The Anda Seat Dark Demon gaming chair is one of the company’s lower-end models, retailing for around $400 in the US or £300 in the UK.
The Dark Demon has plenty of features that appeal at first glance, like a steel frame, 4D armrests and 160-degree tilt. The seat pan padding is thick, dense foam, and you get headrest and lumbar support pillows in the box.
However, the Anda Dark Demon is also a reminder why some less-talked-about features are also important. This chair does have advanced modulation of the position of the seat pan when you tilt the back, which makes reclining a little less comfortable.
Its dense foam padding is less soft than some. This is a positive for support, but may not be what you’re after if you want your gaming chair to feel like a luxury throne each time you sit upon it. We actually prefer the Dark Demon as a work chair than a gaming one.
Parts of the Anda Seat Dark Demon’s design also seem in conflict with each other. You get a firm lumbar support pillow, which is good, but this effectively limits the depth of the seat pan to such an extent it is no longer a great fit for anyone near to approaching six feet tall.
We like that the Anda Seat Dark Demon is less monstrously large than the Anda Seat Fnatic Edition, reviewed in 2020. It also works well as a seat that needs to switch between roles as an office chair and a gaming one. But you may be left wishing you had some of the comfort-enhancing extras not present here.
Materials and construction
The Anda Seat Dark Demon is made in the same mold as many entry-level (but not budget) gaming chairs. It has a steel frame, an aluminum base and a thick synthetic leather cover on all the surfaces your body will actually come in contact with.
This may not be the best style for breathability, but it is for maintenance. You can give fake leather a wipe down, no problem. Comfier, breathable velour-type fabrics may be less easy to keep in shape.
The Anda Seat Dark Demon has the company’s characteristic racing style cut-outs in the upper part of the seat back, but this is a relatively subdued chair. It’s all-black aside from the white stitched Anda Seat logo at the top, and another logo covered when you’re sat down. These logos are unnecessarily large but, hey, it’s still a gaming chair.
Anda Seat uses what it calls “high-density mold shaping foam” for the majority of the Dark Demon’s padding (aside from the neck pillow) at 60kg/m3 density. This may make you think it’s memory foam, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. The seat pan has the firm character of classic reflex foam.
Does it matter? Reflex foam means you don’t sink into the Dark Demon’s padding. That luxurious feel just isn’t here. But from a pure health and ergonomics perspective, there’s nothing wrong with the padding here. It’s dense, supportive and fine for all-day sitting. You just won’t feel like pampered royalty doing so.
The Anda Seat Dark Demon has 4D arms that are, as far as we can tell, almost identical to those of the more expensive Fnatic Edition.
“4D” means there are four ways to adjust their position, using three button and levers on the rests themselves. They go up and down, the rests can be moved laterally towards you, pulled closer to the seat back and angled to point slightly inwards, outwards or dead centre.
The pad tops are made of very high density foam, for just a little bit of “give”, and the kinds of adjustment here are what you’ll find on some of the most expensive office chairs.
Criticisms to make here are the same as those we levelled at the Fnatic Edition. They can’t actually be moved that close to your body. A little more movement might be handy for shorter-limbed gamers who want somewhere to rest their elbows while playing with a controller. And none of the mechanisms are on the same level, in quality terms, as those of a Herman Miller, Steelcase or top-end Secretlab chair. But at $400 we are pretty happy with what we get.
Generous recline, with an issue
We are fans of gaming chairs that recline an ostentatious amount. The Anda Seat Dark Demon can go from dead upright to 160-degree recline, so you’re almost lying flat. Bliss.
However, the appeal of the lean back position is limited by the basic seat pan control. Ideally, you want to be able to tilt the seat’s bottom as well as the back, and hold it at a certain position. The Anda Seat Dark Demon doesn’t let you do this.
While the seat pan can tilt backwards by perhaps 20 degrees, it can only be locked to an upright position. This kinda sucks if you want to get to a fixed, relaxed recline while playing, as the part under your bottom always wants to return to its “flat” home.
This is not something And a Seat has forgotten to put in, though. This higher grade of adjustability requires a more complicated, no doubt more expensive, base.
The spring that provides the seat pan tilt tension is also undampened, meaning you can feel its tension twang through the Anda Seat Dark Demon’s frame, like a plucked guitar string, when you sit back. This doesn’t give us any worries about its longevity, but is a reminder you’re sitting on a less than top-end gaming chair.
As in other seats like this, the spring’s tension can be adjusted using a big knob on the Anda Seat Dark Demon’s underside.
Lumbar support vs seat pan depth
The whole seat tilt issue is one of cost. But there’s a more fundamental design niggle in the Anda Seat Dark Demon too.
Anda Seat says this chair is designed for people up to 6 feet 5.6 inches tall (200cm), but you need to be well under six foot to fully appreciate the Dark Demon. Attach the lumbar support and the usable seat pan depth is significantly reduced. It makes taller people feel as if they’re perched towards the seat’s edge.
This is in part because the lumbar support uses very firm, thick reflex foam that your lower back doesn’t sink into all that much. Firm lumbar support is great, but this juxtaposition of an only moderately deep seat pan and a thick lumbar pillow is only going to work for shorter people. Or at least those with short legs.
We’ve mostly used the Anda Seat Dark Demon without the lumbar support connected at all. And this would be a deal breaker if it did not also have a solid foam wall on the seat back.
The pricier Anda Seat Fnatic Edition has a concave back that we couldn’t stomach using at all without the lumbar support. But the Dark Demon has a relatively straight, upright plank of foam to support your back.
Still, if you are not short and you want a gaming chair to avoid low back pain, the Anda Seat Dark Demon is not the right seat for you.
There are no similar issues to sitting cross-legged, though. You can adjust the arms to move them out of the way, and the foam contouring isn’t so aggressive it juts into your thighs. But, again, if you have long legs the larger Anda Seat Fnatic Edition may be a better bet.
Headrest pillow and pneumatics
The Anda Seat Dark Demon’s other pillow is for your head and neck and, like the lumbar one, it attaches to the seat using two elastic straps brought together by clips.
This, unlike the lumbar pillow, does use memory foam. It feels a bit like pizza dough when you unzip the leather cover and give it a prod. A thick leatherette cover doesn’t let you fully appreciate the malleability of memory foam but its ergonomics are just about perfect for the under 6-foot crowd. It has an “H” shape, and its curve should fit the crook of your neck just fine. We’re fans.
We do wonder whether shorter folk might find it sits too high, though. The mechanism Anda Seat uses, threading the pillow straps through the cutouts in the seat back, means its position can’t be adjusted all that much.
There’s one more area of the Anda Seat Dark Demon we would have liked to be a little better.
It has a “class 4” pneumatic lift, which offers 5.5cm of lift. This should be enough for all but the tallest of people, who probably shouldn’t but this chair for other reasons anyway.
However, the gas lift is a little weak, meaning you need to take your entire weight off the seat before it will rise. Such gas lifts can lose their power over time too (we’re talking years here), and this isn’t a great starting point.
Let’s not end on a negative point, though. The Anda Seat Dark Demon has large 60mm diameter PU plastic coasters. They are very quiet and move freely on carpet. We found them slightly slide-prone on hard flooring, but there’s always going to be a trade-off here and most buyers will probably use the Dark Demon on some kind of carpet.
Buy it if…
That isn’t garish
Want a gaming chair that isn’t gaudy, packed with colour panels and aggressive logos? The Anda Seat Dark Demon is not a bad bet. While the racing seat lines and cutouts may raise a few eyebrows during work video meetings, this is one of the more subdued gaming chairs out there.
You want to slob out
The Anda Seat Dark Demon has 160-degree recline, great for slobbing out. Its seat pan tilt is far less versatile, so we’d actually recommend spending a little more on a chair with a base that lets you hold the lower part at multiple positions, though.
You want firm support
The Anda Seat Dark Demon is mostly made of dense reflex foam, which offers a firmer feel than one that uses more memory foam throughout its construction. This makes it a particularly strong choice if you’ll use the chair for all-day home working, and occasional gaming sessions.
Don’t buy it if…
You want a luxurious feel
The Dark Demon features much less memory foam than many high-end gaming chairs. This kind of foam is what provides a luxurious, squishy feel in sofas and chairs. Our butts can’t detect much, if any, of it on the base, and the lumbar support doesn’t use memory foam either. Only the neck/headrest does.
This is not the best gaming chair for remotely tall people who will also want to use the lumbar pillow. It pushes you too far to the edge of your seat thanks to the combination of the thick reflex foam of the pillow and the non jumbo size depth of the bit your sit on.
You want to sit back comfortably
We’ve kind of already covered this, but if you want to play from a relaxed, sitting back position, you are better off with a gaming chair that has better seat pan tilt control. While it can tilt, it can only be held in its upright arrangement.