We’re all gear-heads in some way and most of us will jump at a good deal regardless of whether we need the piece or not. That’s said, it’s pretty easy to overlook the basic necessities of the studio, and many times that’s the physical comfort of the engineer. If you’re going to sit in a chair for 8+ hours per day, it better be comfortable or the chiropractor bills are going to mount up. That’s why the new PhantomFocus eChair from Carl Tatz Design is so intriguing. This may be the first breakthrough in comfort in years that engineers will notice immediately.
If you don’t know, Carl Tatz is a Nashville based studio designer who’s also the creator of the breakthrough Phantom Focus playback system, but the eChair may be his everlasting gift to the engineering community. It looks a bit odd, but boy does it work well when it comes to both ergonomics and comfort.
First of all, the chair is dead easy to assemble. After having struggled with putting together a big traditional office chair recently, I was particularly impressed that the eChair went together without needing any tools in probably less than 2 minutes. And that’s without any instructions!
But it’s the adjustable features of the chair really make it special. The big one is the ActiveTilt seat that can be set to automatically pivot forward and backward with your body as you lean towards the console or desk, so you’re back always stays at the same angle. Then, the Free-Float backrest can be unlocked so that the hidden springs actively push it into your lower back as you lean your body forward and backward as well. It’s like a mini-massage every time you lean back. The more or less standard features that many other chairs have are also included, like armrests that have height, width, and yaw-angle settings (I find this a must-have for my tennis elbow), backrest height that can be changed, and pneumatic lift for easy seat height adjustment.
To be sure the eChair is not inexpensive at $550 (with free shipping and available in 3 different colors), but that’s about the same as a standard issue Herman Miller Aeron chair that most studios use, only with more updated features. If you suffer from back pain and you’re studio or office chair isn’t helping, then you owe it to yourself to check out the PhantomFocus eChair.
Check out the short video below for a description of how the features work.