Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review

Cougar thinks it has the "Next System" in gaming chairs and, on its face, seems to have it all, but is the NxSys AERO the perfect fit for your office?

Published
Updated
Manufacturer: Cougar (3MARPORB.0001)
10 minutes & 53 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 91%

The Bottom Line

The NxSys AERO in orange trim from Cougar is expensive, but it works. While we would opt for the more affordable version, the chair is comfortable for smaller users and does indeed keep you cooler.

Pros

  • + Elastomeric mesh back
  • + Active cooling
  • + RGB lighting

Cons

  • - Small for larger users
  • - Power bank not included
  • - Cost

Should you buy it?

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Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 99

While we have always looked to Cougar for cases, power supplies, and CPU cooling, we have yet to look to them for something like gaming chairs. However, we seem to have been under a rock because it appears that they have a lineup of seven various styles of chairs currently offered. Each chair has its own distinct characteristics or selling points, offering something for any user, no matter their tastes.

What brings us together with Cougar is the latest to enter their gaming chair lineup. In many ways, we got standard fare for this market segment, but Cougar does take things a bit further than most. While the magnetically placed headrest is nice, and the mesh open-back design is cool, the Next System ideology makes this chair even cooler, which is where the chair's name comes from. The next system alludes to the RGB fan in the chair, the wiring, and the cubby to house a power bank for cordless operation.

Ideas such as this have come across the market before, and typically, when you start adding things to something that isn't necessarily conducive to such an addition, it is an idea better left on paper. However, with what we know of this NxSys AERO from Cougar, it is an actively cooled gaming chair with promise. Stick with us as we see if Cougar is on the right path or if they are putting a cow in a wind tunnel and expecting miracles. Either way, you will get our feelings on the NxSys AERO gaming chair and whether it has what users need in the peak of hot summer nights.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 01

The Cougar NxSys AERO has two options. The black version has a diamond-pleated seat, and all the materials used are black. The orange and black version is available. It has orange piping on the seat back and seat bottom and additional gray areas made of micro-suede. Lastly, the Cougar logo on the headrest is white rather than black. This 61.7-pound NxSys AERO can support users weighing up to 352.7 pounds.

The special bit about the NxSys AERO, and the other half of its name, comes down to the inclusion of a 200mm RGB fan, with a control module, on the side of the chair. The fan offers a pair of power modes; the lower spins the fan at 400 RPM, while the higher power option spins the fan at 800 RPM. Noise and power readings are split for both modes; in the worst case, you have a 24dB(A) fan, eating 1.2W at 0.1A, plus another 0.28A if you decide to run the RGB. One downside is that you will need to provide a power bank to fit inside the 160mm by 79mm by 32mm cubby.

The NxSys AERO seat back is 560mm wide and 865mm tall. The back is mostly a plastic vented intake, whereas the front is covered in a highly breathable mesh. From ninety degrees at its forwardmost point, the NxSys AERO says it can recline to 150° for a relaxing angle, which may lead to naps. The seat bottom is 525mm deep, 450mm wide, and 120mm thick, covered in suede and PU leather, sporting high-density mold-shaping foam to caress your bums. Along with the headrest pillow, there is another pillow for lumbar support. Other listed features include the 3-D armrests, the steel base, tilt, tension, high and tilt-lock functionality, and three-inch diameter casters. The warranty can be confusing, but let us simplify it. The mechanism, frame, gas lift, casters, and armrests are covered for one year. The five-star base is covered for two years.

The availability is decent, as we were able to locate the NxSys AERO from Cougar at either Amazon or Newegg. However, there is a large discrepancy in cost by version. The black NxSys AERO sells for $399.99, a decent deal. However, to get a bit of micro-suede, some orange piping, and a white logo, you will need to fork out $544.59 to own the chair we have in this review.

Buy at Amazon

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
Buy at Newegg
$399.99$399.99-
$528.99$544.23-
* Prices last scanned on 6/23/2024 at 3:08 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Packaging

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 02

We are unsure why, but for some reason, Cougar has taped over all the information on the box. We can only assume this is due to the proper packaging not being ready when our sample was sent. However, you can also see that the box did not get any gentle treatment on its way to our door.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 03

At this end of the box, we can see the part number for the black version of the chair we have. With the slight changes between the two, we can now see why the box was whitewashed to ensure everything was clear.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 04

With a view of more tape, we took this picture to show how out of square the box is, yet as you will see, the product inside is untouched.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 05

Again, just to show how well the shipping company did not handle this box, we see things are really jacked up at this end. Even so, as stated, the chair inside is fine.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 06

Inside the box, we find all the parts either surrounded with clear plastic or wrapped in a thin layer of dense foam, ensuring that no part inside can damage another. There are some structural supports at the corners, and those and the large block of foam are what save our sample from the same fate the box had.

Cougar NxSys AERO Components

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 07

The back of the chair sits at the top of the box, so it only makes sense to look at it first. The Cougar name is embroidered on the headrest, with bright orange piping surrounding it and the chair's wings and side supports. While mostly black due to the use of PU leather and the black mesh center portion, we like the additional strips of gray suede, which adds that extra bit of style.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 08

Moving closer, we can see the fan placement and size better than in the previous image. The 200mm fan frame and blades are clear, which helps the RGB lighting be carried throughout the fan.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 09

The back carries on with the PU leather and suede strips, but the central portion is now plastic and slotted to allow airflow into the back. The warning sticker shows users not to poke their fingers in here and to be careful of long hair around it.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 10

Below the warning sticker is a cubby with the Cougar's name on it. A little tug on the handle drops it down, and it will fall out of the way. Inside the cubby, we find a USB Type-A cable intended to be plugged into a power bank (not included) and secured into the chair with a pair of Velcro straps.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 11

There is a control panel on the right side of the back of the chair. The largest button turns the fan on and off. The middle button with the fan blades on it sets the fan speed modes, and the last button selects colors or modes for the RGB portion of the 200mm fan.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 12

Next out of the box is the magnetically attached pillow for the headrest. It matches the chair using PU leather, but this time, we get the logo and name embroidered in white. We also like the bright orange stitching around the edge, miming what we see on the chair.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 13

Being magnetically attached, there is no need for an elastic strap, and even the zipper is reversed so as not to make it crooked in any of the many positions in which it can be placed.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 14

Even when placed on the back of the chair, the pillow adds more style and comfort than what we saw here originally.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 15

The lumbar pillow sports the Cougar name, again in white. The perforated PU leather matches the chair, and we get more orange accent stitching at the sides.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 16

The chair's seat comes with the hinges for the back pre-installed. Rather than a diamond pattern, the orange version gets four larger sections of dense padding covered in PU leather. To match the back, there is more gray suede, as well as orange piping and stitching.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 17

Looking at the bottom of the seat, we see a robust frame, not just in the dimensions of the parts used but also in quantity. The bolts to secure the mechanism and armrests are pre-installed into the chair and are a pain to remove due to thread-locker use.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 18

The armrests were next, and they were made with a steel frame, with plastic surrounding it for height adjustment. The padded rests are covered in a rubberized material and can be slid forward and back, and they can twist.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 19

We then made our way to the mechanism, where the paddles connected to the arms. The mechanism handles where the strut is inserted and deals with tension, tilt, and seat height with the strut.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 20

The chair's steel star base is also black and beefy. It houses the other end of the strut and, when flipped over, has the casters pressed into it.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 21

Speaking of the strut and casters, we found them in another box. The casters are plastic, three inches in diameter, and are smooth rollers. The strut below is a class 4 gas lift cylinder, which gives the chair a capacity of 300+ pounds.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 22

Digging deeper into that smaller box, we found additional parts and a pair of white gloves for assembly. Left of the gloves are: Hinge covers, the Allen/Phillps driver combo tool, and the screws and caps for the covers are left of them.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 23

The last thing we found in the box was the manual, one piece of paper folded up. It starts with an explanation of the Next System and lists the features. The instruction portion is broken down into a six-step process ahead of the warnings and warranty information.

Assembly and Features

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 24

In step one, grab the star base, press the casters into the underside, flip it, and install the class 4 strut.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 25

The manual then tells us to mount the back to the bottom of the chair via the hinges on either side. The bolts to do this are found installed in the back of the chair. Once removed, you can do what we have here.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 26

Once the back and bottom are securely bolted together, you then install the plastic hinge covers with a small screw and then pop one of the caps in the hole. You should end up with what is seen above.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 27

And the pain begins. With the Allen tool they supply, Cougar must be joking about installing the bolts into the chair with thread-locker on each bolt. We ended up with a socket set and a very sore forearm just removing all the bolts, cleaning up all the thread locker that fell off the threads, and then having to reverse the process. You will be here for an hour or so using the tool provided.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 28

After that, you lift the entire chair, align the strut with the mechanism, and gently set it down. We now have our Cougar NxSys AERO in a position to be tested.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 29

The 3-D armrests have a latch outside, allowing height adjustment in six stages. The armrests also swivel, move forward and back, but not in and out, but do so with a free-to-move, ratcheting system that locks said adjustment until you want to change it.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 30

For times when you need to stretch your back or spend five minutes with your eyes closed, the NxSys AERO reclines to 150°, which is fine for relaxing without putting you into a coma.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 31

We grabbed the Anker we use when traveling and plugged it into the chair. While the fit was snug, it is what we had on hand so as not to incur another charge on top of the list price of this chair.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 32

Using what we assume is a rainbow mode, we did get some illumination from the fan, although it is dim in a lit room. The darker the room, the better for the lighting, but as the one sitting in the chair, you will likely see it very little, except when walking up to it.

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair Review 33

Sadly, the best view of the RGB illumination is from the front. From the back, all we see is the lighting in the fan hub, and anyone walking up to the chair will not be impressed with the RGB illumination.

Final Thoughts

Firstly, we want to address things as a chair only, without adding NxSys bits. The seat bottom is firm, yet it gives over time, where after about thirty minutes in, you have sunken into a much more comfortable position in the NxSys AERO. The mesh back is tight but yields slightly to conform to the shape of your back, and the styling is done to offer a slight bit of lumbar support without the pillow. In our minds, this is a good thing, as with the lumbar pillow, the seat bottom is too small and puts pressure on our legs where it shouldn't be. The tilt, height adjustment, 3-D armrests, and everything Cougar puts into the NxSys AERO is good, but we do not suggest this chair for anyone much taller than six feet, as it barely fits us, and we are a few inches short of that.

Beyond the normal gaming chair, we must consider the NxSys portion; to be blunt, we are impressed. While the RGB portion of the fan is more of a gimmick, and we cannot believe that orange is not one of the solid color options, we digress. At low speed, we felt a bit of a breeze, but we would not say it was doi8ng very much to cool us down. However, once we flipped the fan to its 800 RPM mode, we felt a constant airflow over our shoulders and around our neck. It is hard to feel anything on our back, but we assume it also cools there. The continuous flow of air around our next was enough to keep us cool, and if running the fan with the AC on, we did get the chills a few times from using it.

It tends not to work out when manufacturers often try hybridizing product lines. However, we can appreciate almost every aspect of the NxSys AERO, all but four. The first issue comes down to the ay Cougar pre-installing the hardware, which jokingly gives us a tiny twig to attack a well-fortified bolt fortress. Without additional tools, you must trade in pain and sweat equity to assemble the chair. Our second point is the need for a power bank with the purchase. On the one hand, we could see the price increasing if Cougar supplied them, but with the space requirements needing to be met, including one would have been the cherry on top. We also need to warn anyone with long hair, that flailing it about could result in it over the back of the chair, and possibly getting tangled in the fan. The last bit that bothers us will be found below.

While we have no issue with the black version of the NxSys AERO pricing at $399.99, those who opt for this solution add another $50 to $75 for a decent power bank, and off you go. However, with the model we received, we cannot fathom how changing the stitching color, adding some orange piping and a thin strip of gray suede increased the price to $544.59. That's nearly $150 for a color option, and you still need to consider powering the fan, which will take you to over $600 when all is settled. As much as we like what we got from Cougar, if we were spending our cash on getting one, we would opt for the value of the all-black version and enjoy what the NxSys AERO from Cougar is designed for, with the extra $144.60 in hand and a huge smile on your face.

Photo of product for sale

Performance

90%

Quality

98%

Features

95%

Value

80%

Overall

91%

The Bottom Line

The NxSys AERO in orange trim from Cougar is expensive, but it works. While we would opt for the more affordable version, the chair is comfortable for smaller users and does indeed keep you cooler.

91%

Cougar NxSys AERO Gaming Chair

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
Buy at Newegg
$399.99$399.99-
$528.99$544.23-
* Prices last scanned on 6/23/2024 at 3:08 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Chad joined the TweakTown team in 2009 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM and coolers.

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