Features: Integrated adjustable lumbar support
Enlarged backrest and seat
Practical tilting function (max. 11°)
Adjustable backrest angle (90° to 125°)
Hydraulic gas lift (Class 4)
Max load: 150kg (330lbs)
Manufacturer's warranty: 2 Years (EU / NA)
Weight: 27.5kg/60.6 lbs
Total Height: 131-140.5cm/51.6-55.3in
Seating Height: 47.5-57cm/18.7-21.7in
Backrest Height: 89cm/35in
The Noblechairs Hero ST gaming chair comes in at the upper end of Noblechairs' premium gaming chair lineup, pricing-wise it's an upper-midrange chair (with an RRP above £400), and with its refreshed design, I had plenty of hope that it would impress when Creative Bloq received a review sample to test over a number of weeks this autumn. And those hopes, for the most part, have materialised into reality.
Now, the competition is fierce when it comes to not only the best gaming chair on the market, but also the best office chair for back pain (where many gaming-chair makers hope to score crossover successes). And while Noblechairs is definitely a player in the former contest, with its well-established brand and loads of cool instagrammable custom designs you'll spot all around the internet and on your Twitch streams, I was interested to see, as someone who enjoys gaming but spends most of his time working on this very website, whether this could serve as well as an equivalently priced ergonomic office chair.
Using the Noblechairs Hero ST TX (from a choice between that and the faux-leather Hero ST Black Edition) over a period of two months, I got a very good sense of where this chair's strengths and weaknesses lie. So let's see what those are.
Noblechairs Hero ST review: Assembly
The Noblechairs Hero ST is a big chair, but it's not too unwieldy for one person to assemble. The pieces were easy to sort and came with clear instructions which I found a doddle to follow. An Allen key was included with the screws, which was convenient (even though my rapidly growing collection of Allen keys is beginning to worry my family at this point), and as long as you have a table, sofa or flat, stable surface to put the seat upside-down on to fasten the armrests and attach the back to, you'll do
The height and recline adjustment bars are a little fiddly to fit, but once you get them on the right way, making sure to push hard enough in to hear that little satisfying 'clunk' as it slots into place, they stick on nicely without you feeling like they might drop off at any time when you need to use them.
It's not a light construction, all put together, as the chair weighs in at 27.5kg, so if your office or gaming den is not on the ground floor, make sure you move all the disparate pieces there before assembling it. I'd hate for you to have an accident on the stairs trying to lug this behemoth up or down after putting it together.
Noblechairs Hero ST review: Design
The Noblechairs Hero ST bears all the hallmarks of a classic gaming chair; the tall flattish back, the lean-back-friendly headrest, the brand logo. The Hero ST is based on the Hero, the most notable difference a cutout in the back below the headrest, which Noblechairs claims improves airflow around the user. I prefer the look of the TX to its sister chair, the Black Edition one, based purely on my preference for fabric chairs over leather.
The Black Edition comes in PU faux leather, with a choice between straight-up black cover and a 'Stormtrooper Edition', with a white and black pattern to emulate the look of Star Wars Stormtroopers. Meanwhile, the TX uses breathable fabric, which is nicely textured to give the chair a more dynamic appearance. The neutral colourway of the TX might not grab the flashiest gamers' attention, but it looks beautiful and refined, and doesn't stick out during video meetings in a more corporate setting while still very much looking like a premium gaming chair.
Noblechairs Hero ST review: Features
The backrest of the Noblechairs Hero ST claims to follow the natural curvature of the spine, but it does look decidedly more straight than most ergonomic office chairs you'll see. Still, sitting in it helped me straighten my back up rather than hunching like I often find myself doing, and the adjustable lumbar support is subtle but does its job well enough.
The armrests are adjustable on four axes, you can lift and lower them, move them forward and back, inside or out for width preference, as well as angle them outwards or inwards to suit your natural sitting stance. The polyurethane armrests aren't supremely comfortable for long periods, and there is a little bit of a jangle as they sit in position, but the precise adjustment options counterweigh those complaints slightly. And they're nice and big, so nothing will feel like it's digging into you, which is nice.
The powder-coated wheelbase is made from solid aluminium with five arms and specially designed castors. The chair rolls well enough on the carpet in my home office and is gentle enough on our wooden floors not to cause any worries when rolled across that. The gas lift and base has a claimed support of up to 150kg, and the large frame can easily fit a large or tall person. At 5'10" and decidedly medium-sized myself, the chair is certainly not snug, but I don't see a more petite person having any issues with the seat or frame.
The chair came with two support pillows as well, a convenient one for the headrest to prevent you leaning your head uncomfortably far back, and another one for the lower back in lieu of a fixed lower-back support pillar.
Noblechairs Hero ST review: User experience and comfort
As hinted at above, the Noblechairs Hero ST is a relatively big chair. I tend to have the armrest width setting set all the way in with the height setting left at a fair few notches below the top setting. The seat is ample-sized and the top of my head just about matches up with the top of the backrest.
I am a user who dislikes many too-clever-for-their-own-good ergonomic chairs as I often feel like I'm being tipped out of them by the too-contoured backrest and seat on many of them (so find myself pinning my toes on the floor, causing stiffness in my back), so the relatively straight back on this chair felt nice to me. My wife, who is slightly shorter than me, though, and who prefers contoured backs, found it very uncomfortable at first, but after sorting out the pillow placements, is much happier about it now.
The reclining function is great for gaming or relaxing while watching a film, as it reclines quite far without me ever feeling like I was in danger of tipping back, like in some slighter-constructed chairs. However, having a footrest is preferable in any reclined position, as the fairly hard seat edges start to dig into your thigh ever so slightly when sat for prolonged periods (a counterpoint would be that it offers a good reminder to stand up regularly, which you should do in any sedentary role anyway, be it for work or play).
The fabric material in the TX is easy to clean too, using a vacuum cleaner or dry-wipe cloths, and the armrests are admirably smudge-proof (a bane of so many black-surface products in my office is how quickly they turn into Fingerprint City).
Noblechairs Hero ST review: Price
The Hero ST TX retails at £419.99/$549.99, and the Black Edition's RRP is £449.99/£619.99, which certainly isn't cheap. The Hero ST is one of Noblechairs' most expensive chairs, but the premium backrest and refined design also set it apart from the rest of Noblechairs' roster. Apart from the slightly loose-feeling armrests, everything else on the Hero ST feels rugged, solid and made to last. I got on very well with the TX fabric version over the several weeks I used the chair for this review.
Should you buy the Noblechairs Hero ST?
If you don't need a specialised ergonomic chair for back pain, the Noblechairs Hero ST is an excellent premium option for someone who wants a chair for work and play. The TX edition in particular has that refined appearance that looks and feels good when playing videogames, but is also more than presentable in more office-based scenarios like video calls. It's not the flashiest chair on the market (although the Stormtrooper Edition is certainly up there...), and the armrests feel like they could match the premium price tag a little better by being more firm and rigid with less wobble, those are minor niggles to what is a good chair for its upper-midrange price point.