The Bottom Line
- + Customizable lumbar support
- + Dynamic tilt rocking function
- + Class 4 gas lift
- + Normal size
- + Padding
- - It may not fit larger users
- - Location of the button for armrest expansion
- - Chair tilt lever
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
When it comes to gaming chairs, it is easy to see what the big players in this segment are doing, as they get reviewed at almost every site and YouTube channel on the planet. However, startups, or those without a huge following, get hardly any air time at all. While we still accept chairs from anyone who offers something worthy, we love seeing something from those who do not have a real presence in the market, at least not from what we can see.
When you look to the upstarts or those who want a bigger piece of the pie, they tend to come up with creative ideas and solutions, which may be and usually are better than those from the bigger players. While the big boys can afford to recycle ideas and make minor changes, lesser-known manufacturers must come out swinging or get swallowed up by the companies already getting most of the market.
Even though you may never have heard of Boulies as a gaming chair manufacturer, this review should put them at the bare minimum in your mind. With what we have gathered from their online presentation, combined with the near month our rear end and back have rested in one, we feel that Boulies is a maker that should be on your radar. The Master Max 2024 Gaming chair for Boulies may not be for everyone. Still, for you normal-sized folks out there, Boulies has a solution that is not only technically smart but is also one of the more comfortable chairs we have had in our nearly twenty-something years of using computer chairs.
The chart above was compiled from information we saw online and on the packaging, but it does cover the vast majority of what the Master Max 2024 has to offer. For instance, we see that the chair we have comes in black. However, there are four options in total. The possibilities are PU with black and blue options for colors. The other two versions are made of water-repellant fabric; one option is charcoal gray, while the other fabric choice is ash gray.
The Master Max 2014 can hold users up to 297 pounds with the class 4 BIFMA lift. The chair frame is made of extra-strong steel covered with very dense 100% cold-cure foam, and in this instance, wrapped with Ultraflex PU leather with a stripe of microfiber suede running down the center of the back portion, and on either side of the seat. The chair's base is aluminum and uses 60mm PU casters to roll around.
Some of the cooler features include adjustable lumbar support. Boulies designed this not only to allow for depth of the lumbar support but also so you can adjust it vertically to fit your back. The mechanism under the seat delivers 360 degrees of swivel but also has a fifteen-degree tilt built in before you change the multi-angle back adjustment lever. The armrests move in an 8-way design, which is the same as many 4D versions, and the armrests are padded and covered with a rubberized material for longevity. We also get a headrest pillow with an elastic strap filled with Poly-fill.
Dimensionally, the backrest is 59cm wide, while the seat is 34cm wide, 56cm to the inside of the armrests. The seat depth is 50cm, and in its lowest position, the seat height is 48cm, with a maximum height of 56cm. Armrests are adjustable outwardly, so we see the 73cm to 78cm difference in armrest width. The last width we see is the 71cm spread of the star-shaped aluminum base. The Master Max 2024 weighs 48.5 pounds and has a two-year warranty.
As far as we can tell, the only place to obtain a Boulies char is from them, as we cannot find any current models for sale elsewhere. That being said, we find the price acceptable. As we write this review, Boulies has the Master Max 2024, which you will see in this article, at $499.99, regardless of which of the four options you pick. While a tad more expensive than what you typically find at the box stores, it is considerably less than the few we have tested thus far. Even though we have never heard of Boulies, they seem to have many of the features and the cost in line with what users want, but let's see what we have and then discuss why Boiulies and their Master Max 2024 should be in your mind when looking for your next gaming chair.
We will show only two since the packaging repeats itself on opposing panels. The first is this blackened panel where we find the 548A-L-BLACK SKU and the black option at the top left, above the Boulies chairs name. To the right is an outline of a chair back, which says Master Max in the center of it.
The other two panels expose the cardboard, delivering specs and iconography to the left. On the right is the SKU again and a spot for a shipping label that is on the opposite side of the box. We also see that these chairs, while designed by Boulies, are made in China.
On the top panels of the packaging, which match, we find the SKU and Master Max names at the left. It says to keep this side up and shows an icon of two people carrying the package to help save backs around the globe.
Once opened, we immediately see the manual and warranty insert laid on a dense sheet of foam covering all components. Each part inside the box is covered in plastic, bubbles, foam, or a mix, allowing the components to arrive without damage. We can also see the edge of the hardware box, which keeps small pieces from floating around and getting broken or causing damage to other parts.
Boulies Master Max 2024 Components
The back of the chair is the first to come out of the box, and we see the use of PU leather on the bolsters and each side of the seat back. The Boulies name and double arrow icon are stitched into the headrest, and we find a stripe of microfiber suede down the center, stitched in a diamond pattern. To help highlight the shapes and edges, Boulies trims the components with contrasting white stitching.
The back of the chair is a bit less exciting, with the vast expanse of PU leather. However, like the front of the back portion, Boules stitches their name and logo onto it.
The top of the seat goes along with the back, using the contrasting white stitching to highlight and mixing the PU leather on the seat and sides while inserting the microfiber suede near the edges to help keep you from sliding around in the chair. The hardware to mount the back and the tilt lever are installed for you, simplifying the build process.
Under the seat, we find cloth straps to allow for some flexibility while still supporting the user, but we also see the steel frame in the center. All the mechanism and armrest hardware are in the holes out of the box, ensuring you have the proper parts in the right holes.
The armrests were next; we can see they are 8-way, as described. The bulk of the armrests are made of black plastic and black rubberized coating to rest arms upon, but the metal portions are polished to keep up that high-quality appearance when they are shown raising the armrests or the bits next to the seat bottom.
The mechanism is where the lift is installed to support the chair. On it, we find there is a twisting knob for tilt tension, with two large paddles out either side to adjust the height or lock the tilt function by raising or lowering it.
The star-shaped base is made of aluminum but is painted black to match the rest of the theme. The Class 4 lift fits in the central hole, while the casters get inserted from the underside at the ends of the star points.
In this image, we are showing the class 4 BIFMA lift and the expanding co0ver to the left of it. Below, we see the pair of plastic covers used after you install the back to the seat bottom to cover the hardware. There is also a set of five 60mm POU casters, blackened to match the rest of the Master Max 2024.
The manual unfolds into three panels, front and back, and simplifies a parts list followed by eleven steps to building the chair, with clear text instructions. The functionality of the levers and buttons gets an entire page to themselves, and there is even a care and maintenance guide. There is a hardware pack, but it offers screws, a pair of plugs, and two wrenches for this chair. The spacers are used between the mechanism and the seat frame. There is also the two-year warranty coverage, which the blue insert addresses and details what Boulies covers.
We mentioned earlier that there was a headrest, and what you see here is it. A rectangular pillow covered in a velvet-like material, packed with Poly-fill to rest your head upon. Behind it is an adjustable elastic strap, allowing you to hold it on the back of the chair wherever your head hits it.
Assembly and Features
Skipping over step one, which was to remove all of the screws from the bottom of the chair, we fast-forward to step two. It is time to install the armrests, marked with an "L" and an "R" on stickers, to prevent you from switching them up accidentally. For the slightly wider or thinner users, you have some adjustment as to how far in or out the armrests start before messing with the 8-way options.
In this image, we cover steps three and four. After setting the four spacers on the holes in the frame, you align the mechanism over them. Once set, you use the same wrench you used for the armrests and secure it tightly.
Step five says to press the casters into the underside of the base, and when you are done, flip it over. Step six says we install the lift into the chair's base and drop on the expanding plastic cover.
For the seventh step in the manual, we take the assembled bottom portion of the chair and set it on top of that class-4 lift. We are almost done.
Steps eight, nine, and ten are covered with what we see now. You will need to remove the pair of screws from either side of the seat back and then set the back of the chair between the arms that come out of the seat bottom. You then reinstall the screws with the same wrench we have used the entire time (m8), and again, ensure they are tight.
Step eleven covers the covers. Neither cover is the same, nor are the plugs that cover the scr4ews, but the idea is the same. You align the cover, use the smaller M6 screws, and we get to use the second wrench to send these screws in. Once done, you can install the plugs to cover the screw holes.
While still looking at the outer edge of the right side of the back portion, you will find a twist knob just6 above the cover you installed. This knob is used to extend and retract the lumbar support. You can extend it for more support or retract it when needed. On the other side of the chair is a matching knob, but it is used to adjust the height of the lumbar support, to help users personalize the fit.
Still on the right side of the chair, next to the seat, you will find the back angle adjustment lever. It is the same size as our hand, is easy to locate, and functions differently. You lift the handle until it unlocks the tilt function, which is sprung and will return to the uppermost position. However, the recline isn't as supported, and you can fall back quickly. After a try or three, you can find that comfy spot, but be aware that you could be yeeted out of it if you are not careful.
On the outside of the armrests is a single metal lever, which is cromed for appearance. Squeezing it towards the padded armrest, the lever moves, and you can adjust the height of the armrests.
Inside of each armrest are a pair of buttons. The cromed one near the front allows the armrest to swivel in and out. The second, the smaller black plastic button under the armrest will enable them to slide in and out. However, if you tend to lean for a side desk or to grab something, you can depress these buttons and take a 5CM ride until the armrest maxes its width.
In its basic form and positioning, the Boulies Master Max 2024 is overly upright but ergonomically correct for many users. The fit is fine for the average-sized user, and we like the black-on-black aesthetic, with the bright white trim to break up the monotony.
Fully reclined, you are well on your way to nap land. The level allows for 165 degrees of lean-back-ability, but if you factor in the tile of the mechanism, the Boulies Master Max 2024 lays almost flat.
We want to start with what we like in the Master Max 2024. We like the aesthetic. While black is an easy way to go, we enjoy the appeal of mixing the PU leather and microfiber suede, and without that white stitching, many of the curves and bolster shapes would be lost, as would the Boulies name and logo on the headrest portion of the seat back. In other chairs of similar cost, we tend to see padding that is not intended to last long or be enjoyable for long hours. Eventually, you quickly run into the seat base or the frame, which is uncomfortable.
However, in the back of the chair and in the seat, the foam is dense, and after a month of use, you cannot see a dent yet. We feel that the Master Max, at the most basic level, is a great chair. It supports us comfortably, the initial tilt in the mechanism is pleasant, and the armrests are right where they should be. The pillow is also nice when you need to kick back and relax for a moment.
Beyond that, the chair functions as described, although two things stood out as either odd or based on personal usage. The lever to tilt the back of the seat into a more reclined position is strange to us. Typically, the user is offered some support when the handle is raised. In our chair, when the handle is pulled, the back flops all the way out under the weight of our body. This could cause the user to be flung out and over the back. As long as you are aware of this decision, it is easy to circumnavigate, but we feel it shouldn't be a thing in the first place.
The other thing we ran into was the expansion of the armrests. It could be due to our specific build, and the button is hidden for the most part, but we were able to lean and depress those buttons, which allows the armrests to slide outward without check until they reach maximum spacing. While it will not toss you out of the chair, it is a bit shocking when it happens.
Overall, we feel that the Boulies Master Max is worth a look. For a company we had never heard of in gaming chairs, they came out swinging and delivered a comfortable experience that we feel could be under us for the duration of the warranty and some. In all aspects, they delivered on features that the major manufacturers offer. With 8-way armrest adjustability, tilt options, and height and depth lumbar support adjustability, the Master Max 2024 has everything one expects from the big boys in the game.
At the cost of $439.99, on sale from the original $499.99 for the holidays, we feel you are getting your money's worth in the Master Max 2024. If you are searching for a fairly good offering without needing $700 or more to be comfortable, the Boulies Master Max 2024, in any of its four outfits, should be on your mind for the next hunt in gaming chairs.