The Kingston HyperX Cloud has reigned supreme atop our guide to the best gaming headsets for over a year now—not even the 7.1 surround HyperX Cloud II could take its place. Kingston’s taking another crack at it this year with a new headset, the HyperX Cloud Revolver. And this time around, Kingston’s designing the entire headset in-house.
That’s a big deal, because the shockingly good HyperX Cloud actually started out as a headset licensed from Qpad. Kingston did a bit of sound engineering work on Qpad’s design and made it an even better headset, but they had a great base to start with. With the Revolver, Kingston designed every part of the headset, and the differences are both aesthetic and sonic. The Revolver sports a new look and a new 50mm driver, which Kingston promised me offers even better sound than the old model.
The previous Clouds actually use slightly larger 53mm drivers, but when I checked out the new headset, Kingston technology manager Shawn Denison told me the drivers are now angled to provide a more open sound stage. That means, theoretically, wearing the headset sounds fuller and more natural, and less like a pair of speakers sealed tightly against your ears. The same new driver will be used for an analog stereo version of the Revolver and a USB 7.1 Dolby version.
I only had a couple minutes to try on the headset, and it was in the hustle and bustle of a big CES product showcase. It had some serious bass punch, even on a lightweight song from The Shins. I thought it sounded damn good, but it was obviously a cursory test.
Kingston also gave the Revolver a completely new mic, with similar directionality but supposedly much better sound quality than the previous one. Visually, the Revolver is a pretty big departure, with a steel suspension above the headband and very different earcups. They have a bit of a plasticky look and feel, but I was happy to see that Kingston avoided the fad of RGB LED lighting (that you can’t see!) on their headset. That should help keep the price down.
The headset isn’t completely finalized just yet, but should be available in Q2 this year, with the price near $120 for stereo and $150 for USB. As usual, the actual street price on Amazon could vary, and we expect the Revolver will still have some stiff competition from its $80 progenitor.