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ButtKicker Review for Sim Racing

With force-feedback wheels, you can feel the racetrack. With a good VR headset or monitor set-up, you can see it. I’m not sure anyone is in any particular hurry to taste a racetrack, but (other than smell) we’re missing one crucial sense that has yet to be satisfied. Sound is incredibly important in terms of realism. It gives veracity to what is happening on your screen and at your fingertips. Headphones and earbuds are not only not realistic, but the many wires can get in the way of your driving. For this reason, this guide will focus on the ButtKicker, a popular sim racing bass shaker designed to immerse you through tactile sensations. 

ButtKicker
  • 90 watts at 2 ohms
  • Wired remote control
  • Mounting flanges for use with home theater seating
  • Digital; fanless; 120v ONLY
  • Pass-through outlet to daisy-chain multiple units

The ButtKicker Simulation Kit

There are multiple ButtKickers, but the simulation kit is specifically built to immerse you in your favorite sim games, whether they be racing sim, flight sims, or even farming simulators! It comes with multiple wires, the ButtKicker mini Concert, a ButtKicker Power Amplifier BKA-130-C, and a remote control. It promises not only a powerful sound output but a realistic one, taking game/sim audio and to create the dynamic and musically accurate tactile feedback that brings simulations to life. 

This is the cherry on top of your racing sim setup, meaning that we recommend that you already have everything else you need prior to making this purchase. We feel reticent to call this a product only suitable for “experts” because it’s not difficult to maneuver, but it’s also not central to the racing sim experience. 

The ButtKicker is meant to be installed to the underside of your chair or racing cockpit and functions by yes reproducing the volume, but especially by using sound to recreate feeling. Niki Lauda used to famously say that he would drive with his butt. This doesn’t mean that he would look for comfortable seats, but rather that he would feel the car’s responsiveness, the gear shifts, the throttling and more through his seat. That’s what the ButtKicker tries to accomplish: allowing you to feel your car not only through your hands, but your seat too. 

Features & Benefits

These are the main features that should be highlighted when looking at the ButtKicker. These features are the main selling points of this specific product and will help you determine whether it’s something you’re interested in purchasing or not. 

Industrial-Grade Build Quality

One would be excused in thinking that a stereo planted to the bottom of a chair is a gimmick to earn a quick buck, but even just the build quality of the ButtKicker disproves this. It has a truly laudable build quality, up to industrial standards, so to last and maintain its efficacy for as long as possible. The fact that it is coupled with a proprietary magnetic suspension system only further denotes how well-engineered this product is.  

Training-Worthy Realism

The ButtKicker brand is used in both military and commercial flight simulators in multiple countries worldwide. Of course, flight simulators and racing simulators are different at the core, but the use of this product by highly trained professionals speaks volumes (pun intended) on how close it can come to mirror sensations you could be expected to find in real life. When you are racing with this under your seat and you take a wide turn the rumble strips will make you positively shake, and should you turn into gravel you’ll essentially feel every little stone not only reproduced through your force-feedback wheel but under your seat cushion as well. We can only imagine what such a product must be like for rally racing. 

Open Sim Wheel must have

Admittedly a bit niche, but this is a great addition to any OSW setup. OSW has the advantage that you can have a more powerful force-feedback than many direct drive wheels you can currently purchase but it often lacks something that ties the whole thing together. The ButtKicker Simulation Kit is that thread so to speak. 

You won’t break the bank

This great addition is relatively inexpensive to add to your collection. Obviously, we are talking about relative terms here. The ButtKicker Simulation Kit is still not free in any sense of the word, but it will likely cost less than many other peripherals that you’ll have in your complete racing setup. Obviously, this is not as central as a pedal set or a shifter, but for a non-inaccessible price, it’s a great addition. 

Easily set-up 

Other than having to install some software which isn’t directly included in your order, and perhaps look at a handful of tutorials, the ButtKicker Simulation Kit is quite easy to set-up straight from the box. You won’t have to earn an engineering degree just to attach this to the bottom of your seat as all the tools (including some helpful zip ties) will be included with the order! 

Is a Buttkicker Worth It?

Whether or not the ButtKicker is worth it very much depends on what you’re looking to get out of your racing sim experience. If you have a complete set-up, with all other peripherals, but are looking for something else to add to the realism, then absolutely. The ButtKicker Simulation Kit is an inexpensive addition that will leave you giddy with excitement. 

If you only have a few peripherals here and there and racing sim is more just relaxation than hobby then probably not. Invest in more important peripherals that still won’t break the bank and you’ll find yourself much happier than if you would have purchased the ButtKicker. 

Conclusion

The ButtKicker Simulation Kit blends touch and sound as it stimulates both of these senses to add further realism to your racing experience. You’ll feel ever more engrossed in the game as your seat will reproduce what your hands are feeling, giving you a more holistic feel of the car. We highly recommend you check it out as well as other ButtKicker products to see whether this is an addition you might want for yourself. 

Last Updated on March 2, 2021 by Thomas Bush