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Dowinx Retro Series LS-6689S Review

Good overall adjustability in a reasonably priced gaming chair featuring high-quality faux leather along with a padded footrest and a small vibrating motor in the lumbar pillow
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Dowinx Retro Series LS-6689S Review
Credit: Natalie Kafader
Price:  $300 List
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Manufacturer:   Dowinx
By Austin Palmer and James Maiz  ⋅  Feb 16, 2024
71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 10
  • Comfort - 55% 6.8
  • Adjustability - 35% 7.8
  • Setup - 10% 5.8

Our Verdict

If you want a high level of adjustability in a quality gaming chair without having to sacrifice too much comfort or your firstborn child, the Dowinx Retro offers exceptional value. Our testing team enjoyed the softness of the faux leather along with the inclusion of a nicely cushioned footrest and armrests that provide a good combination of directional versatility and support. Sitting forward on the front edge can result in tipping, so you'll want to be careful with your exit strategy, but if you unlock the tilt, you can recline all the way back to 180° for imaginary luge runs in your dreams. The inclusion of a lumbar massager is a nice touch, though it could do with some improvement. That said, the Dowinx Retro is still a great choice for gamers on a budget who want a comfy enough gaming chair with plenty of adjustment options. To see how it compares with the competition, click through to our article on the top-ranked gaming chairs.
REASONS TO BUY
Supple faux leather
Padded footrest
Nicely supportive 4D armrests
Lumbar massager insert
REASONS TO AVOID
Can tip over when sitting on front edge
Power cord for massager is only four feet long
Assembly is quite involved and takes a while

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Bottom Line A versatile gaming chair with great value, function, and form for those who don't want to spend an arm and a leg to have their arms and legs decently supportedLarge lumbar support that some will like and others will not in a gaming chair lacking in the adjustability departmentThis model ticks most of the boxes without breaking the bankA great chair on a tight budget, but even a lumbar massager and footrest may leaving you wanting moreA low-priced chair with corresponding low performance
Rating Categories Dowinx Retro Series... AutoFull C3 GTRacing Music Series GTPlayer GT800A Foo... BestOffice High-Bac...
Comfort (55%)
6.8
6.3
5.4
5.2
4.1
Adjustability (35%)
7.8
5.1
5.2
3.8
3.6
Setup (10%)
5.8
4.2
5.4
5.2
6.8
Specs Dowinx Retro Series... AutoFull C3 GTRacing Music Series GTPlayer GT800A Foo... BestOffice High-Bac...
Adjustable Armrest 4D 2D: Swivel, Up/Down 2D: Swivel, Up/Down None None
Adjustable Lumbar Foam pillow
Raise/Lower
Large Memory foam pillow Memory foam pillow
Raise/Lower
Foam pillow
Raise/Lower
Foam pillow
Raise/Lower
Fabric Type PU Leather Faux Leather PU Leather PU Leather PU Leather
Manufacturer Recommended Size Height: 5'3" - 6'1"
Max Weight: 350 lb
Height: 5'4" - 6'6"
Weight: Less than 350 lb
Max Height: 6'2"
Max Load: 330 lb
Max Weight: 250 lb (per instructions)
300 lb (per website)
Max Height: 6'3"
Max Weight: 250 lb
Max Height: N/A
Manufacturer Max Back Recline Angle 180º 160º 155º 135º 90º
Color Options 4D Armrests: 1, Brown
Linkage Armrests: 5, Black, Brown, Gray, Red, White
3: Black, Gray, Brown 9: Red, Black, Camouflage, Colorful, White, Blue, Gray, Purple, Pink 8: White, Blue, Pink, Purple, Green, Gray, Red, Black 6: Red, Black, Camouflage, White, Gray, Pink
Recline Lever Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The reasonably priced Dowinx Retro Series LS-6689S comes with some unique features in its quiver that make for nice added perks. The plump padded footrest provides extra support when leaning back, and the vibrating lumbar insert might help alleviate some fatigue, but you'll need to procure a USB extender, depending on your setup, and the noise of the motor could conceivably annoy those who would prefer not to hear it. Its polyurethane faux leather tends to bear more resemblance in texture and appearance to genuine leather compared with other synthetic options, but they all lack the breathability of the real deal, which can affect comfort during long sessions and in warmer conditions. All this to say that we were delighted by these additional features for a fraction of the cost of higher-end products.

Performance Comparison


dowinx retro series ls-6689s - most people prioritize comfort in a gaming chair. we scored this...
Most people prioritize comfort in a gaming chair. We scored this model a bit above average in that metric but found our bodies fatiguing over time.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Comfort


Heavily weighted in our review process, comfort plays a large role in determining the overall score, and our team thoroughly tests the seat, back, and limb support, along with how long you can expect to remain comfortably seated. The Dowinx Retro moderately positive feedback from our testers to earn above-average scores for comfort overall.


First evaluating and testing the seat comfort of the Dowinx Retro, we noted positive initial impressions for its pleasant squish, an ample width, and soft-feeling materials. After several hours of sitting, however, we started to notice some pressure spots. Due to the pad resting directly on the unforgiving metal mount and rails below, one tester noted the seat began to feel lumpy and uncomfortably warm after roughly four hours.

dowinx retro series ls-6689s - though the lumbar pillow protrudes a bit too much, the material is...
Though the lumbar pillow protrudes a bit too much, the material is super plush and comfortable.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Tester feedback varied on the comfortability of the back, with one tester liking the lumbar support and the fact that he could move the pillow and have it stay, and others disliking the lumbar cushion's size, finding it overly prominent. One tester deducted some points because the lumbar pillow made his lower back feel tired and worn out rather quickly. He could also feel the bar behind his shoulders the longer he sat, though he scored the neck pillow more favorably, as it prevented his head from hitting the frame.

dowinx retro series ls-6689s - a lumbar massager insert is a good idea that could do with some...
A lumbar massager insert is a good idea that could do with some improving.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

A small buzzing massager can be found in and removed from the lumbar pillow. It's a feature that we found to be a nice touch, being able to experience the vibrations without feeling the motor casing, but not a perk to rave about, as the massager felt a bit gimmicky and was a little noisy. The short four-foot-long USB charging cable was a glaring negative, but, in theory, one could substitute a cordless rechargeable massager of one's own choosing, improve reach with a USB extender, or simply remove the device altogether.

dowinx retro series ls-6689s - all gaming chairs can benefit from a footrest. this model offers...
All gaming chairs can benefit from a footrest. This model offers nice padding and good support but it would be nice if it extended farther out.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

The sturdy padded footrest is a nice relief after standing all day. Not extending out far enough is a common issue with footrests, and this is the case here as well, but a little extra support while reclining is always good. Depending on individual height, it might be more accurately described as a calf rest.

dowinx retro series ls-6689s - these 4d armrests offer firm but not too hard support for long-term...
These 4D armrests offer firm but not too hard support for long-term comfort.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

The armrests are quite firm but not too hard and provide good support throughout the day, with the potential for pressure spots to become noticeable after about eight hours. They have some cushioning but not a whole lot.

We pushed, pulled, poked, and prodded while measuring and testing a number of adjustability parameters. Overall, model scored well above average in that department.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Adjustability


Our second major test metric evaluates all-around adjustability. We determine whether the seat height, backrests, armrests, and reclining positions can be fine-tuned sufficiently to achieve a comfortable and ergonomic sitting experience. We also note the versatility of the lumbar support and other features like neck pillows.


The Downix Retro's seat does not go very high and only has about two-and-a-half inches of vertical movement. One tester had to lower his desk a couple of inches in order to feel like his arms rested just about right so he could use his mouse ergonomically. The lowness of the seat can present issues for taller gamers not being able to sit with their legs at right angles, and the seat depth feels a bit long without the lumbar pillow there. But we could sit cross-legged without interference, as the bolsters don't extend to the edge of the seat, and there's pretty much free reign to spread out.

dowinx retro series ls-6689s - the lumbar support pillow can be adjusted up and down but is large...
The lumbar support pillow can be adjusted up and down but is large enough that you might just leave it where it is.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

As mentioned above, the large lumbar pillow pushes out a bit too much, but its strap system can be adjusted up and down. The pillow is so big that you don't really need to move it, but it's not problematic to move it, even while seated. We had to finagle it a bit if we brought the pad up too high, though.

dowinx retro series ls-6689s - this neck pillow prevents heads from resting on less forgiving...
This neck pillow prevents heads from resting on less forgiving hardware.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

The neck pillow is a little plump and slightly aggressive but does keep heads from hitting the frame bar. Though it can sag, our taller gamers found it necessary to readjust it any time they got up or leaned forward.

dowinx retro series ls-6689s - three inches of up/down armrest adjustment on an already low-sitting...
Three inches of up/down armrest adjustment on an already low-sitting chair means you may need to adjust the height of your desk to find the perfect fit.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Being able to swivel the armrests and move them forward/back, in/out, and up/down is beneficial for a variety of bodies and gaming styles. There's about three inches of up/down range, roughly two inches of forward/back, and an inch of in/out with a lock slot about halfway that takes a little work to get in. The adjustment button is hidden below the armrest and is easy to miss. Overall, though, there are plenty of ways to dial in your own happy place.

dowinx retro series ls-6689s - if you unlock the tilt, you can hit a truly steep recline for deep...
If you unlock the tilt, you can hit a truly steep recline for deep repose between gaming sessions.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

With the tilt unlocked, the Dowinx Retro can recline all the way to a horizontal 180°, but in the upright position, the tension knob does not get loose enough to allow easy leaning back. We had to use our feet to push back and hold in place; otherwise, the chair pushed us forward, and we needed to recline past a certain point to get enough leverage to freely bounce around with the tension. Smaller, lighter gamers might find pushing back a bit problematic. There is average resistance, however, to turn.

dowinx retro series ls-6689s - after thorough testing, we concluded this model offers exceptional...
After thorough testing, we concluded this model offers exceptional value for gamers on a budget.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Setup


In our final assessment of the Downix Retro, we evaluated what it took to put the chair together and how long it took to set it up after unboxing. We gave it a below average score, based on moderate difficulty and a rather involved and lengthy assembly process.


The assembly instructions recommend two installers, but the process will take the better part of an hour in any case. Our one-man wrecking crew got it done in just under 40 minutes, but there is a lot to do with many screws needing to be unscrewed before putting things together, though they do go in and out fine. The included tools (two Allen wrenches) were pretty cheap, would slip out easily, and looked worse for wear by the end. The armrests arrive in two parts, and it is a bit difficult to install the base plate on the armrest itself. Piecing together the backrest portion was also a little annoying, as fabric and/or plastic would block the hole and need to be cleaned out. In general, assembling it all is about average in terms of difficulty, but it is overly time-consuming.

Having to unscrew a bunch of screws prior to assembling and then screwing them all back in adds to the time it takes to put this together.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Should You Buy the Dowinx Retro Series LS-6689S?


If you are looking for a great value in a decently comfortable gaming chair that can accommodate a variety of gaming styles, then the Dowinx Retro fits the bill. However, if you frequently engage in long campaigns, are fussier with lumbar support, or don't want to spend up to an hour assembling your new chair, you may want to continue your quest for a more suitable option.

dowinx retro series ls-6689s
Credit: Natalie Kafader

What Other Gaming Chair Should You Consider?


The Dowinx Retro Series LS-6689S is one of the more affordable and adjustable chairs we tested overall, but it does not offer the same flexibility of lumbar support provided by the AutoFull C3. The C3 is similarly priced while also sporting a footrest, yet it features an unstrapped, freely floating lumbar pillow that you can place wherever you like. However, if you're on a very tight budget, consider checking out the GTPlayer GT800A Footrest, as it costs significantly less than the most premium chairs we tested and still provides a reasonable level of comfort for most types of gaming.

Austin Palmer and James Maiz
 

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