Gadget Review: The Woojer

There are some things you might not want to know about anybody because it’s just plain too much information; but then there are the neutral things that are just kind of eccentricities. My main non-sexual vice is that I like to be a bass. Just as some folks like to play air guitar and pretend to be Jimmy Page bashing it out for Led Zeppelin, I like to be Charles Mingus picking out ‘Goodbye Pork-Pie Hat’ on standup bass, or Bootsy Collins behind James Brown on ‘Make it Funky.’

Really no big deal, I hope you’re thinking. A bit silly but… whatever!

Well, now I know for sure that I was never alone. Indeed there were like-minded folk out there; I just never knew it. The proof of it is in a brand-new audio product The Woojer. There’s even a name for it: wearable technology!

The Woojer? Yes. It’s an acronym for a wearable woofer. “A wearable woofer?” you say. “Sounds crazy! What is it?”

What is a woofer, anyway? Woofer is a term commonly used for a loudspeaker driver engineered to produce ultra-low frequency sound, typically from app. 40 Hertz to a kilohertz or higher. It is meant to be the onomatopoeic sound produced through pushing out low frequency sound. The most common design for a woofer is that of an electrodynamic driver, which uses a stiff paper cone, driven by a voice coil out of a strong magnetic field. The resulting motion of the cone creates sound waves as it moves in and out, recreating the part of a piece of music that is bass, versus the rest of the music which is reproduced by the tweeter.

The Woojer does indeed sound like a stupid gimmick. It arrives in a small box that plugs into the 3.5mm audio jack on most any device. After that you connect your headphones to The Woojer. The hardware works with any device that outputs audio, from your phone to your 3DS.

Now for the nitty gritty! You attach the box to your clothing using the durable magnetic clip that’s part of the kit. Placed directly in the middle of my chest, it really made me feel like Iron Man. Then I set up. I connected the device to the audio jack on the bottom of my PlayStation 4 controller, before connecting my headphones to The Woojer. Then it gets a little weird because you need to remove the back of the magnetic clip and snake it up the inside of your shirt before connecting it to the hardware on the outside.

While we’re at it, the device weighs nearly 13oz and will make your shirt sag a bit, although after you spend a little time adjusting it to fit your own measurements, things definitely get better. Finally, you put the music on and it rumbles. For three hours—while the battery charge holds—you will become the Lord God of bass. Sent through The Woojer, the bass signal converts your whole body into a deep rumbling effect. The effect is similar to the feeling in your chest when you’re watching a loud war movie or strapped down inside a fast-moving automobile feeling the tunes you love.  It’s small, but it fools your brain and body into thinking you are the funk.

The combination of the rumbling rattles from the controller, The Woojer, and the sound blasting from the headphones really is fantastic. If you’re not playing music, then there’s the joyful alternative of driving a racecar or playing war games. It’s a sense that you really are in the firefights. Indeed, it really is super-enervating to “feel” the difference between the rapid “brrrrrpatpatpat” of submachine guns and the thudding whomp noise of a shotgun blast. The deep “THUD” of the most powerful explosive weapons became much more satisfying. It’s totally cool and of the essence if you’re going to play war Games. $100 is a lot of money to lay out for a tool to soup up your music and games, to be sure, but it really is a neat unique experience.

The Woojer is also a tool for the HOH (Hearing Impaired) and comes with a number of accessories in a bright variety of colors.

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