One month ago to the day, I published a Spotlight on the new Nalone Sex Toys at Lovehoney. Not long after, Lovehoney asked if I would be interested in actually reviewing one of the Nalone toys. They kindly offered me the Nalone Pulse Sound Activated Vibrator, one of the toys I had mentioned interested me the most.
If you are familiar with the OhMiBod line of vibrators, the Nalone Pulse Sound Activated Vibrator is not a completely new concept. However, while OhMiBod vibrators respond to music via an iOS app, the Nalone Pulse does not require software, and it essentially reacts to any noise loud enough for its microphone to pick up. Not too shabby.
Other than saying that the sound activation feature functions very well, I’ll leave the rest of my comments for later in the review. Let’s start with the basics. The Nalone Pulse Sound Activated Vibrator has an ABS handle and a hot pink silicone shaft. *sigh* Yet another hot pink sex toy to add to my collection.
This pink silicone is unusually sleek and smooth and does not attract lint, like many of my other silicone toys. I like that very much. It has quite a bit less drag than linty silicone toys as well. This means I don’t need as much lube as I do with those draggier toys, but I still need some.
You’ll want to stick with water-based lubricant so you don’t have any issues with silicone-based lube bonding with the shaft and making it sticky. Oil-based products will cause the silicone to break down over time (per Nalone), so they are a no no.
The Nalone Pulse Sound Activated Vibrator is 8″ long, with 5.5″ of insertable length, and is approximately 1.3″ in diameter. The curvy tip is rounded and thicker than the shaft. Depending on where your g-spot is located and/or how you angle the vibrator, you may be able to sufficiently stimulate your g-spot. I don’t actually find it that effective for g-spotting.
There is a slight ridge in either side of the Nalone Pulse’s shaft. I am pointing this out merely as a matter of interest, because while it looks nifty and I can feel it with my hand, I don’t notice at all in use.
The fact that it is waterproof makes cleaning the Nalone Pulse Vibrator easy breezy. Use warm water and mild soap, a sex toy cleaner, or a 10% bleach solution. The bleach solution will disinfect the silicone shaft and allow you to use the Nalone Pulse with non-fluid bonded partners. Of course, you can use a condom over the shaft just as easily, but not just as cheaply.
When washing your Nalone Pulse Sound Activated Vibrator, be sure to double-check that the hot pink silicone plug on the back of the handle is snug and secure in its charging port. Mine has a tendency to pop out. That little plug is what makes the vibrator waterproof. Without it tightly in place, you run the risk of water seeping in and damaging the port.
You may have noticed I just indicated that the Nalone Pulse Sound Activated Vibrator is rechargeable. It charges via the little port in back I mentioned. Nalone provides you with a USB charger, which is great, but they do not include an AC adapter so you can plug it into the wall to charge the vibrator.
I have a number of such adapters, and I suppose between iPods, iPhones, and Androids (Yep, I am totally ignoring Blackberry, but then who isn’t nowadays?), most people have at least one. It probably lowers the price point a smidge not to provide the AC adapter, but this vibrator is not cheap and how much could one cost anyway? $.05?
It’s just helpful to have the option of plugging the Nalone Pulse into the wall to charge it rather than being stuck charging your vibrator on a computer. I would think parents who may share a computer with their child/children would agree.
Though not specified in the user manual exactly how long is necessary, charging seems to take a couple of hours, and you should get up to three hours of play time on a full charge. The control panel flashes blue to let you know the vibrator charging and glows steadily when the Nalone Pulse is done.
Once you know how to use the control panel it is simple enough, but I’ll admit it took me longer than expected to figure out how to turn the damn vibrator on. I do not enjoy feeling like an idiot. Unlike any other vibrator I own (I think…I have a LOT of vibrators, so I won’t swear to it.), you’ve got to hold the power button for three seconds to turn it on.
I get having to hold the power button for three seconds to turn the vibrator off, which is indeed what you need to do with the Pulse, but why to turn it on? If I stop feeling pissy for a moment, I guess I can see the advantage that the vibrator is less likely to turn itself on accidentally by bumping into something.
Other than the three second press to turn the vibrator on, the control panel is mostly self-explanatory. The manual does explain it, if you are unable to sort it out on your own. (and there is no shame in that) It consists of a hot pink silicone circle, to match the shaft of the Nalone Pulse, with a white plastic center. In the middle of the plastic is a small hole, which is the microphone for the sound activation feature. You’ll want to make sure it is free and clear of any fingers or blankets or anything that could hamper its ability to detect sound.
There are four buttons placed around the circle. At the bottom is the power button, which is clearly marked with the universal power icon. On the top is the button that controls the strength of the vibrations. It is marked with +/- within a circle. The right side of the circle says “Manual” and controls the seven different modes of vibration, which you change by pressing the button until you get to the one you want. The left side of the circle, where it says “Music +” is basically why we are all here.
I assume the + indicates the fact that the Nalone Pulse Vibrator reacts not only to music, but to any sound picked up by the microphone. This includes voices, my fan, my phone ringing, etc. To switch to Music + or “vibrating voice” mode, you just press the button. This works whether the vibrator is in Manual or standby.
As long as the microphone is unfettered, it picks up sound very well. It responds to sharp sounds and abrupt noise the most. Music with a strong beat or a singer who hits the lyrics hard is best. It doesn’t do as well with more flowy, mellow music. It reacts adequately to voices, as well as moans and whimpers (if they are loudish).
The user manual states that the Nalone Pulse Vibrator has two sound activation or vibrating voice modes. One of these is supposed to be stronger than the other, but quite frankly, I really do not feel much of a difference. The manual also has a description of the seven vibration Manual modes, which is slightly different from mine. The list below is based on my experience, not the information in the manual.
1. Low steady vibration
2. Medium steady vibration
3. High steady vibration
5. Four fast, short pulses, one long pulse
6. Ramp up
7. Three slow, short pulses, one long pulse
8. Sound activation
When it comes to actually using the Nalone Pulse Sound Activated Vibrator, it’s a mixed bag. As I stated above, I think the vibrating voice mode works very well, and the fact that it responds to almost any sound stimuli makes it much more versatile than the OhMiBod vibrators (and way cooler).
Though the sound activation component of the Nalone Pulse is effective, I have to say it’s frustrating when a lack of sound disrupts the vibration. This may happen frequently, depending on what you are using to trigger it. Someone speaking (or moaning) is going to have far more gaps than loud music with a heavy beat.
It would be really great if you could somehow use the vibrating voice feature at the same time as manual mode. Then you would have a constant underlying vibration that would increase with sound, rather than than the vibrator going completely dead here and there.
The Nalone Pulse is very quiet. I tend to be suspicious when vibrators make claims about how silent they are, especially when the term “whisper quiet” is used to describe them. However, I’ve got to say this vibrator is quite muted, at approximately 50 decibels. To put this into perspective, a whisper is about 40 decibels, the hum of a refrigerator is around 50, and rainfall clocks in at up to 60 decibels.
I mention the actual decibels because Nalone makes a big deal about it. Of course, Doubting Thomas that I am, I expected the vibrator would actually be on the loud side, but it isn’t. While not quiet as a whisper, for a vibrator, it’s awfully close. Especially considering the Nalone Pulse is a full-sized vibrator and not a dinky little clit vibe.
Moving on to the less thrilling aspects of the Nalone Pulse Sound Activated Vibrator, the vibrations. It’s not that they’re bad, they’re not. They are just…meh. They are midrange in depth, neither light and buzzy, nor deep and throbby. I can get off with them, they don’t hurt my clit, and they don’t give me buzzy hand syndrome. Nonetheless, if you really want and/or NEED deep vibrations, you are not likely to be very happy.
When it comes to the strength of the vibrations, it’s the same story. They are only moderate in intensity. Again, I can orgasm with the Nalone Pulse, but it takes longer than I would like. It’s certainly not a vibrator I’d use when I’m in a hurry or would turn to in a pinch. If you require power, you won’t find it here.
The packaging for the Nalone Pulse Sound Activated Vibrator is somewhat indiscreet, but quite sturdy. There is an exterior sleeve with images of the vibrator and a basic rundown of its features. Inside the sleeve is a shimmery pink box that says Nalone in the bottom right corner.
This box is fine to leave laying around as it gives no indication of what it is hiding. Inside the box, the Nalone Pulse Vibrator reclines on a fitted styrofoam bed covered with cream-colored satin. At the base of the vibrator is a box containing the USB charger, purple storage bag, user manual, and warranty card. The presentation is lovely. Unfortunately, the styrofoam is securely glued into the bottom of the box and I cannot remove it. I would have like to use it to store a few things along with the Nalone Pulse.
Crammed into the lid of the box is a pamphlet with the Nalone line of sex toys. The images are good to look at but don’t do your shopping based on it. At least for the Pulse Sound Activated Vibrator, it lists some incorrect information. You’re better off getting details on the Nalone sex toys from Lovehoney.
The user manual, which is written in English only, provides all the important information, other than actually telling you how long it needs to charge to reach full capacity. Unless it’s one of those weird things where you’re supposed to leave it on the charger for 16 hours or something the very first time, I wouldn’t worry too much. It only took me a few hours charging it via my computer.
The thing that kills me about the manual is that the print is microscopic. Granted, I started wearing glasses at age five and am seriously blind, but I’m not crazy blind! It should not be that hard for me to read the manual in broad daylight. Now, I feel really, really old. Way to go, Nalone.
Nalone Pulse Sound Activated Vibrator Pros:
• Sound Activated feature
• Easy to use control panel
• Not a lint magnet
• Nice shape
• Charges via USB
Nalone Pulse Sound Activated Vibrator Cons:
• Midrange vibrations (not deep enough)
• Not very powerful
• No AC charger included
• Have to hold down for 3 seconds to turn on
If you take a look at my pros and cons lists, it would seem like the pros far outweigh the cons, thus earning the Nalone Pulse Vibrator a high bean score. However, we’ve got to look closely at the importance of the qualities on each list. Sure, what material the vibrator is made from and whether or not it’s waterproof, rechargeable, and easy to use all matter.
Let’s face it though, these days I’m even more selective about what sorts of materials I’ll put into my body, not that I was ever that lackadaisical. I prefer rechargeable vibrators that are waterproof, but I still use some that are neither.
Though noise is not a big problem for me, it is for many people. So, the fact that the Nalone Pulse Vibrator is super quiet is a big deal. If you have a partner or roommate who is a heavy sleeper, you can literally use this vibrator without waking them up.
The weight of a sex toy sometimes has an impact on my play, depending on how badly my body is behaving at any given moment. Some of my sex toys are too hefty at certain times and I must turn to other, lighter ones. I am by far not the only person out there who needs to be aware of this. Therefore, the lightweightness (I don’t feel good about myself if I don’t make up at least one word every week.) of the Nalone Pulse makes it more versatile and useable by more people.
It’s always tricky when it comes to rating a sex toy with significant pros and cons. Sometimes I bounce back and forth doing the whole “but on the other hand” thing, until I have way too many hands. The Nalone Pulse isn’t quite that bad, as it really is a matter of two key concerns, the sound activation feature and the vibrations. Obviously, these issues are intertwined, considering that the vibrating voice element is dependent upon the vibrations.
As I have clearly stated, though I’d like the sound activation to do something it is not capable of (Remember, my constant, underlying vibration with the sound activation increasing the power idea.), it does an excellent job of doing what it claims to do. It reacts to any noise that is audible enough. Good on you for that, Nalone.
The vibrations themselves though… They are not quite deserving of a throat punch, they are more NCIS Gibbs slap on the back of the head worthy. Yes, I can orgasm with this vibrator, which is ultimately the point, but the vibrations are still meh. Who wants a vibrator with meh vibrations though? The vibrations are simply not good enough for me to jump and down in excitement, especially for sex toy at this price point. I want them to be deeper in frequency and more powerful.
That being said, if you have a delicate clit and cannot handle very strong vibrators (These women totally exist.), the sound activation certainly makes the Nalone Pulse Vibrator completely worthwhile. The middle of the road depth of the vibrations is more forgivable and easier to work with in my mind, as this is often less of an issue than power.
Though I am disappointed in the vibrations, the vibrating voice aspect is effective enough to push the Nalone Pulse Sound Activated Vibrator just beyond the edge of average, earning this vibrator a rating of three beans.
Tomorrow is Halloween, my favorite holiday. Lovehoney has a number of specials going on right now, which you can take a look at on the Bean Fiddler Deals & Sales Page. It’s an excellent time to head on over and take advantage of their free shipping, with no minimum purchase.
Bean Fiddler Rating