Remote Control Vibrators – Are any worth the money?

L'amourose MAE+ on the left, Marc Dorcel Secret Remote Control Vibe up top, and the We-Vibe 4 Plus on the right

SPECIAL NOTE: While this post was originally written in 2011, it has been heavily updated over the years. So if you’re here in 2016, rest assured that everything here is still relevant. When a new remote-controlled toy comes out and I have had the opportunity to review it / feel it and can talk about it here, I do so. The recommendations here are not out-dated.

Remote control vibrators have an appeal that is special and can be something really awesome & kinky for certain folks (public sex toy play is very fun). I get a ton of people asking for recommendations on a really good model; you’ll see plenty of cheapies and definitely plenty that cost well over $100 so how are you to know which is worth the time and money? Hopefully I can help steer you on the right path and save you money and disappointment. Let me assure you, there’s more disappointment in this niche of sex toys than anything else. WHY is it so damn hard for a company to come out with a really awesome remote control vibrator? Honestly I’ve yet to come across one that meets the Remote Controlled Vibrator Holy Trinity.

First, you have to determine where you want most of the vibration (vaginal/g-spot, clitoral, or anal) and then determine if you actually want to be able to orgasm in public or you’re just looking for a tease. Just looking for a tease? You’re in luck because that’s about all many of these are capable of unless you’re very sensitive and find it easy to orgasm. So to me, a really good remote controlled sex toy has these three features nailed down – aka the Remote Controlled Vibrator Holy Trinity:

1. A remote that allows the remote-holder to know what the toy-wearer is feeling – they need to know when it’s on, when it’s off, what level of vibration it’s on, etc.

2. A remote that works from across the room, or 20 feet away while the person is in any position and wearing clothes – I’ve had a few that work fine if I’m spread-eagle and naked but since many people want this for public play…..that doesn’t work.

3. A design that fits and vibrations that feel good – why the fuck is this so hard? Who is designing these? Klingons?

What the Hell is Happening Here

Let’s talk about the first one. A common complaint with many wireless remote controlled vibrators is that the remote control holder doesn’t have a damn clue what’s going on. They push a button and that’s it. Lelo, as you all know, set out to majorly change that and give the person holding the remote a much more active role in the process with their Sensemotion technology. The Club Vibe 2.OH from OhMiBod has a remote that kinda fixes that…except that it lights up, the remote is huge and it’s not at all discreet. The Club Vibe (both original and 2.Oh) is buzzy and weak, it looks uncomfortable and the 2.Oh has a button you must push on the vibrator to start it up and it lights up, too. I hope you don’t wear this in public with clothing that would show the lit up button through it! The Marc Dorcel Secret Vibe (the secret being that achingly boring vibrations) has been the only vibe I’ve come across in the under-$100 category that had a decent remote – small, unobtrusive, didn’t light up or vibrate but it had an LCD panel that told me what was going on.

One last problem – most of these don’t tell the controller if the connection to the vibrator has been lost.

Many of these wireless remote controlled vibrators take batteries – weird batteries, lots of batteries and go through them at a rapid pace, so that’s another thing to keep in mine.

Bluetooth and Smartphone Apps

Newer versions are starting to use Bluetooth and can be controlled with an app which is really great in theory but so far isn’t working out. I couldn’t get the We-Vibe 4 Plus to reliably keep the Bluetooth connection, and I’m not alone in this problem.  I haven’t tried the blueMotion Nex 1 but the design requires panties (like the Club Vibe 2.OH design) and also won’t work for people with full labia and buried clits. Looking at the Google Play Store, both apps for We-Vibe and Ohmibod only rate about a 3.5 out of 5, with a lot of complaints that things just aren’t working the way they should. Another line of vibes with a Smartphone app is the new Je Joue Nuo and Duo – but the app is currently only available for the iPhone. WTF! In an age where plenty of people are using something other than an iPhone (like me!) this is a pretty dumb move. I won’t even review these until they make an app for Android.

A Remote That Works

So far, the Lelo Sensemotion line has the only remote I’ve experienced that kept a connection through flesh, clothing and across a room. It even worked from another room for me. I liked the Tiani design best; I don’t feel confident that the Tiani 3 has better vibrations than the Tiani 2, plus that boxy clitoral part may or may not be better. It is available in Canada and perhaps for less given the dollar conversion.

Just because a vibe has an app, doesn’t mean it’ll work – see also: We-Vibe 4 Plus review. I couldn’t even insert the We-Vibe the way it was meant to be inserted; as soon as I did it would drop the connection. Many other remote control vibrators are the same way, and the remote only works if I’m naked and legs-spread. Fail. The updated We-Vibe Sync isn’t much better for connectivity.

But What About the Vibrations!

So what if the Lelo Lyla 2 has a remote that lets the remote-holder know what’s going on and works through clothing, flesh and even a wall? If you’re looking for anything beyond a tease or you need more power, then you’re not going to love the Lyla 2. But if the tease factor is it? Go for it. The style is meant to be worn vaginally but that would be a total waste on me – so a snug pair of panties will keep it in place clitorally for most people well enough.

The We-Vibe 4 Plus’s vibrations were utterly boring to me, but sensitive folks might be more excited.  The vibrations from the L’amourose line are pretty powerful, but the designs work best for people who don’t need pinpoint stimulation and whose clitoris is more exposed.  The Marc Dorcel Secret Vibe was atrocious, so so piddly.

Remote Control Vibrators to avoid:
  • Anything by Bnaughty – the vibrations are piss poor and the remote is crap on the cheaper one, and doesn’t work through clothing on the pricier one.
  • Anything by CalExotics –  Whether it’s a gimmicky panty vibe or horrible butterfly, Dr Berman branded or their overpriced Embrace line, the quality is bottom of the barrel. Do not waste your money.  The vibrations are going to be surface-buzzy and weak, the unit will break easily and the remote will not work as advertised.
  • Anything from Pipedream and their Fetish Fantasy line, for the same reasons as I list for avoiding CalExotics.
  • I’ve heard more negative reviews than positive about the gimmicky Lelo Hula Beads and of course, avoid that damn Lelo Ida
  • Due to my own experiences and those of readers, I can’t recommend the We-Vibe 4 Plus – issues with connectivity and the vibrations? Yawn.
  • As mentioned above, the Marc Dorcel Secret Vibe or the anal version, Genius Secret Vibe – too weak and buzzy
  • Anything under $50. So far, not a damn one under $50 has been worth 5 cents.
  • Jopen Envy 15 – I had high hopes, but the vibration placement is stupid, the vibrating portion glows red and the remote is fucking dumb. BUT the motor is super powerful. It’s the most powerful of those listed. My reasons for hating it are complicated and some might be body-related and wouldn’t bother you as much. I recommend reading the review if you’re looking for something under $100.
Remote Control Vibrators to consider:
  • Lelo Lyla 2 – the vibrations aren’t super-powered but it’s the one in the line that might work for you. I would find a way to use it externally with a pair of snug panties, personally. Quiet, and the remote (which vibrates normally) can be turned to stealth mode. 
  • Consider the Lelo Tiani 2 or 3. Again, it’s not powerful in vibrations, but they’re a little better than the We-Vibe, plus I liked the fit of the Tiani 2 better than the We-vibe. Quiet, and the remote (which vibrates normally) can be turned to stealth mode.
  • L’amourose’s line is decent, preferably the Mae or Lana – the bullet is very powerful and the remote is a little weird to use at first, plus it’s big. Also, the remote-holder doesn’t fully know what remote-wearer is feeling. If it had a functioning smartphone app, it would be pretty great. Apparently this wasn’t selling well and the first run remotes didn’t work at all, so most stores have discontinued it.
  • Je Joue Nuo or Dua – I’ve heard good things about the vibrations. The pen style remote is wonky, but for iPhone users the app seems to work pretty well.







Black plastic bullet with control pack with velvety texture. Plastic vibrator kit that includes: a traditional vibrator, a pocket rocket, a bullet and controller and a 1 oz. water-based lubricant. Harmony Powerful waterproof bullet with two speeds


12 Responses

  1. Kalt says:

    Curious to know if you saw ‘The Toy’ and if you had any thoughts on it?

    A bullet with a small pack containing the batteries and receiver might work?

    ~Yes, I’ve seen “The Toy” and I’m skeptical. There’s not been much said about it online for the last few years and that’s never a good thing. It’s pricey as hell, especially for US customers. All for something that I’ve not read enough reviews about and looks sketchy? No. I would not recommend it. Unless you’re a fan of dropping large sums of money on a gamble.
    I’m not sure what you mean by your second statement. “A bullet with a small pack containing the batteries and receiver might work?” That’s what I’ve been talking about here. Whether they’re wired or wireless, all of these things talked about have fit that generic description.

  2. The Vida Urja remote control vibe looked different, being anodized aluminum w/ silicone seemed unique, maybe a good value.

    After purchasing one, we discovered every one of the pitfalls you mention.

    Maybe somebody like FunFactory can solve the riddle of the proper remote vibe, they blow Lelo’s regular vibes away . . .

    Michael Samadhi

  3. Remi says:

    I’ve been searching for a remote to use in public with my GF for a while, now. I’ve only bought a couple, but refused to buy any more until I could get someone to recommend one. The two I owned had such awful remotes that they wouldn’t transmit through flesh and clothes AT ALL; even if I’m standing right next to her!

    The We-Vibe 3 sounds like the “least awful” of those you’ve tried; is it at least reliable enough in public at close range? Say, if I brush up close to her for a moment, to press the remote’s button?

    Right now I’m sort of stuck choosing between the Tiani and the We-Vibe 3. In the end, maybe I’ll just have to say “no thanks” to both, and just wait until you can recommend a quality remote vibe.

    I hope you can recommend one soon! It would be great for going out on a special occasion!

  4. Remi says:

    As to the first commenter’s suggestion: “A bullet with a small pack containing the batteries and receiver might work?”

    I believe what they are suggesting is a bullet with a wire coming out of it, which you can snake out of your pants and attaches to a battery pack in your pocket. From the pocket, you can receive wireless signals easier, and with more room for batteries you can ratchet up the vibrations.

    Seems like a good idea. I think in the end, though, the Bluetooth signal of “The Toy” are what we ultimately need to migrate towards; Bluetooth control and a smartphone app, so you never need to worry about losing the remote.

  5. Ron says:

    Curious to know if you’ve tested a Mantric Miyakadori? It consists of a receiver/battery pack with a wired, plug in connection for a bullet vibrator, plus a wireless remote control unit. The woman can clip the receiver/battery pack to her panties/clothing and place the bullet where desired. As the receiver is not part of teh bullet, placement is not as critical, as reception is outside of the body even if the bullet is inserted. The remote can be used to control the vibrator. It is supposed to have good power and decent range. I believe it is primarily sold in the UK, but is available in the US through the internet. I’d be interested to know the power of the vibrator and the range of the remote. We did own at ne time an Oyster. It is a similar arrangement with the receiver being a separate module and the vibrator attached to that via a wire, plus a remote control. This unit worked decently, but would turn itself off every two minutes or so, which my wife found quite annoying! It was also pretty tame in terms of intensity of vibrations, though it is intended to sit right on the clitoris. However, it was not powerful enough to bring her to orgasm, which was disappointing.

    ~ Haven’t even heard of it. If it’s not something readily available to the States, then I can’t see me reviewing it since 60% of my traffic is US-based. That said….I’m not surprised that the vibrations are weak in this Oyster thing, also never heard of it. And you have to be questioning who it is that is saying that the first one is “powerful” – it’s subjective. I’d be willing to bet that it is not powerful enough for orgasm for many women. That is just simply the nature of the beast with these things.

  6. I’d say it’s probably good, but I’m not sure if it’s better than the We-Vibe 4 since I can’t personally try it. They can’t sell the Tiani here in the States. They supposedly made it a bit more powerful. As far as what you want to use it for I think it could work out. My doubts on it are to its intended use – during sex.

  7. Regular Boy says:

    Have you heard of these new remote controlled (via smartphone) batteries? I think they just might solve the wireless remote control vibe issues, but I haven’t purchased any to test them out yet.

  8. John Derek says:

    Hi all, I’m bit confused by all the reviews and even article is showing prons and cons of the product. Is there any chages in the product as far as quality is concerned? Any new product similar to this in the market ?

  9. You seem to be referring to just one particular toy in this comment, as best as I can understand. So I’m not sure what you’re asking. But this post is frequently updated, and all information here is current.

  10. I haven’t. I’ve tried a few OVO items now, and have not been impressed with the ones that are rechargeable. The vibrations are weak and very buzzy. I don’t have high hopes for a remote vibe from them, sadly.

  11. Karly Blane says:

    Hey, have you tried vibease? I have tried it, pretty strong vibration I would say.

    blueMotion Nex 1 is alright, but buzzing sound is too loud.

  12. taylor_serenil says:

    I’ve been backreading your blog (new tumblr follower) and I wish I’d seen this before buying a Cal Ex butterfly (whichever one has the big long tail. a–jelly is horrible and feels weird to me now. b–reviews stating the tail was too flexible for insertion are entirely accurate. c–I don’t remember for sure but I think I also committed a “don’t buy from Amazon” party foul).

    So thanks for blogging.