We are a gaming family in my house. Whether it is the Leapster, the Gameboy, or the Nintendo Wii, we love to play video games. Well, I suppose I should say that my five year old and I love to play video games. My two year old just likes to chase us around with a spare controller, pushing inappropriate buttons at the wrong time So, you can imagine how thrilled my whole family was when I had the opportunity to review the Wi-FX Boomchair from Lumisoft.
[Image courtesy of Boomchair]
OK, we’ll let’s get down to it. I knew I was in for a treat when I saw the box. This was an enormous box…a fact which was not lost on my youngest son.
Inside that box, was another huge box. This is turning out to be the best item I have ever reviewed.
As you can see, Max probably would have been perfectly happy if there had been nothing else inside those boxes. But, such is the life of a two year old.
Once Max dragged himself out of the boxes, we decided to check out the contents: the Wi-FX Boomchair.
I first encountered these rocking style gaming chairs when I was on college. Back then, they were one solid piece, usually made from foam or padded plastic. Many of these chairs are still one piece, and I was surprised to find two pieces here (the lower rocking base and the back). More on that in a minute.
The chair itself is extremely comfortable. It looked and felt like a captain’s chair, with its extra padding in all the right places and adjustable headrest. In fact, on more than one occasion, I sunk into it and rocked the baby to sleep.
On either side of the headrest are the two three inch-two way speakers. These worked extremely well. I found the sound quality from these speakers was very crisp, although the volume could have gone higher. Still, it was loud enough that you could hear most of the sounds from your game (or just sit in it to watch TV) but not so loud that it overpowered everyone else in the room. The effect is rounded of by the included subwoofer, which is located underneath the seat. It all worked well as a supplement to another audio source. However, when I tried to play with my main speakers turned off, I found myself straining to hear, which was a distraction from whatever game I was playing or show I was watching.
Of course, getting the sounds to play through the speakers took only the slightest setup. Find the audio out jacks on the component you wish to hear. I chose my stereo receiver, since everything else connects through that. This means, no matter what we were listening to, the speakers on the chair would be activated. Now, just plug the included RCA cables into the audio out jack, and then either into the control panel on the side or, for a wireless experience, into the wireless transmitter.
If you are using the transmitter, then the only thing you will need to do is ensure that the transmitter and chair are both set to the same channel and turned on.
In addition to the stereo sound, there are two sound sensitive headlights on the front, which will illuminate in different colors. This did not really do much for the gaming experience, but I still thought it was fun.
There are two ways to power the chair. You can plug it into a wall outlet, using the included AC adaptor. If you want it to be made more portable, however, then you can insert eight (yes, 8) “D” cell batteries. This will allow you to use the chair anywhere. In order to preserve power, certain features (including the headlights will be disabled when the chair is used on battery power.
To be honest, I was not wild about the battery power option. Eight “D” batteries is just outrageous. I would much have preferred a rechargeable battery had been included.
OK. That brings us to the construction and design of the chair itself or, as I call it, “Why this chair is destined to the basement.” As I mentioned, it is constructed in two parts: the rocking base, and the heavy back.
When not in use, the back folds down onto the base, making it fairly compact for storage or transport. So far, so good. The problem arises when you set it back up, again. When you unfold the back, there is only a thin velcro strip holding it place. This strip was simply not strong enough to hold the heavy back in place, and it constantly fell.
When you have small children and babies playing on and around the chair, the danger that the heavy back panel will crash down on top of them (often without warning) can be a bit scary.
The design of this chair really warranted more than the simple velcro strip to hold it together. There should have been a locking clip or latch to secure the back in place.
[NO CHILDREN WERE HARMED DURING THE WRITING OF THIS REVIEW]
What I liked: This is a very comfortable chair. I loved the wireless sound.
What Needs Improvement: The back MUST be supported with more than a simple velcro strip. A rechargeable battery would have been better.
Where to Buy: