In addition to keeping our readers informed about all the latest in pro audio gear, the editors are interested in your comfort and health. If you become fatigued after a few hours of sitting at the console or if your back or shoulders bother you, you won’t produce at your best. Today’s digitized studio often means many hours are spent behind a computer as well as a console. You need a chair that lets you move freely yet provides good support. And if you’ve just spent a small fortune outfitting your studio, you want a chair that looks as good as it feels.
The Aeron chair, from HermanMiller, has won design accolades, but beauty is more than skin deep. Speaking of which, let’s start at the skin of the chair. Rather than the typical, overstuffed upholstery or vinyl-covered padding, the Aeron’s surface is a Pellicle material – a fine mesh fabric – that evenly distributes weight and lets air circulate.
The chair is available in three sizes to assure proper fit. Its two-stage pneumatic lift provides a seat-height range from 14 3/8″ (A-size) to 20 7/8″ (sizes B and C). The chair has a lumbar roll that can be adjusted until it hits you just right; a tilt-tension knob controls how much resistance you feel as you lean back – from very loose and bouncy to quite stiff.
The chair’s arms are individually adjustable within a 4″ vertical range, helping to relieve shoulder strain. The arms also pivot independently, moving inward at 17.5 degrees and outward up to 15 degrees. Place the arms inward to support you or push them right out of the way.
What I liked most about this chair is how it moves with you. As you scoot from console to DAW and back again, the chair maintains its support. It follows along whether you’re leaning forward to adjust a control low to the floor or reaching up and around behind you.
In addition to the infinitely adjustable Aeron chair ($750 from www.sittingmachine.com), a nonadjustable sidechair version is available ($433) for meeting rooms or audience seating.
While a chair that adjusts in so many ways can seem daunting, it is quite intuitive. All adjustments are made through knobs or levers while you remain seated. For seat-height adjustments, merely take your weight off the chair while loosening the appropriate lever. A far cry from some office chairs that require you to get up and turn them upside down while you make a guess at how many times you need to spin the legs to attain the desired height.
The Aeron chair, for all its light and airy appearance, is sturdily built; its high-tech materials should stand up to years of abuse in the studio. The last thing you want to think about in the studio is your chair, and once you get over the “gee whiz” factor of this chair you won’t give it another thought; you’ll just comfortably float through your long nights and days in the studio.
Contact: McGraw Publishing-Peripherals at 800-883-9697; www.sittingmachine.com.