Cheering for Listening Chairs

You’ve done the math and mapped your listening room’s acoustics.  The standing waves have been conquered, early reflections are no more, and you’ve placed every component perfectly so the sweet spot is sweeter than can be.  But which listening chair to choose?  Member, Dreadhead, thought maybe a recliner, a chair with an ottoman, or perhaps even an old barber’s chair, but decided to ask the experts first (that’s you!).

Tbromgard: I have a chair and ottoman from Ikea. It was $99 total, what a deal. Its comfortable and looks nice.

Hevac1: I use leather recliners in my room. The only issue I know of is you want the back of the chair not be any higher that your shoulders other wise it will be like cupping your ears with your hands.

Sebrof: I had the Ikea chairs – great value and comfy. But my elbows started to hurt after a while because of the wood arm rests. It doesn’t seem to be a problem for a couple of friends that also own them. I ended up with Paliser brand “Mellow” chairs. They cost more than $100 though.

Vegasears: Another vote for Ekrones or Eames. When buying my current “Listening Chair” I took height measurements and identified the optimal location for my head. Also, the headrest was a issue. I wanted one but preferred adjustable so I could keep it low. The Ekrones fit the bill but I was not prepared for the cost. My wife talked me into it. She is a Safety Engineer and performs Ergonomic assessments for employee work stations among her other duties.  I spend a lot of time in a chair so don’t cheap out. Woman knows me all too well.

Doggiehowser: If budget is no issue, I suggest having a look at the Stressless series. I thought they were heavenly. On a budget, the IKEA Poang recliner and footstool are hard to beat.

Slaw: You have to ask yourself, “Do I want to be comfortable every time (I) listen or sacrifice some sonics for the best possible sound?” Trade-offs suck!

Sgordon1: IMHO, “comfort” is over-rated, here. I want comfortable shoes, in the sense that I don’t want to feel pain, I don’t want my attention drawn to discomfort in my feet when I stand or walk. When I am paying attention and listening
seriously to music, I don’t want to be uncomfortable in my seat, BUT I am not seeking detachment, either.

When I listen to music in a dedicated room, I actually want to feel a certain “tension” as I listen to
music. I want to pay attention to details, to be involved in the listening experience. While my mental focus is the music, “comfort” to me is the absence of sensations that can interfere with this.  There are practical considerations, too.

Here is my personal criteria, regarding my listening chair:

1) minimal interaction of the seat (influencing the sound) with absorbing sound waves. This leads to concerns about the size,
composition material, and mass of the chair.

2) ability to support my lower back and encourage a natural neck/ head position

3) ability to raise/lower the height of the seat to vary the listening position in relation to speakers

4) ease of entry and exit from the seat and ability to keep both feet flat on the floor

I have Ekornes furniture elsewhere, but for me it doesn’t “fit” in my dedicated listening room. The physical “isolation” of a recliner/lounge chair is at odds with the mental participation that I am seeking when I listen to music intently.

My solution? The kind of chair you find in the waiting room of a professional office. Four thin legs, a supportive back, and
armrests. Moderately priced, efficient, and sonically neutral.

Yes, I have more respect for “wallflower” functional furniture and am less attracted to upscale pieces that seem to call attention to
themselves rather than serve the music…

Russ69: A chair that puts your ears at the proper height is the key. Take a tape measure and get the seating height right.

 

If your listening room is in a higher traffic area, do you opt for something more stylish? Are you willing to sacrifice comfort and choose furniture that’s reminiscent of a doctor’s waiting room? Or do you look for something that goes with a glass of wine? What are your gives and takes? Let us know in the comments below.

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