Ladies and gents, welcome to the modern age of gaming. No longer will your "Nintendo chair" just sit there and rock while you game away for hours at a time. Allow me to reintroduce the Pyramat PM220 Sound Rocker. This is a Nintendo chair for the modern gamer. It features ARX sound technology and integrated speakers near the head and a bass blasting subwoofer behind your ass. Check out the full review after the jump.
First things first: This thing weighs a ton and by ton, I actually mean 40 pounds rounded up. I believe I saw the UPS man have a hernia while trying to carry this up to my second-floor apartment. Be careful: wherever it is set up will be where it remains.
Setup. Firstly, there are a couple of options for audio playback: it can go through any device that uses component audio cables, and it can easily connect to MP3 players through the use of the standard 1/8" audio jack. Unfortunately the cable for the MP3 player is pretty short, so it made navigating between my favorite Hanson tracks a pain and I usually ended up unplugging the iPod, selecting my music and then plugging it back.
The home theater setup will depend on how easy this thing can hook up to consoles and whatnot. The instruction manual says to take the audio output cables from your console and run them directly to the rocker. My TV happens to have audio-out, so instead, I ran the rocker directly to my TV. This allowed me to enjoy all of my different consoles, DVD player and digital cable without any messy cable swapping. It also allowed for a nice surround sound environment since sound would still be streaming through the television speakers.
The sound controls are in a very awkward place. A birdie told me that they were going to be moved to the side of the rocker in the future, so that is definitely a plus, but the unit I tested had them in the middle at the front. There are three knobs: volume, bass and a switch between the MP3 player and other inputs.
Initial sitting test: it's a little stiff, but stiff in the way any new piece of furniture is. After many hours of gaming, I'm sure it would eventually conform to my well-sculpted ass. Unfortunately there is no type of headrest, but that's okay because in place of the headrest are two speakers that do their jobs very nicely.
Sound test 1, MP3 player. I loaded up my iPod with bass-heavy music and began a test for which my ass would love me for forever. Going in, I initially expected the speakers to be of lower quality seeing as how it was two speakers, a sub, and a chair for $99. But I was blown away with the sound quality I experienced. The sub nailed it, providing force feedback to my nether region while the speakers sounded clean and crisp. AJ from the Backstreet Boys never sounded so good until he was being delivered to me through a chair.
Gaming test 1. Once again, similar to the MP3 player test, this PM220 Rocker showed terrific sound quality. The online Halo experience can sometimes be a pain in the ass dealing with the little punk kids across the globe, but this chair made it ever so sweet when not only did I kill the kids many a time, but I also got to feel myself killing those punk kids through the subwoofer. A machine gun has never sounded or felt so good. To keep a variable intact I tried the rocker out with the Gamecube also; same fabulous sound as experienced with the Xbox.
Bottom line: The Pyramat PM220 rocker will enhance your gaming experience while also providing a great place to rest your ass for marathon gaming sessions. However, there are a couple of things that are needed on your part to make this product better: if you have multiple consoles, you should probably also have audio outputs on your TV to avoid a cable jungle and to also add the surround sound effect. This product also wouldn
t fit well in a home where it would have to be moved around frequently—40 pounds is a bit much for a small chair. Lastly, if you perhaps, like me, live in an apartment complex and have old neighbors living below you, expect to be evicted quickly; the bass can get loud and furious.
Pros: Excellent sound quality, nice addition of MP3 player support, decent price, and nice cool look with the brushed metal.
Cons: Cords could get messy, it is a tad heavy, and awkward placing of controls.
The Pyramat PM220 rocker is currently available for $99 through Target retailers nationwide.