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Seating for gamers has evolved by leaps and bounds over the last several years. What used to be an activity that happened nearly exclusively on the couch or in a desk chair can how happen in personalized, custom chairs that have nearly endless amounts of features. Modern day gamer chairs can have speakers built into them, vibrating motors to increase immersion, heaters, cushion adjustments, and more. The X Video Rocker II is a premium example of the type of options and features modern gamers can expect in their gaming seating.
At its core, the Rocker II provides, like all gamer chairs, a comfortable place to sit while immersing yourself in your favorite game. It rests upon the floor and is 33 inches tall at its highest point. It is also a bit over 20 inches wide and about 22 and 1/2 inches long. The chair is not light, weighing in at 62 pounds. As is described in the name, the bottom of the chair is curved and allows the gamer to easily adjust their seating angle (or to rock back and forth in excitement). A number of speakers are included in the chair, including a subwoofer in the back and two normal speakers towards the top, and options such as volume and bass can be adjusted with the control panel attached to the side. The seat itself is made of a durable, black vinyl, and it is filled with a fire-retardant foam pad. The relatively strong plastic armrests are adjustable and can be swiveled all the way up for ease of entry into the seat, or for those who find the armrests to constricting. Finally, a storage compartment is included underneath the seat for easy access to all the necessary peripherals of gaming, such as controllers and even games themselves.
The Speakers Inside
The speaker system that lies within the Rocker II is a 2.1 channel system. The subwoofer lies in the back, while the two smaller, satellite speakers lie on the left and right sides towards the top. This placement provides a deeper, more involved sensory experience. Since the subwoofer is located directly in the gamers’ back in the thickest part of the chair, the bass resonates throughout the entire chair more effectively. Meanwhile, the satellite speakers are located towards the top in the thinner part of the chair, closer to the gamers’ ears, since the higher pitched, more minute sounds that they emit don’t carry quite as far. Ever since Sony released the dual-shock controller, gamers have come to expect haptic feedback, and gamer chairs that include speakers within them are the newest evolution of that trend. As people sit in the X Video Rocker II and watch movies or play games with loud explosions, for instance, they are treated to a deep, rumbling vibration that unconsciously increases immersion and heightens the viewing or playing pleasure.
The Control Panel
While higher priced chairs are moving towards wireless connections, the X Video Rocker II only costs from $100 to $140, depending on the retailer, and as such, it requires a hard-wired connection. Depending upon your entertainment set-up, you may need wire extensions, as the included wires are quite short, about 6 feet long each for the auxiliary connections and the wall outlet. The chair’s hardwire tether notwithstanding, the control panel is very nice. It includes the power button, volume and bass dials, a band switch, and color-coded input and output jacks. As well as including a personal headphone jack, the chair is compatible with all but the most outdated home entertainment systems and computer sound outputs, as well as gaming consoles, including all iterations of the Playstation, the Xbox, and the Wii. Users can even plug their personal MP3, DVD, or CD players into the chair for a heightened experience from smaller devices.
The Nuts and Bolts
As was mentioned previously, the X Video Rocker II is a solidly made 62 pounds. To help with transport and storage, Ace Bayou designed the chair to fold in the center on top of itself. Once folded, the chair takes up half its normal space and can be stored in closets or transported in the back seat of the car with ease. Since the actual surface of the chair is made of a resistant vinyl that is easy to clean, you can be assured of its continued durability and luster, and since the internal foam itself is flame-retardant, you can feel safe that your chair won’t catch fire underneath you. While most of the chair comes preassembled, the armrests need to be manually connected. Thankfully, the proper allen wrench and the necessary screws are included.
The Drawback for PC Gamers
At its heart, the X Video Rocker II was designed to sit in front of a television. The chair rests on the floor, and the seat itself is only about 9 inches from that. With that in mind, it could present a challenge to use with a computer that is set up as a normal desktop, which is to say, at a desk. The very top of the chair doesn’t reach much higher than the surfaces of most desks, and most monitors reach much higher than that. That is not to say that it’s impossible to use the Rocker II for PC gaming, because it’s not. Over recent years, it has become more and more common for gamers to connect their PCs to wide screen HDTVs in their living rooms, especially since HDTV manufacturers have taken note of that trend and have started giving their televisions PC inputs, wireless internet capability, and more. Similarly, wireless keyboards and mouses have become more reliable, and battery consumption continues to drop. Handheld, console-style PC controllers and games that can accommodate them or that are outright designed for their use are becoming more common, as well.
The Final Verdict
While the Rocker II may not be compatible with the traditional picture of the gamer sitting erect at his desk in a 6-wheeled desk chair, it is perfectly suited for the newly evolved picture of the gamer playing on a PC connected to a TV or computer monitor mounted on the wall. The chair is strong, durable, easy to clean, and flame-retardant – all things gamers prize – but above all, it is comfortable, which is an attribute prized over all others. And at only $100 to $140 for all the features and options the X Video Rocker II offers, it’d be a steal at a higher price than that!