Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/11/review_x_dream_rocker_gaming_chair/

X-Dream Rocker wireless gaming chair

Are you sitting comfortably?

By Steve May

Posted in Hardware, 11th January 2012 07:00 GMT

Review

With a design lifted straight from Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds school of home furnishings, the X-Dream rocker is not your average game-playing bench. It’s a lads-mag throne with integrated stereo sound system, subwoofer, pseudo-Shiatsu vibrator and wireless audio system.

X-Dream Rocker gaming chair

While away the hours wirelessly in the X-Dream Rocker

Visually, it looks the business, well, in a nerdy kind of way, but the harsh reality is that you need legs like pipe cleaners to feel truly comfortable, thanks to an oddly centralized knee cushion. The drop is a standard 46cm. 

Still, the stitched-in sound system may prove adequate compensation – and you can always add your own pouffe to negate the problem.

The seat’s wireless audio option adds considerably to the X-Dream Rocker’s appeal, as it means the only cable you need worry about comes from the seat’s power adaptor. A small battery-powered transmitter features a single 3.5mm stereo audio input, so pretty much any source component (games console, PC, DVD player, set top box) can be connected. Using the low-rent 863-864MHz band, the transmitter then outputs to one or many chairs in its reception vicinity.

X-Dream Rocker gaming chair

Wireless transmitter

The X-Dream Rocker is undoubtedly well made. There’s no leather involved, just brushed fabric upholstery and plastic arm rests, but the finish is excellent. Be warned though that a certain amount of self assembly is required, to fix arms and secure the seat to its pedestal. While the chair rocks back and forth, it does not lock in a reclining position. This makes it a bit rubbish for watching movies.

X-Dream Rocker gaming chair

In the hot seat

The illuminated volume dial and bass and vibration controls fall readily to hand. If you don’t require a wireless connection, there are two pairs of stereo phono inputs available, plus a 3.5mm mini-jack. There’s no digital audio input, so no interpretation of multichannel surround.

X-Dream Rocker gaming chair

Seat controls

Unsurprisingly, the seat’s audio system isn’t particularly powerful but then it doesn’t need to be, given the close proximity of lugholes to speakers. While its makers decline to quote a power output, you’ll not feel a need to max out the volume.

Two drivers, positioned each side of the headrest, deliver well separated stereo, while a ported subwoofer built into the back of the chair fills in some of the missing mid-range. It’s not Hi-Fi but it does make an effective noise. Although envisaged for game soundtracks, I also used it for music playback and wasn’t unduly offended.

X-Dream Rocker gaming chair

A sub in the back

Allied to all this is a built-in vibrator able to send shudders through your lower back. Part rumble-pack, part electronic masseuse, it’s the addition of this visceral body popper that makes the gaming chair experience rather different to just reclining on a sofa with a pair of headphones.

As a soundtrack supplement, the chair’s vibration effect is variable and not particularly coherent, but I found myself warming to its unpredictable pummelling. It recalls a similar effect introduced theatrically back in the early Seventies. The Charlton Heston movie Earthquake used a system called Sensurround to achieve much the same result.

Verdict

Overall then, the X-Dream Rocker can be considered quite a fun indulgence, but do try it out for comfort (if you can) before buying. ®

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