Kingston HyperX Cloud Revolver S Review
Pros: Easy to use, decently comfortable
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This model tied with the Arctis 7 and the Artemis Spectrum in terms of performance. It has better sound than the Artemis and did better in our mic tests than both the Arctis and the Artemis, but isn't as comfortable or easy to use as the Spectrum. The Cloud Revolver costs the same as the Arctis 7 and $50 less than the Artemis, but the Revolver is a wired headset, compared to the other two wireless models.
We picked out winners by buying all the most promising headsets, then ranking and scoring them in a handful of different tests. We grouped these tests into four weighted rating metrics, each one weighted proportional to its significance, with the Revolver's results shown below.
Responsible for 40% of the total score, the set of tests that make up our Comfort metric are highly important to the overall score. We had a group of people wear the Revolver S for a full day, then scored based on their answers in our comfort questionnaire. The Cloud Revolver S did fine, earning a 6 out of 10 when we aggregated the results.
Our panel of testers overall was OK with this headset, with most being fine to wear it for a full day and only a few found it to be too uncomfortable to keep going after 3 or 4 hours. The main issue they cited is an uncomfortable amount of pressure on their jaw, which was much more prevalent for those with smaller heads. The headband is padded and covered with leatherette, like many of the other products, but it stands out by automatically adjusting for fit. Unfortunately, we found this feature fell a little short and tended to make a bit more pressure on most people's jaw than was really desirable.
The ear cups are about 1.75" wide and 2.5" tall, so should have plenty of room, except for those with the widest ears and are padded with leatherette-covered, semi-soft padding. The Cloud Revolver S is also one of the heaviest headsets we tested at almost 13.5 ounces
This headset fared about the same in our audio tests, earning another 6 out of 10 in this metric, which is worth 30% of the total score. It didn't do terribly well with voice or audio, but is one of the best at letting you accurately pinpoint the location of in-game sounds, boosting its score considerably.
Starting off with voice, the Cloud Revolver S did a rather mediocre job. Other players' voices come across clear and understandable, but the noise sounds less direct and is a bit hollow — a noticeable difference to sitting with someone face to face. This headset does do an alright job at cutting down external noise, reducing ambient white noise by 10-15% and doubling that when it comes to background music or TV.
This headset is a little on the funky side when it comes to music, with the mid-range tones being extremely exaggerated, with the treble and bass being quite weak in comparison. This lead to an experience that is far from immersive when listening to music or a game soundtrack.
However, it was in the positional tests where this product stood out, with our players accurately identifying the origin of a sound almost every time, whether it was quiet footsteps in the forest, a circling helicopter, or a hidden sniper. It also did very well with a dedicated binaural recording. Unfortunately, the performance of this headset plummeted in our remaining two benchmarking tests, doing very poorly in the bass quality test with a ton of parasitic buzzing and a tone that struggled to stay centered in the driver matching test.
Following the suite of sound quality assessments, we moved on to testing out the clarity and quality of sound picked up by the microphone on each product. This group of tests accounts for a fifth of the total score, with the Cloud Revolver S earning another 6 out of 10 for its results.
The mic actually does a solid job at picking up your voice, conveying quite naturally and without any buzz, but it still sounds slightly distorted — like you are talking through something, rather than talking face to face. It didn't overdo it with hard "T" or "P" sounds, but it is slightly sibilant with "S" or "SH" sounds, much to the chagrin of some of the people we were playing with.
This headset does a fairly good job at failing to key up for external noises, like a fan running or typing loudly, but almost always will pick up any side conversations going on in the room, with people on the other end of the line being able to hear and understand any background conversations even when they were 20 feet or so away from you and being held in a normal tone of voice.
Ease of Use
The performance of the Cloud Revolver S improved slightly in our final metric, responsible for the remaining 10% of the total score. It earned a 7 out of 10, slightly impressing us with its level of convenience and hassle-free use.
This headset has comprehensive inline controls, with backlit buttons that allow you to mute the mic, adjust both the mic and headphone volume, and engage Dolby audio, as well as switch between three different preset equalizer profiles. It is fairly easy to mute the mic quickly and the button will light up to indicate if the mic is muted or not.
The cord on the Revolver is very long, measuring in at just a tiny bit more than 11', giving you more than enough length to move around your computer without getting caught. Both the mic and cable are detachable, with the cable detaching at the inline controls, though there isn't the option to enable a mic sidetone.
This product isn't a great value, with other headset costing far less and scoring far better.
The Cloud Revolver S is a decent headset, though it is far from our favorites. We weren't really fans of the odd headband auto-adjust system and the slightly higher than expected price tag preclude it from an award.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer