Acoustics and chair

I need a new chair for listening and am not sure the effects of a leather chair with headrest aproximately 24 inches wide behind the head
Check out the Ekornes Stressless- wonderful chair, supremely comfortable soft leather and fully adjustable with hassock. Not cheap, but well worth it.
Try to purchase the best chair you can given your budget.

I prefer leather covered seating surfaces.(looks and wear).

Stay away from the ones that look like a stuffed marshmallow or the "Michelin Man", they are not comfortable in the long run and they take up a lot of space and reflect the sound. Here are two very good deals in case you are interested. Leather and minimal in size. (no wasted design features).
I too have a Stressless chair. I purposely chose one of their styles with a back low enough so that my head is above it to avoid reflection right behind my ears. It helps that I'm over six feet tall. Really nice chair but as mentioned not cheap and I waited three months for mine because I ordered it right before the factory went on its month long vacation. It was worth the wait and the money because I love the chair and hassock and pretty much forgot that it cost about two thousand bucks. Red leather. They have a bunch of styles and it looks like it will last forever. No cupholder, though. Nice thing is I feel no need to change it like DACs, speakers, etc.
No leather, it really is that simple. The reflection above the head area is also, right on. Stressless does offer, on special order, fabric. A lot of people have the Eames/Knoll classic chair but it suffers from leather, tilt angle and head reflection. However, it has high partner acceptance, but so overpriced. All considerations should keep the head area open, it is the most important. The sound needs to pass your ears, like the wind. As for the leather, well your beefy body will cover most of it, so don't put on your leather chaps, vest, etc. Cupholder? Well you can't have everything.
Get the Stressless chait aready mentioned and make sure the back does not go up to your ears. awesome chair and no worries about leather as your body cover about 90% of the chair so the soft leather is a non-issue with reflection.

Just don't wear your leather pants and jacket while listening.
Most important acoustically is no headrest. I had a comfy leather recliner with a high headrest which looked nice. When I changed it out for a low back chair, the sonic difference was noticeably better. I don't recall ever resting my head on the headrest anyway so no loss there.
This has been discussed many times so a check of the archives might prove useful. Or we can just do it again.
Levitation is the best solution.
I am surprised by how many dealers have those tall-back Ikea chairs that go above ear level. They always ask me why I don't sit down, but the tall back completely changes the sound. How do they not know this?
Mateored wrote,

"I am surprised by how many dealers have those tall-back Ikea chairs that go above ear level. They always ask me why I don't sit down, but the tall back completely changes the sound. How do they not know this?"

Not only that, the Ikea chairs change the sound even when you're not sitting in them. The sound is much better when the chair is removed entirely from the room.
Along with seating choices, it's important to note that your facial expression can have a profound effect on sound...try various expressions like ennui, horror, open or closed mouth (this is very tooth dependant..."extreme overbite open mouth" will reflect treble up your nose), waxing nostalgic, disgust, etc., and regardless of your state of mind try to remember what expression sounded best and keep that for your listening session. Leather chairs are great, but avoid those made from fish skin as they get pretty smelly in warmer weather if not cured properly. Dental chairs have small headrests and the advantage of height adjustment, and often can come equippied with the little water bowl for expectorating. The drainage hookup can be a hastle, but for anyone who has ever thought, "I hate to have to interrupt the Sneakers soundtrack just because I have to jump up and spit" it can be handy.
What do I know but I prefer leather and a headrest. I have a stressless recliner in one room and a Natuzzi grampa recliner in the other.
One should simply crouch in an empty room to get the best sound...
The effect is exactly what you think it would be from having a reflective surface behind your head. If you must have a leather chair throw a blanket over it.
I have a leather chair the back is fairly low. But most of the time I sit on the edge and forward so the chair doesn't really effect the sound. However at times I lay back in the chair and my ears are below the seatback. It does effect the sound, one: as I sit forward I am closer to the speakers and two the seatback does effect reflection but I am further as well. At the end of the day I find that comfort is a major ingredient too. That levetation suggestion does souund good except for when you lose concentration, drop and the record skips!
Here is a suggestion for those where the headrest is high enough that it actually supports your head. Drape a towel over the back of headrest and that should absorb those nasty reflections. Or have your great aunt knit a little doily for those that need something a little more aesthetic. Another vote for the Ekornes stressless. Love their furniture.
Am I the only one that thinks you should to be really comfortable when critically listening ?
Toddnkaya, I am guilty of having one of the electronic leather theater recliners. It is a single chair and very comfortable since it has a variable foot rest adjustment due to the motor. I was actually more concerned about having a footstool in front of me all the time than resting my head on the recliner. I tried a chair without the headrest but the comfort was more important than the minimal effect of the headrest. Just my two cents.
Or get a dentist chair that has one of those mini head-cradle things ; )
Used Barbers chair is also a great idea! Swivel, recline and height adjustable. Cool colors too!
I've said it before and I'll say it again. It's the foam in the chairs that's the culprit. Think of it like Sonex and other open cell foam material.
I already suggested the dentist chair so please, lets not over-suggest here. Another tip...let your hair grow out in the back and you have a built-in sound absorbing system you can take everywhere.