Growing up in the early days of gaming, my usual position for playing would be either on the edge of my bed, or more often, cross-legged (or lying down) on the floor. While I’m sure that has nothing at all to do with my terrible posture as an adult(…), thankfully there are a plethora of options available today for people to choose from to play in comfort. As the hobby has become more mainstream, a lot of consoles now reside in the living room, so the sofa is a solid choice. But there are some great single seat chairs out there for those confined to smaller rooms, or even those who just want something comfy to sit on that can be moved nearer the screen with ease. I recently got the opportunity to look at BraZen’s Stag 2.1 Surround Sound chair, and am confident in saying it would be a solid choice for almost anyone out there looking to game in comfort.
Visually it comes across perhaps a little brash, with some bold logos emblazoned on the front around the light grey/black cushioning pads. It’s certainly not designed to sit un-noticed in your décor, for sure. It’s hardly the gaudy colours and angular structure that you’d usually see someone on Twitch sitting in, and to my tastes I much prefer this approach. It can be folded down when not in use should you really want to hide the designs, but to be honest I’ve set mine up next to my T.V when not in use and it is far from unsightly.
Assembling the unit is about as easy as it could be; screw the base fitting to the underside of the chair with the included screws and Allen key, slot it on to the pedestal and away you go. Arm rests are included, though these only attach in one position and are a little low for me (at 6’1”) to use easily. My kids loved it though, and these suited their smaller frames perfectly.
More importantly than its looks though is that is also very comfortable to sit in. The soft furnishings on the body of the chair are well cushioned, and it swivels around with ease. When upright there is a thick flap of Velcro to hold the top half in place too; an issue I used to find with a previous chair I owned that saw top flapping around as I got in and out of it is solved with this simple touch. There’s a decent range of lean to it too, letting me recline almost to the point of being horizontal. Again, my height did mean occasionally I’d lean a little too far and lift the front of the wide base off of the ground. To be fair though, this was more to do with my poor posture than the unit itself with that wide, circular base providing a solid…well, base… for me to get comfortable on. It would have been nice to be able to adjust the height of the chair a little, but as it is this really wasn’t all that big of an issue.
Just as importantly, the Stag also includes some built in speakers, for those who really want to make the house rumble. The included 3.5mm jack plugs into the chair, then splits off into left/right(red/white) connectors if you’re using something that has these connections. If not, an included 3.5mm jack with pairing red/white connections is also included; simply connect these together, plug the remaining jack into the Xbox controller (older versions will need the adaptor still) and away we go. I do find the Xbox pads 3.5mm jack port to be a bit hit or miss (2 of mine flat out refused to work), but that’s not a slight on the chair or cables. These are solidly made and measure about 3 metres long, so there’s plenty of wiggle room to sit comfortably. Ideally this allows them to be plugged in to the T.V itself, but newer models tend to eschew this option annoyingly. An optional add-on allows an optical cable to be connected, but I haven’t had chance to check this out.
Two dials control bass and volume separately and, well, if you have housemates, neighbours or even a nearby town, they’ll know about it when this is cranked up to max volume. Even at these highs, the audio was perfectly clear and there’s even a neat kick to the bass in the lower back when something particularly explosive happens. I always prefer a bit of extra bass in my sound, but it’s fully customisable to your preference – even turning the bass off all together, should you wish. The speakers are positioned just to the left and right of the headrest, hidden from view under a thin layer of the material so as not to stick out, and it can get almost as immersive as a good set of headphones when you’re in the zone.
The Stag also features Bluetooth connectivity, so if you want to watch something on your phone or play something on tablet for example, it can still be used to improve the listening experience. Unfortunately these can’t both be on at the same time, so no playing music on your phone while also still having game audio, but it’s a great touch for games you might not need to listen to necessarily.
The BraZen Stag 2.1 Surround Sound Chair offers a comfortable chair and great audio in one package. It’s not the most elegant in terms of visuals, and is perhaps better suited to slightly shorter players, but even for me at a hair over 6ft it’s still perfectly usable and, most importantly, enjoyable.
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