There are good chairs and there are gaming chairs. Occasionally the two categories overlap, but more often gaming chairs run into design pitfalls that keep them from being practical, everyday seating suited for long-term, ergonomic comfort outside of (and, frankly, inside of) gaming.
But the Mavix M9 bucks this trend, similar to its cheaper sibling, the Mavix M5.
First things first: The Mavix M9 isn’t cheap. It costs $999 — more than twice what the Secretlab Omega, our current pick for best gaming chair, costs. But this price isn’t unfounded — the Mavix M9 packs in ergonomic adjustments and serious comfort to make for a chair that glides smoothly up to just about any desk and gets ready for action — whether that’s work or play is up to you.
Some gaming chairs have made solid strides toward supporting better ergonomics by including capable lumbar support systems, neck pillows, and 4D adjustable armrests that better line up with desktops. But those efforts don’t come together as effectively as what Mavix has assembled here, and the optional ($165) FS360 armrests I tested with this unit. They offer next-level adjustability that puts 4D armrests to shame.
While it’s not a chair everybody should go out and buy, the Mavix M9 might be a worthwhile investment for those who spend a great deal of time working and gaming at their desk and struggle to find a comfortable ergonomic position to do so.
Mavix M9 Specifications
|Total Height (with base)||47 - 52 inches (119 - 132.1cm)|
|Backrest Height||29.5 - 34inches (75 - 86.4cm)|
|Backrest Width (Shoulder Level)||20.5 inches (52cm)|
|Seat Height (From Floor)||17 - 20 inches (43.2 - 50.8cm)|
|Seating Area Width (Total)||22 inches (55.9cm)|
|Seating Area Depth||21 - 22.75 inches (53.3 - 57.8cm)|
|Armrest Height (from floor)||23.5 - 30 inches (59.7 - 76.2cm)|
|Recline Angle (from vertical)||60 degrees|
|Recommended Maximum Weight||300 pounds (136kg)|
|Weight||58 pounds (26.3kg)|
|Warranty||5 years (materials and moving parts), 12 years (non-moving metal parts)|
|Extra||Dynamic variable lumbar, 360-degree armrests, adjustable headrest, locking wheels, height-adjustable backrest|
Assembling the Mavix M9
The hardest part of setting up the Mavix M9 was hauling the box upstairs; The chair weighs just under 60 pounds. But it’s mostly pre-assembled, and once everything was unpacked, the chair only took about 15 minutes to slot and bolt together.
The seat comes with its mechanical base attached, and slotting the wheels and piston into the five-point base is quick and easy. The only part that ended up being a little tricky was attaching the seat back to the base, as it’s difficult to line up the bolt holes for these two heavier parts. Still, even this task ended up being easier than attaching the backrest on other racing-style gaming chairs I’ve assembled.
Assembly would have been a little more difficult if the bolts and tools had escaped their loosely-sealed container, which kept them organized and labeled (in this case, one Allen key and one bolt had escaped). Mavix includes a few spare bolts just in case you need extras.
Design of the Mavix M9
The Mavix M9 is a breath of fresh air in the gaming chair space, with a design that has many components familiar to its racing-style brethren, but comes for a more ergonomic, and — dare I say — office-y heritage. Similar to the Mavix M5, the Mavix M9 looks a lot like the X-Chair X3 ART Mgmt chair — unsurprising, considering Mavix and X-Chair are affiliated.
The Mavix M9 has a similar shape to both the M5 and the X3 ART Mgmt chair, with a large, swooping seat, and a segmented backrest that’s broken down into automatically-adjusting lumbar support, a height-adjustable backrest, and a height- and angle-adjustable headrest. Where the M9 differs from the other chairs is in its fit and finish.
The M5 is mostly mesh. While the M9 still features some of this same sturdy mesh, it’s covered in an M-Breeze fabric, which is modestly breathable and adds a leather-like appearance. Most of the chair is black, but the mesh and fabric comes in black, white, or a cool blue “Glacier” color. My review model came in black and white. If you’re concerned about keeping things looking pristine, you’ll probably want to steer clear of the white — it quickly showed slight discoloration from contact with other fabrics (namely, my blue and black jeans).
The seat is padded with what Mavix calls Cool Gel Memory Foam, and the whole unit sits on a Class 4 gas cylinder. I was a little surprised that Mavix went for a plastic base at this price point, but I’ll admit the color-coordinated, locking, rollerblade-style wheels are a nice touch.
The rest of the design isn’t so different from other gaming chairs. You’ll find a couple of controls stemming from the base of the chair, just far enough out of reach that you have to bend down to get at them. The chair also sports 4D armrests that adjust vertically, horizontally, front-to-back and also rotate. But for an extra $165, you can upgrade your armrests to Mavix’s FS360 armrests — which came on the model I tested. The FS360 armrests are height-adjustable and have two pivot points for what is effectively an infinite variety of positions. The FS360 armrests are made of plastic, but the base is made of chromed metal, adding a touch of elegance.
The chair’s aesthetic isn’t diminished by garish branding. ‘Mavix’ is written across the headrest, and there’s a small logo emblazoned on one shoulder of the backrest, but it’s nothing like the over-the-top branding seen on many gaming chairs.
Comfort and Adjustments of the Mavix M9
That Mavix M9 has a lot going for it when it comes to finding a comfortable, ergonomic seating position. It may not have some of the absurd flexibility of bend-over-backward racing chairs, but it doesn’t need it — it’s simply more comfortable than most of the other chairs I’ve tried.
The base cushion is wide and smoothly curved, and hugs the back of the thighs and hips a bit more gently than the harsh bucket seat bolsters found on racing-inspired gaming chairs. These curves created a little pocket that helped keep my back against the backrest — instead of sliding forward slowly into a slouch shortly after sitting down. However, it's worth noting that the side edges of the base aren’t very padded; this might cause discomfort for bigger and taller users (much like the bases of many mesh seats). It could definitely stand to have a little extra cushion packed in there.
The backrest can be raised to four different levels and is adjusted simply by pulling it up (it clicks into place at each level). This design is convenient for getting it into a comfortable position, but annoying for keeping it there. The only way to reset the height is to raise it all the way up, lower it all the way down, and then start from the bottom. If you accidentally go too high, you’ll need to start over — and it’s way too easy to accidentally raise the backrest.
The backrest is quite comfortable, featuring a gentle curve that allows for a relaxed, open-chested posture, instead of pushing the shoulders forward into a position that might work for gaming but isn’t ideal for extended comfort.
The base of the backrest features “dynamic variable lumbar support,” which is a fancy way of saying flexible lumbar support that automatically shifts and increases resistance the more you push against it. The lumbar support did a good job of pressing into my lower back and helping me keep a slight curve in my lower spine. I felt more leaned-back than hunched forward overall. For an extra $130, Mavix offers an attachment that slots into the lumbar support to add heating, cooling fans, and a vibrating massager.
At the top of the backrest, there’s an adjustable headrest that has the opposite problem the backrest has: it’s difficult to adjust the height, because it locks tightly in place. On the plus side, the headrest stays exactly where you want it to be once you position it, it’s just hard to get it there. The headrest tilts forward and backward, which makes it easy to find that sweet spot where it cradles the base of the skull.
The base of the chair offers plenty of adjustments, but nothing unusual in the realm of gaming or task chairs. It has a slider for adjusting the seat position forward or backward, which is useful for creating more space for tall users or reducing it for shorter users. This allowed me to create an ideal seat that stopped just short of my knees. The base of the seat rocks back with the backrest and can lock into position, which makes lounging an option. The backrest also reclines on its own and can lock into any position. Although the backrest only reclines 60 degrees, because the seat base rocks back with it you can sit with a 127-degree bend at your waist (rather than a 150-degree bend).
The seat is height-adjustable and ranges from 17 inches to 20 inches by my measurements — which are at odds with Mavix’s listed specs (22.5 to 27-inches).
My favorite feature of the Mavix M9 are the optional FS360 armrests, which are also available on the M5 and M7 (can be purchased with the chair or bought as an after-market addition).
These armrests finally do something different in a realm dominated by 3D and 4D adjustable armrests that sound a lot more flexible than they end up actually being. The FS360 armrests sit on a height-adjustable stem and have a nice range of height options.
From here, the top of the armrests pivot 360-degrees. There’s another adjustment point at the front where the armrest surface attaches, which allows the armrest to slide forward, backward, and also pivot 360 degrees. This lets you position the armrests just about anywhere within their height range.
I was able to get comfortable with my arms spaced out for gaming on a full-size keyboard and mouse, center my hands slightly for typing, or pull my hands close to my torso to game on a controller. These armrests also allow for a setup that lets me rest my arms comfortably while fully reclined — something most gaming chairs struggle with, as the armrests often end up far away from the backrest in a reclining position. The only issue I had with the armrests was that the tops, despite some flex, were just as stiff and uncomfortable as other 4D armrests I’ve used (though this is something that could be easily fixed with some cheap memory foam covers).
Ultimately, the Mavix M9 is very comfortable — as it should be for the price — and this comfort is aided by a contingent of ergonomic adjustments that help avoid some of the pain that comes from spending too much time sitting at a desk. The one pain it doesn’t help (much) with is the pain that comes from sitting too long — after two days of burning the midnight oil on assignments, even the comfortable cushioned seat and automatically-adjusting lumbar support couldn’t loosen my tight lower back muscles and weary legs. It’s a good reminder to get out of your chair once in a while — even if they cost $1,000.
If you’re looking to invest in long-term comfort at your desk, the Mavix M9 is a champion that will serve you through work, play, or a combination of both. The adjustments on the Mavix M9 make it easy to find a comfortable and ergonomically sound position for both gaming and working.
The Mavix is definitely a proper investment, and doesn’t make a lot of sense for those who don’t expect to spend lengthy stretches of time sitting in it — and it’s somewhat undercut by the cheaper Mavix M7 and Mavix M5, both of which can take advantage of the game-changing FS360 armrests. But the M9 goes further in terms of comfort, thanks to its wider seat cushion that will benefit larger users.
While the Mavix M9 is pricey, it’s definitely not the most expensive gaming chair you can purchase. The $1,500 Herman Miller X Logitech Embody chair doesn’t come with a headrest or very adjustable armrests, while the $1,300 Thermaltake Argent E700 puts all of its money in looks and premium materials and lacks ergonomics. And even if the Mavix M9 costs five times what other gaming chairs cost, it does offer a five-year warranty on materials and moving parts (12 years on non-moving parts).