Kingston is a name that shouldn’t need an introduction. For several years they have been a powerhouse in solid state peripherals such as PC RAM, SSDs and USB flash drives. They’re also very well established in the PC and console gaming headset market since the huge success of their HyperX Cloud line was released. I have been a long time fan since I bought my HyperX Cloud Pro more than two years ago (and they’re still in great working condition). Recently I was also very impressed with their latest, the HyperX Cloud Stinger. Today I’ll be looking at their top of the line product the Kingston HyperX Cloud Revolver.
This product was sent to me for the purpose of this review. I have no affiliation with the company and all opinions and observations here are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.
Still comfortable with the HyperX trademark memory foam, still sound great but I still prefer their other offerings. In an effort to take things forward, in my opinion, they’ve also taken some steps back. Read on to find out why.
Driver: Dynamic, 50mm with neodymium magnets Type: Circumaural, Closed back Frequency response: 12Hz–28,000 Hz Impedance: 30 Ω Sound pressure level: 104.5dBSPL/mW at 1kHz T.H.D.: < 2% Input power: Rated 30mW, Maximum 500mW Weight: 360g Weight with mic: 376g Cable length and type: Headset (1m) + Audio Control Box (2m) Connection: Headset – 3.5mm plug (4 pole) + Audio Control Box – 3.5mm stereo and mic plugs Microphone Element: Electret condenser microphone Polar pattern: Uni-directional, Noise-cancelling Frequency response: 50Hz-18,000 Hz Sensitivity: -40dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
Package and accessories
The Cloud Revolver comes in a black box with red highlights – hardly surprising as that is the HyperX colour scheme and because that’s what every manufacturer apparently believes every gamer wants. On the front is an image of the headset with some of the key features and over on the back is a slight variation of the same. This outer sleeve slides off to reveal the actual box underneath with is more attractive to my eye and promises good things inside. It’s all black except for a white HyperX logo on the front and a pinstripe red line that runs around the centre of the box. Nice.
Upon opening we see the headset laid out stylishly in black foam, similar to the other HyperX Cloud offerings. On the underside of the lid is some text congratulating you on joining the HyperX Team. Once you take the headset out you’ll find the detachable microphone and a cable extension with the inline control that ends in double 3.5 mm plugs that you can connect to your computer or laptop. I was left a little disappointed as I was expecting something more similar to the unboxing of the original Cloud headset which also gave you a pair of velour ear-pads and an airplane adapter.
Build and comfort
The Revolver’s design is pretty nice as far as gaming headsets go. The black and red theme continues with the red HyperX logo on the side and red stitching on the headband. The headset feels heavier than the original Cloud and Cloud Stinger but once you put them on it’s easy to forget they’re there because they are just so comfortable. At the top are two metal bands with a self-adjusting headband suspended underneath, a design that has gained a fair bit of popularity over the years very similar to the well known SteelSeries Siberia. The underside of the headband is generously padded and on the top is embossed with the HyperX branding.
The ear-cups are very large and should easily fit over even the biggest ears. As usual, the ear-pads are wonderfully soft and pliable with plush memory foam, perfect for long gaming sessions though they can get quite warm. Due to the size of the headset, these are not at all suited for use on the move. At the bottom of the left ear-cup is the jack for the removable microphone.
The cable has a nice soft braid and feels very strong although it’s surprisingly lightweight. A microphone mute switch and volume control are located on the inline controller as well as a clip to help keep it secure. It’s simple and functional but I would much prefer these functions moved onto the headset itself.
Sound and microphone
Once again the HyperX house sound is very good. The 50 mm drivers can deliver big sound. Surprisingly good sound for a gaming headset. Fairly balanced overall with the inevitable emphasis on mid-bass but still much tamer than you might expect. To be honest, if I were to do a blind test I would probably not suspect I was listening to some “l337 gam3r g3arz”. These simply sound great and for many would be perfectly up to the task of an all-in-one solution for games, movies and music on the personal computer.
In games, these sound superb. The 3d positional sound is great and as advertised the improved soundstage does help you hear where your enemies are coming from. Nearby explosions will rumble, when planes fly overhead you can tell in which direction they’re going and which direction that near miss sniper bullet just came from. It’s immersive and clear without needing to resort to piercing treble or ridiculous amounts of bass. For movies and video, you get the same qualities along with clear dialogue for a truly enjoyable experience.
When it comes to music these are more than capable of reproducing your favourite tunes. The separation is very good and the sound is balanced and warm. The treble extends well without getting on your nerves or fatiguing and is an improvement over the original Cloud in this respect.
The microphone is pretty decent and adequate for chatting with friends while gaming or with programs such as Skype and Teamspeak etc. It’s a little nasally but does a pretty good job with noise cancellation without sounding overly compressed. When not in use the microphone can be an annoying distraction as it doesn’t allow much movement and stays in your face unless detached. But who wants to detach or reattach the microphone every time you switch from gaming to music or vice versa? I’d like to see something similar to the microphone on the Stinger which can be swivelled up and out of the way or the Cloud that can be positioned away from your face whilst you’re not using it.
HyperX Cloud Revolver vs HyperX Cloud Stinger
While the Stinger sounds good the Revolver sounds even better. The soundstage is wider on the Revolver and there’s a bit more clarity overall but not a huge difference. However, the Stinger does better overall when it comes to usability. It has a smaller footprint, is lighter, has detachable ear-pads and does not have the ringing metal bands of death (a bit of searching online will show you what I’m talking about here).
The Stinger also has the added convenience of a volume control on the actual ear-cup and a microphone that can be pushed up (and muted at the same time) out of the way. My preference goes to the Stinger here.
HyperX Cloud Revolver vs HyperX Cloud Pro
When you have a product as fantastic as the HyperX Cloud you have a real challenge if you want to make something that’s even better. With the original Cloud and Cloud II the microphone can be detached OR it can simply be pushed up and out of the way if you don’t want to detach it.
The Cloud is slightly lighter than the Revolver and arguably just as comfortable. The ear-pads on the original Cloud are also detachable and therefore changeable giving you more freedom and versatility if you want to use third party or velour pads. The Revolver pulls ahead slightly when it comes to sound. Although they have a similar sound signature the treble on the Revolver doesn’t get as edgy but extends just as well and brings plenty of detail and air.
The original Cloud looks and feels like a quality headphone with a microphone attached while the Revolver looks and feels like a gaming headset. If you want the absolute best sound overall the Revolver is the way to go but if you want added flexibility and convenience while still having good sound then the original Cloud and Cloud II are a better alternative.
The Kingston HyperX Cloud Revolver is a great sounding and comfortable headset. Unfortunately, there are a few issues with it that for me make it less desirable than its HyperX brethren. I will say these do sound really good, there’s no doubt about that but I feel the design is a step back rather than forward.
They’re close to being great but are let down by a few small design choices that I hope can be improved in Kingston’s next release such as a swivelling microphone and removing the inline control in favour of on ear-cup solution.
At the end of the day if you want the absolute best sound from your gaming headset then the Revolver fits the criteria but it’s facing very strong competition from its own stable.