Mionix made their name as a manufacturer of affordable but well-designed gaming mice, and recently they’ve been diversifying their lineup with the addition of keyboards, mousepads and headsets. Their latest work is the Nash 20, a premium gaming headset boasting 50mm drivers and a comfortable memory foam and leather construction. In this review, we’ll put those claims to the test and see if this headset lives up to the Swedish company’s high standards.
We’ll begin with a cursory listing of Mionix’s listed features and specifications, before moving on to the real meat of the review with physical features and testing.
- 50mm dynamic neodymium drivers
- Memory foam leather encased cushions made for maximum comfort for long gaming sessions
- Full size swivel ear cups to optimise the angle of the sound and for a comfortable fit
- Easy access adjustable volume vontrol on ear cup, so you never have to take your eys off the screen or your hand off the mouse
- Flip-up-to-mute microphone boom with click indication
- Headset Type: Analog Stereo Headset
- Type of earcup: Semi-closed back circumaural
- Connection: 2x 3.5mm gold plated connector
- Ear pads: 22mm memory foam wrapped in leather
- Head band: 18mm memory foam wrapped in leather
- Cable: 2m braided cable
- Volume control: Scroll wheel on left ear cup
- Driver type: Dynamic, 50 mm, Nd magnet
- Impedance: 32Ω ± 15% at 20kHz
- Sound pressure level: 103dB
- Frequency response: 20Hz – 20KHz
- Resonance Frequency: ≥ 100Hz
- Input power: Nominal 40mW Max. 80mW
- THD: Less than 2%. at 1K Hz Less than 5%, at 300Hz to 3KHz
- Microphone direction: Uni-direction
- Microphone mute: Flip up to mute
- Pick-up pattern: Uni-direction
- Sensitivity: (@1kHz, 1 V/Pa): -42 ±3db
- Frequency response: 50 – 16,000 Hz
- Signal to Noise: 58 dB
- Microphone dimensions: 6mm
The Nash 20 is a handsome creation from the moment you take it out of the black box. The headset has a solid, chunky feel that is reassuring in your hands. Apart from the Mionix name across the headband and the faint logo carved lightly into each earpiece, there’s no branding here – which suits me just fine. There are no lights or bright colours either; just matte black all the way. The headset definitely sits closer to the “serious audiophile” look than most gaming headsets I’ve seen, and that’s no bad thing.
The cups themselves are sizeable, large enough to enclose all but the greatest of ears. The material used here–memory foam wrapped in leather–is quite squishy, a far cry from the stiff leather headsets I used as a kid. The earcups are thick too, at 22mm. The cups are adjustable, sitting inside a concave bit of plastic that allows them to tilt a few degrees in any direction.
The outside of the cans are matte black, as I mentioned before, with a large but subtle Mionix logo cut into them. These are joined with a plastic band in the same matte shade, with a crescent of foam beneath that is 18mm at its thickest point.
The headset’s microphone boom sits on the left hand side of the headset, flipping down with a click that enables the microphone for use. Flip it back up again, and the microphone will go silent – a nice and natural way of handling thing, ideal for dealing with interruptions to game streams or Skype calls.
The back of the left cup also includes a volume dial, which seems relatively easy to find while you’re wearing the headphones.
The final piece of the headset is the cable, which comes out of the base of the left cup. The two metre cable ends in two gold 3.5mm connectors, with green and pink accents to indicate the headphone and mic plugs, respectively.
It’s a well designed piece of kit – now let’s see how it stands up to gaming, music and voice comms as we begin the testing section.
I was quite surprised and impressed with the sound quality of the Nash 20. Normally gaming headsets tend to offer sound that is overly bass-heavy, but these headphones provided a balanced mix that seems equally suitable for a wide range of media.
I trialled the headphones with a good range of artists, from danceable numbers by Girls’ Generation, Electric Six and Daft Punk to more technical songs from Primus, Nine Inch Nails and Tool. I noticed a few new details in songs that I’d heard many times before on speakers and other headphones, and that’s always a good sign when testing a headset.
The cups fully enclose your ears, so you get a nice full-bodied sound without much outside noise. The headphones provide excellent stereo separation; you get a really good sense of position when listening to music.
“Well beaut.” – Reviewer’s brother
The headset proved equally adept in movies and games. While the bass wasn’t as punchy and frenetic as other gaming headsets I’ve tried, the balanced mix made it a bit easier to locate enemy soldiers in shooter games like Battlefield 4 and Titanfall. The overall cinematic experience was intact too, from the opening calamities of Call of Duty Ghosts to the closing score of Ender’s Game.
The other aspect of sound quality is that of microphone. Here the Nash 20 performed well, picking up dialogue without picking up ambient noise or other conversations. Even at higher volumes, the recording remained clear and easily understandable.
The Nash 20 is among the most comfortable headsets that I’ve ever worn. The thick, cushiony cups minimise long-term discomfort and received universal acclaim from those that tried them. The adjustable headband has a wide range of motion, so heads of all sizes fit easily. While a lighter design would have made for a slightly more comfortable fit, this reduction in weight would have likely reduced durability and sound quality.
Ease of use
A headset is never going to be a particularly hard to use peripheral, but the Nash 20 has a few features to make things even more idiot-proof. The most obvious is the microphone, which mutes when the boom is pushed upwards with an audible click. This is a simpler system that an in-line remote, and worked perfectly in my testing. Another was the choice of two 3.5mm connectors, allowing for easy connection to smartphones, tablets, laptops, PCs and music players. A 3.5mm to USB card could have been included to make plugging in easier on desktop PCs, but overall there’s little to complain about in terms of usability.
Durability is an important attribute for any headset, particularly one that will be travelling with you to LAN parties and the office. Here the Nash 20 fell down in my estimation, as the headband showed signs of wear the very first time I commuted to work. The matte black coating began to peel off, interrupting the logo and producing a small amount of plastic waste.
Besides this disappointment though, the Nash 20 has not let me down. The reinforced cable has survived being run over by my chair, and the cans themselves remain in good nick save for a few barely noticeable scuffs.
The Mionix Nash 20 is a top-notch headset, offering excellent audio quality and a comfortable fit for extended periods. It’s rare to find a gaming headset that serves equally well for music and films, but the Nash 20 impresses across the board. All Mionix need to do is fix the flakey coating, and this’ll be the perfect set of gaming headphones.
- Plush, comfortable cups and headband
- Excellent audio quality for music, games and film
- Restrained design without LEDs favoured by gaming companies
- High quality and easily muted boom mic
- Headband coating wore away almost immediately
- Heavier than other gaming headsets