So you’ve got yourself a fist full of holiday cash in hand. You can’t find a next gen console unless you pay horrible scalpers, and there’s an equal chance you’ll struggle to find a videocard. Put simply, chip shortages are kicking our ass this year. There is still one thing that should be on everyone’s must-have list this year, and it’s often the most neglected thing at your desk – a comfortable chair. There are plenty on Amazon and the like, ranging from entirely too cheap to eye-wateringly expensive, and it’s hard to know which are worth investing in, and which will just leave you with a sore butt. We’ve gotten our hands on one of the top-tier chairs out there, a DXRacer MASTER series chair. Let’s get it out of the box, take a closer look at the parts, and get it assembled.
DXRacer is indeed using a reference design of sorts, but they’ve taken it one step further than their competitors. Underneath the pleather lies a steel skeleton to ensure this device stays sturdy for the foreseeable future. In fact, DXRacer warranties that frame for a lifetime, with every other part getting two years of warranty. In fact, they stand behind their product enough to offer a full 30 day money back guarantee, minus shipping, if you aren’t absolutely wowed by their chairs. I like it when a manufacturer stands behind their product, and clearly that’s the case here.
We went with black for our chair, though there are also maroon and brown options if you are so inclined. The maroon color reminds me of the vest Shang-Chi wears during the climax of the recent Ten Rings movie. This high-quality upholstery is made of a microfiber leather, as is often the case with chairs at this price point. What’s interesting here, however, is that the mesh cushion and backrest can be removed and replaced. A lot of chairs go with a solid piece of PU leather, or they’ll just punch tiny holes in that same leather for the chair to breathe. Here we have a mesh cushion that can be swapped out for a new one. I’ve not seen that in any other chair, even ones that cost over $1000 – a huge improvement!
Every chair we’ve seen on the market has chosen to go with tiny pillows that can be placed below your lower back, and one that acts as a headrest. Here, DXRacer employs a rail system that allows you to adjust it up or down without fiddling with cheap straps and buckles. You can be sure that this headrest will stay where you put it. Better still, it can be removed and replaced, giving you the opportunity to have somebody customize it, or you can swap it for one with integrated Bluetooth.
The DXRacer MASTER is capable of supporting up to 275 pounds, and is suitable for anyone as tall as 6’2”. There are other DXRacer chair configurations, and I encourage you to match one of them to your body type. Picking the largest chair you can find isn’t going to be as comfortable as it could be unless you can comfortably put your feet on the ground when your legs are at 90 degrees. Like any chair worth its merit, the MASTER is highly adjustable — just make sure it’s going to be adjustable enough for you.
In a long list of unique features on the MASTER, it has a large knob on the side of the backrest. Turning this knob pushes forward a lumbar support cushion. This little bit of pressure on your lower to midback will remind you not to slouch, encouraging you to pull your shoulders back, alleviating pressure all the way down.
The DXRacer MASTER allows for a tilt ranging from 90 to 155 degrees. The suggestion is that the chair sitting at 90 degrees is for gaming, 100 degrees is for checking out a movie, 120 is good for resting, and then all the way back 155 degrees is for reclining. It doesn’t lay completely flat like some others, but chairs that recline out to 180 degrees scare the crap out of me. I’m totally fine with 155 degrees, and it allows the DXRacer’s centerpoint to stay under you more – something extremely evident when you sit on the edge of the chair. Unlike some chairs we’ve reviewed that are happy to flip underneath and dump you on your face, the DXRacer MASTER remains perfectly balanced.
Looking underneath the chair we’ve seen similar designs, but only on the absolute highest end chairs. Flat, it will work in racing setups, as well as specialty applications like flight simulators and more exotic goodies such as the upcoming YAW 2 Simulator Chair. The reinforced steel frame serves as the base for what makes this chair special – accessories. Since the device is modular you can add a footrest, add a cupholder, and even add a multifunctional bracket that can not only hold your phone, but also a laptop. That bracket will let you swivel said devices out from the chair so you can get in and out of the seat, removing the need for a desk entirely. I’ve gotten my hands on the cupholder, so I can only speak to that one device. It mounts underneath with full-sized bolts, securely locking in place so you don’t have to worry about your drink being too heavy. I’d love to get my hands on the rest of the accessories to speak to those directly – fingers crossed. Suffice it to say this modularity is a huge selling point for the DXRacer Master.
While we are looking at the bottom of the chair, the piston is a Safety Class 4 hydraulic gas lift, which is actually a fairly common one. The good news is that DXRacer didn’t go proprietary, so you can replace this for $20 on Amazon, or even put in a stronger or taller one. You do mess with the center of gravity if you go fiddling, so that’s on you. Please send me videos if you tinker enough to fall over – it’d amuse me greatly.
The armrests have also deviated a bit from the typical 4D armrests. These armrests are called 4D not because they can bend time and space, but because they can move four directions – up and down, as well as turning left or right. They can also move side to side to fit wherever your arms may rest. What’s different here is that the button is recessed into the armrest itself instead of sticking out. If you’ve ever caught a piece of clothing on one of these little nubs as you stood up, you know why having them recessed is a welcome improvement.
The frame for the wheels are made of heavily reinforced aluminum. It’s easily one of the most sturdy wheelbases we’ve seen, capable of supporting up to 275 pounds without becoming unsteady. The casters are also some of the best we’ve seen, also reinforced, but also plastic. The two wheel caster design is taller than the ones we’ve seen anywhere else. They roll better than the ones we’ve tried to this point, though they still tend to suck up carpet. On a hardwood floor they are absolutely perfect, but if they don’t work for you, they are also standard and can accept the single-wheel rubberized ones I showed in the video above. It’s truly a minor nitpick, especially when I still have to cite them as being the best we’ve seen to date.
The big question that we have to address, especially when a chair is this high quality, is price – Well, stock it’ll set you back $443 dollars, with free shipping. The accessories are fairly reasonable, with the most expensive being that multifunctional bracket. That bracket will cost you an additional 170 bucks, though it does mean you won’t need a desk so perhaps there’s a savings to be had there. I’ve seen some pretty awesome sales on these chairs, so prices cited are full MSRP. It’s an investment, but it’s a worthwhile one in every way.
DXRacer MASTER Chair
DXRacer has not only delivered a chair that is different from the reference design, but one that is modular, comfortable, and customizable. In fact, it’s the most comfortable chair I’ve reviewed in the last 5 years. From the cupholder to the modular arm system, this chair is absolutely aces across the board. If you are in the market for a more comfortable gaming experience, or you find yourself mixing work and game time, there’s not a better chair in this class than the DXRacer Master. I highly recommend it.