Smart Silence solves this issue since the toy automatically turns off anytime it doesn't feel pressure against the Pleasure Air. So with the Smart Silence turned on (which is default for the toy), you'll never hear the loudness, and the purr of the Arcwave Ion, when pressed against the penis, is only about 20% of the total loudness when it isn't pressed against something.
However, my partner doesn't have a completely straight penis - just like lots of other penis-owners out there. This means that the completely straight design of the Arcwave Ion never quite fit his penis anatomy. Since it doesn't offer any side-to-side flexibility (just width flexibility), this required inserting himself into the Ion penis masturbator at an angle every time. This angle rarely triggered the Smart Silence feature to activate the Pleasure Air function. He spent multiple masturbation sessions attempting to "trick" the Smart Silence into actually turning on the Pleasure Air functions, and he was damn-relieved when I told him that the Smart Silence feature could be turned off.
And with the feature turned off, he loved the Arcwave Ion even more. Before, when he spent time trying to "trick" it into working, he enjoyed it when it worked, but it usually turned itself off before he could "make it" anywhere. With the Smart Silence turned off, the toy was occasionally a bit louder, but it was always functioning, and within seconds, he was close to orgasm.
Turns out that it wasn't a party trick either. On every subsequent use, with the Arcwave Ion positioned in that "just right" spot, he could easily climb to orgasm with no movement at less than a minute - as long as Smart Silence was off so the toy would reliably stay on. (We timed it once for my entertainment. It took 28 seconds from start to finish.)
We actually haven't even used the Arcwave Ion past its 50% power settings. It's more-than-powerful enough at the lower settings, and he's never wanted to try anything stronger. So it definitely has a ton of power packed into this silicone sex toy's body!
On all of our trials with dildos and fingers, the Arcwave Ion Smart Silence works perfectly and flawlessly. As long the penis/object is straight, it seems to activate the Smart Silence as intended. If your penis has a natural curve to it, though, I'd expect to need to turn off Smart Silence to have a more reliable sexual experience.
How Else Could It Be Used?
While we've done most of our tests leaving the Arcwave Ion stationary during use (as designed), there's no reason that you can't stroke with the Arcwave Ion. "Stroke" is a loose term, though. In order to keep the suction going with the proper spot, you can't pull the Ion too far away from the spot on the penis. So, you can "stroke", but it's essentially micro-strokes that really only move the Arcwave Ion a couple millimeters at a time. That's more than enough to feel the internal ribbing rubbing on the penis, though, and if you can keep the Arcwave Ion in the proper spot while also doing these small strokes, it's been an instant orgasm every time we've tried it. He says it triples the pleasure of the suction alone - and I have to imagine part of it is because it's a sensation that his penis is used to. (And then he tells me to stop reading so much into everything, so okay.)
The Arcwave Ion could certainly become a couple's toy (with me using it on him), but on our trials for that, we've found that it was hard for me to find the "exact spot" where the toy felt orgasmic - and keep it there. I've generally preferred some of our more active strokers for coupled sex toy use, but he keeps pulling out the Arcwave Ion for solo use - and I love watching him use it on himself too.
Since the Arcwave Ion seems to work just fine (and designed to be that way!) if you just hold it in place and use it that way, it feels like it would lend itself well to hands-free orgasms. In practice, we haven't been able to find a way to anchor the Arcwave Ion reliably against the body to keep it in the proper place to cause hands-free orgasms. It definitely causes those "effortless" orgasms as long as it's in the right spot, but our attempts to leave it in that spot without hands have been unsuccessful so far. But if you were otherwise occupied (like touching your partner), the Arcwave Ion requires no real movement once you get it into the proper spot, so as long as you have a single hand available, it could be used for pleasure while you're pleasuring your partner - especially if the position makes it hard to move your hand/body in a stroking motion.
The Arcwave Ion was designed to fit a wide variety of penis sizes through two specific design choices: an open-ended design and the stretchy silicone.
The open-ended design will allow you to use the Arcwave Ion no matter your penis length. Since the toy primarily focuses on the frenulum area, penis length isn't a huge deciding factor for using the Arcwave Ion anyway.
The second part - the stretchy silicone - is a bit more unique and requires a few more words. If you look at the Arcwave Ion, you'll see that the silicone portion forms a cylinder around where the penis should go. The two base sides of silicone closest to the plastic, thicker-half of the Arcwave Ion are much more rigid. They don't provide much stretch or flexibility, but even if you have a large penis, they don't seem like they'd press into the skin too badly, based on the tests on my fingers.
All of the silicone past the part that connects closest to the plastic/thick base is much, much more flexible, though. It can easily fold in on itself, and it can easily stretch around a thick penis. And when I say "stretch", I mean "stretch". If you had a 2.5" diameter penis, it would be tight, but it would fit. (We tried it on one of our dildos). Since the silicone "rests" at a pretty average size, though, the sleeve still feels snug (and requires lube to get into it) with smaller penises as well. It's a very flexible type of design that should allow for a wide range of penis sizes to fit into it - aside from the "curved penis" issue mentioned above.
While the Arcwave Ion was designed mainly for stationary use its internal chamber is still equipped with some texture. Throughout the entire shaft, there is not-so-subtle ridging. Near the tip (by where the frenulum is), you'll see an open area/hole where the Pleasure Air function does its magic.
If you use those micro-strokes we talked about earlier, the ridging does make a difference and definitely adds some pleasure. It also adds some pleasure during insertion as well - and would allow you to use the Arcwave Ion as a semi-regular "stroker" without the Pleasure Air function if that's how you're feeling that day.
As mentioned above, the noise level of the Arcwave Ion isn't quiet. The Smart Silence helps reduce a lot of the noise. With Smart Silence on, you'll only hear the quieted version of the motor when it's pressed against the penis. With Smart Silence on, you can use the Arcwave Ion in a home with other people present - but with the door closed and decent noise going on within the household.
Without Smart Silence on, I highly recommend leaving the Arcwave Ion as a solo toy to be used only when you have the house to yourself (or, at least, everyone else is multiple rooms away). It's definitely not a quiet toy if you need to turn off Smart Silence for long periods of time, but with Smart Silence activated, it stays well-within the regular realm of acceptable sex toy noise.
Power-wise, the Arcwave Ion puts out quite a bit of power - more than we've ever needed to use to achieve orgasm. We've attempted to turn it up past half-power a few times, but he warns it'll be an instant orgasm as soon as we do. Needless to say, the Arcwave Ion packs quite a bit of power - even if it isn't in the type of sensations that you're "used to" considering powerful.
As long as your penis shape works with the design of the Arcwave Ion and your frenulum loves the suction sensations, I would imagine the power level of the suction and resulting thrumming is more-than-enough for most people.
How It Works
The Pleasure Air function works via the power of suction. Much like the air suction vibrators that have taken the world by storm for the past few years, the Arcwave Ion, when settled into the right place, forms a gentle "seal" against the skin. Once this "seal" is formed, the suction continues to pulse and gently suck against the skin. This gentle suction is where the bulk of the Pleasure Air sensations come from - in addition to the full-shaft sensations from the humming motor that we talked about earlier.
To get to enjoying that part, though, you need to know how to operate the Arcwave Ion. First off, there are three buttons on the shaft of the Arcwave Ion. They are the Smart Silence button, the + button, and the - button. Each one of these buttons is easily accessible with a thumb while holding the Arcwave Ion. Each one presses down easily with a satisfying "click" when pressed.
To turn on the vibrator, press and hold the + button for one second until the device rumbles. Now it's on. Honestly, I spent a long time trying to figure out if the toy was on or not - because despite being "on", the Smart Silence will keep the toy entirely quiet and motionless until the penis is inserted into the Arcwave Ion. Don't be as dense as me - just try using the toy to watch the Arcwave Ion roar to life - instead of spending 15 minutes trying to troubleshoot why it wasn't "on".
Once the toy is on, you can insert your penis into the Arcwave Ion. You can then adjust how intense the sensations are by the + and - buttons right there on the shaft.
While you're inside of the Arcwave Ion, you can use your thumb on the thin silicone to press the shaft of your penis more firmly (or less firmly) into the Pleasure Air area. It's entirely up to you, and this thinner silicone allows you to apply the pressure necessary for you to get the most from the Pleasure Air sensations.
If you're someone who tends to use a lot of lube, excess lube can build up around the sensor and make it hard for the sensor to function. You may need to slide a finger in and wipe the Pleasure Air area clean of lube if you have a lot of lube build-up.
When you're done, pressing and holding the - button will cause the Arcwave Ion to turn off. Simple, right?
The Arcwave Ion is equipped with a stand-by turn off mode. If you turn the toy on and don't insert anything into it for three minutes, it will turn itself back off to conserve battery while in Smart Silence mode. This is to reduce the likelihood that you drain the entire battery when accidentally leaving the toy on after use. (Post-orgasm brain can definitely be spacy!)
Turning the Smart Silence function on or off is as simple as holding down the Smart Silence button that lives right next to the + and - buttons. When the button is glowing, Smart Silence is activated - and holding down the button will turn off Smart Silence. Turning off Smart Silence means that the toy will operate constantly - regardless of whether it senses an object against the sensor or not.
Materials and Care
The Arcwave Ion is made from ABS plastic and silicone. Everything that your penis will touch is made from silicone. The thick half of the toy is all made from a slightly-textured plastic. If you look at product pictures, you can see where the material changes. Like all pure silicone, it's entirely taste-free and odor-free. It's really just a fantastic substance (and I'm glad that the Arcwave Ion found a way to make silicone really hospitable for a penis sleeve!)
Cleaning the Arcwave Ion is fantastically easy with its Twist-to-Open feature. With a (decent bit) of pressure while twisting, the electronic parts (the thick base) comes apart from the silicone sleeve. This means you can easily wash both ends separately - and both are waterproof. It's much easier to clean the deep crevice of the Pleasure Air hole with the silicone sleeve not attached directly on top of it. I generally have to use a washcloth or towel to spot clean the electronic half as necessary (lube and bodily fluids), but this allows the bulk of the cleaning (in the sleeve) to be done under running water without a care in the world.
After a pat dry of both sides, the two sides can be twisted back together (no electrical concerns there with wetness), and the toy can be stored on its storage base. If you've put in the DryTech packet in the base (essentially a long silica gel packet that is stored within the cylinder of the toy) while it's on the storage base, the Arcwave Ion will dry much faster - even with the lid on. It absorbs all of the excess moisture from the Arcwave Ion without needing to let it sit out in circulating air - fantastic if you're someone who requires a large amount of discretion. The Arcwave Ion initially comes with one DryTech packet in addition to instructions about how to refresh that packet, but if you keep the Arcwave Ion long enough, you'll likely need to purchase more of the packets.
Let's talk about that storage base though. Surprise! It's also a charging base! So while the Arcwave Ion is just chilling in storage, it's also charging to be ready for your next use. This storage base is fantastically well-designed. Like - impressively so.
For one, it's clearly designed to sit out 24/7. Not only does the charging cable fit in the base of the case and run underneath it with a built-in divet (to ensure the storage base is always sitting flat), but the design of the storage case itself is very futuristic, not brightly colored and unassuming. It looks like it would fit in perfectly with quite a few different decors and no one would think anything of it.
In addition, as you've noticed, the Arcwave Ion storage base has a lid. This lid entirely hides the penis stroker from view, and it makes the Arcwave Ion look very discreet - more like a bedside sleep product than a sex toy. To protect your toy from discovery by wandering hands, the Arcwave Ion requires that both buttons on the base be pressed simultaneously to remove the lid. It's easy for me to do (even with my smaller hands), and it'd be easy for most adults to do if you know the trick. But for families, most tiny hands won't know how to open this one.
In addition, as mentioned before, this storage base doubles as the charging base. You never have to worry about the battery level of your Arcwave Ion before use, though. On the base of the front side of the storage base, there are three lights that will gently glow to let you know that the Arcwave Ion is fully charged - and ready for use. You don't even have to remove the lid to keep track of your penis masturbation sleeve's charging level.
When it comes to charging, the Arcwave Ion takes about 85 minutes to charge up to a full charge, and once you have it fully charged, you can enjoy the penis stroker at full intensity for about 60 minutes. With less intensity usage, you'll get even more use time out of your Arcwave Ion.
The Arcwave Ion includes a 2 year manufacturer's warranty that only covers manufacturing defects. In order to claim your warranty, you'll need the Proof of Purchase (save your email receipt!), the purchase date, the purchase location (like Kinkly Shop!), the description of the problem, and the product serial number - so take a picture of the bottom of the box before you ever toss it out! They'll cover shipping costs if your claim is a valid one for sending the Arcwave Ion back into them.
Inside the super-discreet Kinkly Shop packaging, the Arcwave Ion arrives in a large, in-your-face box. This is not a toy that was designed to be shamefully hidden away - or half-assedly packaged in a see-through plastic bag. The Arcwave Ion's packaging would be just as in place on a store shelf for a high-end men's razor as it is for a sex toy. It's a surprising change of pace from usual penis-toy-packaging, and I'm totally here for it.
Opening up the Arcwave Ion packaging continues the same, high-end treatment. It feels a bit like unpacking a new electronic toy - not a sex toy. Each item of the Arcwave Ion is snuggly packed into cut-for-it foam and all accessories are in small, cardboard boxes of their own. All of the items are easily viewable at a glance, and it's pretty impossible to forget any of the items.
With the design of the storage base of the Arcwave Ion and the size of the Arcwave Ion's packaging (much larger than my laptop and starting to rival the size of a throw pillow), I wouldn't recommend using the Ion's packaging for long-term storage. It is impressive for the initial receipt of the toy, though, and I recommend recycling as much of it as you can. (Even me, who is someone who loves keeping packaging, can't justify the huge space footprint that the Arcwave Ion's packaging would take up.)
The Arcwave Ion comes with pretty much everything you need to get started the same day you receive it. It includes the Arcwave Ion itself (both sleeve and power unit that twist together), the storage base, the storage base lid, the storage base's charging cord, 10ml of Arcwave lube (made by pjur), the manual, the safety instructions, and one DryTech pouch. In short, it's a lot of stuff, and once you get the initial clean and charge out of the way (less than two hours), you could be using the Arcwave Ion the same day you received it - even if you forgot to purchase lube with it.
The Verdict: 4/5
The Arcwave Ion goes above-and-beyond standard penis toys - and it does it in an amazing way. Not only does the Arcwave Ion feel refined (which is a rarity for most of the products put out for penis owners), but the Arcwave Ion genuinely provides a new type of stimulation that's intensely orgasmic in a different way that we've never tried before - and that's coming from someone with hundreds of different penis toys.
If you're for-sure that you require stroking for orgasm, the Arcwave Ion may not be a good fit for you. However, if you've had success with powerful vibrations or other types of stimulation that don't require up and down motions, I think you're likely to find a seriously amazing sex toy with the Arcwave Ion. Not only does it spoil you with all of its features, but the sensations are amazing, very orgasmic, and perfect as a change of pace from the regular strokers.
The Arcwave Ion is the only sex toy that I feel such a strong pull towards an "ideal user". Like, with the LELO Smartwand Medium, I just assume it's a great toy for anyone who wants vibrations with a beautiful package. But with the Arcwave Ion, it genuinely feels like a toy that will perfectly fit into the lifestyle of someone who has a busy lifestyle, regularly wants intense and simple orgasms, and doesn't want to hassle with fetching sex toys from underneath the bed on a regular basis. It's hard to explain, but maybe you'll feel it too when you have the Arcwave Ion in your hands.
As a note, while Arcwave pivoted away from the verbiage mid-way through their promotional phrase, some of their old marketing material still says the "Arcwave Ion Lets you Experience a Female Orgasm" - which just feels grossly sexist. There isn't some magical thing that vaginas are hiding that a penis will never have access to unless you buy an Arcwave Ion. Yes, the Arcwave Ion may allow you to experience orgasm in a method that you don't usually experience (stationary sensations versus stroking), but that isn't a unique thing, and penis vibrators have been doing that one for years now - and stationary orgasms aren't magically unique to vaginas either. There is no hidden "get what a woman does!" thing about the Arcwave Ion.
Other Arcwave Ion Reviews
Turns out, people love reviewing innovative tech like the Arcwave Ion. Here are some of the things that people are saying about it in the blogosphere:
The Big Gay Review says: "Noise and price aside, the orgasms delivered by the Ion are of a different breed – deeper, more intense and I don’t get left with a numb hand afterwards."
Kinky Kitten Kim says: "When inserting myself into the device I was met by surprise that this product could cause such a sensation, the suction was intense on my frenulum and shaft. I tried the suction on all positions on the back of my penis and it gave me some of the best sensations. It got to a point when using the following product that I orgasmed before I could even cum, this was a whole new experience for me."
OhJoySexToy says: "I'd maybe suggest that the placement of the sucky-hole might be hard to reach for a smaller cock, and the silicone part may be too inflexible for larger cocks. But the Arcwave team assures me it fits more than 85% of testers just fine."
Kinky World says: "You can use the Arcwave Ion while stroking as well. I recommend very small micro-strokes, and every time we’ve tried that, it’s orgasmic within seconds. I think the familiarity of the up-and-down really helps enhance the sensations, but to avoid breaking the suction-type seal, you’ll want to make them very small strokes."
SuperSmashCache says: "This penis masturbator comes with a whole-ass charging station that fits right in with my boyfriend’s VR equipment and computer setup. His words of choice for the Arcwave Ion’s case were “fleek” and “minimalist style [common] for electronics'."
Phallophile Reviews says: "On high, I’m at climax in mere minutes. The Ion will make you come fast if you let it — start slower if you want to edge and have the hardest possible orgasm."
Joan Price says: "The Ion is rather noisy, sounding like a large dog lapping up water (other reviewers have likened the noise to a bike pump or a small pneumatic drill), but that did not detract from my enjoyment."
The thing about "being the first product to do this" means that, well, no other products do anything even similar to the Arcwave Ion. Its use of Pleasure Air suction technology for penis pleasure is pretty much in a category all on its own with no other competitors.
If you're into various parts of the Arcwave Ion, though, we could cobble together some alternative options.
For example, if the idea of Pleasure Air is what's attracting you so strongly to the Arcwave Ion, you might consider picking up a Womanizer toy. While it won't provide any of the shaft-wide pleasure like the Arcwave Ion does, you could experiment with the Pleasure Air sensations to see where your "sweet spot" is. The Arcwave Ion does have a much larger "suction tip" than any Womanizer toys do, though, so the sensations are going to be much more precise with a Womanizer toy.
Alternatively, if the idea of non-stroking orgasms is what has caught your attention, you might like the idea of penis vibrators. Instead of focusing on up-and-down sensations like most penis strokers, many penis vibrators focus on vibrating the penis - usually with a stationery design that relies on the power of the vibrations to eventually cause an orgasm.
For a lower-cost option, there's the Satisfyer Men Wand - which is a vibrator that's especially crafted for the unique shape of a penis. The Men Wand certainly doesn't have the intense, all-around pleasure that the Arcwave Ion has (or the Pleasure Air sensations!), but it can be rested along the shaft - and focuses on providing vibrations to the frenulum.
For something that focuses a bit more on the frenulum, you might prefer the Nexus Eclipse. Instead of using Pleasure Air, the Nexus Eclipse has a small, stroking piece that strokes the frenulum up and down while the entire head is enveloped in vibrations. It's a very different sensation than the Arcwave Ion, but if regular frenulum stroking does it for you, it could be a good fit for you. (Kinkly has done a Nexus Eclipse review in the past if you want more information.)
Wondering how/why we reviewed this product? Check out our Sex Toy Review Policies.
3 Tips for Buying a Penis Vibrator
The Arcwave Ion really isn't like any other penis vibrator or penis stroker, but if you're reading this Arcwave Ion review, you're probably in the market for some new penis pleasure. If that's the case, I really recommend considering these three things before deciding on a penis sex toy:
- Do you need stroking? The Arcwave Ion is designed to be (mostly) left in place. You can get some smaller strokes going, but it's mostly stationary. If your body requires that up-and-down motion to really enjoy itself, you might find that the Arcwave Ion feels underwhelming.
- Are you capable of charging it? Unlike a penis stroker that doesn't vibrate (which doesn't require charging), a toy like this that vibrates will require some recharging periods. You need to make sure your lifestyle can fit in hours where the toy rests on its charger to get it ready to go. The Arcwave Ion's lid makes this much-more-discreet, but that may not be the case for all penis vibrators you're looking at. Very few people place their vibrator chargers in the bathroom due to shock concerns, so you'll need to ensure you have a discreet place to charge the penis vibe (if discretion is a concern).
- Do you need surround-shaft vibrations? There are thousands of vibrators out there - and all of them can work for penises. However, only penis vibrators are designed to shape around the unique shape of the penis (compared to a clitoral vibrator). It's up to you to decide if you need vibrations that wrap-around the entire shaft (like the Arcwave Ion provides) or if you'd be just-as-happy with something that just targets a few areas of the penis (like the Satisfyer Men Wand).