Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 Review: Superior Gaming Chair
Since 2014, Secretlab has made a name for itself making premium gaming chairs with a strong range of movement. The Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 released today combines features of one of the best gaming chairs we’ve tested, the Secretlab Omega, and the Secretlab Titan, which accommodated the big and tall crowd, into one. Secretlab is discontinuing the other two chairs and offering the Titan Evo in three sizes, hoping to accommodate the whole market.
It’s a risky endeavor, but the Titan Evo looks to accommodate a vast range of body types with very specific adjustments. That includes a redeveloped lumbar support system that lets you tweak both its firmness and height and armrests that have 4 different adjustments. This is the kind of chair that can accommodate so many different positions and seems built to last.
Note that with the Titan Evo, Secretlab is doing away with the smaller Omega and larger Titan. The Titan Evo comes in three different sizes to cover the whole range of sizes and come in different prices:
- Regular – tested ($449 for faux leather / $469 for fabric upholstery): for gamers 5’7” – 6’2” and weighing under 220 pounds with a max supported weight of 285 pounds
- Small ($429 / $449 for fabric): for gamers 4’11” – 5’6”and weighing under 200 pounds with a max supported weight of 285 pounds
- XL ($499 / $519): for gamers 5’11” – 6’9” and weighing 175-395 pounds
Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 Specs
|Upholstery||Secretlab SoftWeave Plus Fabric (tested) or Secretlab Neo Hybrid Leatherette||Secretlab SoftWeave Plus Fabric or Secretlab Neo Hybrid Leatherette||Secretlab SoftWeave Plus Fabric or Secretlab Neo Hybrid Leatherette|
|Total Height (with base)||51.2 – 54 inches / 127 -134cm||50 – 52.8 inches||53.1-56.9 inches / 133-144.5cm|
|Backrest Length||33.5 inches / 85cm||32.3 inches / 82cm||35 inches / 89cm|
|Backrest Width (Shoulder Level)||21 inches / 53cm||20 inches / 51cm||22 inches / 56cm|
|Seating Area Width (Point of Contact)||18.5 inches / 47cm||17.7 inches / 45cm||19.3 inches / 49cm|
|Seating Area Width (total)||~22 inches / 55.9cm||Not disclosed||Not disclosed|
|Seating Area Depth||19.3 inches / 49cm||18.9 inches / 48cm||19.7 inches / 50cm|
|Armrest Width||26-29.1 inches / 66-74cm||24.4-27.6 inches / 62-70cm||27.4-30.5 inches / 69.5-77.5cm|
|Armrest Height||26-31.9 inches / 67-84cm||26-31.9 inches / 66-81cm||26.4-33.1 inches / 67-84cm|
|Max Recommended Weight||285 pounds / 130kg||285 pounds / 130kg||395 pounds / 180kg|
|Weight||76.1 pounds / 34.5kg||73.9 pounds||82.7 pounds / 37.5kg|
|Warranty||3 years, extendable to 5 years if posted on social media||3 years, extendable to 5 years if posted on social media||3 years, extendable to 5 years if posted on social media|
The Titan Evo rolls onto the scene with a full array of color options for both types of upholstery — fabric or fake leather — available. Although, the most vivid colors are on the $20 pricier, Softweave Plus fabric side. This is partially due to a new, automated weaving process that allows for more detailed patterns than the previous SoftWeave. Secretlab describes it as using “interlacing loops of high-strength yarn fibers,” which enables “smaller details to be incorporated into every stitch, enabling … complex designs in a multi-layered textile with different layers of color.”
Currently, you can get the chair with the fabric upholstery in (as seen above) Plush Pink, Mint Green, Frost Blue, Cookies & Cream, Black3 or Arctic White. However, I’m looking forward to seeing what other designs come to light with this new technology and Secretlab’s already established reputation for ornate designs with themes encompassing everything from League of Legends, to Game of Thrones and electronic DJs.
My review unit came in Black3, which, despite its name, carries subtle hints of white thread peeking throughout for a black or dark gray overall vibe, depending on your lighting Suede accents line the sides of the seat and backrest. The backrest also has a reminder of the year and size of the chair and a pinch of red curiously, yet inoffensively, threaded into a small area near the backrest’s suede too. There’s also a tiny number of silver accents contained to the armrest area, but they’re only noticeably for you to enjoy, not anyone watching your livestream.
It’s not truly an all-black chair, but the sprinkling of white gives the Titan Evo extra character and helps it look a little more expensive. However, I can’t help getting some car seat vibes.
It’s a tight weave, and it doesn’t seem like anything will snag on these slicker threads, at least not for a long time. Machine embroidered logos in black on the back and front of the headrest are stealthy on the dark fabric. These logos also look like they won’t snag easily because they feel smooth, flat and stuck to the upholstery. Speaking of logos, Secretlab’s is stamped into each armrest, but they’re too small to be any bother, unless you’re offended by how similar it looks to the Delta Air Lines logo.
Even the zipper at the rear of the backrest that gives you potential access to its innards is guarded by hard plastic. It makes getting inside the backrest hard, which is good because you shouldn’t have reason to mess with the foam inside anyway.
Ultimately, the SoftWeave Plus upholstery has just the right amount of texture to make the chair feel durable but not scratchy. It also won’t stick to or encourage sweaty skin, like leather or faux leather upholsteries often can. Cleaning may be tougher, especially if you get crumbs or other muck in between those threads. But because the threads are so tightly woven, this wasn’t an issue for me during and testing and definitely less concerning than with some mesh chairs, like the Mavix M5.
If you prefer leather, you may be disappointed that there’s currently no real leather upholstery option like there was with Secretlab’s previous chairs. However, Secretlab believes its new faux leather, called Secretlab neo Hybrid Leatherette, is so similar to the Napa leather it used, that few people would spend the extra for the real thing..
You can find countless gaming chairs all over the internet coated in polyurethane (PU) leather and many notably cheaper than the $449 Secretlab is charging for the regular-sized Titan Evo. The Cooler Master Caliber R2, for example, is currently $300, albeit with a smaller range of adjustments and less comfort. However, Secretlab claims its new fake leather is 12 times more durable than regular PU leather, thanks to a “base layer reinforced with ultra-fine fibers.” Plus, a “unique top laminate” claims to imitate the luster of Napa leather. Currently, the faux leather upholstery is available in (as seen in the the picture above) Ash, Stealth, Black, Royal and Classic.
If you’re not buying it, Secretlab told techy’s points that there will be a Napa leather version available “at a later time”; however, the brand is expecting a lot of interest because of how similar and cheaper the Neo Hybrid Leatherette version is.
Within the Titan Evo is a steel frame that you can’t feel at all through the upholstery and foam. The chair is complete with a hydraulic gas piston and aluminum alloy wheelbase.
The brand says it tests durability with the likes of drop tests, loading it with heavy weights and more. Other tests include immersing the upholstery in artificial sweat and putting it in a humidity chamber. As perhaps expected of a chair that foregoes real or fake leather, the SoftWeave version of the Titan Evo didn’t get warm, sweaty or sticky during my time with it.
New 4-Way L-Adapt Lumbar Support System
One of the biggest changes Secretlab introduced in the Titan Evo 22 is its lumbar support system. The Omega chair I previously used had a detachable pillow covered in dreamy velour and stuffed with luscious cooling memory foam. It was so comfortable that it could stand on its own as an extra pillow in the living room or bedroom, rather than just a freebie tossed in with a chair.
The Titan Evo goes the way of the larger Titan chair, which uses an adjustable lumbar support system built into the chair. I was told that this is because smaller people who would use the Omega rather than the Titan also wanted built-in lumbar support. You can still buy the lumbar support pillow, but Secretlab spent 2 years completely redesigning its lumbar system for the Titan Evo so that L-Adapt, as it’s called, can offer two types of adjustability: thickness and height.
We’ve seen knob-based, adjustable lumbar support systems before. For example, the Razer Iskur has a knob for adjusting how firm the lumbar support area is. The Titan Evo also has that, plus a second knob for making that area move up or down along your back.
Firmness adjustments yield a noticeable difference when sitting in the chair. If you’re not, you can clearly see the backrest’s protrusion varying with each twist of the knob. I like a lot of lumbar support and usually have the system set to maximum firmness. Support felt hard and unwavering but didn’t stick out dramatically or push into me. In fact, I could actually use a little more lumbar support.
You can still buy the Secretlab Signature Memory Foam Lumbar Pillow for $59, and I happened to have one on-hand. Placing it on top of the Titan Evo’s L-Adapt provided the excess care my greedy lumbar craves. The chair wasn’t uncomfortable without it, but it moved up a level with the chair included, hugging the deeper curve of my lower back more. Again, I like more lumbar support than average, so there’s a healthy chance you’ll be perfectly satisfied without the pillow.
The problem with relying on a detachable pillow for lumbar support is that when I recline or adjust my positioning, I also have to adjust the pillow. And if I want it higher, I’d have to hold the pillow in place by applying a bit of pressure. The Titan Evo’s lumbar support system doesn’t have this problem, thanks to its height adjustment.
Generally, the height adjustment was harder to notice than the one that pushes the system inward and outward. In fact, I didn’t believe it was really moving until I placed my finger where the bulgiest part of the backrest was. But after I saw it with my own eyes, it was easier for my body to feel the height adjustment. The feature was most helpful when I adjusted the angle of my seat. For example, if I was sitting at a 90-degree angle I wanted higher lumbar support than if I was reclined. During a deep recline, I wanted lumbar support higher than with a medium recline. The fact that I can get that specific is a point in the Titan Evo’s favor. On the other hand, the differences were minute in my experience. But if you’re paying over $400 for a chair, it’s about time that meant being able to address fine details of your comfort.
Secretlab’s L-Adapt feature is comprised of a lattice of hinges that’s supposed to move with you left and right.
This was the least noticeable feature of the lumbar system of all. The whole backrest is pretty firm to feel anything “moving” with me beneath. The Regular-sized Titan Evo I tested is for people under 220 pounds with a max of 285 pounds. I weigh significantly less than both measurements, so it’s possible someone with more heft could put a greater dent in the backrest and feel the hinges moving with them. That said, I never felt a noticeable lack of lumbar support when shifting from one side to another.
My inflexible, scrawny arms, (as well as a friend’s slightly longer arms), have another complaint in that the system’s two knobs are hard to reach and turn from a seated position. My appendages quickly grew weary while making adjustments. Additionally, it’s hard to read the words on the knob since it’s black-on-black, but Secretlab made the controls intuitive (clockwise for higher and more lumbar support, counterclockwise for lower and less support).
Comfort and Adjustments
The regular size version of the Titan Evo I tested is geared toward gamers who are 5’7” – 6’2” and under 220 pounds, but it can support a max weight of 285 pounds. I’m just tall enough to fit the recommendation and have over 100 pounds of wiggle room when it comes to the max weight.
Secretlab’s Titan Evo is a solid chair. The chair’s cold cure foam has hardly any give. Secretlab describes it as “medium-firm,” but I’d go with hard — but not rock-hard. I came to this chair after months of using the Mavix M5, a mesh chair that uses a porous lattice pattern for support with obvious give. The contrast made the Titan Evo a bit jarring at first.
The backrest was easier to get used to because I like a lot of back support and don’t want to feel like I have to press back to get full support whether I’m straight up or reclined. But the seat feels a little hard after a couple hours and makes me want to readjust. The seat does feel softer than the backrest when squeezing it. The angled sides are especially easy to press down, and I can hear air coming out of the foam as I do. This flexibility will help those who want to use the full width of the seat.
Although I’ve gotten used to the seat’s firmness, a little more give would still make the chair a little more comfortable for long gaming sessions. A friend who weighs more than me but still under the 200-pound mark agreed, appreciating the hardness of the backrest but wanting a slightly softer seat. Someone with more weight, however, may prefer the more dense support.
Because of the seat’s firmness, my thighs definitely feel supported, making them easy to forget about while sitting. The seat also has what Secretlab describes as a “waterfall edge” on the lip that’s supposed to contour to the back of the legs, which I felt regardless of my recline angle.
This is a spacious seat. When I’m sitting in one place for hours I tend to move around, and the seat here is great enough that I can sit with both legs crossed on top of it. The armrests’ ability to move up and down or in and out also makes this more feasible.
The seat’s point of contact is 18.5 inches across; however, the total width of the seat is about 22 inches, which is why I’m able to kick my feet up on it. The seat is also 19.3 inches deep (from the back of the knees to the back). The Razer Iskur’s seat is slightly tighter (17 inches, 21 inches and about 20 inches, respectively). And the AndaSeat Jungle’s seat is uncomfortably narrow (14.2-inches, 20.3 inches and 16.9 inches, respectively).
The Titan Evo’s backrest is cut from a single piece of Secretlab’s proprietary cold foam (the same stuffing found in its previous chairs). It has a distinct shape with shoulder wings that gently curve in. This should come in handy for broad shoulders. The edges of the backrest also come in, making for a small hugging sensation that makes me feel safe but doesn’t necessarily add more comfort. I fit in well in the area surrounded by the wings, but the wings prevent me from sitting in the chair with my shoulders and elbows back and my arms close to my body.
My review unit’s backrest measures 21 inches across at the shoulder level and is 33.5 inches long. For comparison, the Razer Iskur, which has similar height and weight recommendations (5’6”- 6’2”, under 299 pounds) is tighter at 19 inches and 32 inches, respectively. Meanwhile, the more affordable AndaSeat Jungle (recommended for people 5’0”-6’0” and under 211 pounds) has a backrest that’s slightly wider (22.6 inches) and shorter (32.5 inches) than our review focus.
The backrest is very accomodating of both focused and lackadaisical gamers. It can sit at an 85-degree angle from the seat, meaning you can lean in close to your game and still have your back and shoulders supported. I like to get up close and personal with my screen when I’m gaming sometimes or doing detailed productivity work, like photo editing. The 85-degree recline makes those tasks go from feeling tense to natural, and a recline under 90 degrees is more rare among gaming chairs. For the more laidback player, the chair can recline back 165 degrees. As mentioned, the lumbar support system helps the recline a little in that you can move the lumbar support system up and down to accommodate your specific angle. The chair still felt trustworthy as I laid back, even with me spinning round in circles (why don’t they allow this chair at the dentist?).
The recline lever on the seat’s right side is easy to grab without looking and even features handy finger grooves. But it can get a little jammed when you’re lowering it, requiring either some extra force or for me to lean forward a little to allow it to lock it in place. This is accompanied by an off-putting metal noise.
Armrests are another one of the ways Secreltab chairs have stood out because you can move them so much. In this case, the armrests go up and down 3 inches, move sideways 0.8 inches, forward and back 1.4 inches and can also turn diagonally one notch outward or inward. Each movement has its own button and is usable regardless of any armrest adjustments you have already made.
This all matches the functionality of the preceding Omega and Titan, except for the sideways movement, which used to be 1 inch instead of 0.8 inch. I bring this up because I actually wish the armrests were a little closer together. With both armrests as close to my sides as possible, I still have to open my wingspan slightly to rest my elbows, even with the armrests angled inward. If I’m using a smaller keyboard or just want to keep my arms as close to my body as possible, either for ergonomic reasons or maybe because I’m gaming with a controller, I wouldn’t get any armrest support. While the Omega’s armrests were 24.4 – 27.6 inches apart, the Titan Evo’s are 26-29.1 inches. It could be worse though: The Jungle’s are 27.4 inches apart and not adjustable in this way.
As a smaller complaint, I’d like the armrests to be able to move backward more to accommodate deep reclines. I also wouldn’t mind the armrests getting a little lower. With the seat and armrests both at their lowest positions, the armrests are 26 inches high. That’s just a smidge too tall to fit under my tiny desk.
The armrests are resistant to weight, requiring me to press down hard to make it give. But they don’t feel hard, meaning I can rest on them for hours. Their PU faux leather topping is also buttery soft, boasting smooth luxury I want to melt into. If you’re not into the faux leather feel though, you can pay extra and swap out the armrests’ magnetic tops. Secretlab is also releasing its Technogel Premium Armrest tops, which use “German-made memory gel [that ]conforms to your wrists and elbows in all directions for more even weight distribution and improved pressure relief,” according to Secretlab.
Underneath the seat’s left side is a lever for turning tilt on or off. The tilt feature is accompanied by a knob for adjusting tension. It’s under the center of the seat and much harder to reach. When sitting at a 90-degree angle, I had to shove back hard to get the tilt working. It’s easier at a slight or greater recline, where I can get a nice rocking chair effect if desired. However, I found little use for this, as I do for rocking chairs (sorry grandmas).
The lever for adjusting the chair’s height is underneath the seat’s right. The handle faces a different direction than the tilt lever to help differentiation. And it’s helpful for righties that the one you’re most likely to use is on the right side.
Magnetic Memory Foam Head Pillow
Believe it or not, I’ve actually been waiting for someone to shake up the neck pillow game, and Secretlab has by making the Titan Evo’s stick to the chair via magnets rather than a strap. Unfortunately, I still find the pillow to stick out too much and that it pushes my head forward in an unnatural way, although less so than with other chairs. This pillow is dense, requiring me to apply some pressure for it to conform to my head shape.
The new approach to the pillow’s application and adjustment means there are no unsightly straps stretched across the back of the backrest. Instead, the pillow has a magical floating look, and the magnets worked well for the most part. With a deeper recline the pillow rarely slipped; although, in that scenario I wanted the pillow lower than the most southern part of the backrest’s magnets (by the top of the T logo), so, of course, the pillow fell.
Another downside is that it’s easy to forget that the pillow has magnets in it, so just be careful tossing it near anything that’s sensitive to magnets.
The Titan Evo’s memory foam head pillow is better quality than any other free neck pillow I’ve seen included with a gaming chair. When you squeeze it with your hand, it lovingly gives in to you and promptly unscrunches back into shape when you release. There are calculated curves here too. It’s just too bad I still haven’t found a neck pillow that I feel adds superior comfort. I ultimately prefer to use the Titan Evo without its neck pillow.
Secretlab’s massive (about 30.5 x 26 inches) print-out instructions hint that it’s easier to build the Titan Evo with a friend, but I was able to complete it with just me, myself and I in about 45 minutes. I also used the tools in the box, a pair of Allen wrenches, including one with a comfy handle that also serves as a Phillips head screwdriver on the other end.
It’s a hefty package at about 76.1 pounds, so you may need help getting it up any stairs. But I was able to wearily navigate the heavy backrest and thick seat without help. The hardest part, as usual, was getting the holes in the backrest to align with the holes in the bracket of the seat so the two could be screwed together. But while I normally need assistance with this part and extra patience, getting the holes to match up seemed a little easier on the Titan Evo than on other chairs I’ve built.
I appreciated the armrests being attached to the seat out of the box. The armrests’ covers easily snap on magnetically, as do the covers for the brackets connecting the backrest to the seat, saving me some time and effort.
The Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 offers almost all of the adjustments you can want in gaming chair and in a good-looking package. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a rival that feels and looks this good. The Razer Iskur puts up a good fight with its firm build, but its lumbar support system isn’t as adjustable and aesthetically, it looks like a bulky, scaly defect. At least in the case of the fabric upholstery version I tested, the Titan Evo is one of the few chairs that feels as durable as its price implies and further earns the high cost with its appearance. Plus, the quality of the Titan Evo’s pillow sets a new standard.
This is a harder chair, and because of that your back should feel very supported. But for the same reason, the seat may feel tiresome after a couple hours. The ability to finetune the lumbar support and armrests should not be overlooked. However, the lumbar support pillow Secretlab used to include with its chairs provides even more support that conforms to deep curves better. Further, having the armrests closer together would take things to the next level, and being able to move the armrests backward more would be a nice bonus.
The Titan Evo 2022 isn’t perfect, and there are some things I liked about Secretlab’s now discontinued Omega better. But this is still the cream of the crop among chairs we’ve tested and should be a sound investment for gamers seeking a versatile, supportive chair for the long haul.