Cooler Master, maker of some of our favorite components (opens in new tab) and peripherals (opens in new tab), has announced a gaming chair with an MSRP of $1299 that contains more electronics than is usual in soft furnishings. Seemingly some sort of giant, posterior-supporting subwoofer, the Synk X chair converts “sound waves into vibrations” to provide “real time tactile experiences” according to the announcement text.
The haptic seat looks like any other office or gaming chair, apart from a rather bulkier than usual seating area, partly for the two-stage retractable leg-rest, but also to house further tactile experiences. There's also a control panel, replete with vibration level and headphone volume controls, plus battery status lights, built into the side of the frame behind the armrest where it can be reached but not easily seen.
There's an aux-in socket there too, allowing the chair to be connected to wired audio equipment rather than just by Bluetooth, or what appears to be the 5.8G system used by wireless guitar hookups. The range of inputs does mean the chair is cross-platform, so if you’re in the habit of sitting in front of the TV or listening to music while in your gaming chair, rather than just reclining at your RGB-equipped gaming desk (opens in new tab), it will wobble you as effectively there as it will while playing Call Of Duty or Stardew Valley.
The battery status lights bring another potential problem to the fore: this is a chair that needs to be charged. Cooler Master claims a battery life of eight hours of continuous use, which drops to four if you’re using the “intense bass effects.” And why wouldn't you if you've paid for an expensive chair designed to do this? The chair then takes six hours to charge, during which time you'll need to wheel it over to the nearest power outlet on its five roller-tipped legs.
Cooler Master says the chair is capable of vibrating a 300lb (135kg) person at an angle of 135 degrees. Its steel and wood frame is covered in high-density memory foam, and it is available in black and gray breathable fabrics, rather than chintz or a tasteful taffeta. The Synk X does not yet have a firm (or soft) release date, but you can sign up for release notifications on the product page (opens in new tab).