Bullet Vibe Showdown: Comparing Options under $50 (and the We-Vibe Tango!)

Like many people with vulvas, my first sex toy was a shitty dual-stimulating vibe (a “butterfly” vibe, technically, rather than the omnipresent rabbit). I found the clit wing of this jelly disaster so irritating that next, I opted for an internal vibe (also of questionable quality and materials). And when that also did very little for me, I gave up on vibrators for a long time.

Younger me would be delighted to know that so many clit vibes on the market now are pretty darn powerful—without costing a huge chunk of change. All of the vibes in this comparison retail for under $50 (except the all-powerful We-Vibe Tango). Plus they’re all rechargeable, so you don’t have to specially buy watch batteries like you do for the typical, less-powerful $10 bullet.

Because there are so many choices, I’ve written this comparative review to give you an idea of each toy’s strengths and weaknesses. I hope it’ll help you find the best small vibe for your body!Bullet showdown comparison photo

But first, a little background. If you’ve read more than a couple vibrator reviews, chances are you’ve encountered either (or both) of the words “rumbly” and “buzzy.”

“Rumbly” is used to describe a toy whose vibrations are very penetrating; they don’t just remain surface-level. For many people, rumbly vibes are good because they can stimulate more of the buried internal clit and labia, or the testicles and perineum.

“Buzzy,” in contrast, is usually used negatively to describe weaker vibes, ones whose power is lost when it touches your skin. And I get that—some bullets (like many battery-powered ones) are so cheap and surface-level that it’s hard for me to imagine them getting anyone off.

But I think it’s important to note that rumbly and buzzy aren’t synonymous with “good” and “bad” for everyone. The truth is that finding the very best vibe intensity for you may take some experimenting. For example, I bought a We-Vibe Tango a couple years back after reading all the rave reviews. I was impressed by the strength when I turned it on. I thought it was gonna be great! But I quickly realized I wasn’t using it much at all. It just didn’t call to me and my extra-sensitive clit.

Luckily I discovered the Charged Vooom…

Screaming O Charged Vooom

I wish the Charged Vooom would’ve been the first vibrator I owned. I think it’s pretty great for under $30. I often recommend it to new sex toy buyers looking for a simple vibe because I think it’s strong but not too strong. It’s got some rumblyness going on, but it’s not overwhelming for more sensitive users.Screaming O Charged Vooom vibe

The vibrations aren’t the most powerful out there, but because the bullet’s body is all plastic, the power carries well. (As silicone sometimes has a dampening effect on vibes.) One minor side effect of this is that the Charged Vooom heats up a little more than the other vibes I’m going to discuss. It gets a bit warm with longer use, but not hot enough to bother my fingers.

The Charged Vooom is the smallest bullet on this list, which makes it very easy to fit between bodies—though this may be a disadvantage for anyone who needs a longer toy for better grip. (I’ve found it harder to use on my clit with rear-entry positions during PIV sex, for example.) Though a bit short, it’s a standard width that fits well in bullet hole silicone dildos (I’ve liked it most in this Doc Johnson toy).

The Charged Vooom’s three steady settings build up from low-level rumbly to mostly-rumbly and middle powered. Of the seven steady settings, most are a variant of the jarring ON-OFF-ON-OFF kind of pulsing that even I—a fan of some patterns—just can’t do. There are a couple I can swing: the third pattern and the last are fun for a tease before switching back to the steady settings.

Bullet vibrator control button comparison

Check out all these control buttons!

My biggest complaint about the Charged Vooom is that its control button is pretty small, plus off-center, so I’ve found it more difficult to operate in cases where my fingers are slick with lube.

Rumble: 6.5/10
Overall power: 6/10
Noise: Very quiet, especially on the lowest two settings
Patterns: 3 steady settings, 7 patterns
Other notes: Small, compact shape; easy to turn on and off; smaller control button
Price: $29 list price/ $26.10 with code FELICITY
Product listing here

We-Vibe Tango

The We-Vibe Tango is the only other all-plastic (not silicone-coated) vibe in the list—and also the only other that’ll fit easily into your bullet hole dildos if you like that option.We-Vibe Tango bullet blue on black

The Tango is the only vibe here that’s not in the under-$50 category—I’ve included it because it’s the “gold standard” bullet, the one that all others are measured against. It’s renowned because it’s so rumbly.

For lovers of intense, firm, pinpoint clit stim, the Tango is a truly great choice. The slanted tip lets you apply more direct pressure against your clit (or nipples, etc.).1 The four steady settings range from “Hey there!” to “AAAHHH!!!” And, as a fan of some patterns, I have to say that the six setting (second pattern) is an amazing tease.

That said, there are a few drawbacks to the reigning monarch of bullet vibrators. First, the Tango is prone to buzzing your fingers off, because of the power and the all-ABS-plastic shell. Second, if you do like a softer touch, you may the plastic hard and unyielding. Third, I’ve heard a number of reports that Tangos have a limited battery life when used on the highest steady setting: half an hour or even slightly less. Mine, though, is about two years old and will run full-power for over 40 minutes, so YMMV.

Rumble: 10/10
Overall power: 8/10
Noise: Pretty quiet when surrounded by flesh; higher settings make a little noise
Patterns: 4 steady settings, 6 patterns
Other notes: Slanted tip and firm body for very direct, pinpoint stim
Price: $79 list price/ $71.10 with code FELICITY
Product listing here

Pillow Talk Flirty by BMS Factory

The Pillow Talk Flirty (whose name I hate) is an adjustment, control-wise. I turned it on before I read the instructions (because who reads vibrator instructions, really) and I didn’t realize that pressing the button once turned off the toy. I’ve had to keep reminding myself not to accidentally power off the vibe when I just wanted to increase the speed.

The controls are different because there are no set steady or patterned settings: instead, you hold down the (Swarovski crystal, apparently) button to make the vibe increase in intensity. Take your finger off, and it stops at the vibration level you want. The Flirty’s vibes are kinda rumbly, but…I don’t find them super powerful. IMO, the max. vibration intensity is still not as strong as the Tango’s first setting.Pillow Talk Flirty with case

The silicone coating is silky smooth, very pleasant to hold. I like the feel of the vibe—especially the diamond patterns in the lower third—against my fingers. I only wish my clit cared about the vibes. The Pillow Talk Flirty is aiming to be a luxury vibe, and it certainly looks like one—but the motor doesn’t back that up. (I mean, for under $30, I guess you really can’t expect the world.)

The vibration does start out nice and gentle, and the ability to adjust to one’s preferences (assuming those preferences aren’t for really strong vibration) is nice.

But…this is a vibrator that I have to jerk back and forth to orgasm on. It’s just too subtle for me—and as noted, I’m someone who’s mostly overwhelmed by the We-Vibe Tango.

Still, I’d recommend it to people who are fine with mid-level vibes because it does feel luxurious. Plus, it comes with a nice storage bag and something I’ve never seen before: a little brush to clean around the metal seam. Honestly, I haven’t used the Pillow Talk Flirty enough to see whether the vibe brush is really necessary, but I suppose it saves you having to find a soft-bristled toothbrush for toy cleaning.

Rumble: 6.5/10
Overall power: 4/10
Noise: Quiet even on full power
Patterns: Fully adjustable speed; no preset patterns
Other notes: Silky-smooth silicone; Swarovski crystal button
Price: $29.99 list price/ $27 with code FELICITY
Product listing here

FemmeFunn Ultra Bullet

The Ultra Bullet is strong. Its steady settings follow those of the We-Vibe Tango closely—except that the Ultra Bullet has three, versus the Tango’s four. (I’d say the Ultra Bullet’s third steady setting is more powerful than the Tango’s third, but slightly less powerful than the Tango’s fourth.) The biggest difference between these two powerhouse vibes is in their material composition: the Ultra Bullet is all silicone over the motor, while the Tango is all ABS plastic. This means that the Ultra Bullet is considerably more flexible than the straight Tango.FemmeFunn Ultra Bullet pink storage bag

I personally think the Ultra Bullet’s flexibility is a plus. Because the end of the shaft, above the bulb with the power button, bends, it’ll wrap around my pubic bone more easily. I can see myself using it so much more comfortably during anal sex or in flat doggy style. I also like that the control button is so large: it makes it easier to press when you’re not looking at the toy (or if you have larger fingers). Plus I’m a fan of the large bulb at the end. I can grasp it without a problem even when there’s lots of lube involved.

As strong as the Ultra Bullet’s motor is, some may find that the silky silicone exterior slightly dampens the vibes. And if you do like really firm pressure, then I would recommend the Tango because of its hard, angled tip.

Finally…the patterns. There are seventeen patterns. Why, oh why, FemmeFunn?!? And yes, you do have to cycle through all these patterns to get back to the one you really want. That’s assuming you can remember which number out of the patterned settings you liked. (If you like any of them in the first place—many clit owners don’t don’t care for patterns!) Personally, I wish FemmeFunn/Nalone would re-release this toy with eight patterns, tops. I like options and everything…but too much, too much.

Rumble: 9/10
Overall power: 8/10
Noise: Not too loud; on par with the Tango
Patterns: 3 steady speeds; 17 (yes, 17) patterns
Other notes: No plastic core, so quite flexible; silky silicone; large punch-button is easy to find
Price: $49 list price/ $44.10 with code FELICITY
Product listing here

VeDO Bam

The first setting of the Vedo Bam is not fucking around. It’s strong, and also kinda buzzy, like an electric toothbrush.VeDO Bam purple

When I first turned the Bam on, I was confused. I’d forgotten previous reviews I’d read of the vibe that complain that the first steady setting is the highest-powered one. Puzzled, I cycled quickly through the settings, hoping there was a more moderate one somewhere. It took me a few minutes to realize that the third setting is actually the lowest steady one—rather than the highest. Come to find out, there are people with clits out there who do like to start high and work down (sometimes). But I’m not one of these people. And the Bam’s speed order means I have to hit the power button ten times instead of one to increase the speed.

Putting that huge gripe aside, the VeDO Bam is fine…especially if you’re on a tight budget and/or don’t need really deeply penetrating vibrations. As stated, the first setting is quite powerful, in a kinda-buzzy-but-not-horribly-so way. The second and third (lower) settings, for me, are really on the rumbly-buzzy fence. I like the second setting a good bit, plus I’m a fan of one of the patterns (#5) that gives an interesting pulsing sensation.

Another thing I was unprepared for about the Bam was its size. It’s definitely bigger than any of my previous bullets, and it’s the girthiest bullet on this list (along with the Luxe Princess, next). This means that it could work as a smaller insertable (vaginal) toy, or as a good option for sex toy newbies who aren’t sure if they want a vibe for vaginal or clitoral use.

I do have one other minor issue with the Bam: the smooth silicone coating is much harder to clean than it looks (just like the b-Vibe Rimming Plug’s silicone—and that’s a quality toy). You’re sure you’ve gotten all the fluids and lube off, and then you come back later to put the thing up and you see crusty spots. Meh. Also, the Bam is unique among these bullets in that you have to screw the metal cap off the bottom to charge the toy.

Rumble: 5/10
Overall power: 8/10
Noise: Louder, electric-toothbrush-y on highest setting
Patterns: 3 steady speeds, 7 patterns
Other notes: Larger than most bullets; steady speeds descend instead of ascend in power; silicone coating is smooth, but harder to clean than most
Price: $34 list price/ $30.60 with code FELICITY
Product listing here

NS Novelties Luxe Princess

The Luxe Princess bullet has a diamond-patterned texture all over the silicone coating. When I first pressed it against my vulva, I said aloud, “What the fuck is this?!” I thought I was going to be majorly irritated by the shapes. Then I came five seconds later—so apparently my vulva had a very different opinion.NS Novelties Luxe Compact Princess vibe pink

Since I’m a texture fiend with my dildos, my vag often wants to steal this bullet away from my clit. Like the Bam (above), the Luxe Princess is a big bullet: almost 4” insertable, with 1.2” max. diameter.

But if you like smooth toys, the Princess is not the right choice for you. Instead, check out the Luxe Electra, which has a smoother surface. As much as I like the texture in use, it’s truly a pain in the ass to clean. I really don’t own any other sex toys—among so many sex toys—that require this much cleaning care. I still think the texture is work the trouble, though, which says something about how much I like this vibe.

The Luxe Princess’ first two settings compete with the Tango’s first two for sheer power—but the Luxe Princess is somewhat buzzier. (Possibly why I like it: it’s strong without being so much.) And the Princess’ four patterned settings aren’t too different in strength; they’re powerful. Two of the four are a variant of the “jackhammer” ON-OFF-ON-OFF that many folks may find irritating (myself included). But the patterns’ saving grace for me is the third one. It’s a steady oscillation from low to high, with a pause on high—just the kind of pattern that appeals to me.

Overall, I’m psyched about the Luxe Princess—enough to say it’s my favorite vibrator. (Unless, you know, I’m looking to fill the hole in that dragon dildo.)

Rumble: 7/10
Overall power: 8/10
Noise: Probably the loudest bullet on this list; has a slightly drill-like sound on the highest setting (especially when not surrounded by flesh)
Patterns: 3 steady settings, 4 patterns
Other notes: Large; Princess has lots of texture, Electra doesn’t
Price: $39 list price/ $35.10 with code FELICITY
Product listing here

Blush Exposed Nocturnal Lipstick Vibe

After I first wrote this post, Blush Novelties came out with the Exposed Nocturnal Lipstick Bullet—shaped like the We-Vibe Tango, and promising more strength than every other bullet out there. Blush Novelties Evolved Nocturnal Lipstick vibe featuredI was skeptical, but you know what? The Nocturnal Lipstick Bullet is really frickin’ strong, like a small wand. It outdoes the power of the We-Vibe Tango’s fourth and strongest setting—and it sells for about 40% of the Tango’s price. BUT it’s also not as rumbly, mainly because of the sheer amount of power. Since I’m not a power queen, I find even the first setting a bit much: I find myself using it through barriers, like jeans or a towel even.

My full review compares the Nocturnal Lipstick Bullet’s strength to the Tango and the VeDO Bam in more detail, and check out this size comparison:

Bullet vibes for Blush Novelties Exposed Nocturnal Lipstick Vibe

From left to right: NS Nov. Luxe Princess, VeDO Bam, Blush Nocturnal, and We-Vibe Tango.

Rumble: 3/10
Overall power: 10/10
Noise: Pretty damn loud for a bullet; almost like a mini wand
Patterns: 5 steady speeds, 5 patterns
Other notes: Now the most powerful bullet on this list—but not the most rumbly; up and down control buttons make speed changing easier; metallic finish isn’t really my thing, but it looks cute.
Price: $32 list price/ $28.80 with code FELICITY
Product listing here

Overall Thoughts

So which is the best bullet vibe—the winner of the showdown? Well…it’s complicated.Best bullet vibes

I have a personal favorite, but I can see myself recommending all of the following to different people for different reasons:

  1. NS Novelties Luxe Princess (and the smoother Electra): My personal fave because it’s powerful but not too penetrating. Also large enough to work well vaginally (easier to fish out!), especially if you’re a fan of lots of texture.
  2. We-Vibe Tango: Rumble, rumble. Get this if you want powerful vibes to the max plus firm, pinpoint stimulation. It’s popular for a reason!
  3. FemmeFunn Ultra Bullet: Just about as powerful as the Tango (for $30 less), but silicone coated for a softer touch—and flexible! Comfortable under/between bodies. Boo to the too-many patterns, though.
  4. Screaming O Charged Vooom: IMO, really the best budget bullet out there, for just over $25. Lots of power for the price, plus it fits into most silicone dildos with bullet holes.

Let the vibration explorations begin!

My thanks to Peepshow Toys for sending me 5 out of 6 of these vibes in exchange for my honest reviews.

I’ll always tell you when something does not work for me or when I think it’s badly designed. By making your next purchase through my affiliate links, you can support my writing at absolutely no cost to you. (In fact, you’ll save money by using my discount codes.)

  1. Just don’t use it anally, no flared base.

One thought on “Bullet Vibe Showdown: Comparing Options under $50 (and the We-Vibe Tango!)

  1. adriana

    April 27, 2018 at 8:06am

    Great breakdown here.

    The only one of these I have is the Tango, and I like but don’t love it. I like a lot of pressure, and the angle of the tip cuts into me. i suppose I am just not a bullet type, really.

    I personally am not a fan of highest-setting-first because I will invariably wind up using it for a while than wanting something more. It’s rare enough that I never remember when toys work like this. Same for single-click-turns-off-the-toy types. I have a wand that works like that. You press and hole to increase intensity. I actually like it, but it’s unusual, so I forget and turn it off all the time. Wah!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Clara

    May 4, 2018 at 11:03pm

    I love this post so much!!!! I’m on a budget so Review’s like this really help me out. Thanks so much!!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Valiziosa

    May 11, 2018 at 8:22pm

    This post is soooooo useful. Even if the Tango is unreachable is good to know there are more options. Thank you for sharing!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  4. taylor

    July 12, 2018 at 5:07pm

    Every time *I* pick up a Tango, it just feels like straight-up buzz. (However, I have messed-up hands and although Internet tests are inherently flawed diagnostic tools, my “sensory and motor issues” score is basically off-the-charts levels of neurodivergent. In other words, as any reviewer worth their site rent would tell you, nothing works for every body.)

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