I’ve had a bad habit of cheaping out on peripheral purchases. When it comes to the innards of my PC, I have no qualms going all out. But when it comes to keyboard, mouse, monitors and/or headphones, I tend to cut costs. The same is true of chairs.
I used to laugh at the concept of expensive or even so-called gaming chairs, that was until my third cheap generic Officeworks chair broke in spectacular fashion, leaving me confused, bruised, on my back and, ultimately, in need of a new throne. It was around this time my attitude towards chairs changed.
See, I spend the vast majority of my day sitting in front of my desktop computer. If I’m not writing (I work from home), I’m gaming, or generally procrastinating in front of my screens. Unbeknown to me at the time, those generic chairs I used to buy weren’t the best for my posture, and I got used to getting to the end of a work day or mammoth gaming session with a sore back. That was just par for the course, right?
Wrong. I splurged on an expensive Aeron office chair and I’ve never looked back. The best thing about my Aeron chair is that the soft biomorphic design supports me in my various states of bad posture. Wherever I fidget to, it moves with me. The bad thing is that because of this, I tend to have bad posture on other chairs that aren’t as supportive.
Cue the entry of Secretlab’s Omega Stealth chair. Shifting from the Aeron to the Omega, I was a bit put off at first. At first glance, it looks like an upper-end office chair, replete with black leather, arm rests, wheels… y’know, all the usual stuff you’d expect from a chair with a $629RRP tag.
When I sat on it, though, it was a game changer for my expectations of a seat. In the past, whenever I thought of gaming chairs, I imagined those bionic seats with inbuilt speakers and other tech that extended outside of the most important function of a chair: comfort. After all, gaming sessions aren’t necessarily short affairs, so there’s no reason why a chair shouldn’t be as comfortable as a couch.
The Omega Stealth takes it a step further, though, with a supportive design that promotes good posture, but still elevates comfort as the primary design consideration. In comparison to my Aeron and the other generic office chair I have rattling around my apartment, the Omega Stealth is a lot firmer. That’s not to say it’s hard, but its rigid design means I am at my most comfortable when I have the back of the seat at a 90-degree angle. Sitting on the chair feels like the equivalent of lying down on a firm mattress, doubly so when I attached the included neck pillow.
Compared to both generic and Aeron chair, the Omega Stealth offers neck support that those other chairs don’t offer. I’m a 188cm (6’2”) lad, so I appreciate that the Omega Stealth offers comfortable neck support for my tall torso that tends to stretch beyond standard headrests. There’s also an optional lower-back pillow, that I find myself alternating onto and away from the chair. It’s great because it allows me to slide back and forward as I work (a habit I’ve noticed since testing this chair), but I tend to feel more comfortable without the lower-back pillow there after extended use.
It’s also worth noting that the Omega Stealth is recommended for a weight load of 110kg (240lbs). I’m a few kilograms over that, and even more with a giant ginger cat sitting on my lap (he weighs about 9kg), I was impressed at how the chair held our combined weight without any groaning (or sinking, which happens on my Aeron chair). Obviously, these recommended weight loads are there for a reason, so I’m not advising pushing beyond that as I have; I’m merely stating that there haven’t been any noticeable complications with it in the week I’ve been using it as my primary PC chair.
On the topic of complications, the only issues I’ve had with the Omega Stealth were during the construction phase. In terms of the positive stuff, it was delivered in an incredibly well-packaged box that, refreshingly, included everything you need, including an Allen key (hex key) whose longer end doubled as a Phillips-head screwdriver. The build was relatively straightforward when following the instructions, but I did get stuck for some time on attaching the backrest to the bottom of the chair.
To be fair, there is a recommendation to get somebody to assist during this construction step (and only this step), but I was determined to do it myself, and it is doable. The trick, for me, was to defy the warning about not pulling the backrest recline lever prior to attaching the backrest, so I could manoeuvre it to a position that would make it easier to attach the bottom and back parts without assistance. That particular hurdle took a while to crack, so it was about an hour all up to get everything out of the box, remove the plastic, and put it together, though I imagine it’d be a whole lot faster for someone who has help or doesn’t hit the same issue that I did.
I’m relatively simplistic in my chair needs, so I was glad that the Omega Stealth was able to drop low enough to get the armrests below my table so I could maintain proper sitting posture while typing, with support for my elbows. For those who have more refined chair requirements, the Omega Stealth has a backrest recline lever; simple adjustable armrests (front to back, up and down, adjusted angle), as well as the option to shift them from side to side by loosening and tightening bolts beneath the chair; a tilt mechanism lock; and a tension adjustment knob for personalising the rocking tension.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to be as impressed by the Omega Stealth as I was, knowing I’d be comparing it to my go-to Aeron chair (which was more than double the price of the Omega Stealth). As someone who’s become accustomed to softer chairs, the firmer support of the Omega Stealth took a few minutes to get used to, but I appreciated the improvements to my posture and the comfort after extended use.
If you are interested in a Secretlab chair, there’s a ‘soft launch’ special on the website at the moment that drops the price by $100 or more across the range.