Affordable Bullet Vibrator Round-Up: Strong, Rechargeable Options vs. the We-Vibe Tango

I’m delighted to bring you this comparative guide to very affordable (under $50) bullet vibes that are waterproof, rechargeable, and all pretty damn strong! The theme of this review is: Just say no to super-buzzy, watch-battery-powered vibes!

My first sex toy was exactly like that: 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 a longer, insertable 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 worthwhile clit vibes on the market now are powerful—without costing a huge chunk of change. All of the vibes in this comparison retail for under $50 (except the legendary We-Vibe Tango). Plus they’re all rechargeable, so you don’t have to specially buy watch batteries like you do for the typical beginner bullet.

Jump straight to each vibe’s mini review and comparative ranking—by rumbly-ness, overall power, noise level, price, and more—or keep reading for an explanation of what the important terms “rumbly” and “buzzy” mean. Waterproof rechargeable affordable bullet vibrator comparison lineup

If you’ve read more than a couple vibrator reviews by any sex blogger, 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 deeper inside the testicles, perineum, and even prostate.

“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 few 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 (6/10 Power; $29)

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 during doggy style, 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
Functions: 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 (8/10 Power; $79)

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
Functions: 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

FemmeFunn Ultra Bullet (7.5/10 Power; $49)

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—and it’s just a tad less rumbly than the Tango—some may find that the silky silicone exterior slightly dampens the vibes. If you do like really firm pressure, definitely go for the Tango because of its hard, angled tip. Still, its price point (under $50 vs. the Tango’s ≈$80) makes it that much attractive, and people who like external fingering motions may find that the Ultra Bullet’s powerful vibes give them orgasm after orgasm.

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. 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: 8/10
Overall power: 7.5/10
Noise: Not so loud; on par with the Tango
Functions: 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

NS Novelties Luxe Collection Bullets💖 (7/10; $40)

These toys are my personal favorite bullet vibrators. I started out with the Luxe Princess, then I had to get a Luxe Electra!

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. Since I’m a texture fiend with my dildos, my vag often wants to steal this bullet away from my clit. Like the Vedo Bam, the NS Luxe bullets—there are three slightly different models—are large: almost 4” insertable, with 1.2” max. diameter.

If you like smooth toys and easy cleaning, the Princess is not the right choice for you. Instead, check out the Luxe Electra or the Luxe Scarlet, which have a smoother, silky surface. Though the Princess’ texture really appeals to me, 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. At first I thought the texture was worth the trouble, but then the bullet just kept accumulating gunk…and more gunk…that I couldn’t get out from between the cracks. So I picked up a Luxe Electra instead, and it’s my new love.

NS Novelties Luxe Princess and Luxe Electra bullet vibrator comparison

Luxe Princess, top; Luxe Electra, bottom.

So why do I like these toys so much? The NS Luxe vibes’ first two settings compete with the Tango’s first two for sheer power—but the Luxe vibes are a bit buzzier. (Possibly why I like ’em: they’re strong without being so much.) And these vibes’ four patterned settings are also 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 really psyched about the Luxe Electra—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: 7/10
Noise: Has a slightly drill-like sound on the highest setting (especially when not surrounded by flesh); loud-ish but can be covered up by pillows
Functions: 3 steady settings, 4 patterns
Other notes: Large; Princess has lots of texture, Electra and Scarlet don’t
Price: $39.99 list price/ $36 with code FELICITY
Product listings here

VeDO Bam (8/10 Power; $34)

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. With time, I’ve found that I most enjoy using the Bam through underwear, sitting on it, to shield my bits from the buzz.

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 NS Luxe vibes, above). 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
Functions: 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

Nu Sensuelle Point (9/10 Power; $49)

The Sensuelle Point’s vibes vibes remind me a lot of the VeDO Bam’s—very potent, even on the lowest setting. The Point is strong enough that I’ve heard a number of people say they even like it over the Tango. That said, the motor has a different quality: higher-pitched (especially on the lower levels of both vibes, compared) and, inevitable, buzzier. Quite a bit buzzier, I’d say.

The Sensuelle Point is a very mid-sized bullet, halfway between the Tango and the Bam in width, and it’s pointy at the end—no slanted lipstick tip here.Nu Sensuelle Point powerful Bullet Vibrator pink

Besides the Exposed Nocturnal Bullet, next, the Point is the only toy in this guide that includes up-and-down control buttons—a necessary feature given its 13 separate patterned functions. If, like most people, you couldn’t care less about patterns and you just want to go up one steady speed, then maybe back down for a bit, then up again, the buttons are super handy. But these buttons are small and require more force to operate than most single-push buttons, so that’s something to consider.

The Point’s silicone coating is so thin that it’s almost indistinguishable from the plastic underneath. It’s very smooth, with a little more drag than the Tango’s slick ABS body. Personally, I’m all about the thicker, more satiny silicone of bullets like the NS Luxe Collection, but I can see the appeal of the Point’s slickness.

There’s also a version of the Sensuelle Point, called the Point Plus, that comes with two different-textured silicone sleeves. (Review here; I like the ridged one.) The Point Plus’ power isn’t too far off from the Point, perhaps just one more stop down the line in the “STRONG—and kinda buzzy” railway.

Rumble: 4/10
Overall power: 9/10
Noise: Loud enough that I feel like it can be heard through a couple pillows; on par with the Exposed bullet, next
Functions: 7 steady speeds, 13 patterns (yikes)
Other notes: Luckily, it has up-and-down control buttons. Can get pretty loud, because of the strength, and buzzes my hand a lot too. The charging base is a nice luxury feature.
Price: $49 list price/ $44.10 with code FELICITY
Product listing here

Blush Exposed Nocturnal Lipstick Vibe (10/10 Power; $32)

When Blush Novelties released the Exposed Nocturnal Lipstick Bullet, I agreed to review it because it promised 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 Luxe Princess, VeDO Bam, Blush Nocturnal, and We-Vibe Tango.

Rumble: 4/10
Overall power: 10/10
Noise: Pretty damn loud for a bullet; almost like a mini wand
Functions: 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

BMS Pillow Talk Flirty (6/10 Power; $30)

The Pillow Talk Flirty 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 want to increase the speed.

The controls are different because there are no set steady or patterned settings: instead, you hold down the (cute) Swarovski crystal 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 nice and 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 more about the vibes. The Pillow Talk Flirty is aiming to be a luxury vibe, and it certainly looks like one—but I wouldn’t recommend it to power queens. (To be fair, for under $30, 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.

I’d recommend it to people who are fine with mid-level (but rumbly!) 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 found the vibe brush especially helpful—maybe I just haven’t gotten Flirty gooey enough yet to need it—but YMMV.

Rumble: 9/10
Overall power: 6/10
Noise: Quiet even on full power
Functions: Fully adjustable speed (“incremental control”); no preset speeds or patterns
Other notes: Silky-smooth silicone feels great; Swarovski crystal button; love the diamond pattern handle
Price: $29.99 list price/ $27 with code FELICITY
Product listing here

BMS Essential Bullet PowerBullet (8/10 Power; $21)

The BMS Essential Bullet is the strongest vibrator that I use for fun (rather than just review testing). It’s pretty kick-ass in general, and it’s especially kick-ass for $20.

The Essential Bullet’s speed #1 is very like the We-Vibe Tango’s second, and the Essential’s #2 is between Tango’s #2 and #3. And there are two steady Essential Bullet speeds after that! Unlike most other cheap + intense vibes in this guide, the Essential Bullet isn’t buzzy from the get-go. It rumbles pretty good through the third out of four steady speeds. There are 9 functions overall—so 4 steady and 5 patterned.BMS Essential Bullet PowerBullet Vibrator full

The Essential Bullet makes my clit tingle in a fascinating way—one I had to get used to. At first I thought the sensation was a bit irritating, because my “love bud”2 can be a pansy as far as direct stimulation goes. But then I couldn’t stop; I kept holding the Essential Bullet right below my clit and damn right, I came really hard a minute or two later. (It was hard to tell how long it took, really, because time kinda disappeared—it was that kind of good.)

I usually enjoy rubbing bullet vibes against my (long) clitoral hood for extra friction, but this bullet is so penetrating that I can just keep it in place. The first speed is like a 6/10 on the powerful scale and an 8/10 on the rumbly scale, which is perfect when I want stronger stimulation. (The third and fourth speeds do veer into buzzy territory, though.)

I like the Essential Bullet’s smooth finish; at first I was thinking the toy might be silicone-coated, very thinly, because it’s a different feel than most ABS plastic. My thought is that it has to be ABS with a body-safe PU (polyurethane) coating to give it that a feel that’s more silky than purely slick. The control button, though, is silicone.

Like with the Charged Vooom, this bullet is fairly short (with no flared end), so it may harder to keep a hold of during some sex acts with a partner—but on the other hand, the small size fits more easily between bodies.

I really like the roundness of the tip. It’s quite flat, not so jabby for people who dislike really pinpoint stimulation (*raises hand*), but also not so wide that I’d call the stimulation broad. It’s a happy medium for me.

If you want nice rumbly power on a budget, the BMS Essential Bullet is excellent. I can’t think of a better option.

Rumble: 8/10
Overall power: 8/10
Noise: Loud-ish but not as high-pitched as other options (*cough* Sensuelle Point *cough*); more like the NS Luxe Collection in noise
Functions: 4 steady speeds; 5 patterns
Other notes: Silky ABS plastic coating. A bit difficult to power off (really hold that button down!). Amazing rumble for the price.
Price: $21 list price; $18.90 with code FELICITY
Product listing here

My Top Recommendations

So which is the best bullet vibe? Well…it’s complicated. People are different, and different clits (and other erogenous zones!) need different levels of power and rumbliness! It’s really difficult for me to pick out only a few, tbh, because all these bullets are damn good for different purposes, and waterproof and rechargeable and body-safe—score.  Best bullet vibes

Here are the vibes that I regularly recommend (now slightly expanded from my original top 4, shown above):

  1. NS Novelties Luxe Electra: My personal fave because it’s powerful but not too penetrating. I just love the power+rumble balance in this one. Also large enough that some might like it vaginally.
  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. BMS Essential Bullet: You want power plus a serious amount of rumble, and you want it cheap? This one’s your winner.
  5. Blush Nocturnal Bullet: So incredibly strong—also buzzier than the Tango and the Ultra Bullet, but if you like sheer power, this vibe is it. Plus it’s super cheap.
  6. Screaming O Charged Vooom: Best for folks who aren’t sure how much power they want: it’s fairly rumbly without being overwhelming for more sensitive users. Plus it fits into most silicone dildos with bullet holes.

Let the vibration explorations begin!

  1. Just don’t use it anally, no flared base.
  2. I recently read this ridiculous term for the clit in Satisfyer’s ad copy—writing so bad I refuse to link to it—for the new Power Flower flippy-tipped vibe, an obvious knock-off of the Fun Factory Volta.

One thought on “Affordable Bullet Vibrator Round-Up: Strong, Rechargeable Options vs. 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.)

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  5. Pcplex

    September 6, 2018 at 6:08pm

    The tango is my favorite clit vibe, but after having two of them stop working on me, I’m ready to find an alternative.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  6. planets

    January 21, 2019 at 9:24am

    Hey there! I just wanted to let you know how much i appreciate this guide. I’m still in the market for a vibrator that suits me and this guide helps so much for having something to come back to.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Felicity

      January 22, 2019 at 6:28pm

      I’m so glad to hear that, thanks for writing! ☺

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  7. Laura

    February 4, 2019 at 3:23pm

    Thank you SO MUCH for these reviews! I was scouring the internet for a rechargeable bullet vibe and your “rumbly rating” told me exactly what I needed to know. Thank you for your service to humanity.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Felicity

      February 4, 2019 at 5:03pm

      Yay, I’m happy to help! Thanks so much for the kind words—it means a lot that you took the time to write. ☺

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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