HyperX’s Cloud Revolver gaming headset reviewed

For many gamers, a good headset is sturdy, comfortable, and not too flashy, and the popularity of HyperX’s Cloud and Cloud II headsets attests to how well the company has hit that mark. I’ve spent a bit of time with the Cloud II in the past, and I can attest to its quality. Given that experience, I’m excited to have a look at HyperX’s latest gaming headset: the Cloud Revolver.

The Revolver’s design strays from the no-nonsense look of the previous Clouds. It isn’t as aggressive-looking as some of the RGB LED headsets on the market, but it’s edgier than the smooth, glossy-looking design of its older brothers. It sticks with those headsets’ black-and-red color scheme, but the extra angles and protrusions around the Revolver’s earcups draw more attention to the wearer than those older cans did. Another noticeable departure from older Clouds is the large steel frame that extends above the headband. This frame makes the Revolver feel extra-sturdy, but it does add some weight to the headset. The Revolver weighs in at 0.8 lbs, or 376 g, with its mic attached.

The protrusions that connect the earcups to the rest of the Cloud Revolver make it quite large, so much so that I would occasionally see the sides of the headset out of the corners of my eyes while I was wearing it. The purpose of these connectors seems to be to allow leeway for the earcups to move independently of the rest of the headset. That flexibility might make the Revolver more comfortable for some wearers’ heads.

A large portion of my time with the Revolver was spent in Damage Labs using the HTC Vive VR headset. In games that require lots of hand motion around the head, the size of the Revolver was a bit of an issue. When I nocked arrows in Holopoint, I would frequently whack the side of the Revolver with a Vive controller, causing the steel frame to vibrate loudly and disturbing my immersion. Regular gamers shouldn’t run into that problem often, though.

The Revolver has a single four-pole jack for use with mobile devices and consoles. There is also a control box which splits the four-pole jack into two separate 3.5-mm mic and audio-in jacks. The control box contains a mute switch, volume slider, and shirt clip, but it doesn’t include the software-free 7.1 surround sound button of the Cloud II. To be fair, the Revolver doesn’t need a USB port to do its thing, and third-party surround-sound solutions are readily available for those who want them. The three-foot-long cable and six-foot-long extended cable are braided and well sized. The main cable is short enough that it doesn’t entangle a user with the headset plugged into a mobile device, while the extended cable provides plenty of reach and maneuverability at the desk.

Put the Cloud Revolver on, and it lives up to its name. It’s incredibly comfortable. Even though HyperX didn’t line the Revolver’s leatherette headband with memory foam like it did with its older Clouds, that change only resulted in a bit of extra pressure on my head during long gaming sessions. The earcups are still padded with that great memory foam, though, and the padding on the headband is adequate. Overall, the Revolver felt light as a cloud when I put it on my head.

The sound of a Cloud

HyperX claims that the Revolver has a wider soundstage than previous Clouds. It’s also purported to offer more accurate audio positioning than its predecessors. Unfortunately, I no longer have a Cloud II on hand to test those claims directly, but I can speak to the Revolver’s excellent sound quality on its own. HyperX outfits the Revolver with a pair of 50-mm neodymium drivers, and it uses a closed earcup design to reduce environmental noise.

I spent a lot of time in VR with the Revolver, and the audio positioning did sound great in virtual environments. I also listened to a large variety of music on the headset, including a capella, acoustic, EDM, instrumental, metal, and rock. While I don’t consider myself an audiophile, I can say that the Revolver has one of the better-sounding pairs of cans I’ve heard on a gaming headset. Songs with complex instrumentation, particularly instrumental and acoustic, have a sense of fullness to them that other headphones I have on hand don’t reproduce as well. I could distinctly make out each individual instrument and sound source. The headset’s soundstage lives up to HyperX’s billing, too.

While the Revolver doesn’t have any natural bias towards treble or bass, using a third-party equalizer with it produced good results. When the bass is boosted, the bass actually becomes deeper and richer, rather than simply growing louder. The noise isolation is also quite good. The closed earcups don’t completely block out the outside world, but they will reduce annoying background noise. From a listening standpoint, I came away quite pleased with HyperX’s latest.

The other half of any headset is its microphone. In my experience with other HyperX headset mics, they’ve only turned in average performances. Unfortunately, the Revolver doesn’t deliver a revolution with its microphone audio quality. Like those other Clouds, the Revolver mic has a slightly tinny sound. It also picks up background noise and puffs of air a bit more than its brothers. It isn’t bad, to be sure, but I wouldn’t call it great for extended video calls, live streams, or videos where audio quality is paramount. Even so, this mic will serve just fine for in-game voice chat, which is how I imagine it’ll be used by the majority of owners.

Conclusions

When a company tries to improve on an already-successful product, it runs the risk of unbalancing the formula that led to that product’s success in the first place. The HyperX Cloud Revolver’s design departs from the already-popular Cloud II in a variety of ways, so we were curious to see whether those changes were winning ones.

Some of the changes HyperX made are neutral or slight steps back, going by our past experiences with Cloud headsets. The steel band that joins the headset’s earcups can produce a distracting ringing sound when it’s touched or bumped. It also adds a few grams of weight. The audio quality of the Revolver’s mic falls a little short of what we’d expect from a high-end headset, too. Finally, the Revolver’s design is a bit too flashy for my tastes. The Cloud II is something I might wear in public with its microphone removed, but the Revolver’s harder angles and edges might draw more attention than I’m comfortable with.

Those nitpicks aside, the Cloud Revolver is still a great headset. The steel frame is sturdy, the memory foam earcups are incredibly comfortable, and the drivers produce high-quality sound. Some buyers might prefer the Revolver’s edgier design over older Cloud headsets, too. The Revolver sells for $120 on Newegg right now, a slight premium over the $100 Cloud II. Frankly, we don’t think you can go wrong with either of these headsets—the Revolver’s style and the Cloud II’s USB surround-sound card will likely be the biggest reasons to choose one headset over the other. Both offer great sound quality and a comfortable gaming experience. Either way, you can be confident you’re picking a winner.

Comments closed
    • rUmX
    • 3 years ago

    I’ve owned the Cloud II for a while now. It’s a great set for the money (got it on sale for $80cad!). The only issue I have is that the headset doesn’t work with my HTC M8 unless the mic is plugged in. Thankfully SoundAbout solves this issue but it’s still annoying.

    Would recommend these to anyone on a budget.

    • hasseb64
    • 3 years ago

    Been reeading Headset reviews for many years, IF my Sennheisers would break.
    They don’t! And they still sounds damn god.

    • Wildchild
    • 3 years ago

    Any idea if these were also designed by Beyerdynamic like the originals?

      • jalex3
      • 3 years ago

      The original cloud was based on the Takstar Pro 80 as is the similar QPAD. QPAD does have a Beyerdynamic based model. HyperX never has had a Beyerdynamic OEM model.

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 3 years ago

    Every “gaming” headset I have owned or used has had very poor performance for the price in terms of audio quality. The only benefit I find in these headsets is the microphone. The added audio software and/or USB card has done little to enhance quality or the gaming experience when I use them. If anything, it makes the state of computer audio even worse (more technologies and less open and used standards).

    I use Logitech G920’s out of convenience, but I’ll stick to my VModa M100’s with boom mic for longer sessions.

      • Wildchild
      • 3 years ago

      The original HyperX headset is the only one I’d ever recommend. I finally caved in and bought mine a few months ago just because I got tired of fiddling around with a standalone mic. Like the article says, they’re no-nonsense headphones, are well-built, and I was surprised at how good they sound for closed headphones.

      While they don’t sound even remotely as good as my Sennheiser HD 650’s, I can vouch for their quality. Plus you can get them for a steal from Amazon’s warehouse deals.

      Cheers.

      • jalex3
      • 3 years ago

      The clouds are based on a Takstar model. One that been reviewed really well for a budget high quality headphone. The clouds cost a little more and added a mic and inline controls. They took a good Headphone and made it better for gaming use. Plenty of good gaming products exists, even in audio.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 3 years ago

    I recently bought a Logitech G430 for $40 and the volume level was so low, I had to move it to my headphone amp to get decent a volume level and received greatly improved sound quality.

    Do people generally use headphone amps for gaming headsets?

      • Airmantharp
      • 3 years ago

      Or soundcards that have functional amps (X-fi here).

      • wingless
      • 3 years ago

      I had an X-Fi but moved to a Xonar DSX. I use an amp with it. A Topping NX2 which is a DAC/AMP combo. On my main rig I use it as an AMP only. On my laptop it becomes the sound card as well. There are more audiophile-grade amps out there but you can’t beat $60 for the quality of the combo. The battery inside lasts for ~100 hours in my experience too!

      /I didn’t mean this to become a commercial.

      Generally, gaming headphones don’t have super high impedance. The G430s are only rated at 32 Ohms. It’s strange that your sound card can’t push them.

      • DoomGuy64
      • 3 years ago

      I’ve gone through several headsets, and generally avoid anything higher than $70 because they’re charging for the name. A lot of gaming headsets are too bulky to use for prolonged periods, and closed leather designs trap heat. I’ve tried a usb “gaming” set with it’s own amp/soundcard, and I can’t recommend them for having worse hardware than a dedicated soundcard. (16-bit 48hz max) Not to mention it was so overpowered that I had to lower the volume to 30% to be usable.

      Overall, I’ve settled on turtle beach’s z11, which has 50mm speakers, cloth ear cups, and is lightweight enough to not cause fatigue. Only issue is the volume control is finicky and causes the left speaker to stop working, which I just fiddle with it until it works and leave it alone. If it wasn’t for that, I’d say they were the best headset I’ve come across, as not to many other sets get the ergonomics or acoustics right. I suppose I could always cut the volume knob out and splice the wires together, but it’s not that bad yet.

      As far as amps go, most modern soundcards have them, so I can’t recommend using any cards dating back to the pci days. If you’re not willing to buy a new card, get one of those usb razer headsets. However, I can’t justify their price for the quality.

    • Waco
    • 3 years ago

    You said you thought the sound was better with EQ, did you find the bass lacking at moderate to high volume levels?

    My wife had a set (to review) and while they sounded fine at low volume levels, as I turned it up I always felt like the bass fell away and became wildly thin compared to even cheap cans.

      • Gyromancer
      • 3 years ago

      I think you might have misunderstood what I was saying. I don’t think they sound better with the EQ, but if you do use EQ, you can get good results. Oftentimes when bass is boosted in headphones, the bass will just get louder, rather than deeper.

      Do I think they were lacking in bass? That’s a tough question. People tend to complain that headphones have a bit too much bass nowadays because of EDM, which I do like, and I do like a lot of bass, hence the EQ. So the question is, how much bass do headphones need by default? It’s definitely personal taste, but I don’t think they were lacking in bass, except maybe at super high volume levels, but I don’t like to blow my ears out. From my testing of various music genres, I think the levels were fine, but EDM enthusiasts might want to boost the bass some.

        • Waco
        • 3 years ago

        I see, thanks for explaining!

        I just think I expected them to sound similar at all volume levels, and perhaps I’m just asking too much of them. I’m not exactly a basshead, but I don’t expect the frequency response to shift with varying volume levels like these cans did. When they are outperformed by a pair of cheap Monoprice cans, that’s not good IMO. 🙂

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