Updated: May 9, 2015
Gaming Chair Review - Which is the best Rocker Game Chair?If you've been around teenage or college-age boys and men, you've probably seen them. Sitting on the floor, kind of clam-shell shaped, what they call a "rocker chair" or "gaming chair" or "video game chair". You find them in basements, bedrooms, family rooms, dorm rooms. What is a gaming chair and why would anyone want a rocker chair? Two quick answers - comfort and sound effects. For anyone who has ever played video games, you learn pretty quick that the most comfortable position to sit in is leaning back slightly, otherwise your neck is always craned towards the TV. So being able to sit wherever you want in front of the TV in a reclining position is a real bonus -- it can be hard to drag sofas around, pillows don't really give any support, leaning off the edge of your bed isn't comfortable. The gaming chair let's you put it where you want it and lets you sit back comfortably to play. Issue #1 solved. Issue #2 is sound. If you've got a room wired for surround sound, this is not an issue for you. But if you are in a bedroom, dorm room, whatever without fancy speakers, you miss out on all the surround sound effects built into todays video games. The high-end models of these rocker chairs have built-in speakers and sub-woofers, so they rock and rumble and bring the sounds of the game all around you -- much easier that buying a $1000 worth of tuners and speakers. In this guide, we'll see what to look for when buying a gaming chair, go over the major makers and models, and give you an idea of what you can expect to pay, along with the best places to buy (list of top selling gaming chairs here).
Some of the leading names in gaming chairs include Pyramat game chairs, X-Rocker (makers of the Ace Bayou Sound chairs), Corbeau video game chairs, Repose, Elite Rockers, Lumisource, Comfort, and Zerk. While I haven't personally sat in all the chairs these guys make, I've tried a lot. I like the Pyramat chairs -- that's what we have at home. The folding models fold up to about half their normal size, and while they are not light (close to 50 lbs), you can still drag them over to the corner to get them out of the way. The cheapest gaming chairs you'll find are about $35-$50. These are generally low-end models that fold up, but they don't have and sound capabilities and may not be very strong or offer much support -- OK if you are just looking for something to put in an 8 year old's room. Expect to pay $75-$150 for a wireless sound rocker chair, like the Pyramat PM420W Wireless Deluxe Sound Rocker ($129) or the X Rocker Ace Bayou Sound Wireless X Cooper ($139, but also has a tilt and swivel base so gets you up off the floor). You'll also find super expensive chairs like the Playseats Evolution which are designed for driving simulator enthusiasts -- $200-$600, and more than most people need.