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Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 review

Secretlab Titan Evo review: the best just got an upgrade

(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

Cool, stylish, well-built, and now sporting an improved, built-in lumbar support system and a magnetic headrest that's bound to attract more converts to the not-so-secret success of a Secretlab gaming chair.

Pros

  • Class-leading designs and materials
  • Magnetic headrest
  • Improved adjustable lumbar support...

Cons

  • ...but no memory foam lumbar cushion this time

The Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 series of chairs has a tough task ahead of it to topple the Secretlab Omega from our best gaming chairs guide. One thing's for sure though, the brand from Singapore is still the name to beat, providing chairs that are comfortable to sit on for hours on end and offering enough styles to choose from to suit a wide range of tastes.

Given how good the 2020 series (originally released in 2019) Secretlab chairs were, you might assume the changes would be minimal especially given the wide acclaim from press and fans alike. But that's not the case.

Secretlab has taken on feedback and made some smart ergonomic changes here; it's redesigned the built-in lumbar support system to be more flexible and offer a wider range of support for more body shapes, heights, and preferences. And the new magnetic headrest is a revelation to anyone that's constantly fighting the elastic on a regular headrest for the best position.

The Titan Evo series merges the Omega and older Titan chairs into one line that now comes in Small, Regular, and XL sizes. Sizes have been adjusted though and the smallest one is smaller than the previous smallest chair, as it's now suited for heights of 4"11' - 5"6'. Regular suits 5"7' - 6"2', and the XL will be a good fit for buyers at 5"11' - 6"9'. It's a much better range and now the same features are shared across every size.

Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 review

(Image credit: Future)

Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 - Assembly

You're looking at around 30-45 minutes to put the chair together on your own. Construction is mostly going to be a one-time thing for most buyers of any chair, so it's not something we get too hung up on, but we really wish more brands would follow Secretlab's lead by including guide rails to slot the backrest into the seat section. It makes lining up the holes for the screws so much easier when building the chair on your own. For context, it took two of us to put together the similarly-priced Razer Iskur X recently, along with a bit of brute force and salty language to get the backrest sorted.

No such issues with the Titan Evo, however, and the step-by-step instructions made things simple enough. The armrests come attached already but can be adjusted outwards a bit via an easy-access switch, but if you want to set them in an extra-wide position you can loosen some bolts underneath the chair to do so (but that's something you'll want to do after you've built the chair and sat in it as you might find you don't need to alter anything unless you have a larger frame).

There is also a neat improvement over the Omega and old Titan series in the instructions that I appreciated, and that was a sticker on the underside of the chair to indicate which way around the piston section goes before you screw it in. It wasn't particularly clear on the older chairs.

Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 review

(Image credit: Future)

How comfortable is the Secretlab Titan Evo 2022?

We tested the Softweave version of the new Titan Evo chair and yes, it really is a pleasure to sit in for extended periods of time. The material has been upgraded to a new 'Softweave Plus' type and is said to be more durable and breathable.

We've not had the chair long enough to really test the durability, but to the touch, it does feel like the material is a little tighter and compact, so this could make it last longer. But we've sat on the previous version of the Softweave for a while now and not had any problems with the durability of the material at all. Softweave Secretlab chairs are generally more breathable than the cheaper leatherette designs, and arguably the way to go if it's hot and humid in your location. 

At 5ft8 I favored the previous Omega line over the old Titans, but wasn't really a fan of the low but hard edges of the chairs as I felt too hemmed in and couldn't sprawl in the chair as much as I would have liked - plus, it's a pain vacuuming out dust and debris from the crevices. So I'm loving the newly-designed edges that are slightly raised to support the outside of your thighs, but are now soft enough to let you sit however you like.

Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 review

(Image credit: Future)

The newly designed built-in lumbar support is much improved over the old Titan series, too. It's more flexible and doesn't feel like it's trying to kick you out of the chair, especially as you're no longer limited to simply adjusting how much it sticks out. A second dial now lets you move the actual position of the support up and down, which is a fantastic addition to find that sweet spot for users of various individual heights inside each chair's recommended size ranges.

Yes, it's made of more flexible material, so you can push against it more, but it's far from what we'd call soft and it can take a while to adjust it to that sweet spot. 

Despite the additional customization, built-in lumbar support - particularly on the most protruding settings - can take a while to get used to, but as someone that spends an awful lot of time at a desk, I can appreciate that I have a bad habit of slouching a lot and the Titan Evo lets me improve my posture without me feeling I'm being prodded in my back as much as other chairs with 'lumbar support'. Not naming any names, but other chairs seem to be suggesting I should stand up and buy a standing desk.

However, I'm a sucker for the 2020 Secretlab Omega as it actually included a memory foam lumbar pillow instead of adjustable support, and I do really miss it on the Evo. I felt well supported at all times at work and its soothing softness was superb for kicking back in recline mode too. The cushion's close-contact embrace did make it quite warm on those hot and humid days, whereas the built-in support on the Evo is much more breathable, but the cushion allowed me to slouch more when I wanted to. By contrast, the Titan Evo's harder lumbar support does a better job at keeping me upright and attentive.

Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 review

(Image credit: Future)

When taking a break though, the recline mode is still excellent. Combined with the unlockable tilt lever for rocking backwards a bit more, it feels like a full recline at 165 degrees. The thumbprint-grip design on the end of the recline lever is a neat new touch too.

Thankfully, the delightfully soft memory foam headrest hasn't been removed, but it has been drastically improved with such a simple change that we're almost irritated we've not seen all chairs doing it for years. Magnets.

That's right, the Secretlab Titan Evo has ditched those ugly elastic headrest straps that always marred the looks of the chair, not to mention the lack of adjustability for a magnetic connection. Yes, the improved range of chair sizes in the series makes it more suited to a wider range of people, but now you can get that headrest just right. 

For a sense of how low you can set it, I was able to place it as low as just under the Secretlab logo (while not obscuring it), and also right at the top of the chair. Want it right behind your head, or maybe perfectly covering your neck? You can do that now without the strap constantly pinging it back to a default position - it's arguably the biggest improvement to any gaming chair I've seen in years. And sorry folks, if you were wondering, it's not compatible with older chairs in the Secretlab line - I tried.

Finally, the 4D armrests return for a wide range of adjustable positions with simple controls to get them just right, and they're nicely locked-in the rest of the time, meaning they don't spin out from under you every time you haul yourself out of the chair. Secretlab is planing on releasing swappable armrest pads soon, and we'll keep you posted on those once we've had some more hands-on time with them and pricing has been confirmed.

Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 review

(Image credit: Future)

What Secretlab Titan Evo styles are there?

Secretlab is keen to hit the ground running with the new line as the Titan Evo 2022 seems to be arriving in the store with plenty of the licensed options that have been such a success with fans over the years. Game of Thrones, Batman, League of Legends, Warcraft, Cyberpunk 2077, and more all return, along with the more discrete designs.

The Softweave Titan Evo does actually have some new light pastel pink, blue and green options as well which are new to the brand. We're super cautious with fabric chairs (read: we're clumsy with spilling drinks) so the Black 3 model we have is the best if you share similar fears over potential stains. The cookies and cream design is absolutely gorgeous though, or if you're brave and crave that super clean aesthetic, the new Arctic White one is a thing of beauty and one we'd be all over if we never ate, only drank water, and didn't have any pets/sticky-handed younglings.

As we'd expect from Secretlab, the build quality is excellent as usual. Everything from the clean stainless steel armrests and switches, smoothly flowing casters, and impeccable stitching is all present as usual. Having used one of the special edition Omega chairs for nearly a year now, I'm happy to report that even on the complex embroidered design on the back, there's not a stitch out of place despite me brushing past it regularly in a tight room (I'm so done with home working, folks) and regularly using it as a coat rack when not sitting in it. So if you want a nice-looking chair, that's going to stay that way, I think you'll be more than ok with the new Secretlab Titan Evo chairs.

Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 review

(Image credit: Future)

Should you buy the Secretlab Titan Evo?

While far from what we'd call a cheap gaming chair deal (prices start at $429/£359), the Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 line is great value for money if you're looking for a chair that will double up for both work and play use. However, it's a touch more expensive than the older Titan and Omega line, and those are still excellent chairs we can wholeheartedly recommend... while they're still available, at least (prices are beginning to come down to make way for the new line that will fully replace the 2020 series soon).

That new 4-way adjustable lumbar support offers excellent customization settings though, and could be just what you need if you find yourself slouching at your desk too much. And while we'd probably say to stick with your 2020 Secretlab chair if you already have one, the new magnetic design on the headrest makes it hard to go back to anything else.

If you're a new buyer, then we'd arguably give the Titan Evo the edge over the cheaper, older chairs, which surely won't be around for much longer anyway. One thing is for sure, the Secretlab Evo 2022 will leave rival brands shifting uncomfortably in their seats. Unless they bought a Secretlab too, that is.

The Verdict
4.5

4.5 out of 5

Secretlab Titan Evo 2022

Cool, stylish, well-built, and now sporting an improved, built-in lumbar support system and a magnetic headrest that's bound to attract more converts to the not-so-secret success of a Secretlab gaming chair.

More info

Available platformsPC, PS5, Xbox Series X
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Brendan Griffiths

Brendan is GamesRadar's Managing Editor of the Hardware & eCommerce team. Formerly the Deals Editor at our sister site, TechRadar, he's obsessed with finding the best tech, games, gadgets, and hardware at the lowest price. He spends way too much of his free time trying to decide what new things to watch on Netflix, then just rewatches It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia instead.