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March 31, 2017

HyperX Cloud Revolver S Virtual Dolby 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset Review

By: Low Chern Lin




After continuous success in the gaming headset market, HyperX recently launched its Cloud Revolver S gaming headset, a new addition to the lineup. The HyperX Cloud Revolver S is based on the design of the Cloud Revolver and it's bundled with a Plug-N-Play virtual Dolby® Surround 7.1 audio USB sound-card that features three additional sound profiles; bass boost, flat and vocal equalizer modes, making it easier for gamers to swap between setups tuned for games, streaming, music or movies.

Thanks to Kingston Technology, we managed to get our hands on one for today's review. We've previously tested the Cloud Revolver and we have our bars slightly higher for the Cloud Revolver S for this round, mainly because of the USB sound-card with virtual Dolby® Surround 7.1 audio. Let's move on to the review and see how well will the Cloud Revolver S perform.

(The HyperX Cloud Revolver S is retailed at RM699.00)

Specifications



Unboxing


Packaging wise, the Cloud Revolver S comes in that same, familiar design of the Cloud Revolver, red and black themed box with the red lining on the upper section indicating device compatibility. The noticeable difference between both Cloud Revolver and Cloud Revolver S is that the Cloud Revolver S is bundled with a plug N play virtual Dolby Surround 7.1 USB sound-card and the absent of that red accent on the ear cups and headband.   



Behind the box, you'll find a well-labelled diagram of the Cloud Revolver S, take note on the free technical support, a limited 2-year warranty coverage from Kingston Technology, as well as the type of connectors used by the Cloud Revolver S.


Moving on to the contents, we have the Cloud Revolver S headset of course, a quick starter guide, a 3.5mm stereo and mic jacks AUX audio splitter cable, a flexible detachable noise cancellation mic, and the plug N play virtual Dolby Surround 7.1 USB sound-card.


The USB sound-card features separate volume control for both the stereo and mic, large and soft buttons to enable/disable the mic and virtual Dolby Surround 7.1 audio and a clip to prevent the cable from dangling around.


Design wise, the Cloud Revolver S look almost identical to the Cloud Revolver. Its modern and stylish design approach are meant for users who are not really into the conservative design of the previous HyperX Cloud, Cloud II and Cloud Core.


For the headband design, the Cloud Revolver S features a heavily padded headband to provide extra comfort for long hours gaming session, and a flexible suspended headband design that automatically adjusts according to the shape of your head.


As usual, you'll find the HyperX logo imprinted onto the top section of the headband. 


Unlike the Cloud Revolver, the earcups on the Cloud Revolver S comes in white and grey color scheme instead of red, and it features rubber coated surface on both the HyperX logo and its ring instead of glossy surface. 


The faux leather covered earcups cushion feature the signature HyperX memory foam, it's soft and comfortable, and supposed to keep sound leakage to the minimum. It's removable as well, for the ease of cleaning and replacement should the need arise. 

Testing

Similar to the Cloud Revolver, the Cloud Revolver S has a lightweight construction and leather padded headband that is supposed to give extra comfort for long hours usage without applying too much pressure on the top of your head. The flexible suspended headband design will automatically fit onto your head without any prior manual adjustments is definitely an added point, but users with bigger skull might face comfort related issue as it seems to be applying a little more extra pressure on the top of your head if the headband is touching against the metal frame itself. The earcups is big and comfortable and the noise isolation does appears to be slightly better than the Cloud Revolver. Noise from your surround are still audible - not too distracting but noticeable,  due to the metal frame if you decided to go with a lower volume. 

We gave the USB soundcard a try on both PC and XBox One, the detection isn't instant but it doesn't takes up more than a minute before it's usable. For our case, it does takes a little extra time if you plug it into a XBox One compared to a PC. Once it's detection, the audio switching is done automatically so you even have to configure the soundcard as default device for the audio to work. Pushing down the Dolby surround button does gives you the audio enhancement that is quite similar to what DFX, SoundPimp and Breakaway offers.

As it comes with a plug N play USB soundcard, it's fair enough for us to actually compare it to the Cloud II directly as both comes with a USB soundcard. While we still prefer the comfort and sound quality of the Cloud II, the USB soundcard of the Cloud Revolver S is actually better when it comes to the audio control design. Adjusting the volume of both stereo and mic are noticeably easier with the wheel design on the Cloud Revolver S compared to the dedicated buttons on the Cloud II.

For gaming test, Cloud Revolver S works the best with games such as FPS or 3rd Person Shooter. Sound elements such as direction of enemy's footsteps, explosions and gunshots can be clearly throughout our gaming session with few of the selected titles such as Battlefield: Hardline, Tom Clancy's The Division, Ghost Recon Wildlands, Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive even without the need of the USB soundcard. Enabling the audio enhancement will greatly benefit shooting games like Battlefield, The Division, Overwatch.

If you're more of a music and movies person, the Cloud Revolver S will still be capable enough to satisfy most your needs to a certain extent. The mids is just right,some of the less significant lows are actually noticeable, the instrumental representation sounded accurate and the vocals is clear enough for both movies and music.

Conclusion


The HyperX Cloud Revolver S alone, without the USB soundcard, is already a very decent sounding headphone compared to most gaming headphone you'll find on the market. If we were to compare it side by side with the Cloud Revolver, the only noticeable difference is probably the slight improvement in terms of its design and sound quality. 

We think is a fair comparison since both comes with a USB soundcard, the audio quality on the Cloud II is still slightly better but convenience wise, we'd say the Cloud Revolver S wheel volume control is more favorable than the dedicated buttons on the Cloud II. 

Retailed at RM 699, we'd say that the Cloud Revolver S is rather expensive compared to the Cloud II which is priced at RM 499. While the price difference does seem pretty steep, the design and the convenience offered by the Cloud Revolver S is something that is worth not to overlook if the Cloud II design isn't your thing. Besides, if we were to compare the Cloud Revolver S to gaming headsets from some of the renown brand that is priced around the RM 699 range, there isn't many that can actually perform on par.

Pros
  • Sturdy and good looking
  • Decent sounding headphones
  • Braided cables 
  • Audio splitter cable included
  • Better noise isolation than the Cloud Revolver
  • Better audio control design on the USB soundcard
  • Fast detection of USB soundcard and no software required for the virtual 7.1 surround
  • Detachable microphone
Cons
  • More pressure on the head compared to the previous HyperX Cloud headsets
  • Microphone still suffers from vocal plosives
  • Noise isolation still not on par with the HyperX Cloud lineup
  • Not suitable for those with bigger skull
  • Rubber coating might not last long at places which is hot and humid throughout the year
Subjective
  • The headset could be better in terms of aesthetics if HyperX logo on the side of the earcups glows
  • The metal frame is prone to pranks where friends can annoy you by knocking on the metal frame of the headset

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