Review: Venom Nighthawk Mono-Ear Gaming Headset (Hardware)
Audio & Mic quality
As expected, the audio quality is nothing special. It's not dreadful in itself, but you'd never want to use this for serious gaming. This is largely due to the singular earpiece, leading to a questionable gaming experience. In competitive video games, such as first-person shooters, the use of sound is much more important than one may think. Stereo audio is essential to locate the position of attackers. With a mono headset, though, you'd probably be better off using your speakers. This is useful if you still want to hear the world around you whilst gaming, but I think most people would prefer a more immersive experience. On the plus-side, though, there's an in-line volume dial, which is always nice for small adjustments in-game.
The microphone was a lot clearer than I was expecting. Comparing it to something like my cheap PC microphone, I feel like it's superior, with static being far less audible. I could see this working just fine in multiplayer games with party-chat. It's also flexible, allowing you to adjust it in numerous ways. Unfortunately, my PC does not have a combined audio and microphone jack, limiting my testing to the Nintendo Switch console and my mobile device. This is something to keep in mind if you plan on buying this for PC, as you'll need to grab an adaptor. Fortunately, this shouldn't be an issue for console gamers, as it's compatible with PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
The earphones (earphone?) are comfortable, on both sides. The side with the earphone cups my ear nicely, and the side without one has a spongy piece of material which is also comfy against my head. The branding is extremely subtle, with only an imprint of Venom's logo on the earpiece, which I appreciate. Subtle branding is a lot more appealing to me, especially with less expensive brands that you wouldn't want to show off. The wire, whilst long enough for my needs, may cause issues for Switch owners. With the Nintendo Switch, the audio jack must be plugged directly into the system, so you'll be limited to how far you can sit from your TV whilst using this headset. This is really a flaw of the Switch itself, though, rather than the headset.
Overall, I think the only real use-case for this is one where you want to hear your surroundings in a less immersive gaming experience. Ideally for chatting to friends when playing games like Civilization VI, for example, rather than games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive. I do like the idea for some situations, as it can be useful to listen out for things, such as parcels or housemates.
+ Cheap, and does the job
+ Bendy adjustable microphone
- Only one earpiece is detrimental to most competitive experiences
- May need an adaptor if you want to use it on PC
- Wire may be short for Switch players
out of 10
It's only £12.99, so if you're looking for a cheap headset, it may be worth it. Make sure you take into account that it's mono audio, though, which is disadvantageous in most competitive video games. That said, if you want to hear things around you while you play, this may fill that niche.