Thanks for stopping by and checking out this gaming chair review. Today we are going to be looking at SecretLab’s Titan Gaming Chair (Tempo Storm Edition). Ronald from SecretLab reached out to me and hooked me up with a sample making this review possible.
Overall, I am very impressed with SecretLab’s attention to detail. I’ve done a couple other hands-on reviews with gaming chairs and this chair tops them all in terms of build quality. Unfortunately, this chair also tops them all in terms of cost. It retails at startling $520 on secretlab.co. That’s more than one rent payment back when I was going to University. Ah yes, a wonderful time when I was sitting on a very old OfficeMax chair patched together with duct tape to keep it from crumbling.
What’s in the Box?
- Chair Backrest
- Chair Seatbase
- Tilt Mechanism
- Toolbox (Hardware, Casters, Etc.)
- Assembly & Usage Guide
Here’s the aftermath. I cringe a little bit at all the packaging waste. On the one hand you don’t want your chair damaged when it is shipped to you, on the other hand that’s a lot that could end up in the ole’ landfill.
In the Trenches: Two Weeks with the Titan
A big win with the Titan is the appearance of the chair. While no doubt visual preference falls into the subjective realm, I think a clear case can be made that the Titan does indeed hold a visual edge over most of its gaming chair competitors. I’ll get into that a little more in the ‘Look’ section. One of the major things I noticed about this chair after putting it together and sitting in it is the seat width. This is an ultra wide chair built for an individual with titanic proportions. I am 6 foot 180 pounds and I have quite a bit of space between the seat and the arm rests. I’m not going to complain much about that, because it does make me feel like a boss rolling around in a chair built like a mammoth. But I think it’s worth pointing out that you may want to save yourself some bucks and go with one of SecretLab’s other series (the Omega or Throne) if you don’t need the extra room.
As a sidenote, my wife who is 5’4 had difficulty reaching the ground. Height and weight recommendations are stated on SecretLab’s website and for this particular model is recommends a range of 5’7 – 6’4. You definitely want to respect their height ranges as they are true to form.
Below you’ll find the 6 categories I rate each chair on with the Titan’s score for each (on a scale of 1 to 10). Keep in mind, I’ve only had two weeks with the chair. But if it falls apart week 3, you can bet I’ll come back here and make some pretty big adjustments to the ratings.
The contents of the box are pleasingly organized. Everything is stacked neatly together, and the smaller parts (hardware, casters, etc.) are all grouped together in a small ‘toolbox’ a separate box within the box if you will. On the whole, I think this packaging execution made the assembly process that much less annoying to dive into and get done. I had this chair put together in under 30 minutes without any do-overs. Furthermore, SecretLab even has assembly guide and assembly troubleshooting videos on YouTube if you get stuck anywhere in the process.
A quick thing I’d like to point out is someone at SecretLab actually put more than 10 seconds of thought into the Assembly Guide. It is large 8.5 x 11, easy to read, and best of all features lots of large, clear images. You’d think when you’re dropping $300+ on a chair that would be a standard thing, getting a well conceived manual but I can assure you that is not the case (apparently you must pay at least $500 for that). Jesting aside, this clear and concise assembly and usage manual is congruent with the overarching theme of this gaming chair package — excellent attention to detail. I really dig that they also include the ‘usage guide’ part in there to give each user extra tips on how to use the adjustment features and get the most out of their new purchase.
Pictured below is my favorite part of the assembly guide. No horsin’ around!
Build Quality (9/10)
As you can see from all the pictures I took, the chair oozes quality that’s a step above most gaming chairs. The stitching is near impeccable, the durable components could withstand a hurricane, and the colors of the synthetic leather upholstery are vibrant. This chair weighs a grand total of 77 pounds, that’s about 20-25 pounds more than any chair I’ve reviewed so far. SecretLab went all in with he thick (70cm diameter) aluminum base and tubular steel frame. Unless you’re Hercules, you’re not going to want to lug this to any competitions / gatherings, that’s for sure.
The only noticeable flaw I came across was a crease in the center panel of the chair (see image below). Obviously, it doesn’t ruin the visual appeal of the chair and the casual observer probably wouldn’t give it a second glance. But for $500, I expect perfection.
Of course, this flaw isn’t too noticeable when observed from afar:
If you’re more into stiff padding (such as a firmer mattress) you will enjoy the Titan chair. You don’t sink into the padding with this one, it isn’t what one would call plush. Instead, there is enough padding for it to be comfortable. The word I’d go with here is rigid. Much like a mattress, I think this comes down to personal preference on whether you prefer firm or soft. I would have liked to see foam padded arm rests. SecretLab uses what they call a soft PU coated material for their armrests that well, isn’t that soft.
When I’m putting in hours at my desk, I’m constantly shifting around. Perhaps I am a fidgety person or my body is trying to find a wait to cope with the sitting / standing imbalance. In any case, the Titan facilitates this movement and I’m a big fan of the tilt mechanism lock. So the chair has two levers underneath: your standard height adjustment and a tilt lock unlock adjustment. Periodically, I’ll kick my feet up on the desk and do some serious Redditing and this chair helps me fully enjoy my procrastinating with the recline and tilt lock combo. By slightly reclining the chair, then tilting the chair back, and engaging the lock lever I’ve discovered the holy grail of sitting positions.
The reclining functionality is top notch. Combined with the tilt lock, you get plenty of stability to lean back quite far and check out the patterns of your ceiling or lack thereof. It doesn’t quite recline all the way, just short of being flat with the seat rest. That’s more than enough to get a quality cat nap in though. I like the head pillow. It doesn’t match the Tempo Storm theme of the chair, but the luxurious velvet velour is very soft and when I lean back in the chair it supports my head nicely. I do wish that Secretlab would have included a lumbar cushion for extra lower back support.
That does bring me to my next point, which is the neat lumbar adjustment knob. By default, after putting the chair together, there was zero lumbar support and I could already feel the phantom pains of my lower back coming to get me. With a few simple turns of the knob, the lumbar support begins to protrude further towards the seat providing wonderful lumbar support. I haven’t seen a mechanism like this in a chair yet and that wins the Titan a couple points in this category. While I still would have liked a lumbar pillow in addition to this lumbar adjustment, it is indeed executed well by Secretlab with the knob design.
By and by, between the tilt and recline mechanisms and the many other adjustment features (4D armrests, tilt tension, lumbar, armrest width adjustment) of the chair, I can adapt my position to my desired comfort without much trouble.
The most subjective category in our review process is look. I wouldn’t say SecretLab did anything compellingly different from what other gaming chair manufacturers have been doing, but I don’t think this falls into the cookie cutter racing chair type look either. The Tempo Storm model is flashier than their amber and stealth styles. The blues, white, and red stitching really works and unifies into a nice package. The embroidery is crisp and the symmetry elegant. One issue I had with the chair is the black headrest sticks out like a sore thumb and doesn’t seem to fit with the theme. This pillow was probably designed for their mostly black models, and thrown into the TempoStorm model as an afterthought.
Price is always a tricky category to score on. We do our best to weigh what you’re getting for the money. Without a doubt, this is a gorgeous chair that has plenty of bonus features. But still an ask of over $500 does seem like a tall order. If I’m spending $500 on a chair, I want perfection. That’s why the Titan got dinged here. A neck pillow that matches the design of the chair, a lumbar pillow, padding on the arm rests, a footrest to compliment the recline feature, you know come to think of it throwing some free games in there too would be a welcome addition. If you can pick this one up when they are running a significant discount, you’re getting a solid deal here. Right now they are running a Christmas special and selling this chair for $350 ($150 off).
Zoom In: Specs
- Upholstery: ‘Prime’ PU leather
- Casters: XL PU coated (safe for wood floors)
- Armrests: 4D ‘soft’ PU coated
- Weight: 77 pounds (35kg)
- Weight Capacity: 290 pounds (131kg)
- Recommended Height: 5′ 7″ – 6′ 4″
- Wheelbase: Reinforced Aluminum
- Frame: Tubular steel
- Internal: Cold cured high density foam
- Reclines from 85 to 165 degrees
- 2 year warranty
- 2 lever tilt mechanism with tilt lock
For a comprehensive list of specifications see here.
Zoom Out: Summary
The Titan Tempo chair from SecretLab is the lock, stock, and barrel gaming chair package with some added refinements. I scored the chair scrupulously in large part because the chair retails at a normal price of $500. Most of my criticisms are nit-picky and I think most any gamer would be pleased with this chair in the short and long run.
- Attractive, well polished chair with clean stitching and embroidery. Tempo Storm colors work
- Look for a deal on this chair and try to pick it up at a discount (Right now there is a Christmas sale for $150 off)
- Padded armrests, lumbar pillow, and matching head pillow would be good improvements
- Lumbar support knob is a neat innovation
- Titanic proportions — 77 pounds of steel and aluminum — fits users up to 6′ 6″, 290 pounds
For more PC Gaming Chair options go to our best of list.