App-controlled vibrators are becoming increasingly popular - but which are the best to use alone or with a partner?
Let’s face it: as much as long distance relationships are tough on your emotions, it’s arguable that they’re even tougher on your sex life. While you can somewhat replicate the experience of sharing thoughts, ideas and feelings with your loved one thanks to video calls, it’s a bit more difficult to reproduce the physicality of a hug, kiss or sex with technology.
App-controlled vibrators and other sex toys, however, are giving it a good go. Using Bluetooth technology, you can connect your toy with its associated app and give your partner access to control it from a distance. While this is also possible with remote controls, using an app means the connection range is unlimited.
According to Dan Liu, CEO of smart sex toy company Lovense, the appetite for such contraptions has been steadily increasing over the years thanks to de-stigmatization of sex toys in general, with a sharper rise over the past few months owing to COVID-19 being one of the biggest collective cock blocks in recent history.
“The lockdown surely accelerated the spread of sex toys and made them more popular among a mainstream audience,” he says. “We’ve noticed a growing adoption of smart toys due to the COVID-19 isolations and we expect that the need for sex tech will continue to grow”, he said.
We had the oh-so-hard job of testing out some of them to determine which are the best app-controlled vibrators on the market (someone had to). While they were all pretty pleasurable, our pick for the most orgasmic vibrator is the Nora by Lovense. It’s got all the bells and whistles you need – multi-speed rotating head, flexible vibrating arm, well thought-out shaft design – plus it’s a respectable length, water resistant, and the app works without a glitch.
How to choose the best app-controlled vibrator for you
There isn’t a huge array of companies that produce app-controlled vibrators as of yet. The big hitters are We-Vibe, Lovense and Vibease, with a few other such as Kiiroo and OhMiBod also getting involved. Even without an overwhelming amount of options out there, there’s still plenty to consider when choosing your toy.
Where it stimulates
We all get our kicks differently, so it’s a pretty personal choice as to where you want stimulated. Some vibrators focus on the g-spot, some the clitoris, and others on everything at once, so base your choice on what you know you like.
While some people think sex toys are just for the bedroom, others like to mix things up – and where you use yours affects what you might want from it. If you’re using it in public, for instance, it has to be wearable and quiet. For playing with it in the bath, you’ll need it to be waterproof.
Vibrators vary when it comes to how many different speeds and pulsation patterns they offer. If you need variety to get off, make sure it’s got plenty of options.
When it comes to teledildonic (yep, that’s what they’re calling it) sex toys, the app is hugely important. There’s no bigger turn off than poorly functioning technology, especially when it means you have to pause your remote sex session because of it. Some apps can connect pulsation patterns with things like erotic audiobooks and music too, so if that appeals then make sure you check out the extras.
The best app-controlled vibrators you can buy right now
The best app-controlled vibrator for most people
From our experience, you’re pretty much guaranteed a powerful orgasm every time you use this app-controlled rabbit vibrator. The first time we tested it out, we came faster than ever before. Pleasure possessed our body like a sexy poltergeist and we were no longer in control of our senses. Once you’ve got the hang of it, however, you can stretch out your enjoyment by starting out soft and slow with the lower settings.
Nora’s success is down to a combination of its undulating shaft shape, the multi-speed rotating head on its longer arm, which brushes against your G-spot as it spins, and the powerful vibrating smaller arm, which sits right on your clitoris. The latter two features can be controlled separately using buttons on the handle or through the app.
We found the Lovense app to be flawless. The connection is strong and the control board is very responsive, so you feel exactly what your partner wants you to feel when they want you to feel it. What’s even better is the fact that Nora can be paired with Lovense’s male masturbator Max 2, so if your partner has a penis you can sync up your toys – when you move yours, the other reacts – and have an interactive experience.
The best premium app-controlled vibrator
If you’re someone who prefers to focus on clitoral stimulation alone, the Wand by We-Vibe is an excellent choice. It’s a large device that looks almost like a microphone, with a long handle and a sizeable vibrating head. Cycle through the vibrations (a steady speed and nine patterns) with a button and increase or reduce the power of each setting with a useful joystick.
The Wand also comes with two head attachments – a penis stroker and a spring-like circle for fluttery stimulation – which can be added onto the head and used to add extra sensations. We felt that the wand alone was more effective than with these, however.
One of our favorite things about this vibe is that it cleverly only vibrates when it’s touching skin, so if you suddenly need it to be silent you just move it away from your body.
In terms of the app, we thought We-Connect was easy to use, but the pairing can be slightly temperamental.
The best budget app-controlled vibrator
The Lush 2 love egg-style vibrator is an upgrade of the original Lush, improved based on user feedback. Its bulbous end hits the G-spot perfectly, while its strong vibrations spread across the entire vagina. The flexible antenna sits outside you searching for a Bluetooth connection, but if you’re not using the app it can also be used to control the vibrator both manually (moving it in and out and shaking it all about) and with the control button on the tip. The motor, which is located in the larger end of the vibrator, is extremely powerful for such a small device.
Lush 2’s design, excellent Bluetooth connectivity (a result of the upgrade), well-functioning app (the same one Nora uses), and quiet-ish sound make it a great toy for those wanting to wear one out in public. The vibrator’s curved shape means it can stay inside the wearer discreetly, though we did find that the willful antenna can break free from your pants and start to stick out in a bemusing manner, so be careful with your outfit choice if donning it out.
The only downside is that you don’t get any clitoral stimulation from this toy unless you take it out and use it externally. If you need dual stimulation to climax then you have to rub your clit yourself or use an extra toy, which seems like a “too many cocks… sorry – cooks” situation.
The best app-controlled vibrator for couple play
Unlike the other products we’ve mentioned, the We-Vibe Chorus (the upgrade of the We-Vibe Sync) is an app-controlled vibrator that’s designed for when you and your partner are in the room together. Of course, thanks to the app it can still be used for long-distance play and does the job nicely, but its c-shaped design lends itself to being used during penetrative, penis-in-vagina sex.
The thicker arm rests against your clit, while the thinner one bends round and slips inside your vagina. Both arms vibrate and have ribbed inner surfaces, while the other side remains smooth for the penis to slide against. This design means there are added sensations for all involved that will bring you to an incredible orgasm.
The vibrator comes with a remote control, which can be used to change the vibrations but is also the middleman in the connection between the vibrator and the We-Connect app. It’s supposed to aid Bluetooth connectivity, which it does to an extent, but we found the external anchor rather unreliable when it came to pairing the devices. The app itself works well. You can slide between pre-created settings just using your thumb, and even create your own to add in the mix.
The best quiet app-controlled vibrator
Made from silky smooth silicone, the Esthesia's curved shape allows you to easily hit your G-spot with the longer arm, while the shorter one sits right on your clit. It's quite a rigid vibrator, which might not be to everyone’s taste, but we found it helped with applying enough pressure on our G-spot.
There’s no thrusting or spinning head on this device, so you have to (quite literally) take matters into your own hands if you need this motion to reach orgasm. The strong, rumbly vibrations that spread throughout your entire pelvic area were enough for us, however. Despite these, the vibe is extremely quiet, so you won’t need to be embarrassed by the sound emanating from your bedroom – unless your moans carry.
Vibease Chat (the name of the app compatible with the Esthesia) is quite easy to use, allowing you or your partner to control the vibe just by running your finger around the screen. Unfortunately, when trying out the app for some long-distance sexytimes, we had trouble with the video chat aspect of the app. Turning to Whatsapp video instead meant that the vibrator frustratingly disconnected after a minute or so. We haven’t heard of anyone else having this problem, though, so it’s likely that it’s not a common issue.
One of the special features of the app is that it connects with music and erotic audio books, vibrating with the beat and speech patterns – particularly fun when playing solo.