By now, you’re probably seen the press releases and more than a handful reviews about Lelo’s new toys, which the company released over a month ago. These additions to the Insignia range are all wireless and use what Lelo is calling SenseMotion technology to operate. Lelo was kind enough to offer me my choice for review so I opted for the Tiani, the toy that I felt would be easier to review without a partner, which is basically a smaller version of the WeVibe in a silky silicone. However, the Lyla, Oden and Tiani are best intended for partner use. So while I want to thank Lelo, I was to be absolutely clear that they missed the mark and this is why.
Tiani is too damned weak and buzzy. Even on its highest setting, it barely registers as more than a tickle. There’s not enough variance between the low and high and the pitch is too high for any sort of pulsation to be stimulating. If you need anything stronger than a watch battery bullet, the Tiani is not for you. This is especially disappointing considering how deep the WeVibe’s vibrations are, even if they aren’t that strong.
Tiani is confusing. I don’t like having to read directions. There, I said it and, you know what, who wants to have to sit down and read a book to figure out how to operate their sex toy? But I had to, from beginning to end. First, I had to figure out how to charge it. Here’s a tip, the plastic band in the middle of the toy is actually where the toy parts twist together. The adapter plugs into one end once you take it apart. The plastic band around the toy itself isn’t seamless and the way the pieces screw together seems very cheap. The Insignia line is supposed to be waterproof but this design doesn’t even include a removable O-ring. My Alia seemed a little safer. However, I doubt the shower or pool would be an ideal place to use it anyway, considering the weak vibes and remote problems.
Then I had to figure out how to use it. You have to press a button on the remove and then a button on the controller, then another button on the toy itself to activate it. Then you have to figure out how SenseMotion works, which leads me to my next point.
SenseMotion is novel but not practical in the least. Thank god Lelo still allows you to use the remote normally but there’s two super weird settings you have to pass first. For starters, the first mode relies on the position of the remote. Flip it vertically to raise vibrations, back down to lower them. The controller itself vibrates to offer feedback to the user. That’s kind of a neat idea but also means the controller makes noise so that limits where and when you might be able to use the SenseMotion toys, in my opinion. In the first mode, a back and forth movement simulates pulsation. Well, sort of. There’s this bit delay of between movement and the vibration in the Tiani and it’s hard to get a good rhythm going.
The second mode, which you can activate by pressing the middle of three buttons, simply requires you to move the controller faster to increase the intensity of the vibrations. This means, that if you want to use the vibrations at the highest setting, you need to shake it pretty good.. which also works against it being inconspicuous as so many wireless vibrators aim to be. It’s also tiring and annoying.
The third mode is one where you simply press the + arrow to increase vibrations and the – arrow to decrease. It’s the one I like the most because it makes sense and doesn’t require too much concentration. I wish the controller turned onto this mode instead. There are eight settings, including pulsation and escalation and I swear the controller is more powerful than the Tiani itself.
Aside from awkwardness and confusion, the Tiani is rechargeable but still requires batteries. Man, I hate that about wireless toys. It’s the controller that requires batteries, 2 AAAs to be exact. Insertion is kind of a bitch. The battery cover is designed so that you have to use a little key to open it, or potentially a fingernail. I don’t know. I was so excited to try it out that I somehow use my fingers and force to just press it open but it sucked. Then you insert the batteries and closing the case is much more difficult without the key that I didn’t even realized existed because..
Tiani comes with too much damned stuff. Seriously. Manual, batteries, key, brooch, packet of lube, controller, vibrator, storage pouch. The controller, brooch and vibe sit on top of foam inserts and everything else sits under, in the hollow of the box. My batteries and key actually got wedged in there so I didn’t realize there was a key to open it until I read another review. Opening the battery compartment then became so much easier but why does Lelo think the consumer needs all this crap? I can almost guarantee I’m going to lose the key and the only reason I won’t lose the brooch is because I’ll never take it out of the box. It’s all a lot to keep an eye on.
At the end of the day, I wouldn’t mind but the Tiani just doesn’t work very well. The remote starts to fail as soon as any objects come between it and the vibrator. In mode three, the remote can’t even transmit through a thin layer of fabric, let alone walls. I’m not a fan of the shape either. The insertable part is smaller than that of the WeVibe, which may be better for using during intercourse, but also makes it more difficult to adequately stimulated my G-spot. The arm is also extremely flexible so it’s difficult to get a lot of pressure. Paired with the weak vibrations, the Tiani didn’t do much for me. Plus, the silky silicone is so slippery. There’s no good place to hold for insertion or to get just the right angle. My fingers kept slipping off.
The Tiani also has a ridiculously short battery life. After charging completely, I was able to use it once and play with it, for testing purposes, twice. We’re talking far less than an hour here. The Tiani’s meager vibrations are a freaking battery hog.
So we have a vibrator that isn’t very good, a wireless control that doesn’t work very well, a rechargeable toy that also needs batteries. The Lelo Tiani just doesn’t do much right besides looking pretty and even that’s a stretch.