Secretlab TITAN 2020 Series Gaming Chair Review — Work From Home is the Killer App
The Secretlab TITAN model is a wonderful gaming chair that will help improve your posture, but it comes at a high price.
Investing in a great chair is pretty on-the-nose for 2020. After all, this is a year where many people’s 9-to-5 shifted locations from a corporate office and into a corner of their living space; myself included. So when Secretlab reached out to us with an opportunity to check out their latest TITAN model of the 2020 Series, I decided to jump into this world of gaming chairs and see how it held up not only in late-night Warzone sessions but for the real battleground – working from home.
Just to give you an idea, my day at work starts as early as 8am and can go just slightly past 5pm. Sure, there are breaks in between, but the majority of my time is on video calls. Meetings that could have just been emails completely ransack my day. My attention is needed for the majority of the time. And the breaks in between? Well, I spend that time following up on action items from said meetings.
When I worked in a traditional office space, I made do with a standing desk, which was amazing for posture and lower back fatigue. But my set up at home never caught up to that. And like most other people, I set myself up with what I thought would be a temporary solution. That meant using an old chair that was already in the house.
Before I dig into the details, I think I should share some of my own stats. When a product is meant to “fit” to the user, you should know what you’re getting into. I’m 5’10” (on my best days) and 200lbs before I ate all of my kids’ Halloween candy. I run for exercise and my knees and lower back remind me what a terrible idea that is every day. A chair like this and the model you choose will be a personal selection based on your body type, but I figured it was worth sharing my own, in case you’re in the same ballpark.
When the chair arrived, I was welcomed with one massive box at my door. It was almost comical. After dragging it into the house, I just stared at it in anticipation wondering how many pieces were in there and how much of my day would be spent trying to figure out the assembly. For a moment I debated even opening it. Once I did, I was very pleasantly surprised.
Once you peel the first layer of its cardboard, you’re met with a Secretlab insert. When you turn that insert around, it’s one gigantic instruction guide. 12 easy and straightforward steps and your chair is assembled.
The biggest observation I made during assembly is how the packaging was intentionally thought out to coincide with each of the steps. As you’re making your way through the build, you never find yourself digging for the next piece. It’s already right there as your work through the materials.
Speaking of materials, the chair we were sent for review featured Secretlab’s entry level 2.0 PU leather, which is fine. As a dad of two young boys, who also jump into our home’s gaming and office space covered in who knows what from outside, the PU leather was easy to wipe down and keep clean. For those who want more premium materials, there are “softweave” fabric and “Napa” leather options available. The latter is a much pricier upgrade.
It’s clear to see that Secretlab has likely navigated through some interesting customer support scenarios. As I worked through the building steps, I noticed that the portion of the seat that houses the reclining hardware is very clearly labeled (and even wrapped) with a “DO NOT TOUCH” label. It was a detail that made me think about how many people likely did touch it and subsequently had a bad time.
While something like intentional packaging should be standard with any furniture you build, this was at a higher standard than I was expecting. Secretlab made it simple and stupid. And when you’re shipping these things across the globe and relying on your end-user for assembly, it’s hard to quantify the importance of nailing the user experience. Secretlab does that expertly here. All in all, the chair was assembled in about 25-minutes after breaking the seal.
As a gaming chair newbie, I didn’t understand how people would rationalize the cost. However, after understanding all of the customization options available here, now I get it. Featuring what Secretlab calls 4D Arm Rests, the chair allows you to customize every aspect of your elbow and forearm support. With it, you’re able to not just adjust height, but also bring the support closer or further away from your body. Additionally, you can turn your arms inward or outward, depending on your setup or current need.
This was especially helpful when gaming with a controller. With the arm rests pointed in towards each other, It kept support at a maximum while still being very relaxed. At my desk, I would set the arm rests just slightly above desk level, pointed straight forward. This allowed my hands to naturally rest on my mouse and keyboard. Making these adjustments helped me to minimize body movements while maintaining comfort, shifting any necessary movements to my wrists, hands, and fingers. This substantially lowered fatigue from extended seating times.
As something meant to be sat in for hours at a time, my initial thought is that it would have more cushioning or “bounce” to the seat. What I found when it arrived is a much firmer base than anticipated. If you’re expecting La-Z-Boy recliner levels of sinking in, reset those expectations. The seat, while cushioned and comfortable, is built more to encourage posture. This is most important if, like me, you’re finding yourself sitting longer than you likely ever have in years prior.
I should point out that the model we tested, the TITAN, and the larger TITAN XL, feature built-in seat lumbar support. Additionally, you’re able to adjust the support intensity with a knob on the right side of the seat. The smaller Omega model does not include the built-in support. Secretlab tosses in a lumbar pillow for folks who order the smaller (and lower cost) Omega. There are definitely body types that will have the choice between the recommended options, and I think if it’s in your budget, the extra $40 for the Titan and built in lumbar is a better, long term decision.
After almost a month with the chair, and feeling a physical difference, I get it now. I understand why every streamer and influencer I see in the gaming space uses a chair like the Secretlab TITAN. If 2020 wasn’t such a different kind of year, reviewing a gaming chair like this wouldn’t have even crossed my mind. But as someone who finds themselves sitting more than ever, posture and long term comfort matters. Will your day job co-workers think you’re taking on a new career as a part-time streamer? Maybe. Will you look ridiculous during “professional” video calls? Well if you’re brave enough with some of Secretlab’s color choices… absolutely.
There’s no getting past the fact that gaming chairs are audacious and basically signal to everyone that you’re a nerd. The Secretlab TITAN is not immune to this, either. However, if you’re looking for a multi-purpose chair for long days at the prison you call your home office and late nights with your video game of choice, the Secretlab TITAN is a compelling chair for those in the market (and budget range) for a solid seat.