If you are someone that strives to get the most immersive experience out of your sim racing rig, a bass shaker is what you need to add that extra level of realism. But to ensure you don’t waste your money, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the best sim racing bass shakers.
The 5 best bass shakers for sim racing are:
- SRS ShakeKit
- ButtKicker Gamer Pro Transducer Kit
- Dayton Audio BST-1 Bass Shaker
- Dayton Audio TT25-8 PUCK Mini Bass Shaker
- AuraSound AST-2B-4 Pro Bass Shaker
These bass shakers are some of the best tactile transducers on the market, and regardless of your budget, there is a bass shaker here that will suit your sim racing setup. Read on below where we go into more detail on each bass shaker and give you some tips to choose the right one for your rig.
The 5 Best Bass Shakers For Sim Racing
1. SRS ShakeKit
The SRS ShakeKit is by far the most comprehensive and powerful bass shaker on the market. The main thing that will draw people towards this bass shaker in particular is its ease of setup and its beginner friendly bundle that includes everything you need in order to set up the bass shakers.
This is a beginner friendly bass shaker setup that comes with everything you need to attach it to your rig. It's also an incredibly immersive option thanks to the 4 included bass shakers.
What’s In The Kit?
The SRS ShakeKit includes 4 bass shakers, a sound card, amplifiers, and a power supply, all in a handy seat that sits upon your racing chair. While you can use SimHub to configure the bass shakers, Sim Racing Studio has their own app that works perfectly with the SRS ShakeKit, and I recommend using that.
The 4 bass shakers can be configured so you can feel directional feedback depending on what side of the car is producing the rumble. If the left side of your car drives over some rumble strips you can feel that in the seat on the left-hand side, and the level of immersion brought by the SRS ShakeKit is hard to compete with.
Much like direct drive wheels or high refresh rate monitors, it’s difficult to go back to racing without the SRS ShakeKit once you’ve experienced it for yourself!
Out of all the bass shakers on this list, the SRS ShakeKit is the easiest to setup and the app it comes with is extremely easy to use, which is why I believe this is one of the best bass shakers for beginners. It’s incredibly convenient as no mounting is required and you just place it snuggly on top of your current racing chair.
An initial worry of mine was whether the padding would be sufficient enough for it not to be uncomfortable, but luckily you end up sinking into the seat, and it is very comfortable. You could easily use this for hours at a time and not be fatigued by the end of a session, making it the ideal choice for any sim racing discipline.
- Beginner friendly
- Easy to setup
- Includes all the essential components
- Not possible to mount securely on backrest or elsewhere
- Different configurations are limited due to its design
2. ButtKicker Gamer Pro Transducer Kit
ButtKicker’s Gamer Pro Transducer Kit is another bundle that includes everything you need to reach the next level of immersion with your sim racing rig. It includes all the cables and necessary wires, a 150-Watt amplifier, and a universal mounting clamp to attach it to your rig with ease.
Kits like the ButtKicker and SRS ShakeKit are excellent as they require little to no fiddling around with wires and mounting them is incredibly easy. A single mini bass shaker is included in this kit, making it ideal for those without a dedicated rig or chassis (but it does somewhat limit the potential immersion).
However, the lack of a dedicated software with the ButtKicker bass shaker means a lot more fiddling around in SimHub is needed in order to produce accurate feedback. I wouldn’t necessarily take this as a huge disadvantage though compared to the SRS ShakeKit, as once you get used to SimHub, tuning your hardware is relatively easy.
This is designed to be used on the underside of your seat if there is available space, or on the back of your seat. Its mounting clamp is suitable for square posts and tubes from 1″ to 1.77″ diameter. The bass shaker itself is very powerful and will knock most other mini-CT transducers out of the park, making it a great compact choice.
- Easy to setup
- All necessary wires, cables, and a power supply are included
- Small but very powerful
- Only comes with a single transducer
3. Dayton Audio BST-1 Bass Shaker
The Dayton Audio BST-1 bass shaker is a great option for those who want a little more freedom in mounting options and in their choice of components. The BST-1 is all black in design with only a small logo print on the front face of the bass shaker. When installed, it perfectly blends in with the rest of your rig, with no ugly silver or white color making it look out of place and cheap.
Not A Lot Included
There is no software included with the BST-1 bass shakers, but configuring them through SimHub is easy and intuitive. While they don’t come with any amplifiers as is, some amplifiers that I would recommend pairing these with are the Dayton Audio SA70 for one bass shaker and the Dayton Audio SPA250 for a 2-4 bass shaker configuration.
The BST-1 bass shaker does not come with any additional wires, cables, power supply, or amplifiers, so sourcing these components yourself is necessary. However, what the BST-1 offers you in return is a fantastic 50W bass shaker and the freedom to choose what power supply you want to use, as well as where you want to mount it.
You Might Need A Few
These are sold individually, so if you want to have a configuration that offers directional feedback you will have to purchase multiple bass shakers. The feedback produces by these bass shakers is incredibly visceral and is impressive for the price point. Setting them up is easy and only a little fiddling around is needed while wiring to get the setup exactly as you need it to be.
The price to performance ratio offered by the BST-1 is by far one of the best I’ve seen in a bass shaker, and if you want an option that gives you full creative control on how you set up your tactile transducers, this is a great choice.
- Quite cheap
- Provides full creative control over placement and components
- Strong 50 watts of power in a small package
- Doesn’t come with a tuning software
- Does not include wires, cables, etc.
4. Dayton Audio TT25-8 PUCK Mini Bass Shaker
The TT25-8 Puck mini bass shaker is another great bass shaker from Dayton Audio, this time offering us a tiny bass shaker that will fit on almost any seat and chassis, delivering an impressive amount of power at the cheapest price point per bass shaker on our list.
This is a great bass shaker for those on a budget. It offers full control over the placement and other components that you use, and it's powerful enough to offer lots of immersion.
If you want a budget option that still packs a punch and is made by a reputable manufacturer, the TT25-8 PUCK is a fantastic option, and for beginners or those who might be wary about buying bass shakers, this is a great choice as it’s relatively inexpensive.
Small But Powerful
Its size is deceptively small as it fits in the palm of your hand, but it has no problem delivering vibrations similar to that of the more powerful BST-1. With a diameter of only 3.5 inches and a depth of only 1 inch, this tiny bass shaker can easily fit under any pedal deck on a chassis or can be mounted underneath a seat or on the backrest with almost no spatial constraints.
The smaller size also allows you to be far more precise with your placement. Localizing the feedback to a specific part of your rig is easy to do with a lot more precision due to its small size, rather than a large bass shaker that would create a more generalized vibration throughout your whole sim racing rig.
Freedom To Mount It How You Want
Similar to Dayton Audio’s BST-1 bass shaker, it does not come with any wires, cables, amplifiers, or power supplies. While this can be viewed as a negative, the ability to choose what components you use allows for a lot more creative freedom with how you configure the mini bass shakers.
Overall, the TT25-8 Puck mini bass shaker is a fantastic, inexpensive, and powerful little bass shaker that can be accommodated by almost any chair or rig.
- Small size opens up new mounting options
- Cheapest on our list
- Allows full creative control over placement and components
- Does not include wires, cables, etc.
- No tuning software included
- Less powerful than the larger BST-1 bass shaker
5. AuraSound AST-2B-4 Pro Bass Shaker
AuraSound’s AST-2B-4 Pro bass shaker is a powerful 50W bass shaker that can provide some intense feedback. It is all black in design, which lets it blend in with most sim racing rigs and makes it appear fairly discrete. Wiring it is very easy to do as the black and red connections are clearly labelled, making setup a breeze.
This powerful bass shaker is ideal for those that need a bit more bang for their buck. It's made of durable materials, and it runs relatively quiet despite its power.
Mounting And Accessories
Mounting is incredibly easy, and at 6 inches in diameter, it isn’t by any means small in size, but it isn’t too big either, and it can be easily accommodated by most sim racing seats and chassis. Sadly, it does not come with any wires, cables, amplifiers, or a power supply included.
Again, while this is certainly a negative in some respects, the freedom to choose what components you use, where, and how you wish to mount it, lends itself to more creative freedom. While it is a more expensive option than most single bass shakers with no accessories included, what you get in return is a very powerful yet discrete bass shaker, that is made from durable materials.
There is also no included software that you can use to tune the bass shaker, but it does connect easily to SimHub, so that’s a non-issue for most. For your power supply with this unit, I would recommend the Dayton Audio DTA-120. It can easily power this AuraSound bass shaker with some headroom if you plan on upgrading your rig in the future.
- Powerful bass shaker
- Solid metal design
- Very quiet
- No accessories or other components included
Summary Of The Best Sim Racing Bass Shakers
|A very beginner friendly choice
You are a bit limited in where you can put them
|ButtKicker Gamer Pro Transducer Kit
|Another option that’s easy to set up
It’s powerful but you only get one transducer
|Dayton Audio BST-1 Bass Shaker
|Relatively budget friendly
You don’t get wires or tuning software with it
|Dayton Audio TT25-8 PUCK Mini Bass Shaker
|A small option that’s very flexible when it comes to mounting it
No wires or tuning software included
|AuraSound AST-2B-4 Pro Bass Shaker
|A powerful option that runs quietly
You don’t get much included
How To Choose Bass Shakers For Sim Racing
Bass shakers are tactile transducers that can manipulate the low frequency sounds from your simulator and output them at a frequency that vibrates and resonates through your chair or sim racing chassis. If you’ve ever wanted to feel each gear change or feel the rumble of the engine in your seat as if you were racing in real life, a bass shaker is what you need.
Not only is it an easy way to make your sim racing experience as a whole far more immersive, but it can also give some nice competitive advantages as it allows you to feel when the tires are about to lose grip, for example. But how do you choose the right one for your rig?
Beginner And Experienced Perspective
Bass shakers combined with a VR headset and a full sim racing rig, including a direct drive wheel and load cell pedals, can make sim racing incredibly realistic. For advanced sim racers out there, bass shakers will give you that little bit of an edge and added immersion that you may have been striving for.
For beginners or new sim racers out there, bass shakers can be a cheaper alternative to some more expensive ways of adding immersion, and they can even be attached to your seat alone if you don’t have a rig or chassis. Bass shakers can vary in size and strength, so it’s best to match one up to your experience level and what you expect to get out of it.
A big factor to take into consideration is your budget. While more expensive options will usually be better and more immersive than their cheaper alternatives, there are some excellent cheap bass shakers out there and you definitely don’t need to break the bank to get this next level immersion.
How Much Space You Have
Mini bass shakers are excellent for those who don’t have the space to add big chunky devices to the seat or chassis, and while they usually won’t offer as much power as a larger bass shaker, they still do the job if they’re attached to your seat.
However, I would recommend larger, more powerful bass shakers if you plan on attaching them to your chassis instead of directly to your seat, but we’ll go over how and where to install them later. It’s a fairly simple process and only a little bit of fiddling around is necessary.
How Many Bass Shakers Do You Need?
The number of bass shakers that you need is entirely dependent on your sim racing setup and your budget. The most common and the easiest number to setup is 2 bass shakers, with one directly under your seat and another directly underneath your pedal tray on your rig.
An alternative configuration that may cost a bit more would be to have a left and right bass shaker under your seat or attached to either side of your chassis and a final bass shaker under the pedal tray. This way, if you were to go over a kerb on the left or right side of you, the appropriate bass shaker would actuate for added immersion.
It’s up to you whether that added directional immersion is worth it, but most races will be very happy with just two. If you have the space and the budget, you could absolutely attach 4 or more bass shakers to your chassis and under the pedal tray, but at that point the returns are diminished and the effect generated by the bass shakers is not necessarily quadrupled.
Will Bass Shakers Work With Any Sim Racing Rig?
Bass shakers will work with almost any sim racing rig, but there are certain configurations that simply won’t be possible depending on the space available and the type of chassis your sim rig is built upon. Generally, if you have the space to mount bass shakers to your rig, they will usually work.
However, if you don’t have a full sim racing rig or you have your sim racing hardware attached to your table and are using a normal desk chair, certain configurations won’t be possible. You will find it very difficult to attach the bass shakers in an appropriate spot for your pedals if they aren’t mounted onto a pedal deck on a chassis.
Generally, the underneath of a set of pedals needs to be clear so that it can lay on the ground. This means for some people out there that might not have a full sim racing chassis with a pedal deck, it will be impossible to mount bass shakers under your pedals. This limits you to configurations that exist solely on your seat, which by no means is insignificant.
Sometimes Less Is More
Two bass shakers attached to the back of your seat and the underneath of your seat is a great configuration for your bass shakers and can provide a huge amount of immersion. But if you wanted to simulate ABS or wheel lockups through the use of these bass shakers, you will need to have the pedals mounted to a pedal deck on a chassis in order to attach them in the appropriate place.
There are some solutions you could try, but they will come with compromises. If your desk has a bottom shelf where your pedals sit, and you have clearance underneath this bottom shelf, you could in theory mount the bass shaker onto the underside of that bottom shelf.
The downside to this of course is that it won’t be just your pedals vibrating, but the entirety of your desk, which could cause unwanted shaking of you monitor and PC. Overall, it’s a compromising solution and it would be better to forego the pedal bass shaker and stick with the two-on-the-seat configuration.
KEY POINTS• Generally, 2 bass shakers will be enough for most sim racers
• Having one underneath your seat/chassis and one on the back or on the pedals is a good configuration
• Some setups won’t be able to accommodate bass shakers
How To Set Up A Sim Racing Bass Shaker In 6 Steps
1. Gather Your Tools & Equipment
In order to set up and connect your bass shakers, you’ll need a few components at the ready. The first thing you need are some red and black audio wires. This wire can be salvaged from an old set of speakers or bought at an electronics shop, but some manufacturers will include this wire with the bass shaker.
You will also need a 2-channel amplifier, with 1 channel for each bass shaker, and if you have more than 2 bass shakers in your configuration you will need an amplifier with more channels or more amplifiers. An amplifier with its own sound card is ideal as you can then simply plug the amplifier to your PC through a USB cable, and it can process audio separate from your PC’s audio.
You will also need a suitable power supply for your amplifier. While a cheaper and underpowered amplifier will do fine, it may produce a dull vibration, and getting the most out of your bass shakers will produce the best experience possible.
2. Wire Your Bass Shakers
First things first, wire your bass shakers exactly how you would wire normal speakers. The bass shakers will usually make clear where each wire is meant to be via labels, and the amplifier should show where the black and red wires connect. Once your bass shakers are both wired to your amplifier, that’s already half the work done.
3. Connect The Amplifier To Your PC
Once the bass shakers have been properly wired, you can now connect the amplifier to your PC. Make sure that the amplifier is appropriately powered by a sufficient power supply, as otherwise the effect generated by the bass shakers will be too dull. Amplifiers will state their necessary wattage from a power supply, and the power supply you need depends on the manufacturer of your amplifier.
4. Test The Bass Shakers
Before you mount the bass shakers, it’s best that you test them beforehand, so you save yourself a lot of potential hassle later on. Simply play any bass heavy piece of music and you should see both bass shakers vibrating. If one bass shaker is not working, simply power off the amplifier and make sure it is unplugged, and then check the wiring of the faulty bass shaker, before trying again.
5. Set Up Your Bass Shakers On SimHub
SimHub is a program that allows you to customize the behavior of your bass shakers. On SimHub there is a menu tab labelled “ShakeIt Bass Shakers.” From here, go to the sound output tab and make sure the correct sound card is selected. Here you can also select the position of your bass shakers and what sound stage you want them to replicate.
If you’re using two bass shakers, you will want to select “left/right” as this will provide you with stereo tactile effects. From there, simply hit the test button and make sure all is working as intended. There is a variety of tuning that can be done with the bass shakers, so I highly recommend exploring the menus in SimHub to get the most out of your setup.
6. Mount Your Bass Shakers
Now that it’s all working in order and you’ve tested them, you can now mount them to your rig. If you are attaching them to your seat, you can simply bolt the bass shakers to the underside of your chair and the backrest. This is the ideal configuration for a bass shaker setup that consists of 2 bass shakers and is not reliant on you having a dedicated chassis.
However, if you have a sim racing cockpit or chassis, you may want to bolt a bass shaker underneath the pedal deck, making sure it doesn’t intrude on the placement of your pedals, and maybe a couple on the sides of your chassis as well as one under your seat. From there, you can then load up your favorite sim racing games and enjoy the immersion!
Are Bass Shakers Worth It For Sim Racing?
Bass shakers are worth it for sim racing, as long as you have the budget and space to accommodate them. They can add an incredible amount of immersion, and when paired with a direct drive wheel and perhaps even a VR headset, it can feel like you’re really in the car.
When you race with bass shakers installed, the first apparent thing will be a feeling like you are connected to the car. Slides and wheel locks, gear shifts and going over the kerbs, they all feel real, especially if you are racing in VR. You’ll be able to react faster to slides and lock-ups, making for a more competitive sim racing experience – once you get used to it!
Bass shakers are excellent for watching films, listening to bass heavy music, or playing first-person-shooter games. Explosions from grenades and gunfire are emphasized and even a simple arcade shooter can suddenly be transformed into a visceral and immersive experience.
They are multi-functional immersion machines that don’t cost a huge amount, and if that sounds like something you would be after, consider adding one to your rig!
The SRS ShakeKit offers an easy-to-setup bass shaker kit that is practically plug and play. I would recommend it to anyone unsure about wiring their own, or beginners looking to add some additional immersion to their rig. The TT25-8 PUCK Mini Bass Shaker is an astoundingly cheap option that performs exceedingly well, making it ideal for those on a budget.
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