Secretlab Titan 2020 Review
If you're even a moderately competitive gamer you'll be spending many, many hours behind your desk and as we all know sitting down isn't exactly the healthiest thing to do, so it's important (among other things such as getting up every now and then and having healthy exercise habits) that you get yourself a comfortable and reliable desk chair that suits your body and preferences.
Too many gamers skimp on this, and that just doesn't make sense to us. If you're casually gaming for an hour or so a day you can get away with using a regular dinner chair, but just as a comfy pair of running shoes is very important to the health (and performance) of a competitive runner, a decent and supportive chair should be an essential piece of equipment for people who spend multiple hours behind a desk each day.
That said: it doesn't have to be a gaming chair. There are plenty of great office chair that aren't gaming branded, just as there are a lot of these 'racing style' chairs that are straight up cash grabs, so it's important to see the forest for the trees with an investment like this.
Secretlab is a brand that's known for its quality on this front, and today we're taking a look at their newest release, the Titan 2020. Is this chair worth the investment, and are the changes that they've made to the older version worthwhile? Read our full review to find out.
"The new 2020 Series features multiple improvements that will exceed the expectations of even the most discerning."Secretlab
Secretlab Titan 2020 - Assembly And Features
The unboxing experience with this Titan chair is pretty darn great. Even before you open the box you get an indication on the outside of the packaging on where to begin opening it up so that you don't have to struggle with turning around a heavy, half-opened box in case you've managed to open up the wrong side.
Once open you get very detailed instructions (and multiple warnings to not touch the backrest recline lever until it's securely installed) accompanied by pictures so that it's almost literally child's play to assemble this chair. It's all a bit heavy and precise, so depending on how strong or confident you are you might want to have a volunteer on hand to help you with the difficult parts, but assembling the whole thing should be perfectly doable for an average adult in well under half an hour. It also helps that you get everything that you need in the box; you don't need to go scavenging around to find this wrench or that screwdriver, you're good to go with no exterior tools.
All in all I don't think that it's possible to make an installation guide that's easier to follow than this; everything is made very clear and it's all packaged nicely and intuitively. There are plenty of furniture companies who can learn a thing or two from Secretlab here.
Any company claiming to build the best gaming chair (which basically is another term for 'desk chair') will have to make sure that their chairs can be adjusted properly. Luckily this is the case with the Titan. It can pivot (obviously), has a tilt / tilt lock mechanism, adjustable seat height, adjustable arm rests, a reclining backrest, built in lumbar support and neck support so it's hard to imagine anyone desiring more out of a desk chair.
The Titan 2020 feels very nicely built, and as their larger model it's meant for people between 175 cm (5.7 ft) and 200 cm (6.5 ft). It supports up to 130 kilograms of weight.
The Titan 2020 that I'm reviewing comes with their PRIME 2.0 PU leather. That's a synthetic leather designed by Secretlab which is up to 4 times more durable than regular PU (polyurethane) leather. Of course no company will ever claim 'our materials are merely up to regular standards' but Secretlab does provide various certifications on their website to back these claims up and while I obviously can't say how well this material holds up after years I can say that it feels very nice and supple to the touch.
The chair base is once again made out of aluminum and feels like it can take much more than what it would be subjected to under regular usage conditions.
Size & Dimensions
First Impressions and Materials
Important: everyone is different and every person has their own unique body and preferences. What's right or perfect for me might not be the same for you, or the other way around, so it's incredibly important that you get a chair that's the right size for your body. If you don't it doesn't matter how nice and well-built the chair is. For reference: I am 183 cm (which is around 6 ft) and I'm moderately built.
The Titan is definitely a looker. That was already the case with the previous version and it still rings true for the newest release. There are a lot of companies out there looking to make a quick buck on this racing-style chair market by putting out subpar chairs with little padding and disappointing finishing, but this definitely isn't the case here.
Everything looks extremely impressive and luxurious, from the red stitching on the seat itself to the polished chromed elements on the arm rest and the brushed nameplates on each side of the chair. If you're not a fan of this racing style design you're obviously not going to like the look of this chair, but I don't think anyone can deny that it's really nicely finished and designed.
As with the previous version I'm not exactly excited by the amount of logos on this thing though. It's not a deal breaker to me personally, but compared to the older model they've even added branding in the form of the '2020' on the backrest and the nameplates on the sides. People will definitely be able to tell what you're sitting in from every angle. That's a bit odd since this version is called the 'Stealth' but luckily there's also a real blackout version available (called 'BLACK') so I won't harp on about this too much.
The PRIME 2.0 PU leather has been improved but I'm not in the best position to talk about the differences as I reviewed the Softweave edition last year as opposed to the PU leather version. That said: this definitely feels quality. I'm not the biggest fan of leather upholstery (be it real or fake) so bad synthetic leathers can really get on my nerves, but the PRIME 2.0 material feels really good. It's soft and stretchy and with its improved durability this is going to satisfy everyone who prefers leather(like) materials on their chairs. Sadly I'm not one of those people; I much prefer the breathability and feeling of Secretlab's Softweave material but then again I would even prefer that over real leather so do take this remark with a grain of salt.
Contrary to what (most) other gaming chair manufacturers try to do with their premium lineups the Titan's foam is pretty firm to sit on, especially for the first couple of hours. They use their signature Cold-Cure foam and if you've never sat on that before you might be in for a bit of a surprise as it is much firmer than what you'd initially expect. That's not a bad thing, though. The foam kind of molds around your body after a while and gives you a firm, yet almost custom-feeling sitting experience and I'm a big fan of that.
Compared to the previous version this new Cold-Cure foam seems to be a bit 'springier' and responsive, leading to an overall more comfortable sitting experience if you're asking me. It's kind of tough to really compare both versions to each other as I can really only hold it against a Titan Softweave that's been used extensively for almost a year but I am pretty positive that this new Cold-Cure mixture is a net upgrade when it comes to comfort.
Another improvement came in the form of the neck pillow. The overall design hasn't really changed but this one's now filled with memory foam that's (internally) coated with a cooling gel, and it feels oh so good. I'd have absolutely no reservations about using this cushion to nap on in an airplane or whatever, and the fact that the tightness of the strap can be adjusted and that it comes with a rubber element on the back of it to prevent that annoying 'neck cushion sag' elevates it to the best neck cushion I've ever used on a gaming chair. That's perhaps a bit of a niche title, but it's something, right?
As I said earlier on in the review this is actually a pretty firm chair, but that's a good thing to me. The firmness of the foam prevents you from slouching and ensures at least a decent posture (no chair in the world can prevent you from sitting on it in an unhealthy manner) and that combined with the springiness of the Cold-Cure foam makes for a chair that you can sit in for hours on end without feeling any sort of discomfort.
Don't come away from this thinking that you're gonna be sitting on top of a pile of hardened clay, by the way. That's absolutely not the case; the Titan 2020 is very comfortable, it's just a lot firmer than most other gaming chairs of its type. Whether you like that or not will depend on your preferences.
There are no sharp or rough edges at the edge of the seat that can cut off blood flow, and everything that can be adjusted operates in a smooth manner.
Speaking of: the arm rests have also gotten an overhaul. The new system is integrated a bit more gracefully; there are no more knobs sticking out of the arm rest itself and it all feels a lot smoother and easier to operate this time around. Good news, in other words, and it gets even better. The padding has also been thickened, thus eliminating any complaints I had about these things in my first review in one fell swoop.
If I can go by my experience with Secretlab's products these arm rests are also plenty durable in the sense that they don't start creaking after a few weeks of use. I absolutely hate it when a desk chair starts rattling and making (noticeable) noises after just a couple of weeks/months, and most often these noises come from the back rest (attachment) or the arm rests, so I'm happy to report that neither my year old Titan nor this couple-of-weeks old Titan 2020 are making any noise on that front.
The lumbar support is integrated into the actual seat here, as opposed to being delivered in the form of an added pillow. This does feel good, but the position of it is obviously not adjustable which makes it all the more important to make sure that you're the right size for this chair. I often struggle with separate lumbar cushions because it's hard to find a position that fits my back without feeling intrusive but this feels pretty good and the fact that it can be adjusted in 'thickness' makes it easy to get the right fit for your back.
The five point base is strong and durable and the wheels glide smoothly and consistently. You probably won't be winning any office chair races with this one as it's rather heavy and the wheels aren't the smoothest around, but you can definitely glide around easily so this is all good for me. The hydraulics are excellent as well: adjusting the height is effortless and the chair stays exactly at the height you've put it at. There's also none of that 'sit in the chair and feel yourself lower 2 centimeters' action; this all feels very premium and reliable.
Conclusion & Recommendation
I absolutely loved the Titan when I first reviewed it at the start of this year, so much so that I kept using it as my main office chair, and as such I'm very happy to see that the people at Secretlab have managed to make a bunch of meaningful improvements to this product.
The improved arm rests and neck pillow along with the newest version of their Cold-Cure foam take what was already one of the best gaming-style chairs to the next level, and I don't hesitate to call this one of the best gaming chairs on the market today.
It's not going to be the right fit for you if you like that couch-style soft padding for your desk chairs, but if you're after a gaming chair that ticks all the boxes as far as ergonomics goes this should be on your list.
I will say that I'm still more of a fan of the SoftWeave fabric and that I think they could tone it down with the branding but aside from these admittedly minor remarks this is another great hit from the people over at Secretlab. This one comes thoroughly recommended, and if you're doubting about the 2020 vs the old version I can confidently say that the 2020 is worth it thanks to a number of thoughtful upgrades.