Kingston HyperX Gears of War Headset
The Kingston HyperX CloudX Revolver is a gaming headset. The subject of this review is the Gears of War Edition of the CloudX Revolver. This is the 2nd Xbox licensed gaming headset by HyperX, a division of Kingston Technology. The headset is exclusive to Amazon India. Launched at a price of ₹12,000, will this premium headset find an audience?
The first thing you will notice about this product is a wonderful unboxing experience. With a lot of small paper guides to a thin black piece of foam separating you from the first glimpse of this red black headset, you are made to feel special when you open the box. The different components of the HyperX CloudX Revolver, mic, cables are all neatly slotted in cutouts in the foam based reversed silhouette. Even before I put on the headset, this is a plus one.
Design and Comfort
Launched in sync with Gears of War 4, the headset features more inputs from the studio designing the game than you may think, as it was co-designed with Microsoft and The Coalition, the studio developing Gears of War 4. This deep red headset is sure to be an eye catcher, even if many non-gamers mistake the logo for Skullcandy (which happened to me initially).
This Gears of War Special Edition headset is designed to match the Crimson Omen Limited Edition of the Xbox One S and Xbox One Controller.
While the design is similar to the original HyperX CloudX, it features a slight visual modifications, most notable in the colour and visible design. The headset features a matt, gritty, weathered texture that goes well with the Gears of War theme. The quality of materials used all around is superb. The build is based around a metal frame, which provides the CloudX Revolver headset good stability. You get genuine leather earcups whose comfort level is legendary. Both the sides of the earcups feature a textured plastic pattern.
The headrest is leather bound that automatically adjusts to your head size with zero effort. The earcups are rather large but filled with a good quality foam (HyperX Memory Foam) that slowly seals to your ears, isolating you from the outside noise. These cans do a good job in keeping the outside noise away physically. I always prefer sound isolation rather than digital noise cancellation.
The CloudX Revolver doesn’t itch and they don’t cause sweating when wearing for those long sessions. Do note that if anything were to flick or contact the steel frame on top, it would conduct the noise through to the earcups. Because of this, I had to readjust the headset if I chose to wear it with the headband pointing towards the back and it would touch my chair and cause interference. That’s just me though.
The default cable is about a meter long and it comes with a 2 meter extension cable in the box. You also get a splitter that converts the single 3.5mm combo port to separate audio and mic lines. The cable is braided with good quality material, making it tangle resistant. The cable has an in line audio controller for volume control and mic mute. This is a convenient addition, as it saves you the effort to do from the computer or your console. The mic on the headset is detachable and flexible to a great extent, making them ideal to be moulded into any angle desirable.
The headset does not appear to be heavy despite being big in size. They weigh about 364 grams, which is not much for a headphone this size. For those not used to large headsets it may take some getting used to, but for me they felt nice and snug. Being light weight surely helps. Just make sure you take them off once an hour to let your ears vent a little.
Audio and Sound Quality
The real test of any headphones, no matter how good they look, lies in how they sound. For this reason Kingston have gone for the tried and tested HyperX CloudX Revolver for the specifications and audio design. The driver of the CloudX Revolver is a Dynamic, 50mm driver with neodymium magnets. It has an impedance of 33 ohms, meaning it doesn’t need an amplifier to be driven. If using with a PC, your integrated audio chipset should do just fine.
The best features of the headset have to be in its stereo sound design. There was a clear sense of depth and direction from audio files in game. Although this is a stereo headset, this has to be the best stereo headset in terms of space and surround sound. I could pinpoint precisely the direction of bullets being hailed at me. I could even visualise the directions of the shouts and screams while playing the campaign in Gears of War 4. The CloudX Revolver helps in game immersion because of the way they handle soundstage.
The sound signature in these headphones is suited for games. There is enough ‘volume’ in the sound to encompass all the events happening during an intense battle in a game, so that you don’t miss anything. Grenade blasts produce that “boom” effect pretty spectacularly in the CloudX Revolver headset.
Now to the music tests. Initially, it felt like the sound reproduction was great for all ranges of audio. But as I clocked more hours with the CloudX Revolver, that is when they started to reveal their true colours. While the bass has a good amount of thump and volume, they lack in depth. This was evident when the bass heavy drums or the synth of electro music in different games failed to immerse. I fired up some more deep-bass heavy tracks, till when I was clear that the bass doesn’t extend to the lower end of the frequency spectrum.
The headset tends to focus on voice. The headset lacked a certain oomph which immerses you when there is a bass or treble heavy noise instead trying to make sure that the audio is crisp and clear. For those who like to hear each and every conversation clearly this makes for a great feature, but on the other hand this makes it slightly less ideal for music lovers. I’m not saying they are bad for music, its just that you can get a good pair of Sennheisers for lower the price that will perform much better with music. I could imagine these be the goto choice for those who are involved in multiplayer games and communicate with other players. Discord or TeamSpeak fans are absolutely going to love this.
The price point is what will make the Kingston HyperX CloudX Revolver hard to break in to the Indian market. The headset will be ideal for those who want a more appealing design that the standard black on black offers. The standard CloudX Revolver costs ₹8,990 and the Gears of War Edition costs ₹11,999. That is a lot of money for a design upgrade. To those who the looks matter, go for it. To those looking for sheer sonic value, these aren’t the most ideal cans. Yet, these headphones are a good proposition because they offer superb comfort and fit. For these reasons alone, the price is justified. You can wear them for hours without your ears getting sweaty, without your head feeling claustrophobic.
If you play a lot of games where you communicate a lot using the microphone, the CloudX Revolver is a good buy. For those looking to buy an all round headphone, good for music, movies and games, there are better, cheaper options. If comfort matters to you the most, you won’t find many options at this price range apart from the CloudX Revolver.
|Driver: Dynamic, 50mm with neodymium magnets|
|Type: Circumaural, Closed back|
|Frequency response: 12Hz–28,000 Hz|
|Sound pressure level: 104.5dBSPL/mW at 1kHz|
|T.H.D.: < 2%|
|Input power: Rated 30mW, Maximum 500mW|
|Weight w/ mic and cable: 380g|
|Cable length and type: Headset (1.3m) + Audio Control Box (2m)|
|Connection: Headset – 3.5mm plug (4 pole) + Audio Control Box – 3.5mm stereo and mic plugs|
|Element: Electret condenser microphone|
|Polar pattern: Uni-directional, Noise-canceling|
|Frequency response: 50Hz–18,000 Hz|
|Sensitivity: -40dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)|
+Great ready to wear fit, requiring minimal adjustment
+Lightweight for its size
+Good build quality
+Superb comfort, the best in class
+Good soundstage and sound separation
+Good sound isolation
+Nice adjustable and removable mic, with clear sound
-Bass doesn't extend to the deeper levels
-High price of the "Gears of War" edition
-Not the best performance in music