Imagine having a nice back massage while you are playing, having fun and relaxing at the same time. The idea isn't bad, and that's exactly what Osim offers you with the uThrone gaming chair. We've been trying it for a couple of weeks and now we'll find out if it's actually a good idea or not.
How uThrone is made
Aesthetically it is a normal upholstered chair, the declination in "gaming chair" simply concerns the look and the way in which the Osim company wants to position it. A large padded seat, generously sized both in terms of thickness and width, is able to make people of all sizes comfortable. There is a lumbar cushion and a headrest, you can adjust the height and recline the backrest. The arm supports are also adjustable in height while you can raise or lower the headrest.
The predominant material is synthetic leather, except for the central part of the backrest characterized by a soft and elastic fabric. The massaging mechanism moves freely along the entire height of the backrest, just behind this elastic section.
It arrives semi-assembled, you will have to connect the backrest to the seat and insert the support with the wheels. Compared to other "normal" chairs, in this case you will obviously have to connect it to a power outlet. The cable isn't particularly long, but you shouldn't have any problems plugging it into where you'll have your computer plugged in.
The controls for the massage are inserted in the right armrest, just slide it to reveal the control keyboard. In the upper part of the backrest there are two speakers that can be connected via bluetooth.
The massage function
There are three massage programs, one that focuses on the upper back, one on the mid/lower back, and one full body. The mechanism mainly performs two movements, one rotating and one vibrating with a series of quick taps in the various areas. The mechanism, when at rest, is positioned in the lower part of the backrest at the level of the seat, consequently with the massage off you can lean on it without any impediment. Depending on the program, you can choose whether to keep the lumbar cushion or the headrest, or to remove both to allow the mechanism to reach all areas of your back. Usually the headrest is a comfortable support even during the massage, while the lumbar cushion is an impediment that you will almost always remove.
Through the various controls it is possible to adjust the height of the shoulders, so that the massage mechanism can execute the program correctly.
In addition to the three automatic programs you can choose the type of movement (rotating or vibrating) and move the mechanism up, down or even define the amplitude. While the massage is active, the noise level is contained.
Proof of use
Unlike many other gaming chairs out there, the uThrone lacks some adjustments: the arm rest can only be adjusted in height, therefore it does not move sideways and it cannot be rotated a few degrees to the right or left. The backrest can be tilted but will always have a fixed position, so it doesn't tilt when you shift your weight. Many chairs allow you to choose between free movement or a fixed backrest, in which case it will only be fixed. These are the main shortcomings, some are probably related to the presence of the massaging part, such as the impossibility of adjusting the rotation of the arm supports since the controls are right under the right arm rest, while the impossibility of free inclination is probably a choice, not very acceptable.
The massage experience is undoubtedly very positive. We are not massage experts, so we cannot judge the way the massaging elements move. However we have tried it for many days, it has been pleasant and we have not had any negative consequences. The greatest benefit is obtained by tilting the backrest in a semi-reclining position, so when you are not working on the computer. It is still possible to activate the massage while using the PC, but it is not recommended during gameplay. The movement on the back is such as to make the whole body vibrate, including the hand holding the mouse, and consequently you will not be able to have precise control of the movements. Of course it also depends a lot from game to game, but don't think you can play a shooter while getting a massage.
For this reason it makes sense to consider this chair as a normal chair while you play or work on the computer, and then use it for a relaxing massage to be exploited during breaks or after several hours sitting in front of the monitor.
The quality of the bluetooth speakers is only fair, a pair of headphones or probably your computer speakers can offer better sound quality. It is an accessory that you will probably only use to play some relaxing music in the background during a massage session, if you don't have the computer on or you don't have a pair of earphones at hand. In short, they are not very useful.
uThrone by Osim is a one of a kind gaming chair, and for this reason it is not easy to give a definitive judgment, however we can make some considerations. First of all, the massage system is undoubtedly of good quality and certainly more advanced than what can be found in some very cheap models. That is, it is not just a question of rotating elements positioned here and there, but of a system capable of carrying out various programs, adjustable and with the ability to move over the entire height of the backrest.
It is hardly comparable even to those accessories that can be placed on a normal chair and which integrate various massaging elements. It is something that is placed on a chair, it is not integrated into the design, it is not comfortable for everyone and above all it is not customizable.
As a massaging system it is closest to that of professional chairs, even if it does not reach the same performance levels as massage chairs.
The combination of "gaming chair" and "massage" is a bit tight. The two functions are not strictly related, so it is more accurate to see this chair for the two separate functions. You will not have your back massaged while you play, so to speak.
Price is clearly a major talking point, why uThrone cost 899 euro. It is absolutely not a little, even if as we have said it is not easy to make an assessment solely from an economic point of view. Those accessories that are placed on the chairs cost from less than 100 euros to a few hundred euros, but they are not really comparable. And we can't even make a comparison with massage chairs, which cost much more on average.
It is a very particular product that makes its uniqueness a strong point. The gaming chair itself, without the massaging part, is not worth this price. There are many models that offer more adjustments and convenience for half the money. But of course they have no massaging function. Our advice is therefore to consider uThrone if you want a very special chair, if you like massages and if you want to give yourself an expensive but very special gift.