The Subpac M2 is the predecessor to the original Subpac M1, which is no longer in development anymore. Released by ‘SubPac’ an independent company in the music industry, this product is one of the most popular tactile solution for sound engineers, mobile users on the go, movie lovers and gamers.
By the way, most of you who don’t know about ‘SubPac’, the company basically funded one of the products in this series through KickStarter. Crowdfunding was a good idea, and seeing as how their product instantly clicked, the community generously donated a large sum of money. So, if you have such ideas, it is never too late to use crowdfunding as a resource to fuel your dreams.
You don’t have to take anyone’s approval, you don’t have to have someone boss you around with what you can and cannot do in life. If you have a product or an idea in mind, make a business plan, a great presentation and pitch it to a crowdfunding community. After all, you don’t have anything to lose.
They basically made a portable gadget vest that makes you feel the sound, music track or whatever you are listening to through a series of conducive transducers. These tiny little sensors detect the lows and highs in the sound track and interpret them into vibrations. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that SubPac developers took the age old ‘seeing is believing’ philosophy and literally contorted it into ‘feeling is believing’. And boy, it worked wonders for people who literally can’t get enough of their music.
Good Stuff about Subpac M2:
Ill state down some of the things that really piqued my interest. At the time of writing this Subpac M2 review, my interaction with the gadget has been a little over 4 days. In this regard, you may hold a different opinion if you have had this awesome wearable product for a few months or maybe a few weeks to date.
Buying the Subpac M2 was more of an impulsive decision for me. I had never heard about them before, despite of being familiar with headphones with vibrations and all. So it was another day for me, I was surfing at Amazon and in their ‘Latest Future Tech Gadgets’ section I hovered over this product’s icon.
I thought it was going to be some kind of bulletproof vest, seeing as how the hand imprint was on it and all. Plus, the babe looked cool with tattoos and the Subpac M2 vest tightly hugging her body contours. But then, as I read the product description, I was taken away by the idea of a wearable semi-jacket that vibrates to anything you listen.
Who is This For? Subpac M2 is basically made for DJs and sound engineers, the guys who work in the music industry for a living. Apart from that, the product’s use is applicable to a ton of other areas such as gaming, watching movies, entertainment etc. It is safe to say that aside from those experts in the sound and music industry, SubPac caters to customers who just want this gadget for the kicks.
I mean seriously, if you are into intense gaming with guns and bullets flying everywhere, Subpac M2 will drastically improve the immersive experience. “Living in the moment” will hold a practical meaning when you are taking down enemies in Call of Duty, Uncharted or any other game for that matter. Likewise, movies and music will help you experience entertainment from a very different angle.
Out of the Box Experience: So, the first thing I noticed that Subpac M2 comes in a huge shipping box. The first time I looked at online product images before ordering it, I thought, “Oh, this should be easy for the delivery guys to manage.” On the contrary, I was baffled at the sight of the shipping box, but also at the same time, the actual product weight was lesser than anticipated.
In fact, it was so light, that when the delivery person handed over the package, my heart skipped a beat. I thought maybe Amazon pulled a sick joke on me and didn’t pack anything inside. So, I was praying and lifting all the nice padding, and voila! there it was. The packaging itself is top notch and the Subpac M2 was looking right back at me with a metaphoric devious grin.
Instead of using it right away, I decided to adjust the vest according to my chest and back dimensions. The developers clearly mentioned that you need to have the Subpac vest snuggly fit in around your body to be able to get the best experience. After that, I took to charging this baby for well over an hour and a half. The wait is worth it because I absolutely didn’t want the battery to go down during my run-ins with countless hours of entertainment.
As far as the product quality goes, you are looking at premium stuff. The Subpac M2 straps, clean lines and glossy finish guarantees a job well done. The fitting was very comfortable, and the straps are built from high quality material. Seeing as this wearable vest doesn’t come in XL, XXL size variations, you don’t have to worry about snapping it or the straps for that matter. Feel free to tug at them a little harder if you have to, they made sure that despite of one-size-fits-all policy, the M2 is worth its high price.
User Experience: Suffice to say, the Subpac M2 satisfied me on all forefronts of a versatile bass experience. I thought I knew how my old Jazz, Blues, Country etc. collection felt when I heard it growing up. After all those years, when I plugged in the Subpac M2 for the first time, I was a revealing experience for me. The same songs that I heard several decades ago felt entirely different because of how the M2 bass transducers were interpreting them.
Speaking of bass levels and vibrations, the M2 seems to have a combination of various woofers. I could not put my finger on one main source woofer. Or maybe if there was one and only one woofer in there, then it was genuinely calibrated to detect the slightest bass notes from all kinds of source files.
Word of Advice: Now, in the heat of the moment, you will be tempted to push the bass setting/ vibration feedback setting to the extremes. However, I noticed that whilst going all the way up there, the Subpac M2 started short circuiting on me. At times, it would suddenly switch off on its own and I had to turn it back on, and start all over again with listening to the same soundtrack.
On the contrary, at medium and low settings, this “short circuiting/ switching off” thing does not happen. It seems like as if there is a fail safe mechanism in the unit that prevents the levels from tipping off. I noticed that most of the previous Subpac M2 owners complained about this issue in particular. I don’t think it is an “issue”; perhaps it is more of an intentional feature that they added in there.
Why so? The vibrations are patterned around your body’s contours. It means you will feel them, for the most part, around your back, hips, chest and spine. A constant day in-day out usage will take a toll on your spinal cord, which I believe is one reason as to not use the Subpac M2 in excess.
An occasional few hours of entertainment are fine by me, but when you use it daily, you are bound to risk your health. Another observation on this note is that you shouldn’t use the M2, Subpac M1, or either one of the S series units if you have a heart conditioning. You will definitely put your body at risk if you’re going to be using this product at highest bass settings.
How was the Design and Comfort Level?
Honest to god, I have seen my fair share of pricey gadgets that score high in terms of design, but comfort levels slack a little. I gotta’ admit that the Subpac M2 plays a fair game in that regard. On the inside, the vest has padding at areas that generally begin to hurt or inflame after 30 – 40 minutes of constant contact.
On the outside, you have the X shaped straps that can be adjusted to suit your body shape. Although the “M” stands for mobile part, but if you are someone who works from home, or, a studio, you can strap the M2 on a chair and lean against it. Part of the comfort level also depends on your chair’s shape, but overall the experience has been quite satisfying for me.
They even sent in an extra strap if needed for stability or replacement purposes. Some people asked at the official SubPac website if they could use it during their exercise or workout. While the company encouraged joggers to take it out next time they plan a marathon. Just make sure that the entire thing is strapped on tightly around your body, and you have a bad ass song collection to back it all up.
But if you are thinking of using the Subpac M2 during your exercise routine, you will have to be very choosy about your movements. Any number of exercises involving lying on your back are a big no because it will most likely damage the product. So, there goes the idea of taking the M2 to the gym and doing a few bench presses. Perhaps if they were to release a more exercise/ gym friendly version of the Subpac M series, I’d be inclined to sell the M2 and try the M3 for that matter.
Now moving on to the performance part, you need to make sure that the Subpac M2 control box is attached at a distance from the main vest. The vibrations can affect the control box mechanism if it is placed or attached too close to the vest. So, my advice would be to use the extra strap and attach the control box around your waist, or down the computer chair – i.e. if you are going to be in a sitting position.
I am not the one for fancy charts and graphs, but I can safely say that the overall performance is good. For instance, the battery life is superb on the Subpac M2. You can even get an extra hour or two if you are willing to use medium level settings that don’t demand that much power. You can also listen to your music, or watch movies if the battery is plugged in.
As far as music, movies and games go, I’d say generally anything feels awesome on Subpac M2. You can listen to old time classics like Black Sabbath – Paranoid, or Pink Floyd, Bryan Adams or whatever modern Justin Bieber crap you’re into. (Just kidding…..).
I won’t go into details on movies, but Games section can definitely use some recommendations from my side. Try playing Rise of the Tomb Raider, Doom 2017 and any other title that’s high on shooting. You will literally feel bullets going back and forth as the Subpac M2 will fight through every last shell in your bandolier.
What else did I leave? Oh, Subpac M2 is compatible with latest Bluetooth standard. This is a big turn on for those who listen to music or play games via wireless hardware. You only need to make sure that your Bluetooth headphones or whatever device is fully charged and there is no obstruction between the Subpac M2 and the sound source, and the sound emitting device. Rest will go fine.
Just in case you run into any technical issues, please know that all Subpacs come with a warranty. Even though the company officially discontinued the production of the original Subpac M, they are still willing to walkthrough owners who are using that old version of the current M2. Before contacting CS support for anything, make sure that you have followed the issues and solutions listed in the official Subpac M2 Faq. They have addressed a ton of questions and general problems in case anyone runs into any trouble.