CES 2018: The Aurasens smart chair promises to upgrade your AV experience

It's been a couple of years since we enjoyed the Gamut Lobster chair that was aimed at audiophiles, and now at CES 2018 there's a new take on the immersive chair experience.

French start-up Aurasens prefers "high-tech pod" for its contraption, which combines 32 points of contact on the recliner itself with an iPad control system, a pair of noise-cancelling headphones and a blindfold.

Scroll through a selection of music tracks and you can then enjoy something akin to a massage but with the pulsing vibrations coming in time with the music. And it's not just big bass rumbles - parts of the chair do "tap, pulse and tingle", helping to add an extra element to the audio experience.

Each track's accompanying set of vibrations is designed manually, so you can't just plug and play with your favourite playlist. Instead Aurasens promises its own catalogue that's growing every month.

Available from February for a cool $20,000, Aurasens is hoping to bring a $2000 option to market in the not too distant future. For now, this model is really aimed at the professional market, from cinemas to private functions.

Working with Valeo, Aurasens has developed an experience that incorporates VR in to the mix, and cinema screenings with smart chairs like this - similar offerings are already out there - certainly sound like a lot of fun.

For now, it's a decent place to rest the legs ahead of the full CES show, which gets up to full speed this week.

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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).