Secretlab Titan EVO 2022 review: Practically perfect, painfully pricy
We take a look at the Secretlab Titan Evo 2022, including SoftWeave, Neo Hybrid Leatherette, and all the accessories
It’s no secret that Secretlab have been held in the highest esteem by the gaming community for a few years now, with a track record of delivering gaming chairs with supreme build quality and excellent options for comfort and posture support. We’ve previously reviewed their 2020 Titan and Omega models and were impressed with the ergonomics and overall comfort. Since then, plenty of other companies have entered the space, vying to take the crown from the king, with varying results. Now Secretlab are back with some clever innovations and a chair they want to set the new standard. How does it stack up?
- Excellent ergonomics
- Adjustable lumbar support system
- Premium materials
- Supremely comfortable
- Some build quality issues
One of the things we love most about Secretlab chairs is how easy they are to put together and the Titan EVO 2022 is no exception. This was designed with ease of construction in mind, with one great example being the sliding mechanism that locates the seatback onto the base. This is a clever way of avoiding the difficulties of holding two pieces in position and fastening them simultaneously. You also just need a single tool to construct the entire chair.
Secretlab also have safety in mind, with a locking nut that prevents you from inadvertently snaring your finger in the tilting mechanism until the chair is built. Additionally, the screw covers attach magnetically, so they effortlessly slot into place without any extra effort. All these little things add up to an enjoyable and easy assembly experience.
When we first sat in the Titan EVO 2022 we were surprised to find it felt much firmer than the Omega series. Once we’d finished fiddling around with the height, armrests, lumbar support, and neck pillow, however, the chair started to feel properly tailored to the body. It’s also worth mentioning here that the EVO 2022 comes in three size variants that are aimed at specific heights and weights – check Secretlab’s website to make sure you pick the correct size for your frame.
Overall the comfort of the Titan EVO 2022 is impressive and once you figure out the extensive customization options it gets even better. However, if you favor a more plush seat base this chair might not be for you and the Omega series from Secretlab will suit you far better.
Much like the rest of Secretlabs’s chairs, the Titan EVO 2022 is available in a wide range of colors and upholstery options that frankly put other competitors to shame – their website lists 118 variants at time of writing, made up of the different designs between the three upholstery material options, Secretlab’s proprietary Hybrid Leatherette and SoftWeave Plus, in addition to a premium offering of NAPA leather.
The standard upholstery is Secretlab’s NEO Hybrid Leatherette and this was the variant we received as you can see in the photos throughout this review. It’s available in 33 different designs and ours is the standard stealth, a fantastic-looking chair with just enough branding to make a statement. There are small sections along the borders that are made of cheap plastic designed to look like carbon fiber, but thankfully they aren’t too prominent.
The leatherette feels soft and hard-wearing. At first touch, it’s obvious that it’s fake leather but it’s far from the worst we’ve felt. The plastic sections feel decidedly less premium than the contact areas, but they are functional and sturdy enough that we aren’t worried about longevity. The fabric of the magnetic neck pillow is hard to define. The best that we settled on is somewhere between faux velour and velvet. Regardless of the specificities, it’s a fantastically smooth texture that feels positively delightful against the neck.
Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 series SoftWeave Plus
It’s been a while since we wrote this review, but we’ve now had a go on a Secretlab SoftWeave version of this chair. So we thought we’d update this review in case you’re curious about the fabric version of the Secretlab Titan EVO 2022 Series.
When compared to the faux leather that comes as standard on Secretlab chairs, the SoftWeave fabric offers a number of benefits. The primary one is the unique texture afforded by the densely woven fabric.
Luckily, we have a talented photographer so you can actually see what we’re talking about. The weave is made up of tiny strands that differ in color. This creates an interesting illusion as the chair looks to be a solid color from a distance, but actually becomes speckled as you get closer.
We really like this aesthetic as it creates some additional depth that just isn’t there on the NAPA leather or Hybrid Leatherette upholstery options. As with other options, the branding, logos, and other highlights are all implemented in a contrasting color. Well, not exactly contrasting, but a color that fits and is distinct enough to be easily visible.
In terms of comfort, it’s really a toss-up between the Hybrid Leatherette and SoftWeave as the padding beneath remains the same. However, there is an undeniable advantage to the SoftWeave fabric, and that’s breathability.
Regardless of the quality or density of perforation, all faux leather chairs become humid in warmer weather, which is uncomfortable for obvious reasons. We’ve all had to peal ourselves free from a leather couch right? It’s like that.
Anyway, this makes the SoftWeave Titan Evo 2022 far more suitable for those of you who live in hotter environments. Here in the UK it’s preferable for about 3 weeks a year, but people who live in nice climates should definitely consider the SoftWeave fabric.
We’ve recently gotten our grubby mitts on the all-new Secretlab skins too. These allow you to change the appearance of your Secretlab Titan EVO 2022 Series chair in seconds.
These come at an additional cost of $169/£169. This is a pretty high price for a box of upholstery, but wait, it does make a bit of sense if you look a little bit deeper.
Secretlab SKINS means that you might no longer have to buy an entirely new chair if you’re super keen on a specific design. Additionally, during our testing, we found them fairly easy to install.
It’s a bit fiddly in parts, particularly on the seat base. Luckily, Secretlab provides comprehensive instructions in the box, which can help guide those nervous hands.
The Skins come in two parts, one for the backrest and one for the seat base. when we got them on the chair we were slightly worried that the fit would be loose. However, when you clip, zip, and strap them, everything tenses up and fits sweet. The section that slides under the plastic coverings near the adjustment lever is a bit tricky, so pay attention to that.
It’s worth mentioning here that Secretlab SKINS are only currently available in their SoftWeave PLUS fabric, so those of you with a SoftWeave chair already who want to try out the NEO Hybrid Leatherette are out of luck, for now at least.
However, the skins are every bit as high-quality as the upholstery that comes on those variants of the chair itself, so those of you who fancied a SoftWeave, but didn’t want to buy an entirely new chair are in luck.
The one drawback we’ve noticed about the skins so far is that they make the magnetic head pillow noticeably looser, due to the additional fabric in between the magnets.
Aside from that, the fit and finish are fantastic, The rubber gasket perfectly fits over the adjustment knobs on each side of the chair is a particularly nice touch, helping to make it very tricky to tell if its a skin, or the chair itself.
This is an area in which the Titan EVO 2022 Series excels. With the exception of the rather shaky armrests and the adjustment levers, the chair feels absolutely rock-solid. All the metal parts feel sturdy, rigid, and built to last. The Hybride Leatherette feels wear-resistant and the stitching is heavy duty and impervious to our most aggressive picking. Seriously, we tried to yank the threads out and they wouldn’t budge.
In contrast, the adjustment levers are disproportionately low-quality. They’re made from nasty feeling plastic and flap around as you use them. They also have an irritating tendency to pull free from their positions at the slightest touch. It’s not a huge issue as once you configure the chair to suit your preferences you rarely have to use them, but considering the rest of the chair’s class-leading construction they stick out as an area for improvement. The armrests are pretty wobbly, but we suspect it’s a difficult to avoid knock-on effect of their extensive adjustment capabilities.
Secretlab has continued to expand the ecosystem of products surrounding the Titan EVO 2022 and the most recent additions are a pair of premium footrests.
The footrests come in two flavours: A ‘professional’ one and a ‘premium’ one’. We were given samples of both and have to say that we really like them.
As with all Secretlab products, the footrests exhibit excellent build quality, feel super premium to the touch, and are very expensive.
That’s not to say that they aren’t worth it, it’s just that they will be out of most people’s price range, so despite their inarguable quality, we don’t see them selling well.
The professional footrest is our favorite. It’s constructed very sturdily and can be adjusted to any angle between +15° to -15°. This means that users of any size will be able to effortlessly find a comfortable angle.
It’s not just a comfort thing either, shorter users may find the lowest setting of any given gaming chair not low enough to sit in an ergonomically healthy position (ideally, your knees should be at a 90-degree angle). Secretlab has also provided a set of rubber feet that lifts the footrest up a couple of inches, providing for all but the smallest of gamers.
Additionally, much like the CloudSwap armrests found on the Titan EVO 2022, there will be multiple surface options available in the future, and the footrest base is designed as such that you can simply swap them out as and when you see fit.
The ‘premium’ foot rest is the more affordable option and lacks the fancy adjustments of the professional variant, however, for those who just want a bit of additional comfort and aren’t fussed about ergonomics, it might actually be preferable. This is because it’s basically a massive firm cushion, and luckily, it’s less than half the price of the professional one, making it a particularly strong value proposition.
While we can’t call the Secretlab footrests a must-have, they are certainly nice-to-have and worth considering if you’re feel like your feet are missing out on the comfort you treated yourself to with the Titan EVO 2022 Series.
Your health is important, and given that we’re gamers it’s no surprise that we spend entirely too much time sitting in chairs. Luckily, Secretlab is aware of this and has designed the Titan EVO 2022 Series with posture and ergonomics in mind. The chair has the most adjustability options we’ve ever seen and the fact that it comes in three sizes to suit specific weight and height ranges proves that Secretlab has put the time in to make this chair a healthy option for gamers of all shapes and sizes.
This is where the Titan EVO 2022 truly separates itself from previous Secretlab products, with a fully adjustable built-in lumbar support system. Gone are the days of a clumsy pillow that slides around in and out of place. You can adjust the lumbar support up or down to suit your height, and vary the intensity to perfectly support and encourage a healthy spinal curvature. The adjustment is accomplished by turning a knob just behind each armrest. They are a bit hard to reach but once you dial it in you won’t need to touch it again. The system is easy to configure and we have yet to notice it shifting out of place – it’s a cleverly engineered system that negates the need for a cushion or any other such additions.
Previous iterations of Secretlab chairs have utilized a memory foam head pillow held in place by an elastic strap that also enables adjustment. It was a decent system but the pillow would often slide out of place as the elastic inevitably loosened. The Titan EVO 2022 puts a stop to this by implementing a magnetic system to hold the pillow to the back of the chair. It results in a neater aesthetic and allows easier adjustment, while at the same time staying put far more reliably than the previous strap-based system.
The pillow itself is made of a medium-firm memory foam that will cradle your neck in a healthy position. It’s worth noting here that the powerful magnets used in both the head pillow mounting system and the hot-swappable armrests do make this chair unsuitable for people with certain medical conditions.
These are also extensively adjustable with an impressive range of movement as they move up/down, back/forward, and rotate so you can customize them to your need and preferences. There are also magnets in play here, with a system that Secretlab calls CloudSwap. With a quick yank you can remove and replace them, with Secretlab promising new armrest covers made out of alternate materials in the future.
They’ve done it again. After an extended testing period, we have no choice but to recommend the Secretlab Titan EVO 2022. It comes packed with healthy ergonomic features and is customizable to such an extent that it will fit any gamer, regardless of size. The addition of the magnetic pillow is an excellent change over previous iterations of the chair as it cleans up the design and retains its position better.
The adjustable lumbar support is a cleverly designed system that is easy to use and results in effective support for your spine. The materials feel nice to the touch and look premium and the build quality is almost perfect, bar the armrests and adjustment levers. Overall the chair continues to uphold Secretlab as the gold standard of gaming chairs.
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