Reviewed by Jerry Toga on 11 January 2014
The ButtKicker Gamer 2 (also known as the BKG2) is a bass shaker that connects to any single post chair – like any office or computer chair (also great for drum stools!). It’s great for the heavy blasts and rumbles of flights sims and warfare games, and for any heavy, deep sounds that you wanna hear while sitting at your computer. The ButtKicker Gamer will take those low sounds and, using its famously responsive linear motor, will turn those sounds in deep, physical vibrations, so you’ll feel like you’re part of the action.
Note: Prior to the ButtKicker Gamer2, there was the plain ol’ ButtKicker Gamer. It's hard to find now. Even the ads that fail to mention the "2" are usually for the BKG2. If you can find the original "Gamer" at a low price, consider giving it a go, but just play with it HEAPS in the first few weeks to see if its amp is OK. A few people were suffering amp burn out with the original Gamer. Test it to the limit before so you can return it under warranty. Also note that the original Gamer has loud fans (the Gamer2 is convection-cooled), but this is not a problem if you wear noise-cancelling headphones. Like I say, if you can find it for a bargain, it might be worth a shot.
Note: If buying online, check the fine print and make sure that the model number reads BKG2. That's the version you want.
The ButtKicker Gamer 2 attaches to your office chair. It costs around $160 but you can get it cheaper online.
The Buttkicker Gamer 2 is affordable, and easy to install. Unlike the ButtKicker LFE which attaches to your couch or recliner, the ButtKicker Gamer 2 attaches to your office chair. (There’s also a version especially designed for playseats.) As an office chair is flimsier than a couch, there is a tendency to rattle. This won’t be as much of a problem if you’re using the ButtKicker with sound-reduction headphones which will cut out all extraneous sound.
If your chair tends to rattle, get yourself some Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
The ButtKicker Gamer2 will definitely add extra kick to gameplay at your desk. It’s especially good if you live in a small apartment with thin walls, and can’t make too much sound in case you disturb the neighbours. You’ll still get that ‘big sound’ feeling, without cranking the volume. ButtKicker is always responsive, and you get an awesome amp thrown in with the price. You might not be blown away, but you won’t be disappointed.
That’s my “quick summary” ButtKicker Gamer revew. For more details, read on!
Simply attach it to your chair (it’ll take you all of 30 seconds), run a few cables, and you’re set. Get comfy, throw on your favourite flight sim, and play with the volume knob until you get just the right level of shake for your bones. (Check out the negative below “They give you more than you need”.) To the right is a youtube vid of how to do it.
One of the messy things about getting a bass shaker is that you often have to match it with an amp. The Aura, for example, doesn’t come with its own amplifier, so you have to find one that’s suitable. The Buttkicker Gamer comes with its own powerful 100 amplifier, so you’re ready to roll.
The amp has low- and high-frequency filter switches, and a high-frequency cutoff knob. This is extremely useful, as sometimes high sounds (like violins) can cause a shake that you just don’t want. There’s even a little red warning light that warns you of clipped signals – so you know when that buzz is not just in your head.
With the ButtKicker Gamer 2’s a big, fat cable that goes up your chair. With the original ButtKicker Gamer, you could really do some damage if you swivelled! However, with the Buttkicker Gamer 2, they’ve created a connection that pops out when you swivel. It’s not a great solution, but at least you can’t do any damage.
If this is your first time setting up a bass shaker, you might feel a bit daunted by all the bits in the box. The ButtKicker people give you everything you could possibly need, including isolators, adapters for splitting the signal and more. You won’t need everything, and it can feel overwhelming trying to decide what to use and what not to. The illustrated guide is great, tho, so just take your time and you’ll get there.
Like I said earlier, the original Gamer had some problems. Lots of people complained that the amps burnt out really quickly. As in – within hours of turning it on. With the ubiquitous Gamer2 (it's everywhere now), this isn’t so much of a problem. However, just to be sure, play with your new ButtKicker Gamer A LOT in the first few days/weeks, so you can return it if anything goes wrong. You won’t have trouble with returning a faulty system – there’ll be very few questions asked in my experience – but you need to see if there’s trouble before you returns policy runs out.
For a while, ButtKicker was producing a special Gamer2 that fitted onto your playseat. What happened to it? I can't find it anywhere? Left high and dry, there seems to be only one solution: to somehow rig the normal Gamer2 onto your playseat. It's harder than it would seem! The Gamer2 is designed to fit onto the pole of your desk chair - and a playseat does not have a central pole. But of course some clever geek has worked out how to do it. Check out the YouTube video to the right to see how it can be done.