After Hours

Geek Gifts 2011: X Rocker Pro Series Pedestal gaming chair

The X Rocker Pro Series Pedestal gaming chair envelopes the user in a cocoon of sound and vibration, but is that enough to recommend it for the gaming geek in your life?

Ever since I attended the Electronic Entertainment Expo years ago and saw a motorized gaming chair that moved up and down and back and forth with the game you happened to be playing, I have been intrigued by the idea of a gaming chair. The promise of that prototype has yet to be realized, however, there are gaming chairs that offer at least a small measure of immersion by surrounding the player with sound and vibrating tactile feedback.

One of those gaming chairs is the X Rocker Pro Series Pedestal.

Specifications

  • Company: Ace Bayou Corp
  • Product: X Rocker Pro Series Pedestal
  • Dimensions: 24 x 40 x 24 inches; 60 pounds
  • Speakers: 4.1 speakers including a subwoofer
  • Special feature: Vibration using AFM technology
  • Controls: Side panel controls on/off, volume, treble/bass, and vibration
  • Connections: RCA jacks, mini-audio jack, and wireless transmitter/receiver
  • Cost: $200 shipped from Amazon, but available at Walmart for under $200
  • Additional information: Amazon, X Rocker
  • Note: Amazon seems to be out of stock, so VideoGameCharts.com may be your best bet, but I have no experience with them. I purchased the chair from Amazon.

What I like

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="258" caption="Images courtesy of VideoGamingChairs.com a Hayneedle store"]
Images courtesy of VideoGamingChairs.com a Hayneedle store
  • Sound quality: I was not expecting very good sound quality from the X Rocker Pro Series Pedestal chair, but the quality of the speakers in the chair is really very good.
  • Low cost: At around $200 the X Rocker Pro Series Pedestal chair is relatively inexpensive and on par with standalone surround sound systems.
  • Well made: The other surprise is that the X Rocker Pro Series Pedestal chair is well-made and sturdy.

What I don't like

  • Requires assembly: As you might expect, the chair requires some assembly. As is often the case with furniture in this class, the assembly requires you to use the supplied Allen wrenches for driving the screws into the wood. That means no power tools for most of us.
  • Loud: To get the best sound out of the X Rocker Pro Series Pedestal chair, you'll have to crank it up. This means you will likely have the chair isolated in a gaming room. While you can certainly use the chair for listening to music, you'll have to turn the volume up and let everyone else in the room (and house) listen too.
  • Low profile: I'm approaching 50, and I'm not as spry as I used to be. The X Rocker Pro Series Pedestal chair sits fairly low to the floor, and it requires a bit of effort for an older guy like me to extract himself from the chair after a long gaming session.
  • Rumble: One of the chair's "special features" is its vibration feedback or rumble. The idea of a bass-driven rumble has been around for a long time, but it is one of those concepts where the supposed benefits have never materialized for me. But if you like the rumble, the X Rocker Pro Series Pedestal chair will give it to you in spades.
  • Website: The official website for the company that makes the chair is, to put it bluntly, terrible. Much of the information is not accurate (for example, the chair definitely weighs more than 20 pounds), and links to retailers often go nowhere.

Geek bottom line

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The X Rocker Pro Series Pedestal chair is definitely a geeky gift. It is well-constructed, and the audio quality exceeds expectations. However, I think I would rather spend the $200 on a good pair of 5.1 headphones and forego the rumble. You (or your geek) may have other ideas, but I'd prefer a good gaming headset with money left over to buy a couple games.

Geek gift score (out of 5)

  • Fun factor: ***
  • Geek factor: *****
  • Value: ***
  • Overall: ***

For more reviews of tech gadgets, gizmos, games, and books, download the PDF of TechRepublic's Geek Gift Guide 2011.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

5 comments
HAL 9000
HAL 9000

[b]Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.[/b] The companies Web Site is no better so I'm wondering just how good this place may be. ;) Col

Slayer_
Slayer_

I only see 2 at the head, where is the 4.1 aspect? Or is it including your PC speakers?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I need some feedback from those of you using gaming chairs like the X Rocker Pro Series Pedestal. Give us your testimonial. Are these chairs worth it? Which one do you recommend?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Mary and I were discussing this - the quality of the chair surprised me, but the lack of quality of the Website really surprised me. It is almost like they don't want to sell too many chairs so lets be cryptic and unhelpful. If they want a chair, make them work for it. That's why I was asking for comments about other chairs, you know, chairs from companies that really want to sell and support their products. There must be a better choice?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

There is one in the back about chest high and one under the seat. And yes, they point away, which, oddly enough, does not really impact the listener in the chair. However, it forces everyone around you to participate too, which makes this a chair strictly for a gaming room.