Mionix Nash 20 ReviewManufacturer: Mionix
UK price: £83.70
US price: $99.99
It was only last week that Mionix impressed us with its excellent Naos 8200
mouse, and today it's hoping to do the same, this time with a headset, specifically the Nash 20. It's a circumaural analogue stereo model that retails for £85, which puts it in close competition with headsets like the ASUS Vulcan ANC
and Qpad QH-90
; the Nash 20 clearly has its work cut out for it.
The build quality of the Nash 20 stands out as soon as you take it out of the box. It has a plastic construction, but it's very solid, with no creaky or wobbly bits to speak of. The outside of the headset is coated in a lovely soft-touch rubber finish, the same as what we saw on the Naos 8200 mouse. Not only does it look good, it's scratch resistant and durable too, although it's hard to compete with the aluminium headband of the QH-90, for example.
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The headset cable is non-detachable, 2 metres long and terminates in a pair of gold-plated 3.5mm jacks. Unlike the Qpad QH-90, there's no conversion cable to turn these into a single jack with headphone and microphone capabilities. There's also no in-line remote, but that doesn't mean you're unable to alter the volume or mute the microphone. The volume wheel is instead neatly tucked away on the rear of the left ear cup, while the microphone auto-mutes itself when you fold it upwards. In both cases, we prefer this solution – by default, the microphone and ear cups are always within easy reach, while an in-line remote can all too often get lost in a trail of cabling.
Pleasingly, the Nash 20 turned out to be one of the most comfortable headsets we've ever used. It certainly has a fair bit of weight to it at around 400g, but the generous layers of leather-coated memory foam on the headband and ear cups do an excellent job of minimising the impact and strain of this, even in lengthy sessions. You'll still notice the headset, but the weight isn't a distraction thanks to the excellent padding.
The circumaural ear cups are very large, and should have no trouble full enclosing even big ears. The earcups also have full swivel motion, which allows them to adjust to the shape of your head instantly and angle the drivers towards your ears. They're not too loose though, and certainly don't feel like they're going to fall off any time soon.
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There's also enough headband extension to allow the Nash 20 to cater for large and small heads alike. The pressure exerted by the headband is well balanced – it's more than the QH-90, but less than the Asus Vulcan, which often feels like it's suffocating your ears. It's a particularly hot time of the year at the moment, but even so we didn't find ourselves overheating, even after hours of continued use – the spacious earcups certainly help to keep things cooler.
The uni-directional microphone adjusts up and down along a single axis, though it can also be bent inwards and outwards. However, its range of motion is low in that regard, and it will soon return to near its original position. We have zero complaints about its sound quality – voice recordings were crystal clear and free from the vast majority of background noise.
Pumping out sound in the Nash 20 earcups is a pair of 50mm neodymium DACT drivers. Overall, they offer a relatively warm soundscape that is accurate, albeit a little flat, from highs to lows. Games and movies are immersive and enjoyable to listen to. The headset is perhaps better suited to calmer, atmospheric scenes, but it still handles high-action scenes and chaotic battlefields in games well, with crashes and explosions carrying enough punch to keep things exciting.
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More often than not, gamer-oriented headsets struggle with music, but that's not really true in this case. Bass notes are warm and weighty, but they're not muddy or overpowering. Meanwhile, mids and highs have more than sufficient detail, and even when there's plenty going on at one time the mid-range doesn't become muffled. The Nash 20 also maintains a nice balance across the range, with no one frequency dominating or being left behind. However, while the Nash 20's accuracy is hard to argue with, it has a tendency to sound a little flat in more dynamic songs. It's not necessarily a bad thing, as again the accuracy of sound reproduction is good, but switching to the QH-90, we instantly noticed greater detail and variety, especially with regards to the high end of the spectrum, and our songs were better for it. Even so, the Nash 20's sound quality is great for the price – you're unlikely to be unimpressed.
The Nash 20 goes to full volume without distortion, which is always the sign of higher quality drivers. Sound from the semi-closed earcups does leak out to some degree – it's not abhorrent, but it will be audible to those near you if you're using it at higher volumes.
Overall, we'd say the Nash 20 is a headset destined for greatness rather than excellence. It's certainly not a product that would disappoint buyers; far from it in fact, as although it's relatively simple, everything it does it does very well. The build quality, comfort, ease of use and sound quality can all accurately be described as great. At no point did it completely wow us, but equally it never once came close to letting us down. Given the choice, we'd still opt for the QH-90 at this price, as it manages to trump the Mionix in a number of areas. However, that doesn't stop the Nash 20 from also being a worthy option.