"I just wish it had more bass."
That's usually the reaction I get when I ask people what they think about the headphones I review for CNET. An ample helping of sub-bass can absolutely make a difference in how you respond to certain types of music, but a lot of headphone manufacturers will oversaturate the low frequencies trying to mimic the bass booms in a live venue. That usually creates a bloated, muddy response.
So why not try a wearable accessory that delivers an extra helping of bass directly to your body without affecting the fidelity of your tracks? That's the idea behind the Basslet, a wearable subwoofer from Berlin-based LoFelt that emits a burst of haptic feedback every time your music drops the beat.
The accessory looks like a smartwatch at first glance, but there's actually a proprietary haptic feedback engine and a rechargeable battery built into the square face. The engine is capable of recreating the entire bass frequency spectrum and you can turn it up or down depending on how much bass you want to add.
When you turn it on, you'll feel physical feedback on your wrist that syncs up to the low frequency tones in your audio source. The Basslet comes with a pass-through 3.5mm adapter that you can use to connect it to any device with a headphone jack. It works with everything from kick drum thumps to deep rumbles in movies and video games - and yes, its also compatible with VR headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
LoFelt showed off the Basslet at SXSW this year, but I haven't had a chance to demo one for myself yet. On paper, it seems easy to dismiss it as a Nintendo Rumble Pack for music, but Lofelt tells us that most listeners forget they're even wearing the bracelet after awhile and learn to enjoy the surround sound amplification - even if it's only virtual.
The Kickstarter campaign for the Basslet is open to backers now and a pledge of $112 (£76.51, $150 AU) or more reserves your own Basslet at 50% off the retail price. As of right now, the campaign is up to $37,131 (roughly £25,364 or $49,767 AU) with 33 days left to reach $56,785 (£38,789, $76,133 AU) and delivery is expected by the end of this year if funding is achieved.
As always, please note that CNET's reporting on crowdfunding campaigns is not an endorsement of the project or its creators. Contributing to a crowdfunded project comes with risk. Before contributing to any campaign, read the crowdfunding site's policies, such as those for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, to learn more about your rights (and refund policies, or the lack thereof) before and after a campaign ends.