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  1. #1

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    Sep 2009
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    ESS-ONE car engine sound module REVIEW

    ESS-ONE RC CAR ENGINE SOUND MODULE - Average street price with free shipping: $99 USD

    COMPREHENSIVE & DETAILED SPECS: (some not specified in the manual)
    *30W Power Amplifier
    *Supply voltage range of amplifier: 5Volts - 25Volts
    *Speaker impedance: 4 Ohms
    *Output Power under 4 Ohms: 20W / 3S(lipo) per channel
    *Audio channel: Single channel 30W output power.
    *2S - 6S compatible - (2S recommended if you don’t want to risk blowing the speaker.)
    *S-Link (USB) interface
    *Output is Short-Circuit, Overload, Over-Current and Thermally Protected.
    *Size: length: 94mm x Width: 48mm x height: 30.5mm
    *Weight: 88.5g
    *Construction: Casing is black plastic with metal speaker grill
    *Universal fit
    *29 FREE engine sounds to choose from
    *16 engine sounds to choose from @ $2 each
    *25 FREE auxiliary sounds which include: (turbo, brake, siren & horn sounds)
    *3 Auxiliary (turbo) sounds @ $1 each
    *Unit is only capable of storing ONE engine sound plus ONE of each auxiliary sounds at a time.
    *9 stage volume adjustment.
    *Memory capacity 4mb.

    Unfortunately, your own sound files cannot be uploaded onto and/or used with this current unit. (no known hacks at the time of this posting!)

    *1 x ESS-ONE Sound Module (with preloaded engine, brake & turbo sound with shifting & rev limiter On.)
    *1 x Shielded cable with “Deans” (male & female) Pig Tail connection (between battery & ESC)
    *1 x Y Cable (connects to Rx & ESC)
    *1x USB connector. (for changing sound files on your windows only computer)
    *1 x Instruction Leaflet (English - easy to understand.)
    *3 x Double Sided Tape squares for mounting unit. (if required)

    Nice looking fairly compact “plug and play” unit which appears to be well made.
    Construction is black plastic with black mesh speaker grill, with +- volume control.
    The included English instructions are pretty straight forward and easy to understand and appears to be very easy to install and should fit into most 1/10 vehicles and above.

    You will need to register on the Sensehobby website and download the app, BEFORE you can start downloading and/or changing the engine sounds or parameters on the ESS-ONE sound module. (Unfortunately the software is ONLY windows compatible. - XP - Win8.)

    Here is where the ‘unit falls “a little short”, as the software is a mixture of Chinese and English, although not difficult to navigate, once you get the gist of it.
    It should be noted the software runs on the slow side (sometimes hangs, at least from my experience!)

    Within the software program (RC Plus), you can download various engine sounds, brake sounds, turbo sounds, as well as siren and horn sounds. (most are FREE however a few you ‘have’ to PAY between $1 and $2 each for.) - Absurd as far as I’m concerned! ... “should ALL be FREE”
    The sounds you are required to pay for, don’t sound any better than any of the free sounds IMHO.

    You can also ad (or remove) shifting (Up only) and change various parameters within the program as well as set up low voltage protection cutoff, battery voltage, rev limiters etc.


    *Touring car: 12 (good selection)
    *Drift car: 1
    *Nascar: 3
    *F1: 1


    Buggy/Truck: 6
    Rally car: 3
    Crawler: 2
    Tractor Truck: 1

    ENGINE SOUNDS FOR PURCHASE (total 16): (@ $2 each - purchased through paypal)

    *Touring car: 6
    *Drift car: 2


    *Buggy/Truck: 1
    *Rally Car: 5
    *Crawler: 2


    *Turbo sounds: 14 (good selection)
    *Brake sounds: 3
    *Horn sounds: 4
    *Police siren: 1
    *Ambulance sirens: 3

    AUXILIARY SOUNDS FOR PURCHASE (total 3): (@ $1 each - purchased through paypal)
    *Turbo sounds: 3

    Installation was very simple as it’s plug and play. If you don’t use deans connectors, you WILL require an adapter to run this unit, as the Pigtail connection is male/female deans which connects between your battery and ESC.

    The calibration is very simple with the easy to follow instructions and only takes a few seconds.

    The ESS-ONE comes with preloaded engine sound and auxiliary sounds (shifting & brake) which may vary from batch to batch.
    The preloaded sounds will usually include a small block V8 engine sound, brake sound and turbo sound. I found the pre-installed small block V8 engine sound to be very good, although I’m personally not a fan of the cheesy brake screech sound (easily removed and/or changed, as is the turbo sound.) There are also individual volume and parameter adjustments for each sound.

    While this unit is quite compact (length: 94mm x Width: 48mm x height: 30.5mm), there are some models this unit won’t fit into.
    1/10 on road cars should be easy enough to fit into, in ‘most’ cases.
    1/10 buggy will be a VERY tight fit, ... IF AT ALL!.
    1/10 truck or crawler should be an easy enough fit.
    1/8 scale and above should be OK, including some 1/8 buggies. (Fits into my 1/8 4WD buggy.)
    Installation is very quick and simple, however you do need to make sure the unit is as well ventilated as possible as the onboard amplifier also generates heat adding even more heat to the already hot ‘cab’, produced by the motor, ESC and batteries.

    This unit uses your car or trucks battery to power the amplifier in the unit, which in turn is directly related to the volume set. (The higher the volume, the more the ESS-ONE unit is going to drain your battery.)
    You can expect to lose an average of 2- 3 minutes runtime, when used continuously at average volume setting.
    It IS possible to connect this unit to it’s own separate battery supply, instead of using the main battery, however that WILL ad MORE weight and require MORE space.

    BEST USES: (it should be noted this unit is NOT WATERPROOF, so please keep this in mind)
    *Casual light on and off-road bashers (dry conditions)

    This unit would appeal to the drifter, scaler and truck crowd most of all.

    Competitive racers and all weather heavy bashers.

    *Ease of Installation: 10/10 (very easy and quick to install)
    *Software: 6/10 (slow with mixed English & Chinese - only windows compatible.)
    *Show: 8/10 (compact, can fit into most (not all) 1/10 scale and above)
    *Sound quality: 9/10 (realistic engine sounds with startup and idle.)
    *Auxiliary sounds: 8/10 (good. although a few you have to pay for) ‘cheesy’ brake sounds.
    *Sound volume: 8/10 (impressive, for such a small unit.)
    *Bash-ability: 7/10 (good for bashing however NOT waterproof and REDUCED run time.)
    *Uses: 7/10 limited to cars (on and off-road), buggies and trucks and possibly boats.(the latter to a lesser degree)
    *Overall quality: 8/10 (appears to be well constructed)
    *Price: 7/10 (could be better)
    *Overall Value: 8/10 (I don’t agree paying for additional sound files @ price - ABSURD!)

    Total Score: 7.8 / 10 VERY GOOD - (YES, I would RECOMMEND this unit.)

    *Plug and Play (’universal fit’)
    *Quick & Easy to install and calibrate.
    *Compact will fit most 1/10 cars & trucks and above. (1/10 buggies might be a problem to fit.)
    *Engine start with touch of the trigger.
    *Realistic engine sounds. (forward & reverse)
    *Turbo, Brake, Rev Limiter & Shifting sounds as well as Siren and Horn sounds can also be installed.
    *Adjustable parameters
    *Decent volume (the higher the battery voltage, the higher the maximum volume output.) 2s recommended.

    THE ‘BAD’
    *Can only store ONE set of engine sounds and auxiliary sounds at a time. (not enough internal memory)
    *Reduced runtime of RC vehicle with use of unit. (the higher the volume the more current it draws)
    *Software only windows compatible.
    *You cannot import/upload/download your own custom sounds.
    *Not waterproof.

    THE ‘UGLY’
    *You have to PAY for some of the auxiliary & engine sound files. ($1 for auxiliary sounds and $2 each for engine sounds.)

    Without a doubt, the ESS-ONE sound module DOES add LOADS OF FUN to the overall electric car/truck driving experience and sure to turn heads at your local bash site with its realistic engine and auxiliary sounds, (the ESS-ONE can clearly be heard from approximately 300 - 400 feet away.)
    If this unit was waterproof with all free sound files and was able to upload one’s own files as well as mac compatible also, .... this unit would be hard to beat!

    All in all, the ESS-ONE is a decent, compact plug & play engine & auxiliary sound module with realistic engine & auxiliary sounds. Quite impressive for such a small unit!

    Purchased my ESS-ONE from “Asiatees” (excellent customer service & fast shipping) 10/10
    “Thank You Asiatees!”


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    ESS-ONE fitted into my 1/8 scale Redcat Hurricane XTE.

    Engine sound in above video, is the pre-loaded engine sound, which is a small block V8 touring car sound (standard 02)

    I will be experimenting with all the different engine sounds and find the most appropriate engine sound for my buggy.

    Last edited by Stryker48; 04-29-2015 at 06:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Rocket-J's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    Great post. Thank you for the effort.
    I got this unit for Christmas. I bench tested it for about 30 seconds and it quit. It worked great until them. I am using the original battery, 2000 mah Nimh, that came with my Exceed Drift King so I doubt that I burnt it up with too much power. The speaker does make a click sound when I turn off the power.
    Have you had any similar experiences?

  3. #3
    Rocket-J's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    ESS One + is sending me a new unit. I give them a plus for service. They are still charging me for shipping. Not 100% on that but it is better than nothing.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Tokyo, JAPAN
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    ESS-ONE+ fried

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket-J View Post
    ESS One + is sending me a new unit. I give them a plus for service. They are still charging me for shipping. Not 100% on that but it is better than nothing.
    I fried 6 ESS-ONE+ units in less than a month. Yes, 6! Why? I'm suspecting it may have a compatibility issue. With at least one ESC (Sanwa F2500, brush), it worked fine, but with two others including one brushless (G Force TS50), it emitted hissing noise and went dead when I steered.

    I explained the situation to Asiatees, from which I got them all, with photos and all. They say that the very first ESC that got the unit fried ( KO VFS FR2 for brush) was "too powerful", and that my connections were wrong, but they won't tell me where. This is ridiculous. The ESC is one of the most basic, entry models out there. They won't even tell me where I got the wiring wrong, even though I showed them photos with clear annotations. The connections can't be wrong as they are simple and I used three cars with almost identical settings, of which one worked just fine. They sent me one ESS-ONE for free, though. But it also went dead in the course of my trying to find the cause.

    Has anyone had a similar problem? Watching people having fun with it on YouTube, I can't help scratching my head and thinking I'm getting all the wrong ones!
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    Last edited by sake; 12-06-2016 at 04:50 AM.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Turns out the cheap servo (K-Power DMM60) was playing tricks. Changed it to a Savox, and voila, everything's OK. What a waste of time and money. Also I should've bought from a domestic distributor, as that would ensure cheaper replacement in case of failure.

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