Similarly, the shoulder wings have only a very modest bump to them, so your shoulders don’t feel restricted or pushed forwards. Perversely, though, the hip wings are still quite pronounced and not particularly wide, measuring 32cm at the backrest and 42cm at the tips of the wings, so those with wide wastes may feel a little hemmed into this chair.
The overall effect, though, is of a chair that allows a little more room to manoeuvre compared with some, with room to spread out into a comfortable pose (unlike the AKRacing Masters Series Premium). The open shoulder wings in particular allow for a better ‘shoulders-back’ posture.
The built-in lumbar support also helps a great deal. While noblechairs does also include an elastic-strapped lumbar cushion that’s rather too firm, many people will find they can do away with it in favour of the built-in support. That said, it’s not a very pronounced support. Tighten the knob on the side of the chair and the back of the chair in that area firms up, but it’s nowhere near the exaggerated support of lumbar cushions. We still found it sufficient for our needs though.
For neck support, this chair relies on a separate pillow, which at this price does feel a bit cheap – a sturdy mechanical system would be better here. Nonetheless, for this 6ft 2in tester, the cushion did sit perfectly, and it feels pleasant and squishy with a soft plush finish.
For overall features, this chair is a cut above most others in several ways. For starters, it has the more sophisticated tilt system found on the AKRacing Masters Series Premium, so you can more easily lean back and lock yourself in that position. You also get fully adjustable armrests that, while a little wobbly, offer a significant improvement over the Corsair chair in particular and have a slightly smarter look, although they’re still a bit too hard.
In terms of styling, the simple all-black look works well, and although the main material is a little colder to the touch than fabric, the Hybrid-PU leather (a tougher blend of vinyl and polyurethane) of this Black Edition soon warms up and we didn’t find it too sweaty (of course, testing in the middle of winter isn’t a great indicator in this regard). The chair is also available with some genuinely good-looking game brand tie-in designs – Fallout and Doom fans take note.
Letting the comfort side down slightly, though, is the hardness of the actual seat. We understand that offering firm support is better than providing too much soft padding, but there’s a balance to be struck, and this chair feels surprisingly hard. The AKRacing Master Series Premium is notably softer.
You do expect to get a lot of chair when you fork out £420 inc VAT for it, and the noblechairs HERO Black Edition largely delivers on that expectation. It’s big, wide and has plenty of features. It’s a shame the seat padding isn’t a little softer and better contoured, but the built-in lumbar support and decent reclining system are big plus points here, as is the classy styling.
VERDICT Plenty of features and solid build quality make for a superb gaming chair, although the seat could be a little softer.
PRICE £419.99 inc VAT
SCORES COMFORT 19/25 / FEATURES 22/25 / DESIGN 22/25 / VALUE 18/25 / OVERALL 81%
+Solid build quality
+Decent overall comfort
+Built-in lumbar support beats cushions
-Seat too firm
-Neck pillow feels cheap at this price