PC & Console Peripherals

Backforce versus SecretLab: manual labor versus e-sports experience

aOne brand says it makes the best gaming chairs in the world, while another flatters the gaming community with what it claims is the perfect gaming chair. Does that sound equally convincing? Yes, it does; with one difference: one of the two brands can rightfully claim it, in our opinion.

We already did the comparison between Backforce and noblechairs, with Backforce coming out on top. Now we are sending the winner into the race again; the opponent this time: the manufacturer SecretLab from Singapore.

The company’s gaming chairs are known worldwide and have already equipped one or the other top-class e-sports organization, as well as being able to convince through collaborations with well-known games and films. But marketing isn’t everything; after all, comfort, materials, design and, last but not least, workmanship are what matter. Let’s see how Backforce versus SecretLab turns out!

Corner data about the companies and their products

Backforce SecretLab
Foundation 2019 2014
country of origin Germany Singapore
Market segment Premium Premium
Target group (size) 150 – 192 cm 144 – 208 cm
Target group (weight) 45 – 130 kg 50 – 180 kg
Price range of all chairs 499 – 629 euros 449 – 999 euros
Special Features 5D armrests, flexible lumbar support, distinctive back shield, customizable extras 4D armrests, integrated lumbar support, Leveled seat pan
Warranty 10 years 5 years if enrolled in Extended Warranty Program, otherwise 3 years

Inventory since 2019, but 60 years of experience

That Backforce is one of our favorite brands when it comes to gaming chairs should already be known to most of our readers. Still, we’re going into the comparison with an open mind, of course. First, let’s take a look at the German manufacturer.

Backforce has been around just since 2019, a full 2 years at the time of writing. We emphasize that for the reason that the manufacturer is already the talk of the town, and that’s not because of marketing posturing, but because Backforce’s chairs are more than just a seat. In our opinion, they have everything a gaming chair should have – suitable for both e-sports and hobby gamers.

It would have been nothing short of a miracle if an inexperienced startup had pulled chairs like the Backforce One and the One Plus out of thin air. The creation of the brand had less to do with a miracle; the office chair manufacturer Interstuhl is much more behind Backforce. For 60 years, this has been part of the European Hall of Fame in the field.

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What sets Backforce chairs apart

Accordingly, the first Backforce chair was already equipped with the best features. The modification of this one, named One Plus, has nevertheless taken it up a notch. What unites the two are a novel design that pays attention to every functional detail, a molded wood panel under the multi-layered plastic shield on the back of the backrest, high-quality materials, and an incredible 10-year warranty on each chair. That alone is a statement to all gaming chair manufacturers.

But that’s not all. Every One and One Plus is handmade exclusively in Germany. Extras such as the Gamer Pulse LED light on the back of the chairs as well as patches on the armrests not only make the seats real eye-catchers, but can also be customized.

Backforce also revolutionized the gaming market to some extent with the product launch: fold-away armrests to move closer to the screen and horizontally and vertically adjustable lumbar support (One Plus) were previously considered a novelty in gaming chairs.

Beyond that, the One Plus, which we tested at the end of 2020, convinces with 5D armrests as well as seat depth and tilt adjustment. Regardless, we were particularly impressed by the craftsmanship in every detail: two foam components guarantee long-lasting seating comfort, Alcantara leather gives the chairs a classy look – without any animal involvement – and breathable backrests offer support while gaming even in the height of summer.

After the aforementioned merits, it’s not surprising that Backforce has been equipping successful e-sports organizations such as BIG Clan, the Friendly Fire streamer charity event, as well as Team Paluten at a young age. If we were to sum up our test results of the two chairs in words, here’s what would probably come out of it: Every other manufacturer – no matter how old – will have to dress warmly if they want to keep up with Backforce.

For more info on Backforce’s chairs, we’ve linked to our tests:

What sets SecretLab’s gaming chairs apart

Let’s take a look at how warm SecretLab has dressed. Unknown the brand is not at all. On the contrary, SecretLab has been on the market since 2014 and collaborates with big names in e-sports like Invictus, Team Liquid, G2, Astralis and many more. In addition, there are cooperations with games like World Of Warcraft, LoL, Cyberpunk or Overwatch. So, if you are a real gaming and/or e-sports fan, you will definitely see an advantage in SecretLab’s chairs. After all, the manufacturer from Singapore offers plenty of fan editions.

In terms of experience in the gaming chair market, SecretLab has something ahead of Backforce and even noblechairs. After all, the company is considered the founder of noble premium chairs. And that is no coincidence. The reason for this is the two founders Ian Ang and Alaric Choo, former StarCraft II professional gamers. They were dissatisfied with the existing gaming chairs and designed their own without further ado. The result is impressive.

In total, the current series consists of the Omega, Titan and Titan XL models. The latter, as the name probably suggests, is a larger version of the middle one. Its design is especially suitable for people with high weight and height. We are talking about 100 to 180 kg as well as 180 to 208 cm. The upper limits represent a unique selling point for SecretLab compared to Backforce and other manufacturers; only Maxnomic can still keep up in the realms.

But from that point on SecretLab has to make some concessions compared to the chair manufacturer from Germany. The chairs are only equipped with 4D instead of 5D armrests and the lumbar support, which is integrated in the Titan models, can only be adjusted vertically. A positive extra is the memory foam headrest with cooling gel. In addition, SecretLab does not refrain from offering genuine leather. Overall, the company offers its chairs with PU leather, fabric or nappa leather.

What SecretLabs really has to be credited for, however, is the excellent workmanship. This may not be done by hand, but each chair from the Singaporeans is a testament to high-quality materials, the best workmanship and a classy overall look. In terms of features, however, the chairs lag behind those from Backforce.

In summary, we get a bit of an image of chairs that are meant to impress primarily on the outside and be comfortable for a long time. Internally, while steel and aluminum have also been thought of for stability, there’s less thought given to molded wood panels or seat adjustment to the angle of the backrest – components that make up a professional gaming chair.

Top models: the Backforce One Plus compared to the SecretLab Titan

Awards have already been won by both models. However, if you compare the flagships of the two manufacturers, it becomes apparent who is a class above.

The Backforce One Plus only comes with Alcantara leather, while the SecretLab Titan offers a choice of three materials. This also varies the price: The cheapest variant is covered with PU leather and costs 500 Euros, 530 Euros have to be paid with fabric and Nappa leather comes in at 999 Euros. These are hefty prices considering that the Titan isn’t nearly as well equipped as the One Plus from Backforce.

Although it also costs 629 euros, it is handmade, equipped with high-quality materials and has 60 years of ergonomic experience. Optical highlights also make it uniquely suited to its owner. Ultimately, a good gaming chair is all about comfort, durability and functionality. As we mentioned above, SecretLab’s focus seems to be elsewhere. In our opinion, the Singaporeans are also paying a bit for the name.

Conclusion

SecretLab has a variety of fan editions, good workmanship and sturdy materials to offer. In addition, the manufacturer has been considered one of the industry leaders in e-sports for many years. Moreover, those who are weightier or very tall are more likely to find what they are looking for at SecretLab than at other manufacturers.

Backforce, on the other hand, impresses with a unique design that also includes the back of the chairs, a variety of features that are detailed to fit any type of back, and high-quality materials that are handcrafted. In addition, customizable extras such as the patches for the backrest shoulders or eye-catchers like the Game Pulse.

Made in Germany still has a weighty meaning these days, so there’s a reason Backforce gives a 10-year warranty on its products and SecretLab only gives a maximum of 5 years. In our humble opinion, Backforce has the edge in this comparison as well.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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