Highly customizable, ultra high-quality monitor mounts.
Most monitors ship with a built-in stand of some kind, but many of these just aren't adequate for gamers or anyone looking to have a more comfortable and ergonomic setup on their desk. Echogear makes a line of monitor stands designed to not only offer a more comfortable solution but one that's completely customizable for dual monitor setups. We're taking a look at the Echogear Dual Monitor Desk Mount With Dynamic Gas Spring Adjustment, which retails for $199.
Setup and Installation
Echogear ships their mounts with a hilarious setup guide, clearly designed around gamer humor, but ultimately clear and easy to understand, even if the jokes go over your head. Setup appears rather complicated at first, with a large number of parts and tools. Three different sized hex keys (Allen wrench) are included, as well as three bags full of different sized screws, nuts and other installation equipment.
Each bag is well-labeled and easy to read, and each section of the installation guide includes a list of required parts for the job, including easy numbering for each part. The downside is that the parts aren't numbered on the bags, so you may have to flip back and forth a few times to make sure you've got the right sized screw or another piece during installation.
The desk mount itself goes on first, fitting any desk between 20mm and 66mm (0.8in to 2.6in) thick. The mount is attached to the desk via a thick hook, curved outward from the desk to as not to damage the underside, tightened by a hex screw at the top. This simple mechanism makes it easy to adjust on the fly, if needed, and quickly adjust to different sized desks without having to take the whole stand apart, if already assembled. The arms are then placed onto the main mount with a set of screws and nuts, dropped in and easily screwed on with the same hex key used for the main desk mount. The nuts sit inside the fitted column, so no additional wrench or tool is needed to complete this part.
Mounting the monitors is ingenious, as two screws are screwed into the top two holes of the VESA mounting section on the back of the monitor, and then rested on two U-shaped holes on the monitor mount portion of the arms. This allows for easy one-person installation without tools or having to awkwardly balance something, and the bottom screws fit into standard round holes to keep the monitor from shifting.
Each monitor is held up by a two-section arm, and each arm features its own cable management bracket. The top arm utilizes a small space to the side to slip the cords in, and the opening can be enlarged, if needed, via two hex screws. The lower arm has a space inside for cables, which are secured via a metal bracket, but not easily adjustable once put in place.
Hardware and Design
Echogear's design isn't just great looking, it's also built incredibly well too. Made of incredibly solid, sturdy metal, with thick metal screws, the Echogear dual monitor mount doesn't wobble or shake, and it can take the weight of heavier monitors without issue. Each stand arm adjusts 13.5-inches in total height and can swivel completely around on its base to adjust to almost any angle or configuration. By default the gas springs are set to be fairly loose, meaning monitors sit all the way at the top or all the way at the bottom of the arm. A small hex screw at the base of the top arm adjusts the tightness of the gas spring and is needed for heavier monitors, otherwise, they will slowly drift downward from where they are moved.
The desk mount itself is also an ingenious design, as it is not only a non-permanent type of mount, it's also strong enough to be mounted on a desk without wobbling or falling off. The J-shaped bracket underneath allows for quick and easy adjustment, and even moving to another desk if desired, or just another spot on the same desk. While it requires a lip or an edge to mount on, it doesn't need to screw into a desk, and the rubber feet both keep the mount from slipping, as well as keep it from damaging a delicate surface, like wood, when tightened.
Sturdy arms and a sturdy mount make for an incredibly high-quality feeling, and there's no questioning the overall quality of the product. With that said, design weaknesses are always something present in any product, and there are a few to note here. The main stand sits at the edge of a desk, but if it's at the back edge, cannot be pushed against a wall without significantly limiting arm movement. Depending on the placement of monitors, the arms themselves will rotate back or forward, and if a wall is in the way, will not be able to move to every possible point available. This may be OK if using monitors smaller than 24-inches in a side-by-side configuration, but any other kind of configuration will either be super limited in its range of movement, essentially only able to be adjusted up and down. This is only when against a wall, as the arms have to swivel in and out to enable the full range of movement.
When space is available, however, the number of configurations is seemingly unlimited. Monitors smaller than 24-inches will have a greater range of movement, simply because of space and available orientation possibilities, and you can find a few configurations in the pictures here. For the review we used two 24-inch monitors with some sizable bezels, so your particular configuration may work better or worse for some of these configurations, as large monitors up to 30-inches in diagonal are supported. Monitors' heights can be adjusted vertically to a total of 13.5-inches from top to bottom, rotated 360-degrees, and tilted +/- 15-degrees as well. This is easily the best part of the stand, as it's not just a sturdy way to hold monitors in place, it's easily one of the most ergonomic ways to place monitors on a desk, as it can essentially fit any height or any configuration needed to make a desk comfortable. Configuration possibilities are seemingly endless, with the ability to stick monitors side-by-side, stacked on top, or any combination thereof.
Cable management could restrict possible configurations as well, especially if enough slack isn't given to monitors from the get-go. This isn't a weakness in the design, but the lower arm's cable management plate certainly can be. If the metal plate is used to hold cables in place, it'll need to be unscrewed just to loosen or tighten the slack on cables. While this isn't the end of the world, it would be nicer if this plate were held in place with something other than screws, as it requires a hex wrench to adjust in its current design. The top arm has easier cable management, as it's a tray that cables can be slid into from the side, meaning you can easily slide them out to readjust, and slide them back in. It would also be nice to have a spot for routing cables on the base, and while I was able to twist them around the arm to the back of the base, having a slot or other specific spot for cables would make it look a little neater and more organized.
Echogear has assembled and designed an incredible solution for dual-monitor setups, one that not only is built incredibly well, but features a design that's completely customizable in its configuration. While most monitor stands are only height or tilt-adjustable, Echogear's setup is able to completely swivel around 360-degrees, meaning vertical and horizontal configurations are fully possible. Stack monitors on top of each other, swivel one vertically and one horizontally, place them side-by-side, it's all up to you, and it's a simple push and a pull away from happening. While there are some minor gripes about cable management, these are small and can easily be gotten around with a minor bit of adjustment and some use, and in no way make the product less desirable. Need a way to fit two monitors on a desk without permanently mounting them to the surface? These are the ones to get, no doubt.