While you sit down to read this article, think about how much time you spend sitting in your recording studio chair.
A few hours a day?
All day long?
Spending that much time sitting in an uncomfortable chair can take a severe toll on your body. It’s making our backs hurt just thinking about it...
Luckily, just about every major studio personnel has faced the same problem and chair manufacturers have started to see a market for their needs.
This is why we’re going to dive deeper than you’ve probably ever been, into the world of studio chairs. After all, no one wants to feel like a train has hit them each night when they're ready to call it...
If you find yourself with frequent back pain and you work a lot in the studio, there’s no doubt that your chair is the culprit. You’ve probably invested a ton of money into your recording gear.
Why not invest some of that in your health and well-being too?
Studio Chair Ergonomics
There’s more than meets the eye when looking for a solid music studio chair.
Since most of your time will be spent in front of the screen recording, mixing, producing, comping vocals, etc., your most important purchase will be an office chair!
Office chairs have the most research and development when it comes to comfort and ergonomics, which is why I recommend spending as much as you can here. It’ll be better for your health as well as allow you to work longer hours more comfortably.
I’ll go over some different types office chairs later in the article, but it’s crucial that we first talk ergonomics as this will help guide your purchase.
Let’s look under the hood to see what things you should consider when looking for a quality chair for your recording studio.
Having a chair with lumbar support, as you probably already know, is one of the most critical aspects of a studio chair.
The natural curve of your back is not straight by any means. This means a chair with a straight back does more harm than good.
A quality home studio chair with lumbar support will follow the natural curves in your back so that you can rest comfortably.
If you’re someone who feels a lot of pain in your neck, having a chair with a headrest could be extremely beneficial. It’s nice to be able to recline in your seat a little bit sometimes.
Having a headrest helps to keep your neck straight, even when you lean back.
Waterfall designs on chairs can help to keep your legs comfortable.
Essentially, some seats will apply padding to the front, creating an uncomfortable position that puts pressure on your hips and back. Chairs with waterfall fronts make sure not to add that padding so that you don’t have to deal with that pressure.
A great music studio chair will have a variety of adjustable positions. If you’re spending good money on a chair, you’re going to want as many options for adjusting as you can rack up.
Not all engineers or studio musicians are the same size.
This means that the ‘one-chair-fits-all’ mindset is a pretty weak one. You need to be able to adjust the height, width, incline, etc., to find the adjustment that works for YOU.
The quality of a studio chair has a lot to do with the materials that it is made out of. For starters, the fabric on a chair can have a significant impact on your lengthy (or not-so lengthy) sitting experience.
The material on your chair should be breathable as well, so that you don’t get hot, sweaty, and bothered. I’d recommend mesh material as a starting point.
Coming from someone who used a leather chair for years in the sweltering Los Angeles summer heat, having the right material is a must.
Does the Chair Come with a Warranty?
Checking the warranty of a studio chair is something that many people seem to overlook...
You’ve just thrown down a couple hundred dollars on a chair.
What if something happens to it?
Keep in mind that a manufacturer who creates a quality product will usually have a generous warranty.
A manufacturer with a lifetime warranty, for example, is a manufacturer who believes in the durability and longevity of their product. If anything were to happen, you know you’ll be covered.
Which Chair Should I Buy?
Even though an office chair will probably be your most important studio weapon, you should know that it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
There are different chairs for different applications, depending on what you’re trying to achieve in the studio.
Here’s a quick list of the types of chairs we’ll be talking about and recording below:
The Office Chair
An office chair is a necessary purchase for anyone who will be spending long hours in front of their music workstations.
A great studio office chair will typically have solid lumbar support, a headrest, a couple armrests, and some wheels so you can spin around your studio when the music takes over your mind, body, and soul.
Here are some options we recommend...
(Our #1 Pick)
The Herman Miller Aeron chair can be found in professional studios all around the world. You’ll also find them hanging around in large corporate offices as well.
Since 1994, the Herman Miller Aeron design has been a staple, as these chairs are unique looking and incredibly comfortable. With the wide variety of adjustable positions, this chair can be positioned to suit anyone.
Not only can that allow you to find the spot that most suits your comfort needs, it can also help you hit the equilateral triangle point between your two monitors for ultimate monitoring.
(Best Value Option)
If you don’t want to throw down a ton of money for the Aeron, the Argomax Mesh chair might be an excellent choice for you.
It shares a lot of the same characteristics with high-end office chairs such as the breathable mesh material. The front end of the chair also has the waterfall design that we talked about earlier to keep the pressure off of your back.
Its mix of ergonomic characteristics from the variety of adjustable options, S-shaped backrest, and overall comfort make it a solid recording studio chair in the ranks with the best.
(Best Budget Option)
With the BestOffice Ergonomic PU Leather Chair, you can be comfortable, adjust to your liking, and have the feeling of sitting in a sleek, modern chair, all without spending an arm and a leg.
A couple of robust features on this chair include:
- The 360-degree swivel
- The Water-resistant upholstery (for your studio spills)
- The Padded backrest/seat cushion.
You have to deal with the leather rather than the breathable mesh, but for the price, you can’t go wrong.
Backless Chairs & Bar Stools
Ever tried to track guitars in a chair with big armrests?
It’s not ideal....
Having a bar stool in your studio should be specifically for recording. Bar stools are great recording chairs for many reasons:
- They’re idle. A chair without noisy moving parts will inherently be better and quieter for recording.
- They don’t have armrests or big cushions that get in the way.
- They allow you to move your upper body freely, creating more ‘space’ for you to record.
A great backless chair or stool will provide you with comfort and convenience while playing your guitar, bass, etc. You’ll be able to access certain notes easier than if you were in an office chair, and have the space to be expressive in your playing.
Here are some options we recommend...
(Best High End Option)
Konig and Meyer are a top dog brand in the musical equipment industry. This performance stool is top of the line. Built with an ergonomic bike seat design, it is probably one of the most comfortable stools out there.
It comes with beautiful, thick padding, imitation leather material, and complete adjustability regarding height and angle.
The seat is also incredibly durable. It’s built with very high-quality steel and a spring-loaded adjuster that makes adjusting the chair easier than you thought possible. If you have this kind of money to spend on a stool, you need look no further.
(Best Value Option)
Fender needs no introduction…
Their products are catered solely towards guitarists, and their Fender 30 Barstool is no different. This chair matches the quality of their instruments very well with the slick, retro design and sturdy chrome-plated steel tubing. Rubber caps are fitted to the bottom of each of the four legs for floor and slip protection.
Just like the Budget Guitar Stool, this stool comes complete with a ring for a solid footrest. Complete with the Fender logo on top, this stool will catch the eye of anyone walking into your studio.
(Best Budget Option)
If you’re looking for a simple, no-frills, padded barstool to record or play guitar on, the Budget Bar Stool’s Guitar Stool is one of our favorite budget options. It’s pretty comfortable with the thick vinyl padding and can be purchased in a wide array of colors to fit the look and vibe of your studio.
The simple design makes it look like something you would find at your local bar.
The stool is constructed with durable 18-gauge steel legs and has an added steel ring for durability. That steel ring doubles as a convenient footrest as well.
It’s been a long day…
Wouldn’t it be nice to jump into a big, comfy chair?
We’re talking Bean Bag Chairs, La-Z-Boys, Saucer Chairs, Recliners, etc.
Besides having chairs to work and play in, it’s always nice to have at least one chair that you can comfortably kick back in when you’re taking a little break.
It’s also a perfect resource for artists, managers, or whoever is visiting your studio, to relax on.
Here are a few of our favorite chairs that can help make your studio a bit more zen...
Let’s take it back to the 1970s when these big boys are all the rage...
No matter how old you get or how cool you think you are, there’s nothing to bring back the relaxing nostalgia of childhood like a giant beanbag chair. It’ll also bring a huge smile to anyone’s face that comes into your studio.
Big Joe’s BeanBag Chair comes in a wide variety of colors and is filled with foam rather than the tiny beads you might be used to. The great thing about the foam is it stays much fluffier over time and has a spongy comfort that will keep you in cushy heaven.
Want to keep your studio looking a little bit sleeker?
The Saucer Chair from Urban Shop may be your ticket to suave kickback.
These chairs are not only insanely comfortable, but they can also give you an excellent vantage point for listening to your mix. It’s a unique chair to lie back in, close your eyes, and digest your day's work.
With 100% micro mink fabric and a solid metal frame, it’s pretty high quality for the price. If you need some room in the studio for tracking, simply fold it up and stick it in the corner!
That’s all for this article!
Hopefully, you now understand how much of an essential component a chair can be to your home studio. Whether you need a chair for mixing at your desk, tracking some guitar, or simply kicking your feet up after a long day of work, you should never compromise your health and comfort!
We highly recommend picking one chair from each of our categories
- Office Chairs
- Backless Chairs / Stools
- Comfort Chairs
This way, you’ll have a well-rounded variety to choose from for all your studio activities.