In the world of “gaming” headsets, Kingston and their HyperX brand has made quite the impression. The Cloud II have surprised many people with their fidelity and general sound characteristics. They didn’t suck, and they didn’t cost a lot either. Now they’ve released the Cloud Revolver for only slightly more. And I was more than skeptical of them as soon as I saw them. I’ve been delaying this review because the first time I heard them they had tinny, small sound that was downright horrible. Months later and trying them again there was a slight change once I gave them a chance. No, they aren’t audiophile headphones but they don’t have to be either. But do they actually sound good?
The Cloud Revolver isn’t the best, but with good amplification they’re not bad
Putting them on for the second time elicited the same cringing response. The metal headrest is connected in such a way that you can hear every little movement you make, brushing up against it is obnoxious and distracting. That’s the first impression. And that’s not looking good. Turn on some music and the high-end is horribly harsh, the mid-range hiding behind as if it’s afraid to show you that it’s even there and the low end is not there at all. So far not so good.
They sound as if you literally have speakers on your ears, as if it were far away with very little actual soundstage to speak of. It’s not terribly immersive at all. Initially at least. They can get better, but you’ll need the equipment to make that happen.
One thing I noticed was that this was without any assistance from my trusty Soundblaster X7. Sure, we like to have our headphones to sound good naturally, or at least not give you a headache or grimace in near pain. At the very least it should sound a bit muted, right? No, not these. But. Adding a bit of EQ to tone down the high-end, reveal that mid-range and bring out the low-end actually does help more than you’d think. They sound like trash without help. With help they sound pretty good. Like a convincing pair of headphones, even. When they say that these are tuned for FPS gaming, they’re partially right. Naturally they make sure that the indicators of action that can help you be more aware in FPS games are at the forefront. It works, at the loss of overall good sound quality. With EQ the Cloud Revolvers are helped immensely.
Though the Cloud Revolvers retail for an MSRP of $149.99, they feel very light and startlingly flimsy. This is despite the metal headband keeping things together. It’s more flexible than one might want. You need it to conform to your head but not quite as easily as this. The plastic on the ear cups is also similarly cheap, though doesn’t flex in any worrisome fashion. The nice leatherette headband that actually conforms to your head is quite comfortable, that combined with the light steel does make a comfortable fit.
They use memory foam to ensure that it makes a good fit against your noggin. It generally works well. All of the material choices make for a light headset, one that disappears on your head. They’re so light, though, that the touching them transfers quite a bit of noise into your ears while they’re on your head. Luckily there’s little reason to touch them whilst they pump audio into your earholes.