Sex toy review: Lelo Tiani vs. We-Vibe III

Looking for a couples sex toy? Dorothy Black pits the Lelo Tiani against the new We-Vibe III.

First impressions
Lelo products are considered ‘ultra premium’, but I’ve always found their designs a little trying. Nevertheless, when they brought out their answer to the We-Vibe, the world’s first proper in-sexy-time couples vibrator, and added a swooshy SenseMotion feature, I decided to give their products a bang.

Unfortunately for Lelo, my review for their new piece of bling bling has, I’m afraid, turned out to be a bigger product plus for their competition, the new We-Vibe III. 

What it is
I’m not sure the Tiani knows what it is. But it’s a ‘pleasure object’ that forms part of the SenseMotion range in Lelo’s Insignia line. If that makes almost no sense to you, don’t worry. Lelo seems to enjoy unnecessarily complicating simple things.

So, in plain English: three of their toys – Lyla (an insertable egg), Oden (a cock ring and vibe combo) and the Tiani (a couples vibrator) – all respond to a disc-shaped wireless remote, which itself vibrates. How you move this remote in your hand has a corresponding vibe pattern which can be felt in both the remote and the ‘pleasure object’.

Tilt the remote backwards and forwards and the vibration in the toy itself slows or increases. Move it around and the vibe pace and pulse corresponds. I suspect Lelo was going for sensory feedback like a bedroom-friendly Wii vibe (oh, the double entendres come thick and fast with this one).

How it works
So, the Tiani, like the We-Vibe, is a couples toy that is supposed to be worn during lovemaking.

You slip the smaller arm into your vagina and the thicker arm rests between your labia and nudges up against your clit. Your partner then inserts his penis beneath the inner arm, while one of you manipulates the sensor remote. Or you could insert it and leave it in while you walk around or play with yourself while you partner controls the remote. Or two girls could get off on the same vibe settings using the remote and the vibe pod itself.

Or none of the above, as you’ll you see just now

What it does
Remember what I said about complicating things? This is one of the few toys I’ve experienced that seriously needs its instruction manual. The settings are not intuitive and between the two SenseMotion options and the third ‘normal vibe patterns’ setting (no sensory feedback), I could barely figure out how to put it on and off let alone choose an option that would suit my clit’s inclination for the evening.

Toggle between the three functions by hitting the middle button on the remote’s press pad.

• SenseMotion 1 – The tilt or angle that the control is held in sets the intensity. Moving it on this axis can take it from 10% power when held flat, right up to 100% when held in an upright position.

• SenseMotion 2 – Every movement on this setting is supposed to be translated into vibrations and pulses.

• Press the middle button for the third time and adjust across the different ‘normal’ vibe settings using the + and - keys.

What I thought of it

The happy
I really like the idea of sensory feedback between a remote and a vibe, and I think Lelo have been very forward-thinking in broaching this technology.

I also like the material they used for this toy, and the presentation – while a little OTT – is really lovely and special. I was also surprised to find that it cleaned quite easily, not something I expected with the all the indentations and grooves on both the remote and the vibe.

Apart from that and a warranty, which is nice to see with a top-end toy – that’s pretty much where it ends for me.

The not happy

Where to start. Remember all those ideas I was giving you for how to use the toy?

Well, while the signal can crack through walls at up to 12m, it doesn’t travel well through bodies. So unless you get your kink on totally undressed, with your legs open and no physical obstructions in the way (say, like other body parts), lying almost perfectly still, you’re not going to get much joy from Tiani. Used in even the most banal of positions, the signal is weak and inconsistent, dropping often enough to be frustrating.

If you want to walk around with it inserted, you have to be wearing clothes to keep it in. But as we’ve established, clothes and body parts such as thighs will kill the buzz.

Next, the vibration is very weak. Unless you’re shaking that remote like a 1950s milkshake-maker or tilting it to the extreme it does very little to impress. And my clit does not need a jackhammer to get excited. But between a stop-start feedback link and a limp-wristed buzz, it’s just far to much fuss to add to a good sexperience.

Then there's the fact that it’s simply too small. The insertable arm is too narrow to be easily held in place by a penis, doesn’t carry the vibe and doesn’t hit any kind of g-spot because it’s always slipping to the side.

Also, lose the remote and the vibe doesn’t work. Lose the key and you’ll have to use a coin to open the battery compartment, which will eventually ruin the shiny metal finish.

I could go on, but those are the main problems. Unfortunately, these problems happen to be the entire toy.

Should you run out and buy it?
Well obviously not, but what do you get if you want a couple’s toy? While I haven’t tried it out yet, I am very pleased to see that We-Vibe has brought out its updated We-Vibe III.

I wrote a review on it the We-Vibe II last year, and for every important critique I made, they answered with an improvement:

1. The toy is now cased in a way that the holder takes the charge. So not only do you actually know if the toy is charging properly and if it is loaded, the case keeps the rubbery material less fluff-ridden.

2. Although the vibe has an on-board control key (so you can still use it if you lose the remote), it now comes with a nifty, simple controller – each click will take you through the vibe settings.

3. After testing the material that the Tiani uses, I totally get why We-Vibe has opted for a silicon finish that will grip a little more.

4. I’ve always loved the We-Vibe’s range of strong vibration settings and in the III they’ve upped this by 40%.

Oddly, all Lelo’s Tiani has done is made me love the We-Vibe III, with its clever improvements, even more. So here's my professional opine: read the We-Vibe II review here, mentally add these improvements and then run out and buy the We-Vibe III.

All toys and lube are supplied by Whet Sensuality Emporium.
For more pics of the We-Vibe, visit Dot’s blog.
Or follow her on Twitter.


- Women24

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