What is the benefit?
The Subpc can detect intense bass, particularly at low frequency starting at 5Hz up to 130 Hz, so it is ideal for those mixing music as it helps detect the bass which you could not otherwise. Since you feel the bass directly you don't damage your ears, upset neighbours with loud bass and save money on subwoofers and spound proofing.
The M2 is portable so you can have these benefits where ever you go. It can be both battery and mains powered so you have the best of both worlds.
The bluetooth 4.0 connectivity lets you connect to your mobile devices so you can detect the bass whilst watching movies or listening to music from your cell phone on a bus for example.
Subpac also promotes the added benefit that it adds immersion to VR and with its mobile nature you should be able to use it in room scale games. This is exciting and is something we wanted to test.
We tested the Subpac M2 using an Android phone and a Windows 10 PC. The tests included listening to music, watching a video and playing a VR game called Space Pirate Trainer on the HTC Vive.
Connecting to the phone using bluetooth was easy and the bass detected was good. Adjusting the volume of the music in-turn increased the bass, but if you wanted to have loud volume and lower base you can dial it back using the intensity knob on the control unit.
All in all this was a good experience.
Movies and Music
Movies in particular were very good. We were even able to detect the characters breathing or walking on sand. Music was also good detecting low level bass but we would rate movies as excellent.
Playing video games - VR
The biggest problem we had was that we could not get the M2 to pair with either our Windows 10 desktop or laptop. Whether it would work on Windows 7 or 8 we don't know but since many people are moving to the lastest version of Windows this is a deal breaker - particularly if you want to play room scale VR games as the whole point of the M2 is that it is mobile. Instead we had to use the included line-in cord from the HTC Vive headphone jack to the S2 control panel and then the headphones connected to the line-out of the control box. Although this worked, and the effect was good, having extra cables in the mix just made it more cumbersome. Ideally we would like to be able to use our wireless headphones and use the M2 for detecting the bass using the bluetooth connection.
We imagine it would be better using the Oculus Rift as that has inbuilt headphones and thus less cables.
For sit-down gaming it is fine and as we said the effect of the bass does add an extra dimension in gaming but if you have a Vive we wouldn't recommend it, at its current price, unless the bluetooth works with all versions of Windows.
Worryingly, the Sunpac support page has a number of people asking about its compatability with Windows 10 and no one answered them.
People with a PS4 are no better off as the bluetooth doesn't work there either...
At $350 the Subpac M2 commands a $50 premium over Submac S2 and whether this premium is worth it to you depends on if you are mainly go to use it in mobile situations. Both versions have the same subwoofer set up and the feeling of the bass is the same.
For music it is good and for movies it is excellent. For gaming it is also good if you are seated or not planning to move around much.
Subpac really needs to get the Windows 10 bluetooth issue fixed and until then, for our usage case we don't recommend it at the current price. If it were $200 then we could see it representing better value.
Value for money: 5
Ease of use: 8
Total score: 7