SubPac Overhauls Tactile Bass Backpack with Sleek New Design [Review]
A lot has changed since my previous review of the SubPac S2 (seatback edition) and M1 Bluetooth (wearable edition) in the May 2015 issue of DJ Times magazine. At the time, the SubPac M1 Bluetooth edition was clunky and awkward—an ugly duckling, really—but this is no longer true, as the latest SubPac iteration, the M2 Bluetooth, looks like Batman’s armor mated with a Funktion-One sound system.
The exterior and build quality of the upgraded device is striking. We’re talking 1997 Batman & Robin here vs. The Dark Knight when it comes to the M1 and M2. Long gone are the dueling hexagons and soft canvas build of the M1 Bluetooth in favor of a matte black, hard-body enclosure of the M2.
And that’s not the only physical upgrade that StudioFeed USA, the manufacturer of the SubPac, has managed. To secure the unit around your chest, there’s a new sliding clasp that’s easier to slip on and off, yet it feels like a much more strong and secure hold. There are also new adjustable straps with several points of adjustment to get the backpack tight around your body, there are dedicated loops to secure and hook your headphone cabling through, so no more getting hooked on the corners of things! Also, the unit charges faster, bluetooth sync is faster and easier, and there is even a dedicated slot on either side of the unit to hang your control box. Lefties rejoice!
In addition to the increased visual appeal of the the device, the all-black M2 unit packs a much harder punch (literally) than the M1 Bluetooth could muster. StudioFeed refers to this as an “enhanced vibratory impact” due to “optimized tactile transducers for improved accuracy and energy efficiency.” While still not as strong as the output of my seatback S2, I found that I didn’t necessarily need to turn the intensity all the way up on the M2 like I did with the M1. This is helped by connecting via Bluetooth, because using the 3.4mm headphone jack input often resulted in a weak signal from my phone with the M1.
While StudioFeed has greatly improved most drawbacks of the original M1 Bluetooth, I still wonder what the best applications for a device like this are. The S2 is a clear winner in the studio for producers, but the M2 feels as though it is still searching for its rightful segment in the market.
On the other hand, the M2 can’t be beat for silent discos, and I believe that mobile DJs might find it very useful when DJing at clubs with poor monitor support in the DJ booth. Outside of those use cases, DJs may struggle to find a way to fit the M2 into their workflow, but the flexibility of the unit may end up proving to be a selling point once enough DJs get their hands on one of these and start experimenting. For example, a friend of mine has mentioned to me several times that he wanted to take the M2 running, so a guy like him would really benefit from the “nano silver treated materials to control bacteria and odor from active use” that StudioFeed slipped into this upgrade. I’ve even heard talk of touring DJs taking the smaller M2 on the road so that they can feel the bass separation while listening to promos.
If you’re interested in purchasing, the price is currently $329 ($20 off the normal price). Order yours from StudioFeed here.
- Product Name: SubPac M2
- SKU: SM2US01
- Color: Black
- Frequency Response: 5hz-130hz
- Wired Input: 3.5mm stereo
- Headphone Out: 3.5mm stereo
- Wireless Input: Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP Streaming
- Charger: 15V 1.6A 24W w/ Intl IEC-c7 cables
- Rechargeable Battery: 10.8V, 2300mAh Li-ion battery (6+ hours per charge)
- Dimensions: 17”x12”x1.5” (43cmx30cmx4cm)
Weight (including battery): 5lbs 2oz (2.3kg)