Anda Seat Kaiser 2 gaming chair review: IT foam throne

Seating fit for royalty or just another high-backed swivel chair?

Anda Seat Kaiser 2 gaming chair from all sides

by Adam Binnie |

For whatever reason you find yourself sitting in front of a computer screen for hours on end – whether competing in Esports or working from home – a gaming chair like the Anda Seat Kaiser 2 promises to be a comfortable and supportive seating option.

It has all the prerequisites: a tall backrest, highly adjustable position, and quality materials – but this market is booming with plenty of alternative options from big names like Secretlab and Noblechairs. Commercial Content Editor Adam Binnie weighs up the Kaiser 2 to see if its credentials match its regal-sounding name.

Specifications
Frame Steel
Base Aluminium
Casters 75cm
Tilt 90-160 degrees
Max height 210cm
Max load weight 200kg
Pros Cons
• Good size for all • Some cheaper-feeling plastics
• Sturdy construction • Quite heavy to move around
• Easy to maintain PVC leather • Hotter than a textile fabric in summer

Verdict: If you spend long hours behind the keyboard then it’s worth investing in a supportive seating arrangement to ensure you can concentrate on the task at hand, rather than being distracted by aches and pains.

The Anda Seat Kaiser 2 is a big throne of a swivel chair that provides all-day comfort at a price that undercuts its rivals. Some cheaper feeling plastics are the trade-off but they’re concentrated in areas you won’t often engage with, meaning you get huge bang for your buck.

Build

Anda Seat Kaiser 2 gaming chair fabric close up
©Adam Binnie/What's the Best

• Reassuringly heavy

• Solid steel construction

• Easy to assemble

Often, good engineering is all about saving weight. Not so when it comes to gaming chairs it seems – the Kaiser 2 arrived in a big box weighing 35kg and was slid, rather than carried, up the stairs to my home office.

That’s a reassuring heft though - signalling strength, stability and with any luck, durability. The main construction is steel – 22mm diameter where it’s round and 2mm thick where it’s flat, and this is covered by a lifetime warranty (and lots of foam).

Assembly is a simple case of bolting the various parts together, and the box contains all the tools you need (although I used my Topeak Ratchet Rocket, as with all flat packs) plus the instructions were very clear. Some parts were a bit unwieldy due to their weight but if you’re careful and take your time it’s easy enough to do.

An aluminium tilting mechanism is bolted to the seat, and an equally weighty five-arm base has a castor at each end. These are 75mm in size, so they roll nicely and are covered in polyurethane to help protect your flooring.

Anda Seat Kaiser 2 gaming chair wheels
©Adam Binnie/What's the Best

The fabric on the seat I’m testing is maroon on the front and black carbonfibre-effect on the back - both are PVC leather, which promises to be easy to keep clean and hard-wearing. Plastic hinge covers and armrests are the only cheaper-feeling areas of this chair, which in general is as luxurious as its slightly demanding price tag would suggest.

That said, the armrests are perfectly functional and feel very strong, easily supporting my 90kg when I push off them to stand up. They move in four directions, left/right, front/back, up/down and the tops can be angled in and out, so you can get them exactly where you want.

Additional cushions for the headrest and lumbar can be added or taken away as necessary, and these are made of a memory foam that promises to mould to the shape of your body.

Usability

Anda Seat Kaiser 2 gaming chair armrests
©Adam Binnie/What's the Best

• Good range of seating positions

• Some levers are hard to reach while seated

• Armrests move in four different dimensions

It’s a bit odd examining how easy a chair is to use (sit down in it, job done) but as the Kaiser is so adjustable it’s definitely worthy of consideration, even if you’re likely to set it up once and then leave it alone.

Levers under the chair allow you to raise or lower the height and unlock the tilting mechanism. The latter is separate from the reclining backrest (which we’ll get to) and allows the whole chair to lean, taking pressure off your lower back.

These are a bit tricky to reach as the armrests get in the way, but once the technique was figured out it became much easier. The height adjustment has no surprises – it goes up and down and the hydraulic cartridge promises to be ‘explosion proof’, which is reassuring.

The tilt adjust can be unlocked, allowing you to rock back and forth, and the resistance can be ramped up or down using a rotary adjuster under the base. You have to get off the chair to reach this though, which is a bit annoying. Alternatively, once you find the angle you like, you can lock the tilt in position.

Anda Seat Kaiser 2 gaming chair backrest lever
©Adam Binnie/What's the Best

A lever under your right elbow releases the backrest and this can be reclined to 160 degrees, which is basically horizontal. I didn’t really consider the practical applications of this until I tried it - it’s a great position in which to relax and listen to music for example, for a luxurious screen break, and I’m a convert. Despite being reclined a long way, the chair remains very stable in this position.

The mechanism feels a bit notchy and the lever a bit flimsy though, which doesn’t really fit the rest of the chair’s premium, robust construction. You can also see into the ratchet itself, which is likely to be a haven for crumbs if you eat while sitting down.

There are very few other areas that could harbour detritus, however, and the artificial leather upholstery is very easy to wipe down and keep clean.

When reviewing the Anda Seat T-Pro 2 we said the armrests were tricky to adjust – this appears to have been resolved in the Kaiser 2, with slick and accurate movements in all four directions. I’ve actually installed them the wrong way round (the left arm on the right-hand side, and vice versa) but found this meant I could pull them in closer to my body, which is comfier for me.

Performance

Anda Seat Kaiser 2 leather
©Adam Binnie/What's the Best

• Very comfortable and supportive

• Additional pillows less useful

• Works best with a footrest

Again, as with our T-Pro 2 review, I found it very easy to get comfortable in the Kaiser 2 thanks to its strong frame and dense, squashy foam. Once the armrests and tilt angle were set, I have been able to leave the levers alone and simply return to my calibrated position each day.

The softness of the foam initially concerned me – I quite like a hard, ergonomically shaped chair as I find more giving cushions result in bad posture and back pain. However, after a few weeks of sitting in the Kaiser 2, I realised I was no longer fidgeting around as I did in my old office chair. It’s so comfortable I’ve got used to not thinking about whether I’m comfy or not.

Most notably, I normally find my posture slouches as the day goes on, causing shoulder fatigue and discomfort – in the Kaiser, this can be eliminated by dialling in a bit of tilt. That does cause another issue though, in that it makes the front of the seat base quite high, so my legs are left in mid-air, which puts pressure on my thighs.

Anda Seat Kaiser 2 gaming chair cushion
©Adam Binnie/What's the Best

I’m 6 foot 2, and to be honest this is the first time I’ve felt too short for a chair. I’ve got a footrest now to alleviate this issue, so this is worth bearing in mind if you are shorter. Additionally, the PVC leather on the front of the seat base now has two ripples in it where my legs were weighing down on the cushion, but this is now fading. Otherwise, the material looks as it did when new, which is impressive.

The optional head and backrest cushions are less useful – to attach the headrest through the plastic cutouts in the seatback is tricky, and once installed I found it positioned too low. It’s comfier moved up to a higher position and easier to take on or off too. The lumbar support cushion is good in theory but not secured to the seatback, so once you’ve got it in the right place if you lean forward, it drops down to the wrong place. Consequently, I’ve stopped using it.

Price

Anda Seat Kaiser 2 gaming chair rear
©Adam Binnie/What's the Best

At £349 the Anda Seat Kaiser 2 is a little bit cheaper than rivals like the Noblechairs Hero or Secretlab Titan Evo, and it’s only in a couple of areas where it feels it, namely the plastic covers between the seat back and base, and the slightly loose action of the armrests.

Otherwise, this is a keenly priced gaming chair that delivers in all the right areas, with a strong construction that should prove sturdy and reliable for years to come.

Verdict

In a world where you can easily spend four figures on the kind of office chair NASA would contemplate using for a manned mission to Mars, the £349 this Anda Seat Kaiser 2 commands seems like astounding value. Then again, compared to a £50 dining chair it is pretty steep.

So, what’s the difference? Well, having spent a fortnight trying to do my day job in the latter I can say with some authority that the Kaiser 2 is a considerable upgrade. It’s also keenly priced against similarly specced rivals, so you’re getting a good deal whichever way you look at it. A solid mount for desk jockeys of all persuasions, whether gamers or 9-5ers.

Score: 4/5

Pros Cons
• Good size for all • Some cheaper-feeling plastics
• Sturdy construction • Quite heavy to move around
• Easy to maintain PVC leather • Hotter than a textile fabric in summer

Adam Binnie is the Commercial Content Editor and reviewer for WhatsTheBest, specialising in bikes, fitness, cars, parenting and cooking.

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