High end HT seating: comfort versus sound - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 30 Old 01-11-2020, 02:13 AM - Thread Starter
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High end HT seating: comfort versus sound

It is not too difficult to find cool looking luxury home theater solutions (check brands like Cineak, Fortress, Moovia, etc). However, when you want both the best possible comfort and sound, it gets more difficult.

The thing is that the backrest needs to be high enough in order to have your head properly supported. Otherwise you lack comfort, especially when you are seated for a longer (when watching a movie).

On the other hand, a high backrest blocks (most of the) surround sound coming from the back hemisphere. Another unwanted effect is that the backrest will reflect the sound coming from the front channels.

Does anybody know a solution to overcome this annoying compromise? Maybe a motorized headrest that can be continuously raised or lowered freely with the push of a button is the best solution? This way, one would be able to raise the backrest in such a way that the lower part of the head is still supported while the ears are not obstructed, no?

I added a few picks to show a seating solution with a high backrest (Cineak Ferrier) and another one with a low backrest (Cineak Strato).

Anybody has any suggestions/ideas here?
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post #2 of 30 Old 01-11-2020, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holy Grail View Post
It is not too difficult to find cool looking luxury home theater solutions (check brands like Cineak, Fortress, Moovia, etc). However, when you want both the best possible comfort and sound, it gets more difficult.

The thing is that the backrest needs to be high enough in order to have your head properly supported. Otherwise you lack comfort, especially when you are seated for a longer (when watching a movie).

On the other hand, a high backrest blocks (most of the) surround sound coming from the back hemisphere. Another unwanted effect is that the backrest will reflect the sound coming from the front channels.

Does anybody know a solution to overcome this annoying compromise? Maybe a motorized headrest that can be continuously raised or lowered freely with the push of a button is the best solution? This way, one would be able to raise the backrest in such a way that the lower part of the head is still supported while the ears are not obstructed, no?

I added a few picks to show a seating solution with a high backrest (Cineak Ferrier) and another one with a low backrest (Cineak Strato).

Anybody has any suggestions/ideas here?
To me, my wife’s comfort was paramount. I chose to raise my rear surround speakers above the seat backs. Since my rear speakers are still at less than 1/2 my wall height, I don’t consider it a compromise to Atmos separation.

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post #3 of 30 Old 01-11-2020, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jdlynch View Post
To me, my wife’s comfort was paramount. I chose to raise my rear surround speakers above the seat backs. Since my rear speakers are still at less than 1/2 my wall height, I don’t consider it a compromise to Atmos separation.
Your wife's comfort is your comfort!!!

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post #4 of 30 Old 01-12-2020, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlynch View Post
To me, my wife’s comfort was paramount. I chose to raise my rear surround speakers above the seat backs. Since my rear speakers are still at less than 1/2 my wall height, I don’t consider it a compromise to Atmos separation.
If I did this, the rear speakers would be too close to the ceiling I'm afraid.

Anyway, I think the wall needs to be very high to avoid that the sound is blocked by the backrest, no?

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post #5 of 30 Old 01-12-2020, 10:47 AM
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Interesting about theater seating: A good friend also in the theater sales and install business told me that a few years back a major theater recliner manufacturer mentioned that theater recliners are purposely made somewhat stiff, so you don't get too comfortable, so you don't fall asleep. My experience sitting in these at shows and other theater friends over the years is consistent with this. So I personally have never been a fan of theater seating.

Back in 1997 I got 6 super deluxe full leather recliners through a friend's wife who is an interior decorator - but as they broke down, the company went out of business, and they couldn't be properly repaired (I am not a light theater buff and tend to break down recliners over time).

In 2008 my late wife and I purchased some recliners for our living room from a local Lazy Boy. A few years later as the recliner broke a bit Lazy Boy came out, fixed it on the spot, charged only as labor out of warranty a $90 service call. I was impressed.

In 2011 I bought a new item at Lazy Boy, theater recliners, but these admittedly had a tall back. Nice and comfortable. And electronic control for reclining!

However, with my theater renovation and upgrade still in progress, I decided to move the theater Lazy Boy electronic recliners into my living room and old 1990s 5.1 basement theater and get new furniture for my theater. I got a great sale at Lazy Boy and decided to get full recliners - 6 Lazy Boy Maverick leather power wall recliners, each with a wired remote as the recliners have a dual frame with power adjustments for bottom recliner, top, lumbar and cervical. Talk about comfortable. For cupholders, I got 4 Southern Enterprises End Tables, each with two cupholders, 12" wide. So two rows, 3 recliners each, 2 end tables each row. And supreme comfort. And the backs on the recliners are not tall, yet as the recliners are so adjustable if you want you can slide down your head to have it rest against the back, or you can sit more upright with your head/ears above the back of the recliner. Full lifetime warranty on frame and a few years on parts and labor - but after warranty for labor is up, they only charge like $100 for a house call. Recliner parts are not each too big, so when something breaks, my experience is easy for their repair person to fix on the spot on location quickly.

See photos below.
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post #6 of 30 Old 01-12-2020, 02:48 PM
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A few years back Peter (Cineramax ) had brought up this topic about seats without headrest for ultimate sound quality. The Strato was one he used and I believe in a a few times modified. He had designed a few models with headrest that went half way up if you will? Kind of in between the Strato and Strato Plus. Ill look around and see if I can find it.

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post #7 of 30 Old 01-13-2020, 12:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reddig View Post
A few years back Peter (Cineramax ) had brought up this topic about seats without headrest for ultimate sound quality. The Strato was one he used and I believe in a a few times modified. He had designed a few models with headrest that went half way up if you will? Kind of in between the Strato and Strato Plus. Ill look around and see if I can find it.
I thought that the Strato Plus was the model that was custom made for Peter, but I am not sure about that.

I also had the idea that the Strato could be delivered with a motorized headrest (separated from the backrest, which is also motorized) giving you the possibility to set the (height of) the headrest exactly as you wish. But again: I could be wrong here.
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post #8 of 30 Old 01-13-2020, 02:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holy Grail View Post
I thought that the Strato Plus was the model that was custom made for Peter, but I am not sure about that.

I also had the idea that the Strato could be delivered with a motorized headrest (separated from the backrest, which is also motorized) giving you the possibility to set the (height of) the headrest exactly as you wish. But again: I could be wrong here.
You could be correct. I could be miss-remembering.

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post #9 of 30 Old 01-13-2020, 10:42 AM
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We don't need ear rests, so why don't they make headrests that narrow in at the ears.

Though I guess a one size fits all approach wouldn't work too well.
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post #10 of 30 Old 01-14-2020, 12:56 AM - Thread Starter
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We don't need ear rests, so why don't they make headrests that narrow in at the ears.

Though I guess a one size fits all approach wouldn't work too well.
You are totally right. In fact, I remember I saw a prototype of a seat which was designed line that. It was even rumored to be THX certified. Such a seat design looks a bit like a seat you expect in a barbershop, which makes sense as the client needs to sit comfortable while the barber/hairdresser needs easy access to the person's head...
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post #11 of 30 Old 01-14-2020, 08:14 AM
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Our local Magnolia sold these many years back. I sat in them for hours and decided they were super comfortable. I spoke to the owners of the company at CEDIA and they have continually improved. We have them and they are very comfortable. SJ

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post #12 of 30 Old 01-14-2020, 01:11 PM
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This is a model with a more narrow headrest:

https://www.octaneseating.com/viper-xl500
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post #13 of 30 Old 01-15-2020, 12:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Our local Magnolia sold these many years back. I sat in them for hours and decided they were super comfortable. I spoke to the owners of the company at CEDIA and they have continually improved. We have them and they are very comfortable. SJ

https://www.acousticinnovations.com
Their Metropolitan model allows to adjust the headrest, so you have the choice to go either for the best sound (headrest down) or the best comfort (headrest up). An okay solution, but it would be better if you have both at the same time (with a headrest that is small enough so your ears aren't blocked). I also would like to see the headrest moving up and down in a straight fashion (without rotating). This would allow to position the headrest in such a way that the lower part of the head is supported while the ears are not.
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post #14 of 30 Old 01-15-2020, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
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This is a model with a more narrow headrest:

https://www.octaneseating.com/viper-xl500

I'm afraid this will not fix the problem, as your ears will still be blocked;-)

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post #15 of 30 Old 01-15-2020, 02:29 AM
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I just put a neck roll pillow on my low back chairs when needed
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post #16 of 30 Old 01-15-2020, 07:28 AM
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I'm afraid this will not fix the problem, as your ears will still be blocked;-)
I guess it depends on the size of your head.

Here is an older thread on this topic:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...-big-idea.html
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post #17 of 30 Old 01-15-2020, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jeno View Post
I guess it depends on the size of your head.

Here is an older thread on this topic:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...-big-idea.html
I read through the topic, but there are no solutions in there (apart from the 'Viper' seat which is shown above. However, it's clear that the topic wanted to fix the same problem (comfort versus audio 'line fo sound'') as myself.

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post #18 of 30 Old 01-15-2020, 10:25 AM
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I found this model sold by Jon Lygrens company to the norwegian market:

https://www.avshop.no/product/dreams...sort-powerbuy/

The webpage is in norwegian, but you can see the pictures. I will probably check these out when i am ready to get rid of my old sofa without headrest, since I am from Norway.

Edit: I see these chairs were discussed in the other thread too. It seems like the motorized headrest is a customisation for the norwegian market.
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post #19 of 30 Old 01-15-2020, 11:53 AM
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The Strato and Metropolitan seats look like a lot of modern designed furniture that is popular in South Florida. I notice that most people don't raise the headrest on their furniture. The back of my Roche Bobois furniture only goes up to about my shoulders. I don't have the flip up headrests. Most are mechanical, but I am seeing more electrical headrests. Poltronau Frau had some modern designed seating in the Barco booth two years ago at Cedia.

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post #20 of 30 Old 01-15-2020, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeno View Post
I found this model sold by Jon Lygrens company to the norwegian market:

https://www.avshop.no/product/dreams...sort-powerbuy/

The webpage is in norwegian, but you can see the pictures. I will probably check these out when i am ready to get rid of my old sofa without headrest, since I am from Norway.

Edit: I see these chairs were discussed in the other thread too. It seems like the motorized headrest is a customisation for the norwegian market.
This could be interesting. I'll ask Jon @ ISE.
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post #21 of 30 Old 01-16-2020, 04:40 PM
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This could be interesting. I'll ask Jon @ ISE.
I'm in Dallas calibrating a new installation and the front row of seating has an adjustable headrest for each seat. It can angle back to be completely flat and then angle forward about 30°. I'll see if I can find who the mfgr is.
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post #22 of 30 Old 01-17-2020, 02:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm in Dallas calibrating a new installation and the front row of seating has an adjustable headrest for each seat. It can angle back to be completely flat and then angle forward about 30°. I'll see if I can find who the mfgr is.
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when I demo'd chairs high backs really muffle the sound. especially if your head sinks into the cushion. I would do some tests before buying.

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post #24 of 30 Old 01-18-2020, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeno View Post
This is a model with a more narrow headrest:

https://www.octaneseating.com/viper-xl500

I wished that the headrest could move forward as you recline. It has you looking up more at the ceiling as you recline from what has been discussed here prior.

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post #25 of 30 Old 01-18-2020, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by appelz View Post
I'm in Dallas calibrating a new installation and the front row of seating has an adjustable headrest for each seat. It can angle back to be completely flat and then angle forward about 30°. I'll see if I can find who the mfgr is.
https://www.mycinematech.com/seating/estrella/
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post #26 of 30 Old 01-18-2020, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by appelz View Post
The not technically home theater Maverick power recliners I have from Lazy Boy do all that and more, dual frame, separate mechanism for the bottom/footrest, top/headrest, lumbar and cervical - total comfort and adjustability for us ol' arthritic prone codgers! See photos above in this thread!

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post #27 of 30 Old 01-18-2020, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
The not technically home theater Maverick power recliners I have from Lazy Boy do all that and more, dual frame, separate mechanism for the bottom/footrest, top/headrest, lumbar and cervical - total comfort and adjustability for us ol' arthritic prone codgers! See photos above in this thread!
Those have a much higher head rest. With the Estrellas, the head rest can lay completely flat.

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post #28 of 30 Old 01-21-2020, 12:41 PM
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Adam, next time you are in the DFW area check out United Leather USA.
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post #29 of 30 Old Yesterday, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Holy Grail View Post
I thought that the Strato Plus was the model that was custom made for Peter, but I am not sure about that.

I also had the idea that the Strato could be delivered with a motorized headrest (separated from the backrest, which is also motorized) giving you the possibility to set the (height of) the headrest exactly as you wish. But again: I could be wrong here.
Nope Peter had custom versions based on strato's, according to his twitter he dislikes the stock seats, see your PM. At ISE the Flemish rep. told me; with Peter everything turns into a custom. That quote from his website is telling. Shows his dedication, to extend to seating, as well. Just ask him about motorized headrest.
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post #30 of 30 Old Yesterday, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by appelz View Post
I have CinemaTech chairs in my theater. The ones that were made in Germany. I bought them decades ago and they still operate and look like new. They are incredibly well made with all steel frames and have articulating headrests. The down side is they are very expensive.
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