Acer Nitro NHW820 review: This budget gaming headset still costs more than it's worth

A branded accessory to match your Nitro gaming PC.

Acer's Nitro lineup of gaming PCs is complemented by a number of gaming accessories, similarly branded to match. That includes the Nitro NHW820 headset, with over-ear cups, adjustable headband, and single 3.5 mm input. It's on the lower end of the price range at about $40 — gaming headsets easily get into the hundreds of dollars — so there are some shortcomings. Let's take a look at whether or not it's a good addition to your gaming desk based on audio and design.

What you'll love about Acer's Nitro headset

The Nitro headset is light and made primarily of black plastic, with red accents on the earcups and running along the top of the band. It's not overly bulky and it keeps things simple, with no RGB lights or added accouterments that make it seem like it might be worth a lot more money. The band pulls out about an inch on both sides to make the headphones bigger, and the extensions remain sturdy. The headset seems like it was designed for large heads like mine, and I didn't have any need for the extensions; keep that in mind if you're on the smaller side.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Drivers50 mm
Speaker impedance21 Ohm
Speaker frequency range20 Hz to 20 KHz
ConnectionSingle 3.5 mm jack
Weight0.56 pounds (0.25 kg)

On the left cup is a rotating microphone that can be put up when not in use. Down, it sits in a proper position and can be minorly adjusted thanks to a malleable arm. You don't get the same control of exactly where the mic sits as some headsets offer, but there's enough to get the mic close. Voice comes through loud and clear, and it doesn't pick up much background noise.

I wore the headset for a few long gaming sessions, and it remained comfortable. The earcups fit around my ears so there was no uncomfortable pressure on my lobes, and on the underside of the headband is more padding to match that on the ears. It's foam covered in a fake leather, which makes it easy to wipe down and keep clean without worrying about damaging anything.

Altogether, the design is simple and keeps with Nitro branding and style. The headset is light, it remains comfortable thanks to ample padding, and it clearly picks up your voice for squadmates to hear. Thanks to a combined single headphone and microphone jack, the headset can be used with consoles, adding to its value. However, there are some shortcomings that make it hard to recommend this headset at this price.

What you'll dislike about Acer's Nitro headset

Audio is the most important part of a headset, and here I feel like it fails. Sound is clear and the volume goes higher than it needs to for most people. But overall it's hollow sounding. The headset is very light and designed as a budget piece, so perfect audio isn't really expected, but I've tested cheaper headphones that had far better sound. It's certainly usable, but if you're accustomed to deep booms and crunchy footsteps, these will likely disappoint.

The other problem is related to the cable. Instead of being braided for extra durability, the one here is a grippy type of plastic, the stuff used commonly with headphones. It's not nearly as durable, and it easily tangles, but at least it's about six feet in length. There's also no inclusion of an inline remote, a common feature on gaming headsets. It's a nice feature to have, but it's not one that's going to wreck your gaming flow when omitted. While I did miss a remote here, there are always keyboard or mouse shortcuts for audio control.

Should you buy Acer's Nitro gaming headset?

If you like the idea of a conservative headset without unnecessary lighting, without extra bulk, and without an inline remote (some prefer the lack of extra weight on the cable), Acer's Nitro will fill the role. It's not as expensive as a lot of headsets, but it's also not the cheapest.

Know that you'll be able to find a cheaper headset with as good or better sound, with as much or more padding around the ears, with a more durable construction, and with some extra features, like an inline remote or, at least, some built-in controls. So unless something about this headset really grabs you, no, you probably won't want to buy it. Go with some cheaper and better, like Onikuma's K6 gaming headset.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.