Pyramat 300 Interactive Gaming Mat Review

It is not very often we get to review products which fall into the "outside of the square" category. The Pyramat 300 Interactive definitely falls into this category. What is it you ask? Imagine a force feedback gaming mat which works with just about any electrical entertainment device on the market and you'd be just about there. Interested yet? If so read on as Cameron "Mr.Tweak" Wilmot tells us all about it!
| May 6, 2003 at 11:00 pm CDT
Manufacturer: none

Pyramat 300 Interactive - Introduction

Introduction
What I am about to show you would be close to being one of the coolest, most innovative and unique products we have received for evaluation here at TweakTown in our nearing three year existence on the Web.The product which we are taking a look at today is from Pyramat, a Los Angeles based company who produces mostly gaming orientated furniture for use with just about any form of electronic entertainment device you could possibly find on this planet - all the latest gaming consoles (Xbox, PS, PS2 and GameCube), computers (despite it not being mentioned as a supported device), DVD players, CD players, TV's, MP3 players and even electrical musical instruments such as guitars.The Pyramat 300 Interactive is a foam based mat with a three piece speaker system toward one end of the roughly seven inches long mat. Its first and foremost purpose is to provide you with a place to sit down and relax, in comfort, to then enjoy each and every punch, knock, kick and crash in the game you are playing and in the movie you are watching through its small 25 watt RMS, yet quit effective, sound system with four inches sub woofer directly behind your back to assist with all the big blows to pound through the upper part of your body and legs - it is essentially a force feedback mat.This year the Pyramat 300 was awarded The Best of CES in the gaming category by Tech TV in the United States. What could all the fuss be about over such a simple product? Read on and I'll tell you just what all the fuss is about over the next few pages.

Pyramat 300 Interactive - The Mat

The MatThe mat is little over six foot long in length and is long enough for the average person. To give you a better idea, I am a little taller than six foot and my feet did not hang off the edge of the mat, which was to my surprise. When looking down at the mat it seems smaller than what it actually is. If you are an ex-NBA player for example or generally just a tall person, you might just add another pillow to the end of the mat to compensate for your extra height - either way it is not much of a concern.As you can see from the pictures below, the Pyramat 300 Interactive certainly has a very distinctive technical cool factor about it and it is surely something to impress all of your friends at the next LAN party or geeky gathering at your place.
- ComfortThe innards of the mat are made out of foam with a softer type of fabric on the outer edge for extra comfort. The foam and soft fabric is then covered with stylish and strong black plastic which can be unzipped at various locations for whatever reason you may find to be getting into the insides. While you probably would not sit on the mat for the entire day, it is fairly comfortable to sit on considering its affordable price tag of $149 US (roughly $280 AU).In fact, the Pyramat 300 Interactive has doubled quite well as a second all purpose couch and electronic like massage chair machine thanks to the four inches sub woofer which sits directly behind your back and sends bass waves all through the upper part of your body almost in a soothing manor as you battle to the death against your friends and family.
We tried ripping the plastic to pieces with some force and it stayed up to the task without any problems. This clearly indicates that cheap products have not been used to lower overall production costs. When sitting down on the mat, it does not move up or down or from side to side, which is definitely a big plus as it would become quite annoying in not much time at all. While the mat does not have any actual device to stop it moving, your body weight does the job of keeping the mat in one place at all times.- Back SupportThe back rest is very strong. You might be led to believe that is not very strong but I am not a small person and the back rest had no problems supporting my weight, even when putting force on it when trying to fault it - it simply does not move due to great design thought by Pyramat. However, if you happen to remove the sub woofer box from the back rest like we did to take a closer look, you will loose the top part of the back rest as it collapses from the lack of support from the sub woofer box - but this should not be a problem for most.
The only problem we experienced in this area is that it does not have any lower back support. This means, every-so-often, you find yourself creeping further and further down the mat and having to prop yourself up again due to lack of support in that area. In future models, we hope to see some type of lumber support, especially for those with back or neck problems that would probably cringe at a product like this in its current state and give it a big miss.- It's Compact too
When you're finished using the mat, it folds up, using velcro straps, to its original shipping state to save room around your house or office which also makes it easy to move around from house to LAN party, for example. In this shape, is also doubles quite nicely as a foot rest!

Pyramat 300 Interactive - The Sound System

The Sound SystemNow we have finished taking a looking at the mat, let's get into the more exciting part of this product - the sound system and what really makes this product tick.Before we get into too much detail, please focus your attention towards the following diagram ripped directly from the Pyramat website which will give you a better idea as to how the core of this product operates then I could ever explain in any amount of text:
The theory behind the PM 300 sound system is really quite simple, yet ingenious, at the same time. As you can see from the bottom right part of the diagram above, a sub woofer box is used which is made out of the same black painted wooden material as companies like Altec Lansing and Creative use for many of their popular sub woofer boxes.All of your speaker and power cables are plugged in on the opposite side of the back rest, as you can see in both of the pictures below. Installation is fairly simple with the use of the provided instructions which any trained monkey should be able to follow. All required audio cables are included; however, it would have been MUCH BETTER if each cable was at least three times longer as at their current length, the cables are barely long enough to be considered workable.It is easy enough to go to your nearest electrical store to pick up new cables but you shouldn't have to!
While there is no remote control provided to adjust sound volume, a wired controller is included which feeds off the back of the mat and stretches half way down the mat to the opposite end making it easy to adjust volume during game play or watching a movie.The inclusion of a remote control would have been nice but not essential.

Pyramat 300 Interactive - The Sound System Continued

The Sound System Continued- Bass ProductionThe bass waves are produced by a four inches "High Performance" sub woofer which is situated behind your back directly in the middle of the back support area from the sub woofer box. From every shake and rumble, the bass waves are produced and pushed forwarded through the upper parts of your body and legs - impressively and realistically.
While the woofer is only a four inch, no name brand, and only powered through a 25 watt RMS amplifier it does generate a surprising amount of bass for its size. The bass production is nowhere the most booming I have ever experienced (I use a 500 watt RMS sub woofer in my car and this product still managed to draw my attention which surely means something), although it does its job, and well, as stated by the Pyramat company. You have the option to increase bass with a bass boost volume control at the back of the mat - I did not really notice much increase in bass when turned up fully, it instead created sound distortion at high volume levels - stay away from there!The following picture is shot inside the sub woofer box. The smaller hole of the two which you can see from this end is an open hole for bass and sound waves to exit.
It should be taken into consideration that the new upcoming version of the Pyramat will use an 80 watt RMS sub woofer and larger speakers which will be released in the not so distant future. Consider this before your final buy.- Speaker Sound QualityOn each side of the sub woofer box are two small mid range speakers attached with double-sided tape. These two speakers help in providing a decent and realistic 4.1 surround sound experience with assistance from the separate TV or computer monitor with two or more speakers acting as the front left and front right channels and so forth depending on your third party sound system setup whether it be 4.1, 5.1, 6.1 and so on since the support for these modes are not dependant on the Pyramat but your third party amplifier.Just make sure you have both front left and front right channels, etc operating at the same volume as the rear left and rear right channels of the Pyramat since both have different sound sources otherwise sound effects won't be produced as accurately as they should be, just like we discovered.
The quality of sound from these speakers surprised us just like the sub woofer, especially considering they are only powered by a 25 watt RMS amplifier which the sub woofer is already taking its fair share of power from - I would not have expected the amount of volume and very acceptable sound quality at fairly high levels from these small, and again no name, mid range speakers.Overall sound quality from the Pyramat 300 Interactive is something NOT to be looked down like we first thought might be the result but something to be fairly impressed with considering the price of the product.

Pyramat 300 Interactive - Conclusion

ConclusionPyramat have done a good job with the 300 Interactive gaming mats - everything from the mat itself to the sound system have been well thought out. Workmanship is clearly of high standard, you can tell when something has a cheap look to it with production and parts used - and this product does not.With our only complaints coming from the lack of lower back support which over time resulting in slight back discomfort if used for many hours on end without moving and the supplied audio and power cables being far too short for their use - the Pyramat 300 Interactive is almost a complete product.If you're after something different and exciting for your home entertainment area, this is a product which is cool, enjoyable, does what it says and most importantly, it will not send you broke at an affordable $149 US.- ProsGood Sound and Bass QualityImpressive lookingEnjoyableUniqueCompactEasy to Use and Setup- ConsLack of lower back supportIncluded cables far too short!Rating: 9 out of 10

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:25 pm CDT

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

Cameron founded TweakTown in 1999 after it originally started off as his personal homepage. Cameron was once, many years ago, the only person at TweakTown producing content, but nowadays, he spends his time ensuring TweakTown operates at its best in his senior management role.

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