The advances in sound technology over the last several years have tried to do one thing – bring the sound closer to the user. One only has to look at an ordinary desk chair to envision the obvious next step.
The Intensor LX is a specially designed chair the has speakers placed in strategic locations to give the user a sort of ‘sensaround’ feel. The subwoofer sends its sounds through the base of the chair right into your spine, giving your sound experience that extra punch.
The unit that interfaces with your computer’s sound output is a small box that is connected to the chair by a special cable. I was originally concerned about this, thinking that a cord on the floor next to a rolling chair spelled trouble. My concerns were relieved somewhat by a small pair of plastic doohickeys underneath that held the cable a bit better. I later moved the interface box up to my desk and it eliminated the potential hazard entirely, although it did limit how far I could scoot around in the chair. (Hey, sometimes I like to scoot.)
The sound generated by the chair is quite immersive. While it doesn’t actually provide force feedback, per se, the placement of the speakers is such that you do feel the sound as much as hear it. This is especially true of games whose soundtracks have low, loud instrumentation or sound effects.
The controls allow you to independently adjust the audible sound and also the vibration caused by the subwoofer, allowing you to choose how much in fact you want to feel the sound.
The back folds down over the seat in order to make it easier to put out of the way, although with my setup I couldn’t effectively put it away without disconnecting it from the box, as the cord would invariably end up crossing my regular chair’s path if it remained connected.
One of the great things about this chair is that you can enjoy it while watching a movie, or listening to music. Anything that puts out sound can put it through the Intensor. It comes with two cables, one with mini plugs and one with a mini on one end and RCA jacks on the other, so it can adapt to almost any stereo or television. And the sound coming from a movie or song grabs you just a well as the computer game soundtrack when you are in this chair.
One of the down sides of the Intensor chair is that it’s not the most comfortable of chairs. I suppose it’s comfortable for a chair that is full of speakers, but that’s little consolation, really. The positioning of the speakers, which are designed for optimal sound enjoyment, require the user to remain seated in pretty much the same position.
Another is that the cable with the mini plugs that goes into your computer’s sound card is somewhat short, limiting the choices of how to set it all up. True it’s just about long enough to set it up a few different ways, and longer cables like that are just a hop, skip, and a jump to the local Radio Shack, but another few feet would have opened up a great number of possibilities.
The Intensor LX does its job pretty well. It earns an admirable 4 GiN Gems out of 5, which sounds pretty good to me.