AudioQuest NightOwl

ROW ONE

Evolution Home Theater Seating Review

Feature-packed chairs that give you the most bang for your buck.

PRICE


$1,159

THE HIGH NOTES


  • Our Best Value Theater Seat
  • Love All the Motors
  • Lots of Clever Surprises

Company & Product Overview

Row One is a furniture manufacturer with their headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Robert Cribbs is the president, whose father was an executive for a large furniture company. When Robert was a teenager, he worked in the lumberyard and warehouse, learning the business from the bottom up. Row One was founded in 2002 and their primary goal has been to put a smile on their customer’s face when they sit in a Row One product. They have factories in Grand Rapids, MI; Hickory, NC, and one overseas.

We came across their line of theater seating one afternoon at a trade show last year. We sat in the Evolution model and were in awe at how comfortable they were -- especially for the price.

While most of our reviews are about the gear, we think that having a comfortable place to sit is one of the most important aspects to a good home theater or media room. It simply doesn’t matter how good the 4K looks or how great the Dolby Atmos effects are if you can’t comfortably watch a movie or sporting event for 2-4 hours.

Through our vast experience designing and installing custom theaters, we’ve found that there are three main criteria you should consider when looking for home theater seating.

First, it needs to support you well. If you’ve ever been mattress shopping, you know that a giant pillowtop may feel great in the store, but if you’ve ever purchased one you may notice that over time it often begins to sag and doesn’t provide the long-term support you need for a restful sleep. The same thing goes for theater seating. It’s great if you sink in, but it needs to provide a level of support that will allow you to enjoy the room for hours at a time without back pain or having to constantly fidget.

It’s important that the chair is comfortable when you’re sitting upright, but we all know that when a movie starts, the first thing you want to do is kick back and relax. The second thing to think about when shopping for theater chairs is how it reclines and how comfortable it is in those positions. A good theater chair will recline in a way that allows you to put your feet up without forcing you to stare at the ceiling.

The final point piggybacks on the reclining issue a bit. Since people come in all different shapes and sizes, it’s important to have an adjustable headrest. This will ensure that no matter how tall you or your guests are, you will be able to find a position that supports your head and allows you to comfortable watch your favorite movies, shows, and sports.

The Row One Evolution checks all of these boxes and more. From the moment we put them in our showrooms in Raleigh and Charlotte, we’ve sold more Row One Evolution chairs than any other home theater chair in the history of Audio Advice!

Company & Product Overview

Row One is a furniture manufacturer with their headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Robert Cribbs is the president, whose father was an executive for a large furniture company. When Robert was a teenager, he worked in the lumberyard and warehouse, learning the business from the bottom up. Row One was founded in 2002 and their primary goal has been to put a smile on their customer’s face when they sit in a Row One product. They have factories in Grand Rapids, MI; Hickory, NC, and one overseas.

We came across their line of theater seating one afternoon at a trade show last year. We sat in the Evolution model and were in awe at how comfortable they were -- especially for the price.

While most of our reviews are about the gear, we think that having a comfortable place to sit is one of the most important aspects to a good home theater or media room. It simply doesn’t matter how good the 4K looks or how great the Dolby Atmos effects are if you can’t comfortably watch a movie or sporting event for 2-4 hours.

Through our vast experience designing and installing custom theaters, we’ve found that there are three main criteria you should consider when looking for home theater seating.

First, it needs to support you well. If you’ve ever been mattress shopping, you know that a giant pillowtop may feel great in the store, but if you’ve ever purchased one you may notice that over time it often begins to sag and doesn’t provide the long-term support you need for a restful sleep. The same thing goes for theater seating. It’s great if you sink in, but it needs to provide a level of support that will allow you to enjoy the room for hours at a time without back pain or having to constantly fidget.

It’s important that the chair is comfortable when you’re sitting upright, but we all know that when a movie starts, the first thing you want to do is kick back and relax. The second thing to think about when shopping for theater chairs is how it reclines and how comfortable it is in those positions. A good theater chair will recline in a way that allows you to put your feet up without forcing you to stare at the ceiling.

The final point piggybacks on the reclining issue a bit. Since people come in all different shapes and sizes, it’s important to have an adjustable headrest. This will ensure that no matter how tall you or your guests are, you will be able to find a position that supports your head and allows you to comfortable watch your favorite movies, shows, and sports.

The Row One Evolution checks all of these boxes and more. From the moment we put them in our showrooms in Raleigh and Charlotte, we’ve sold more Row One Evolution chairs than any other home theater chair in the history of Audio Advice!

Packaging, Design & Build Quality

The Evolution is not your typical flat bottom and back type seat. It has sculpted sides on both the seat and back that cup your body much like the seats you expect to find in a luxury performance automobile. They only offer two colors, brown and black, which allows us to get these chairs very fast (usually within 14 days). This is an incredibly fast turnaround for furniture. You can get a single chair or build a row of them. There is no curved row option, but we find that in 99% of our home theater rooms, straight rows work best anyway.

There is also a sofa option which looks like a row of three without the armrests. In this configuration, the center drops down to become a console, featuring a large work surface (or snack holder) and two additional cup holders.

Build quality is fantastic, especially considering the price point of these chairs. Each chair weighs in at 115 pounds and features a wooden frame covered with a high quality foam material that is designed to maintain its shape over time.

The exterior is covered in a material Row One calls Leatheraire. At first we thought that this was just another name for the vinyl-like fake leather you see in low-quality furniture. As it turns out, however, Leatheraire is extremely soft. It feels just like real leather, yet it’s able to breath, so you want find yourself getting sweaty in the chair after sitting for a few hours. This is one of the key reasons you are able to stay comfortable in these for hours.

Another design feature that we love is the footrest. While some footrests leave a gap between the edge of the seat and the footrest, the Row One evolution extends completely to the edge of the rest. Not only is this more comfortable because it supports your entire leg, but we also think it’s probably safer for animals and small children that may get caught or pinch a finger in the gap of other seats.

Features & Technology

While the build quality and comfort of these chairs are top notch, what really sets them apart and make them an even greater value is the feature set! You would think that a more entry-level chair would skimp immediately on the features, but these things are fully loaded!

First, the footrest is motorized. It’s controlled with touch sensitive buttons on the outside of the cupholder. The motor is quiet and incredibly smooth. Speaking of cupholders, every Row One Evolution comes with two -- one on each arm. Perfect for a drink and a snack!

The adjustable headrest is also fully motorized using a different set of buttons on the cupholder. This allows you to find the perfect setting. Don’t be surprised if you can’t seem to stay awake through an entire movie.

In addition to the four buttons we’ve discussed, the cup holders also have a fifth button that lights up the cupholder with a soft blue glow. It’s great for keeping a dim light to find your way back to your seat, or to make sure you can fit your drink back into the cupholder after a sip.

Finally, the cup holders of the Evolution also include USB charging port! With so many things, including theater control, moving to our phones, we find this feature to be incredibly useful. Row One has simply thought of everything here.

Each of the armrests lift to reveal enormous storage compartments that can easily fit a stack of magazines or accessories like your favorite remotes and video game controllers. There is even a gas-loaded piston that props the armrest up once it’s lifted so that it won’t fall back down on its own.

Many other home theater seating options in this price range do not allow you to attach multiple chairs together. This eventually leads to them sliding around. Row One allows you to configure them into individual rows, making them incredibly solid.

The last feature is a little low-key. That is, until it comes time to clean your theater! Every chair includes what Row One calls the “crumb-catcher.” It’s a zippered section behind the seat cushion that keeps anything that falls into the seat from reaching the floor. This means that when it’s time to clean up all of the popcorn and candy you’ve dropped, you don’t have to move each of your 115 lb. chairs to vacuum underneath!

Performance

Home theater seating is one of the most important aspects to any good theater or media room. This type of furniture can get really expensive. It’s not uncommon to spend $3,000+ per chair and at Audio Advice we even carry luxury options that can exceed $6,000 per chair!

Is the Row One Evolution better than these higher end options? Of course not. But in the $1,000 range, we’ve never seen a chair that comes anywhere close to the quality, comfort, and feature set of the Evolution.

You can fine tune the chair to perfectly fit your body. They’re incredibly comfortable and packed with features. We’ve tested just about every major home theater seating option available and at this price range we can easily sale that nothing comes close.

Overall Recommendation

If you are shopping for home theater or media room seating, you have to check these out. Even if you have already budgeted for more expensive chairs, the Row One Evolution is worth a try. You may find that you can save some money on the overall system or put more into the gear. The Row One Evolution is just that good.

HIGH NOTES UNPACKED

 

Our Best Value Theater Chair

We know of no other seat that feels as good or has as many quality features as the Evolution.

Love All The Motors

Most theater chairs have a motorized footrest. The Evolution adds a motorized headrest for the ultimate in custom fit comfort.

Lots Of Clever Surprises

From the "crumb-catcher" to the USB charging port to the LED cup holder to the fully covered footrest, Row One added all of the crucial features and a few extra to make this the ultimate home budget theater chair.