I have been producing music for over 25 years professionally. When I saw the Basslet for the first time, and read about what it is and how it works, I was intrigued. As the Drum+Bass producer and artist known as BC⚡︎9, I am constantly looking for new ways to enhance the sound of the bass in my tracks. I never knew there would be a tool for enhancing the way that I could physically feel the bass while recording the bass in my studio. Once I placed the Basslet on my wrist and plugged it into the sender, I placed my headphones on and started recording a new track that I am working on. I could feel the bass crawl up my arm and into my stomach. It is a very intimate experience that I strongly recommend to any artist/producer to try out when writing and recording your next track! When I am in a club laying down one of my sets, I can feel the bass in my chest. When artists perform live, it’s that feeling that you share with your audience that makes the experience special. Until now, that type of shared experience has been lacking when we listen to music outside the club. Now you can totally enjoy a closer-to-live experience at home or on the go! As far as producing music, I will be making the Basslet a part of my normal set up; it will become just as important as my monitors are for listening back to what Im creating. I’m going to wear the Basslet to enhance the bass that I was only hearing, but now also feeling, as part of my process.
Jason Bakes Artist/Producer BC⚡︎9.
When I listen to music, which is always, and everywhere, I am most likely listening to a playlist. Like most people these days, I get my music from a combination of sources, including my own library, as well as from streaming sources. There are many pros and cons about today's music distribution options, both as a listener and as an artist...but that is another article altogether! Right now, I will suffice to say that we all create playlists, the modern day mixtape. Sometimes, I enjoy other people’s playlists, or continuous mixes, or sets posted from live events. Most of the time, though, I am listening to a playlist that I created to fit a certain mood, often designed around tasks that I am doing throughout my day…”Morning Mix” or “Get Laundry Done Mix”...”Driving Fast Mix” or “Chill The #*^+ Out Mix”...you get it! I am sure most of our readers do this very thing...we love our music, more than most, probably! And right along with our fiendish need to listen to music all day, every day, everywhere we go, most of us are listening through headphones, for at least some of the day, most days. Either at home or out and about, we put our beloved cans on and hit play on the perfect playlist.
Imagine if you had a slim, virtually weightless device that you could wear on your wrist, that had a magical ability to pick up on every beat in whatever music you were listening to, and, using a very sophisticated haptic engine, pulse your music right into your body! Imagine if this technology could be yours right now, for only $129.00, and you could plug it into your headphones and actually, literally feel the music you were listening to...would you buy it? Well, you should. Its called the Basslet, amd we received one from the manufacturer, Lofelt, here at Drum and Bass United and lucky for me, the Editor In Chief (that would be me!) got a chance to try it out this past week and I am here to tell you all about it.
From the start, this device is seriously easy to use. Touted by Lofelt as “plug and play”, it truly is. There is a sender, and there is a receiver. The sender goes between the device you are using to play your music (in my case, this is most often my phone) and your headphones. The receiver is the Basslet itself, a watch-like band that you wear on your wrist. The intensity of the haptic response is adjustable with two tiny buttons on the side of the square Basslet receiver, so you can play with the experience as you listen, and that is really a great feature. To charge it, they include a USB cord that plugs into the sender, and then the sender attaches to the Basslet magnetically, making it very sleek and simple to do.
To describe the experience, I will start by saying that the claims that you will feel the music like you do in a club is a bit of an exaggeration. However, I don’t think that the intent was to exaggerate, I think that it is an accurate way to try and describe an experience that is difficult to really share, since there isn’t anything else to compare it to. I did some research while writing this review, and apparently there is a vest of some sort that does something similar, but as far as a low-profile, sleek wearable accessory, this is the first of its kind. So is it a gut punch, the feeling in your chest that you get when you are in a club or at a live show? No. Is it a unique and super cool enhancement to your listening experience? Absolutely! The feeling isn’t jarring at all, less sharp than the haptic taps you feel from your Apple Watch, but more intense. It is really a warm surge of sensation that rides up your wrist to your body. It will connect you in a deeper and closer way to the music than just your ears can do. It’s an intimate experience. Look to BC9’s review as a DJ and producer on what it’s like to compose and produce while wearing the Basslet...but from the fan and music lover’s side, I can tell you that you will absolutely feel the music in the way that your favorite artists intend, but usually can’t get across, unless we are literally seeing them perform live. It brings a level of connection to your solo listening experience that normally you only get at a show.
It really enhances the mental and emotional connection between the artist and the listener. I can attest to this from living with one of those musicians, he loves that you can feel the music as well as hearing it! It is a very special and very accessible piece of technology that allows that, trust me! I listened (of course) to our fearless leader’s catalog first, because honestly, I think this device is a perfect match for Drum and Bass music, because obviously, technology literally built for the physical experience of well, the drum and bass beats of a song? It couldn't be a better marriage! The little engine on your wrist catches most of the beats, with a difference being felt between back beats and stronger, more intense beats that sit out front in the song. It’s pretty amazing, and once you listen to music while wearing it, and then listen to music without it on, you definitely miss it being there, it is such an integrated experience that it feels like something is lost once you've taken it off. I also, being a rock and roll girl first and foremost, had to give it a chance on organic music. It does not disappoint! It is reading rhythm and percussion, after all, which almost music has. The regular rock music I listened to while wearing the Basslet was just as enhanced by the tactile experience as the electronic music was, so no matter what you like, this device is a great addition to your listening spectrum.
I haven’t checked out any classical music with it yet, but I plan to...if I can ever get it off of BC9’s wrist again! Looks like I am going to have to get my own, which you should too.
I know that some reviewers have mentioned some downsides to this product, but without sounding too fangirly, I didn’t really find any myself. I do wish it somehow worked with my wireless headphones, of course, because I wear those a lot and wires are kind of a pain while you are doing certain things. But let’s be honest, too...wireless headphones, no matter how well made, do not carry the sound like wired headphones do. This is my opinion, I realize that some may disagree. However, I am sticking with it, and as long as you want the best sounds possible coming out of your headphones, wired is really the way to go. Since the Basslet is a product that was invented to enhance your listening experience, I am ok with the fact that there is no wireless version at this time. We are talking quality of experience here, not convenience. Lastly, some thought the price was high for the product...I disagree. Yes, it is over a hundred dollar investment. This is not a “cheap” luxury. The quality of the components seems solid, so the price seems fair to me for the experience. We will see how well it stands the test of time and wear...that will be more of an indicator of the value than anything, to me. In conclusion...wow! What a cool experience...adding that layer of physical touch to the listening experience is a great idea, and it has been brought to user-friendly accessibility by Lofelt and the Basslet. Check it out, I really don’t think you will be disappointed! Drum and Bass lovers...level up! Xtene Sixtene Editor-In-Chief Drum and Bass United.A perfect gift for the music lover in your life! https://us.lofelt.com/products/basslet