Despite releasing back in Summer 2021, Secretlab’s Titan Evo remains one of the best gaming chairs today. The Titan Evo offers excellent ergonomics and versatility in a premium package that’s built to last. But if the $549 starting price is a bit too steep for your budget, there’s now an alternative option. Secretlab’s brand-new Titan Evo Lite retains the vast majority of features found on the original while shaving almost 20% off the price.
Starting at $449, the Titan Evo Lite falls squarely in the mid-range of pricing for name-brand gaming chairs. But as mentioned, you’re still getting a similar experience to the Titan Evo at a lower price: cold-cure foam cushions that remain comfortable for many hours, durable SoftWeave fabric or Prime 2.0 Leatherette upholstery that looks and feels high-quality, adjustable 4D armrests that move up and down as well as left to right, a pebble-shaped seat with subtle contours, smooth casters, 165-degree reclining, and a sturdy, carbon-steel frame.
Secretlab says the Lite has 95% of the features found on the Titan Evo. While I’m not sure how that percentage was calculated, it is true that the sitting experience is quite similar. I asked my wife, who had never sat in either the Titan Evo or the Titan Evo Lite, to try each chair and tell me which one she thought was the budget model. She told me they felt the same.
Now, as someone who has been using the Titan Evo for years, I can tell they are not exactly the same, but the Lite isn’t for people like me who already have the pricier model. The important thing here is that the new model does an admirable job replicating the Titan Evo, which remains our top pick for the best gaming chair when you factor in price and performance.
So, what’s the difference between the two models then? The main one is the exact implementation of their lumbar support. For background: Unlike many gaming chairs that have visible cushions or highly noticeable curves to support your back, Secretlab chairs have built-in lumbar supports. Rather than offering a plush feel with a lot of give to it, the backrest and seat have a firm feel. If you’re used to plush cushions, it’ll take a bit to adjust, but the critical advantage here is that the internal lumbar tech limits strain on your back when sitting for long stretches of time. Perhaps even more importantly, those post-sitting pains that crop up after hours of sitting are less likely thanks to the design.
Everyone’s body is different, so I can only speak from my experience, but my lower back and legs are never sore from the original Titan Evo–and I’ve had some miserable experiences with gaming and office chairs in the past. Though I’ve only been using the Titan Evo Lite for about a week, I haven’t experienced any back pain while sitting or afterwards.
That said, the Lite doesn’t have as much tech inside the backrest. The Titan Evo was the first Secretlab chair to implement the 4-way L-Adapt Lumbar Support System. In simple terms, the lumbar support subtly repositions itself to fit the user’s seated position. You can also turn the pair of tension dials to manually adjust the internal lumbar support. The support can shift both vertically and horizontally. If you tend to move a lot while sitting, this clever feature is certainly welcome. The Titan Evo Lite’s lumbar support has a fixed location in the lower-middle of the backrest. When seated in a normal upright position, I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between the two lumbar supports. The difference shows up when you alter your posture, such as leaning to the side, slouching, etc. The lumbar doesn’t shift with your body, so you don’t get the same support when not using proper posture. You also can’t adjust the tension to your preference. Granted, this is the case for the significant majority of ergonomic chairs, so it’s not really a deficiency unless it’s compared to the regular Titan Evo. I tend to stay in the same spot while sitting, so this omission didn’t really impact my experience. The Lite wasn’t quite as comfortable with bad posture, but it certainly wasn’t painful. Like the Lite’s other changes, it’s too early to say for sure whether the reworked lumbar design will cause discomfort for those who tend to move around in their seat. It’d make sense that consistently sitting with bad posture would lead to more aches and pains with the Lite than its predecessor.
While the backrests are different, the awesome pebble-shaped seats are identical. The design actually helps you maintain proper posture thanks to subtle contours that push you toward the center. Like the backrest, the seat has a firm density that, when paired with the light curvature, alleviates pressure on your upper legs and bottom.
Both Titan Evo models I’ve tested were wrapped in Secretlab’s black SoftWeave fabric. Technically, though very similar, the materials on the two aren’t identical. The Lite uses standard SoftWeave, while the original has SoftWeave Plus. The latter employs finer stitching, allowing for more detailed patterns. In the case of the black models I tested, the stitched pattern of the Lite has a streakier look versus the speckled design of the original. Overall, this discrepancy is minor from visual and feel standpoints.
It’s far too early to know how well the SoftWeave will hold up compared to the SoftWeave Plus. The fabric on the regular Titan Evo is tighter, so it may fare better in the long run. My Titan Evo’s upholstery looks identical to when I unboxed it 2.5 years ago. There isn’t a single stretch, tear, or wear spot. It’s worth noting standard SoftWeave was used in the 2020 Titan and Omega chairs and was well-received. The Prime 2.0 Leatherette upholstery matches the 2020 models, too. Though I didn’t test it on the Lite, I always liked the feel on the 2020 Omega I previously owned. Meanwhile, the original Titan Evo has Neo Hybrid Leatherette, which is stronger and thus could hold up longer, too.
Two other minor differences are worth weighing before deciding between the two models. Though the Lite has the 4D armrests that can twist left and right, they aren’t modular. The standard Titan Evo has magnetic armrest covers that can be upgraded to higher-quality memory foam or “technogel” covers (basically memory foam with cooling gel). Swapping the armrests on the Titan Evo costs $79-$89, so it’s a pricey add-on–but one you don’t have the option to get with the Lite. That said, the default armrests are virtually identical between the two. They contain firm memory foam and are wrapped in PU leather. The armrests themselves have fully metal frames on the original, including the lever that raises/lowers the height, whereas the Lite is made mostly of aluminum. This doesn’t really affect performance, though it’s possible the metal armrests will hold up longer.
Both Titan Evo models have magnetic headrests, but the Lite doesn’t come with the cooling gel memory foam pillow; you have to buy it separately for $49. With the way Secretlab chairs are shaped, a head pillow is optional, not essential. It’s nice to have if you want to use the chair as a recliner for relaxing, but at your desk, your head probably won’t touch the headrest all that often. Plus, the backrest provides enough support already. The official pillow is admittedly pretty great (and very expensive), but any neck pillow you own should be a decent substitute in a pinch.
Save for the lumbar tension dials and the modular armrests, the adjustable components in the chairs are essentially the same. There’s a tilt lever that lets you smoothly rock back and forth. A handle to the right of the seat base activates the recline function. It’s capable of reclining and locking at any spot up to a 165-degree angle. The chair maintains its sturdiness with the backrest all the way down. Lastly, there’s a lever that adjusts seat height, and it too works smoothly without a hitch.
Along with the two different styles of upholstery, the Titan Evo Lite has two different sizes and numerous color variants. Regular size is generally intended for users 5’7″ to 6’2″ and under 220 pounds, while the XL model is for those 5’11” to 6’9″ who weigh between 175 and 395 pounds. The original Titan Evo, but not the Lite, is also available in a small size for those under 5’6″. Prime 2.0 Leatherette upholstery is available in black and Stealth (black and gray pattern), and the SoftWeave upholstery comes in black, Cookie and Cream, and Charcoal Blue. If you opt for the regular Titan Evo, you can pick from several more styles, including special editions such as the Cyberpunk 2077-themed model.
Overall, Secretlab’s Titan Evo Lite is a fantastic gaming chair at its price point. Though the original Titan Evo has a bit more versatility, the Lite offers many of the most impactful features while maintaining a premium build. I’d recommend reading GameSpot’s full Secretlab Titan Evo review before buying either of them, as it goes in-depth on what makes the Titan Evo (and now Evo Lite) a great choice if you’re willing to drop this kind of cash on a chair. If you’re at your desk for much of the day, investing in an ergonomic chair for gaming (and work) is really worth it. For the price, the Titan Evo Lite is hard to beat.
Disclosure: Secretlab provided the Titan Evo Lite to GameSpot for testing.