Kingston Technology designs some of the best USB flash drives, solid state drives, and flash cards in the United States. When they announced their high-performance gamer-centric division known as HyperX back in 2002, it only made sense that level of quality would carry over to their memory, keyboards, and headsets.
Since then, their HyperX tech has risen to be one of the most reliable brands on the market; their headsets being the first to receive sponsorship from popular chat service Discord, and by renowned eSports organizations such as TeamLiquid. Their latest effort, the HyperX Cloud Revolver S, is an enhanced version of last year’s Cloud Revolver.
In comparison, this newer model carries over the excellent directional 50mm drivers the first received praise for. Aside from this, the Revolver S is a new beast with it’s 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound capability. This feature turns on and off with ease due to the built-in DSP sound card – allowing you to plug-and-play via USB. No software installation needed. It doubles as a control box for volume adjustment and mute settings. It also comes with a clip to hook it somewhere out of the way during play – a nice touch.
Whether it’s for gaming, music, or movies, I found it very difficult to take this headset off. The simulated surround sound experience provided by the Revolver S had me making excuses to stay locked in my room and re-listen to songs I’ve exhausted, finding new love in all the production touches I’ve never heard. The studio-grade soundstage does a wonderful job separating the different layers in each track.
For the ultimate test, I brought these bad boys over to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to see if I couldn’t up my game. I still got my ass kicked an embarrassing amount of times, but I could pinpoint exactly where the enemy was coming from before they popped me with their superior mouse-handling. Not a single footstep missed with these on, no matter how subtle.
If surround sound isn’t your forte, and if this headset doesn’t somehow change your mind about that, the audio control box comes with three EQ options. Vocals, Flat, and Bass Booster all do their job well enough. Those who use the headset without these alterations will be hard-pressed to find a complaint. The 50mm drivers alone deliver some crisp sounds. Mass Effect: Andromeda’s alien voices came through clear as crystal. The soundtrack (as rare as it plays) was a pleasure to listen to through these speakers.
The Cloud Revolver S is a very sturdy headset. I can be rough with no fear of anything snapping off. No special attention needed when bringing it around. I can toss it in my bag and know it will be fine. Both the earcups and the top of the headset are covered with the HyperX signature brand of memory foam, a brand I am now a big fan of. I wore this headset sometimes as long as seven hours straight. While I never got the “I forgot it was there” feeling people tend to search for, I experienced little discomfort. The memory foam headband adjusts to my head naturally with some suspension provided by a plastic band on top of it. This is a welcome change from the constant adjustments I would have to make on my previous headset.
This comfort comes at a small cost. The lack of constraint means the headband is only resting on top of my head. Nothing is holding it in place. If I turn my head fast, the headset would slide across my head forcing me to pause and readjust it from time to time. This isn’t a huge problem, but it gets annoying sometimes. If I’m playing a game like Rocket League, I don’t always have time to readjust. I resorted to keeping my head rested against my chair to prevent this from happening.
The headset wire attaches under the left earcup and runs at 3 ft 3in without the extension provided by the sound card. Adding in the sound card brings the total length to around 10ft 8in which is more than long enough for any setup. The included extension cord (which doubles as a splitter) runs at 6ft 6in. A lot of cord to work with.
The digital noise-cancelling microphone is nothing to scoff at either. Attached to the left cup, it picks up my voice clear as day even at it’s furthest distance. Yet someone talking a few feet away is not heard. Out of curiosity, I did some recording with it in Audacity. The sound was a little robotic, but with some playing around I may be able to replace my desktop mic and use this one full time. I may need to stop eating crunchy foods while playing games, as I was informed many times by friends to “mute the damn mic” while in party chat. It’s also detachable for when you want to bring these around in public, which I have done and will continue to do.
A Quick Note
The Xbox One does not support audio out through USB. You won’t be able to use the USB sound card. The headset plugs into the headphone port of the controller (or stereo adapter if you have an older One controller). They still sound great, but for those who want full surround sound – I found a workaround. Once you plug in, go to Settings>Display and Sound>Audio Output>Headset Audio. Change the headset format to “Windows Sonic for Headphones” and enable “virtual surround in apps”. While some of the sounds are murky, it’s the only way you can use surround sound. Playstation 4 gamers can plug the headset into their console via USB and switch the audio output to the headset.
The headset is compatible with all game consoles, PC, and mobile phones. Anything with a 3.5mm jack works.
A quality headset is a key component in any serious gamers repertoire. The Cloud Revolver S earns its place as a high-end pair of cans. The small issues I have with the headset are nothing compared to what it does right. Yet, it falls into a $149.99 price tag. That’s expensive, especially when there is the HyperX Cloud II with virtual 7.1 surround at only $99.99. If you have the budget though, you can’t go wrong with the Cloud Revolver S.
The Cloud Revolver S can be purchased at their website.