Immediately embraced by successful music producers (Like Timbaland, Dada Life and more), the SubPac is nothing short of a breakthrough in the new wearable physical sound system market.
In fact, I think they created their own niche. Created by the industry respected audio-tactile experience creators SubPac (based in LA), comes the SubPac S2 and M2x (Formerly known as M2).
Every single review these products have received (From professional artists) is better than the last.
What is SubPac
Both are audio bass systems but serve two entirely different purposes. Subpac M2 vs S2:
- Subpac M2 (Current model is known as M2X) – Designed for mobile use (Watching movies on your laptop, listening to music, etc).
- Subpac S2 – For stationery use (Listening at one place) which makes it ideal for music producers.
Subpac M2 (Known as SubPac M2x today)
The SubPac M2 was created as a kind of portable and wearable subwoofer. In fact, this is the absolute best way to describe it. The M2x is basically a personal backpack with a woofer in it.
Now before we go further, I want you to look at the chart below. It refers to something called the ‘Frequency Range’.
Don’t worry, I despise ‘nerdy’ jargon in music producing as well so let me break this down for you . . . When you play a snare, for example, it falls into a certain frequency range (What you are able to hear).
Vocals tend to fall between the 200hz to 5k or 5000hz mark (White lines). Hi-Hats usually fall between 5k and 20k (Green lines), bass (Also known as low end in the music producing industry) is below 200hz (Orange lines).
That’s why you hear a lot of producers say “Hey always cut the low end around the 200hz mark on your vocals, etc”. What they mean to say is cut the bass from the vocals. So your kicks, 808s, and sub-bass can be clearly heard. Makes sense?
Did you know that most people can’t really hear anything under 20 hz (Perhaps between 16 to 20hz). The sound created at those frequencies can only be felt. That said, created at those frequencies is what we today call bass.
The bass frequencies can be divided further as well:
So anything around 20hz (Even lower) and 50hz is considered Sub-Bass frequencies. Which means these frequencies are mostly felt. Anything between 50hz and 100hz is considered your typical bass range.
Last but not least, the 100hz range and 200hz range is your high bass range (Range that contains the least amount of bass). The purpose of using sub-bass is to help you feel the bass. So when you ‘feel’ the music (Which are mostly vibrations), you are listening to the sub-bass.
With the SubPac M2 you are not just limited to listening to varying bass frequencies, but you can also actually sense them in your body. Just like you would while listening to your favorite track at a club or music festival or something.
Now if you have studio monitors, maybe you can feel the bass to a certain extent but so will your neighbors (The higher the volume, the more chance of you getting evicted) and in the long run, it would really hurt your ears. So Subpac products are a great solution to those two specific problems.
Same technology as the M2x but with a few different parameters (Obviously) to help out with music production. Now you can add the tightest or super deep sub-bass (Remember 5hz to 130hz which is incredible) without nobody feeling it except your self.
Great way to produce some bass heavy music. Which means now as a music producer, you can ‘feel’ what you are making without annoying your neighbors or destroying your ears. If you think about it, the SubPac is really a great tool for music producers. Especially the S2.
How Does SubPac Work
The SubPac is able to process the lower ranges of frequency (Sub bass), that range from 5 to 130 Hertz. By wearing a SubPac or placing it behind on your chair when you sit on it, you allow your self to feel the ‘sub-bass’ thus making more accurate decisions as a music producer or just enjoying whatever you are listening to even more so.
Subpac vs Subwoofer
Well if you have the means to setup a home theatre in your house, you don’t need a SubPac. However, since this site is about music production, I’m going to compare it in that context. A subpac has headphones built in. Which means you can listen and feel your bass frequencies by yourself without bothering anyone.
With a subwoofer, everybody hears what’s going on. Especially if your studio is in your apartment. A subpac is portable. You can literally just put it behind your back (Dada Life uses it while flying) and still work with lower bass frequencies.
I would still mix everything on studio monitors but feeling the sub bass wherever you want makes your workflow a lot faster than before. Which is always a plus. In the long run, your ears will thank you because, with a SubPac, you don’t have to turn it up super high to feel the sub-bass.
I literally wear earbuds when I’m mixing because I do have to turn up the volume on my studio monitors. If you are ears ‘ring’ every once in a while, they are trying to tell you something. Whether you get a SubPac or not, get some earbuds for sure.
The speakers attach to the back with the aid of adjustable straps, and regular straps that are worn over the shoulders like a backpack (M2x) or they go around on a chair you choose to sit on (S2).
The straps are made with a sleek black synthetic material that is formed with Nano silver to reduce sweat and body odor when wearing. Which is a life saver especially if you are sitting next to a hardcore video gamer who has a SubPac. A SubPac also has a control station attached with a cord attached to the bottom (the lower-mid back area) for headphone plug-ins.
This attachment also comes with adjustable knobs to increase and decrease the volume and intensity of your listening and tactile experience, as well as a control for the alignment feature. Overall the product is light, weighing under three kilograms, and its control station has a power button, so as to avoid excessive drainage of the rechargeable battery.
In addition to the other functions, the SubPac M2 can be plugged in directly to your existing speakers. So you don’t have to get any additional inputs, etc. The Subpac also connects with professional digital editing studios, so that it can be conducive for production purposes (Great for movie editors and CGI people).
Imagine using it at work as you mix some action scene with some audio. You can literally pinpoint where to put the bass, etc. I mean the possibilities could be endless. For an audio editor in any field, the SubPac can really take your game to the next level.
It also has built-in Bluetooth input with A2DP streaming and the battery lasts a minimum of six hours with every charge. Which is useful because once you start making music, you can literally sit in your studio (At least that’s what I like to call my home setup) for hours.
You can even connect your headphones thanks to the standard 3.5 millimeter stereo sound jack. Whether you use your Subpac with headphones or not, it’s really light so even kids can enjoy it.
Who Should Use The SubPac
This is a great question and let me elaborate on this. It is a good idea to get a SubPac if:
- You have the resources to get it. I mean if you can then why not. Let’s face it, as producers, music lovers, video game players (SubPac is a popular choice with Fallout users by the way) or movie watchers, we love our bass. So why not enjoy it if we have the means for it? If you can do that without disturbing anyone around, well that’s even better.
Now you shouldn’t get a SubPac if:
- You don’t have those kind of resources (Pretty obvious).
- You’re a beginner producer. Even myself I’m just using my Neumann KH 120 A studio monitors (Granted they are pretty expensive for most) but if you’re music game isn’t there, it’s better to hold on to your wallet and keep putting in the hours until you feel like it’s time to take things to the next level.
There is no doubt that a lot of famous producers have already given this product a thumbs up. Both from the rap game and in the EDM industry so when the time is right for you, feel free to take that next step.