We recently got to test out HoMedics new iCush and the verdict is: Good for smaller bedrooms and the younger audience, bad for everyone else. If you’re unfamiliar with what the iCush does, check it out here . Right when you take the chair out of its box you’ll realize that you’re in a world of trouble. For the chair to function properly, you must connect audio cables to your gaming console and an adapter to the wall. In short, I had a chord running in front of me connecting to my XBOX 360 and a chord running behind me connecting to the wall. This raises another problem: Chair positioning. First off, you have to find a place in your living room that you can place the chair and reach both chord destinations. Second, you have to place the chair on top of another chair (since the iCush is more like a chair cover). Most people, especially gamers, have a TV set up away from their couches and chairs. I had to push my recliner a good 5 feet up closer to the TV so the chords could reach. Once you’ve got all that setup, hit the AudioSync button on the chair’s remote and you’re ready to go.
I tested the iCush with Call of Duty 2 and Dead Rising and the chair really impressed me at first. Every time I fired my rifle or killed a zombie the chair would vibrate accordingly, and every time I got bit or shot the chair would do the same. The vibration is essentially the best part of this chair, it really throws the individual into the game’s world. The iCush has two speakers near your head that are adjustable to your liking. It took me a few minutes to get the speakers positioned right, nothing too difficult. The sound out of these speakers is okay. The chair would’ve been great if HoMedics had implemented solid sounding speakers into the iCush. Alas, the chair’s speakers have all low end and mid-range frequencies cut out of them and leave you with piercing high frequencies – especially when you turn the chair’s volume up.
The speakers ruin the idea of listening to any type of audio device through it. You’re better off purchasing the stand-alone HoMedics massage chair and just listening to your iPod through its headphones or on a speaker set that features a dock if you’re into that type of thing. If HoMedics could make this thing wireless and throw in a proper sounding set of speakers, they’d have a real catch on their hands. Even with all its downsides, the chair is a great product for young gamers. Young ones usually don’t have high-end TVs, surround sound or a huge space to experience video games. Usually, kids can’t even turn the sound up without disturbing someone. The chair actually gets quite loud, and even at its highest volumes, does not disturb someone sitting next to it. For this crowd – the chair is a great buy. For everyone else, stick to your rumble-enforced controllers and surround systems.