Although the AKRacing Masters Series Premium gaming chair offers plenty of features for its price, there’s one crucial area where I immediately wasn’t taken with it, which is its styling. With the faux carbon fiber look of this version of this chair, plus its prominent white-on-black AKRacing logos, silver car-style wheel hubs, and pointless plastic AKRacing logos on the otherwise solid metal base, the Master Series Premium is among the most egregiously ‘gamer’-styled chairs I’ve tested.
However, the attractiveness of styling and appearance are all in the eye of the beholder, so we’ll leave further musings on the color combinations to you. As one of the pricier chairs I’ve reviewed, along with the noblechairs Hero Black Edition, the AKRacing Master Series Premium has the sort of feature set you would expect, with a costly wipe-clean PU leather covering and an uprated recline system being the key draws.
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The latter offers the ability to lock the chair in a reclined position, so you aren’t constantly wobbling back and forth, trying to balance. It’s also much better balanced, so you can recline by just leaning back. Comparatively, with the cheaper systems, you need to push up with or support your legs in order to get the chair to recline.
The overall effect is one of a generally premium feel, and there are some specific areas that we particularly like. The 4D armrests (sideways slide is added) have a nicer shape and softer material than the ones on the Corsair T3 Rush and noblechairs Hero models, though it’s still a relatively hard foamy plastic. The armrests also don’t wobble as much as those chairs, though they lack a locking system for the armrest rotation and sliding movements, so they can move if you lean on them.
The seat of this chair is also the pick of the bunch in terms of padding. It has a much deeper-feeling and softer than the other chairs I’ve recently reviewed, with a longer, better-contoured, and padded drop-off at the front to reduce the feeling of digging into your legs at the front of the chair.
It’s still not as deep as that of the Ergo-Task Fully Loaded, nor as perfectly cushioning as the mesh of the Herman Miller Aeron, but it’s ample for all-day sitting. Where the seat is less well suited to some gamers is with its modest width and steep sides. While it’s one of the longest in terms of usable seat depth (50cm), it’s only 39cm wide at its front and the wings jut straight up, so you feel them dig into you unless you’re sat really quite straight-legged. The same is true of the hip wings that have just a 33cm gap – this isn’t a chair for wider people.
Unlike the slightly cheaper noblechairs Hero, you don’t get a built-in, adjustable lumbar support with this chair, but instead rely on a lumbar cushion. It’s a sensibly modest size – although, like most of the other chairs I’ve reviewed recently, it’s still a bit too big.
Also, once it’s strapped in, it’s surprisingly easy to slide it up and down to adjust its placement. The same is true of the headrest, although here it’s less welcome, as it tends to slide too far down – the one on the noblechairs Hero stays in place better. On a chair this expensive, a more mechanical, longer-lasting system would be nice.
AKRacing Masters Series Premium pros and cons
- Best seat padding I’ve tested
- Sensible lumbar cushion size
- Plenty of features
- Clunky faux carbon fiber design
- Slightly restrictive seat wings
- Headrest is rather slippery
AKRacing Masters Series Premium price
Price: $499 (£429).
AKRacing Masters Series Premium review conclusion
This is a pricey chair that thanks to its – shall we say – divisive styling, is put on the back foot from the off. However, its best-in-class seat padding, generally solid build quality, and ample feature set certainly help to pull it back, and other colors are available too. This is the most comfortable of all the gaming chairs I’ve recently reviewed in which to sit, and for that reason alone it’s still worth considering if that’s your absolute top priority.
If you’re not taken with the AKRacing Masters Series Premium for your gaming chair needs, check out our noblechairs Hero review. You can also read our full guide to getting a comfortable ergonomic setup, which includes help finding the most comfortable gaming chair.
Styling questions aside, the AKRacing Masters Series Premium is a very comfortable gaming chair, although it’s not cheap.