NZXT makes audio products now, starting with a lightweight headset for gaming

(Image credit: NZXT)

NZXT continues to branch out beyond cases, which for many years has been its bread and butter, and today it's taking the jump into audio. Leading the pack is its AER series headphones.

The lightweight headphones weigh just 291 grams and feature 40nm hi-res audio drivers. They come in both open and closed back designs, each available in black or white, priced at $129.99 (MSRP). Specs are mostly the same across both versions, save for a slightly higher sensitivity rating on the closed back, while the open back version is a tick lighter.

Here's a look at the specs:

  • Dimensions—187 x 197 x 89 mm
  • Weight—290.7g open back, 291g closed back
  • Drivers—40mm
  • Frequency—20Hz - 50KHz
  • Sensitivity—88dB +/- 4dB open back, 90dB +/- 4dB closed back
  • Impedance—32 Ohms
  • Distortion—< 1 percent @ 1KHz

(Image credit: NZXT)

We haven't tested these yet, but NZXT suggests the bass is a bit more powerful in the closed back version, while the open back variant "boosts midrange audio and natural sound for environmental awareness."

The design is right out of NZXT's playbook, which is to say there is a minimalist focus—NZXT calls it a "clean aesthetic. " It's also a partially modular design, in that users can attach the cable and microphone to either side of headset, depending on your preference.

(Image credit: NZXT)

NZXT also announced two related audio products. One is an all-steel, powder coated stand called STND ($49.99), and the other is an audio control station called MXER ($99.99).

The mixer offers Nahimic 7.1 surround sound with a USB connection and houses a Wolfson DAC (24-bit, 96kHz). Paired together, the STND and MXER offer automatic switching—setting the headset on the stand while the mixer is connected automatically switches audio to your speakers, and removing it returns audio to the headset.

It's been an interesting evolution for NZXT up to this point. Many years ago, it was known for its gaudy gaming cases, and in the years that followed, it mostly ditched the wacky designs for more elegant solutions—NZXT makes some of the best PC cases available. More recently, it's reached into other markets, including motherboards, custom built PCs (BLD line), and now audio products.

The new audio gear will be available soon (you can sign up here for updates on when preorders open) and backed by a 2-year warranty. At $129.99, the AER headset is a bit pricier than HyperX's Cloud Alpha, and we probably won't see any Black Friday deals on NZXT's audio lineup since it's just now releasing (who knows, though). However, it's cheaper than some of our favorite headsets. It will be interesting to see how this stuff fares once we've had a chance to test it.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).