingly silly Kickstarter campaign earns twice its goal in the first 24 hours, we take note. Meet the Basslet, a wearable subwoofer that promises to deliver bass deep into your body and soul.

The Basslet package consists of a low-frequency (10-250Hz) subwoofer bracelet and a “sender” that connects your headphones to the device you’re playing audio from. The sender picks up the low-frequency signals and communicates with the bracelet, which embodies the beat, vibrates, and sends that haptic feedback up your arm, “so you can literally feel the music,” the company writes on its Kickstarter page.

I stopped by the Basslet’s Berlin office to test the product and — even though it sounds like a gimmicky idea derived from a convenient portmanteau — it’s actually pretty impressive. It fits more like a watch than a bracelet, and it’s comfortable but noticeable. For the first few minutes, I was well-aware of the little box on my wrist that pulsed to the rhythm and intensity of the respective tracks I was listening to.

Then a funny thing happened: I kind of forgot the Basslet was there. It was about a minute into Kendrick Lamar’s Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe that the sonic and the haptic sensations blended together, like that full-body feeling you get when you simultaneously hear and feel the music at a club. During my demo, the sensations never totally unified and the device was ever-present on my wrist but, like with a watch, with time that may have subsided.

The team has a playlist to showcase the Basslet’s range. With tracks like SBTRKT’s Wildfire, Lorde’s Royals, and Patti Smith’s rendition of Smells Like Teen Spirit, bass suits some of the songs better than others. Still, the haptic feedback gave each listening experience new character.


It’s fitting that the Basslet’s birthplace is Berlin, the techno capital of the world, but the device wasn’t initially inspired by four-on-the-floor beats, droning bass, and kick drums. The Basslet’s creator, Daniel Büttner, is a bass player — the instrumental kind — and he told Digital Trends he’s always had an affinity for that tactile relationship with music.

“When you’re out at a live concert around town, you can really experience the music through how it sounds and how it feels. But then when you go home and play the same track from your speaker or headphones, it just isn’t the same. It doesn’t feel the same,” he said. “We don’t think we can recreate that live experience, but that’s out inspiration.”

Thus began his journey to bring the Basslet to market. It’s been long and often complicated, Büttner said, but the immediate success of the Kickstarter campaign is validation that they’re on to something. The campaign launched on June 21 with a goal of 50,000 euros ($55,250) and each device selling for around $150. Ten days later, at the time this article was published, they’ve raised over 280,000 euros ($310,000) pledged.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

OK Google, what else can you do? The best tips and tricks for Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.
Product Review

Razer just made our favorite gaming laptop even more powerful than before

The Razer Blade, our favorite gaming laptop, is now more powerful than ever before. That’s thanks to the new Nvidia RTX graphics cards inside. Do they help Razer retain its edge over the competition?
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for February 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.

Sony’s weird Wena isn’t a smartwatch, it’s a smart watch strap

Sony's Wena smart watch straps have been around since 2015; but the company has now decided to launch them outside of Japan, starting with the U.K.. The straps convert traditional watch straps into smart watches.

To be blunt, the Vuzix Blade smartglasses just don’t cut it

We tried out the Vuzix Blade to find out if it’s worth shelling out $1,000 for smartglasses. Are these augmented reality, Android-powered glasses really ready for primetime or just an expensive gimmick that no one really needs?

Smartwatch sales soared in 2018, with Apple leading the charge

The NPD Group, a market research organization, has reported smartwatch sales soared in 2018. Apple is leading the charge, but it's clear there's still room in the market for competitors, as Samsung and Fitbit also did well.

North Focals smartglasses discount cuts the price by a massive $400

Canadian startup North is hoping smartglasses will be the next big wearable. After announcing its new Focals smartglasses in late 2018, the company opened product showrooms in Brooklyn and Toronto and has made its first shipment.

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.

Amazon slashes prices on Fitbit Versa smartwatches for Presidents’ Day

Amazon is offering a solid $30 discount on this great fitness tracking smartwatch right now. So if you're looking for a wearable that can help you track steps, sleep, and activity, now is a great time to pick one up for less.

This discounted smartwatch is a cheap Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa alternative

The Amazfit Bip isn't an Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa, but at the discounted price of $67, it's a very affordable alternative packed with useful features. With built-in GPS and 30-day battery life, this cheap smartwatch is a great option to…

Amazon cuts prices on the Apple Watch Series 3 for Presidents’ Day

The Apple Watch Series 3 is seeing the same price cut we saw during the Amazon sale just last week. So if you're hoping to pick up an Apple Watch for less than $250, this $50 discount from Amazon can make that happen for you.