If you are anything like me, you sit in front of a computer for hours. But having the wrong chair can give you some serious back pain. Settling for any substandard chair can make you slouch or sit in unnatural positions, placing unneeded stress on your lower back. And it can lead to all kinds of irreversible conditions. Enough is enough! It’s time to invest in a proper ergonomic home recording studio chair.
This article will teach you how to choose the perfect chair for your home studio, so you can sit longer and mix better. I will also offer my recommendations for chairs and give you a few tips to save some cash while shopping around.
Why is a good recording studio chair important?
An ergonomic studio chair has many benefits, including enhanced productivity and reduced pain. In addition, studies have shown that a good studio chair can boost your productivity and reduce the number of breaks you will need due to discomfort, resulting in longer recording and mixing sessions.
More importantly, a good, supportive studio chair can prevent fatigue and discomfort from sitting in the same position for hours.
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How much should you spend on a recording studio chair?
We all know that you get what you pay for. The same goes for studio chairs. However, price is not the deciding factor. We have already seen that there are many other things to consider. It’s all about finding what you need and choosing the best price for those options.
But how much should you spend? Well, that depends on what you’re comfortable spending. If you have a steady income stream from mixing and recording, making it rain on top-of-the-line studio chairs, then go for it. If money is tight, stick to something inexpensive until you have the money to upgrade (if you even need to upgrade). The point is, you don’t have to break the bank to get a top-quality studio chair.
Now that you know why an ergonomic chair is essential for studio use, here are some things to consider when shopping around for a recording studio chair.
Ten things to consider when buying a studio chair
Purchasing a good recording studio chair is an important endeavor. You need to take this decision quite seriously. Below are a few things we recommend considering buying your chair.
1. Noise – A recording studio chair should be quiet.
When you record, you don’t want any excess noise, so you will want to have a quiet chair. However, you will quickly find that not all chairs are quiet. A cheaply made chair can make noises every time you move. Those creaking sounds will slip into your recordings, especially if you use headphones to record, as you wont notice until it’s too late.
There’s no way to check if a chair will be noisy unless you try it out. But there are ways around this. If you are shopping online or don’t have access to a store to test out a chair, try reading the reviews to see what others say regarding noise. If you are shopping on Amazon, you should be able to filter reviews by keyword easily. Just type the words “noise” or “sound” in the search bar, and you should be presented with any reviews that mention how loud the recording studio chair is.
2. Wheels – Consider a Recording Studio Chair With Wheels
While recording and mixing, you might move back and forth from instruments to MIDI controllers to your computer. You certainly don’t want to get up whenever you want to grab something, so select a chair with rolling wheels.
Wheels are important in preventing strain and back pain due to reaching across a desk to retrieve any items out of reach items.
Wheels are unnecessary, but they make things a little easier around the studio. Almost all studio chairs have wheels. Also, If your studio has a carpet, consider getting a recording studio chair designed to work well with carpets.
3. Swivel Base – The Chair Should Allow You to Swivel
A good chair will swivel freely. Again, you don’t want to get up whenever you want to reach for something. Make sure your chair swivels; it doesn’t need to be 360 degrees, but enough so you are not straining when you want to reach something.
4. Lumbar Support – an Absolute Must in a Recording Studio Chair
For people with sedentary occupations like audio engineers and music producers, spinal injuries and lower back complications can develop with time. You may feel fit and young now, but minor sores can quickly progress to more serious health problems.
Having a chair with outstanding lumbar support prevents you from slouching and prevents back pain. In addition, the chair’s backrest should be adjustable and support the curve of your lower back.
If you notice your back hurts after sitting for too long. It’s time to take action and buy yourself a chair with lumbar support.
5. Back Support – Prevent slouching forward with back support
Your sitting posture may be a major contributor to back pain. For example, you will naturally slouch forward if you use a chair without back support. This is not only a bad habit, but it will, over time, lead to back pain. A Good studio chair will allow you to lean backward, strengthening your back.
The backrest should come as high as your shoulder blades to provide adequate support. But if you find a chair with even higher support, such as a headrest, that’s even better.
6. Fabric – Consider the fabric of the recording studio chair
You probably don’t have a fan or air conditioner running while recording. It won’t take long for that room to get hot, and you along with it. You will need to think about a chair that utilizes breathable materials.
A leather chair may look classy, but during the long summer recording sessions, you’ll wish you had considered something that breathes. The chair’s fabric should be breathable enough to keep the chair from becoming hot and uncomfortable after hours of sitting. Also, choose a long-lasting material like memory foam to prevent the cushion from wearing out prematurely.
7. Cushion – A comfortable cushion is a must-have
A recording studio chair should be super comfortable. This generally means getting one wilt with a lot of cushions. The chair should have enough cushion to support you while sitting on it without feeling the base if the chair you like has a thin cushion. You might want to consider purchasing a seat cushion as well. Standard chair cushions generally consist of non-supportive foam or pressure-inducing spring cushioning.
Think about getting a gel chair cushion instead. Gel cushions were originally developed to help patients recover from injuries. These cushions distribute weight evenly. In addition, a honey-comb-like structure and advanced gel-like material cause the cushion to buckle in heavier areas so the surrounding cells can absorb the weight pressure, reducing the stress on your joints and promoting proper posture for your lower back.
8. Adjustability Height – Prevents shoulder strain
I’m sure you have run into a posture issue due to a desk that was either too high or too low. And while it’s not very easy to adjust the height of a desk, it is easy to adjust the height of your chair.
Look for a chair that has height adjustability. Fortunately, almost all recording studio chairs are height-adjustable, so the search should be easy.
The chair’s arm height should also be adjustable. The height chair should match the height of the desk. While seated, the center of the computer screen should be directly in front of you.
Your feet should be able to rest flat on the floor. If they do not, adjust the chair’s height or use a footrest.
Note: Exploding chairs are a thing. Don’t abuse a chair with gas cylinders. There was a news story not too long ago about a 14-year-old boy in China who was killed by the explosion of his chair. Height-adjustable chairs typically use gas cylinders to regulate the chair’s height. The canister compresses when you adjust the height. When abused, these canisters could burst.
From what I found online, this incident was one in a million. And the canisters must be in very bad shape for something like this to happen. I have seen videos of people jumping on them deliberately to make them explode, not casually sitting and mixing music. It’s not likely ever going to happen, but it’s worth noting.
9. Removable Arms – A Must for Instrumentalists
If you are recording a guitar or bass, a chair with armrests could be an annoying obstruction. You will likely find yourself leaning and hunching to play. The same applies to anyone who prefers playing their instrument seated. However, you don’t need to learn to live with a chair unsuitable for instrumental use.
Instead of a chair with armrests, consider one with removable arms or one that doesn’t have them at all. You will notice a significant improvement in your playing ability and posture.
If you prefer using armrests, make sure they promote proper posture. Your arms should be close to your body while allowing the shoulders to rest naturally. You do not want to be shrugging as you sit.
10. Reclinable – A reclining studio chair can help you relax
There is nothing like listening to your mix with your eyes closed while reclining on your chair. For obvious reasons, you might need to be a little more careful when reclining back if you are a little on the heavier side.
Not all chairs recline alike. Consider the advertisement angle of the recline. You might not need a Pewdiepie-level recliner. 170-degree reclinable chairs are great for napping, but is that what you are in the studio for? I don’t think so.
If you want even more tips and insights, watch this video called BEST STUDIO CHAIR | Stealth Executive Audio Engineer Chair (ERGOLAB) from the Andrew Masters YouTube Channel.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about buying a recording studio chair.
What is lumbar support?
Simply put, “Lumbar back support” refers to anything that offers additional support to the region’s lumbar (lower back). The five lower back vertebrae between the sacrum and the diaphragm make up the lumbar region.
What makes a great chair?
You want something that satisfies both your need for ease and functionality. You will spend a lot of time in that chair over the following years, so its comfort level is crucial. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on the most luxurious option. Exactly why is that, then? Many hours are spent sitting rigidly in front of a computer or laptop screen in a studio, and while lounging backward may be tempting, it’s not always the healthiest position for your spine.
Are gaming chairs good for your back?
Yes, gaming seats benefit your back, especially compared to standard office chairs. In addition, most gaming chairs are designed with a high backrest and a neck pillow, both of which are excellent for promoting healthy posture and back support.
As people who sit for long hours, we must find something comfortable and quiet. So yes, you can sit on just about anything and start mixing and recording. But it may take a toll on your body over time. So, invest in a good studio chair. Your body will thank you.
This article covered home recording, why a good recording studio chair is important, and several tips for purchasing the right one. Here are some key takeaways:
- When buying a recording studio chair, consider:
- The amount of noise it makes when in use when
- wheels, and whether they are for hard floors or carps
- A chair that swivels
- Good lumbar support
- A large backrest
- Breathable fabric that doesn’t get too hot
- Thick Comfortable cushions
- Adjustable height
- Removable arms
- Recline angle
- Cost and budget
So, are you ready for a new chair? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? And what do you think of my list? Let me know in the comments section below (I read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on home recording. Thanks for reading, and never stop making music.