Kingston HyperX Cloud gaming headset review
A boring and non-musical intro
I love things related to music, for the simple reason that I love music itself. And despite the fact that I do not consider myself an audiophile, sometimes I like to engage in sound analysis while listening to a particular technique related to playing music.
It so happened that past, “gaming headphones”, completely unobtrusively ran through, and at first I did not pay any attention to them at all. But a little later a thought flashed through, it’s interesting, but what is now offered on the market in the category “Headphones for gamers”. At one time, I was looking for a headset that could combine the functions of a convenient headset for games and VoIP, and at the same time good headphones for music.
At that time, the choice was made on the SteelSeries Siberia v2 headphones; these were really good headphones that showed themselves excellently in games and at the same time adequately “played” music. To my regret, I had to refuse them for one simple reason - they noticeably put pressure on my head, and besides, their ears (my own) were hot. And no matter how technically I liked them, I could not spend more than two hours in them, in general, it did not work out.
I solved my problem with an intricate wireless headset for games and skype, and for music I took the rather expensive wireless Sennheiser RS180, which still completely suits me with its soft landing and sound quality.
Remembering yesterday’s search for the ideal, I wondered how things were today with my yesterday’s problem when universal and at the same time talented headphones were needed. That's what I decided, I need to check these same Kingstone HyperX Cloud.
Those who are interested in a complete set of technical data and specifications, as well as the instruction manual, can follow the link to the official website and enjoy the study of all the details in numbers.
HyperX Cloud headset.
Who does not like numbers in large numbers and knows how to connect a gaming headset, goes to even more letters in the review, well, or just looking at the pictures))
Attention! black box!
Taking the box in hand, I carefully studied it and caught myself thinking that I like the packaging. The corny thing is a cardboard box, but all this beautiful and pleasant to the touch printing makes you hold it in your hands longer before its “vandal” opening begins))
From the inscriptions on the package it became clear that in addition to the headset belonging to the game world, it was improved when cooperation with QPAD and is an “Award-winning” product with advanced features and generally meets high gaming expectations, and from the inscription PURE HI-FI , I realized that you won’t scare anyone with music either. Actually from the pictures you yourself can see what they promise us.
Further, having opened the package and having seen the black box inside, I began to quietly assume that everything would be serious here. The extracted box immediately gave birth to associations with a certain premium or at least a product lying nearby, such as a Tissot wristwatch or a smartphone from Cupertinos. The black box and silver inscriptions further strengthened the interest in what is inside. And then I caught myself thinking that I have long forgotten feelings when you start to unpack some very valuable gift, studying every little thing on the way to the very content.
On the back of the cover, you are greeted with an entire letter of invitation to the HyperX team. An additional protective gasket made of “tracing paper”, a neat cover made of foam rubber, all this adds a certain pathos and at the same time a feeling that something shining should be hidden behind all this! I immediately remembered the moment from the movie “Pulp Fiction”, where Travolta opens the suitcase and from there the rays of something very valuable come out))
Returning to Reality
When I opened the box, there were no rays (but they could have arranged it for fun, I thought))
But the box’s space was filled with molded foam, in which, like in spy movies, where briefcases with special equipment flashed, they were neatly packed: the headset itself and Attributes to it. In the bag with the headphones lay interchangeable ear pads, and under the headphones there was still a small pile of bags with wires. Separate compartments occupied a wired volume control and microphone controls, as well as some kind of adapter. In the lower compartment with the name of the product, a cover is hidden that has compartments for transporting or storing the headset and wires.
Having gotten all this charm out of the package, he got to the headphones themselves and began to study them.
At first, the headphones did not produce any special “Wow” effect, they are standard in weight, not heavy, but not light, the arms are made of aluminum, as we are told at the very beginning on the packaging. Aluminum is probably cool (I thought), cups and staples are made of soft-touch plastic, for me this is a controversial decision, although it may be practical, the “black piano” would be more beautiful, but it would constantly suffer from fingerprint. The aluminum caps of the earphone cups bear the HX logo in red, the headboard arc is trimmed with the material “I want to be leather” with a red thread border, it looks beautiful! HyperX embroidery on top and in my “highly artistic" look - it would be better if they wrote silver, but here as they say to an amateur.
Baptism in battle
Initially, I didn’t imagine any special difficulties with checking the gaming headset, there is a relatively gaming computer, there was some kind of Realtek HD sound card on board - a classic computer of most users with a hint of a “gaming” one. But, I decided to start checking the sound quality with music. In general, for good, for a start, the headphones should be “warmed up”, but the “impatient” has already turned on, and the decision was made to “warm your ears” during the testing process. I connected the headphones, I launch Foobar, I immediately turn off the equalizer, the folder with the FLACs.
I’m wearing headphones. From the photographs, you already realized that the headphones are closed, extraneous sounds are gone, but an easy connection with reality remains. My head immediately perceived the ears as a little tight, well, I think, again)) And with the hope that the stiffness will go away over time, I started testing.
- What are we going to
Let's start with the extremes. At one time, I liked to use Black Metal for acoustic tests, for me it was a kind of competition for professional suitability, because not everyone can figure out this porridge of sounds and present it in an edible form. However, this time I decided to move away from this "tradition" in the direction of Folk Metal.
Launching Kivimetsän Druidi (Shadow heart album) - The Tyrant. Ten seconds to get used to the headphones themselves and to the sound, while the “boring” entry begins, you can adjust the volume, here the rhythm starts ... ... the first epithets that were born in my head right there were “rate of fire” and “accuracy”.
I froze for several tens of seconds, I did not expect such speed from the headphones! The accuracy of the drums, the rhythm, attention to detail and what is surprising for closed headphones is the bass, it is accurate and it is exactly as much as you need, not as much as in inexpensive headphones with a closed type, when quality is covered by quantity. Here the sound gains the full intensity of the game and abruptly stops, you are immediately immersed in a sound emptiness and you can hear only a few torn notes and after-echoes from the fingers removed from the neck of the guitar, they are like fragments of broken glass flying in silence in slow time (oh how).
Pausing, I exhaled; When I first heard the first reaction of the headphones, I had a thought - monitor, accurate and most likely boring, but they began to convey the mood and it surprised me. Apparently it won’t be boring, I decided and changed the style of music to the opposite.
Country, Cowboy Junkies (album - Renmin Park) Renmin Park. Emotional transmission, you immediately plunge into melancholy thoughts, you feel how the soloist sings very close to the microphone and you can hear her breathing.
Country, Abby Ray (The Naked Truth album) - Darling I Need You, high detailed, but not annoying. The voice is clear, open, a slight echo is heard in the studio. Detail pleases.
Rap, Slim Thug (Boss of All Bosses album) - Boss of All Bosses, saturated highs, bass accurate and dense, not overloaded, surprisingly, there is an attempt to enter the lower bass range, but there is some uncertainty. Apparently, you need to think about replacing the sound card.
Rap, B-Real (Smoke N Mirrors album), you can immediately feel the classic rap atmosphere, dense bottoms, sometimes you can hear the soloist reading the text at the speed limit while managing to pronounce all the letters in the word, and now he’ll start to stumble.
Trip-Hop, Yonderboi (Splendid Isolation album) - All We Go To Hell, a gorgeous atmosphere, you feel a growing alarm in the atmosphere at the initial entry, and the children's choir ruthlessly breaks out a tear. Very emotional. Dense and detailed sound. The bass attracts special attention with its density and accuracy.
Timeout and Intermediate Debriefing
First impression - headphones really can! Good detail, attention to detail, they accurately convey the mood that is embedded in the composition ... and speed!
You understand in absentia that with such a good reaction in music and games, the headphones will be at their best. But another point emerged, the ears mercilessly show the entire curvature of the recordings, i.e. if you have recordings that you like, but the recording quality is really lame, the headphones without an apology will point you to this lack of quality. And I also found out that my integrated amplifier has a rather sloppy headphone output)) I certainly had no hope that there would be something outstanding in this price range, I just didn’t use it. But when I decided to use it to test the sound when playing CD discs, the headphones simply bent this idea to the bud without any extra sentiment. I had to abandon this idea and continue all the tests on the computer. In addition to this, I had two questions:
The first question - I did not like a few moments at low frequencies, and I began to suspect the built-in sound card of my motherboard in negligent behavior (in normal life I do not use it). I have a dac that can be connected via USB, but it is also not suitable for these headphones without a built-in amplifier.
The second question - you need to make comparisons with other headphones to eliminate the false impression that I might have. Maybe, in fact, everything is not as rosy as I heard and made conclusions, relying on my “sound” memory and perception.
I remembered that my friend had a very interesting DAC with a headphone amplifier FiiO USB DAC E07K and headphones Audio-technica ATH-M50 (hereinafter referred to as AT) with a DJ focus. I had to postpone the test for a while and go for the DAC, and at the same time we’ll get the “ears”))
And yet she spins!
Having received everything I needed, a pleasant surprise was found for me, the DAC had two headphone outputs on board! This is just a find, now I have solved two problems - to bypass the on-board sound and get the ability to instantly change headphones on the fly, without flicking audio connectors. The evening promised to be fascinating))
After collecting and setting up the entire test suite, he began a comparative test. For starters, I listened to the main points where there were problems with the bass, but already through the DAC, the previously noted problem with the bass disappeared, and the headphones really go into the lower bass range without the problems indicated above.
The time has come for a comparative test. I had to listen to it all over again, but at the same time I already had the opportunity to remove some headphones and wear others on the go. Otherwise, the difference in details could simply be forgotten. And despite the fact that when changing the headphones there is a several second adaptation, it was obvious - there is a difference in sound!
Testing was as follows, the DAC was connected to the computer via USB, the timbral block on the DAC was set to zero, a pair of headphones — HyperX and AT — was connected. In the Foobar settings, the Output Device was set to KS and the Output Format to 24bit. Then one of the selected compositions was listened to and at certain times the headphones changed to others, so I determined the general nature of the headphones and the difference in sound between them, in some places some parts of the compositions were listened several times, to remember specific details and also the headphones were changed to others.
Based on the results of this comparison, I can say that against the background of AT, HiperX has more pronounced detail, AT has a more simplified sound, the bass outline is the same, AT has more bass, but HyperX has more detailed and deeper one, this adds some velvety sound to HyperX . On some calm compositions from Country, HiperX showed a more plastic sound, better transmission of the soloist's character, more transparency at medium and high frequencies.
The impression of HiperX was so good that I could not stand it and decided to compare them with my favorite Sennheiser RS180. Not to say what it is, some kind of particularly masterpiece headphones in terms of sound, but at one time, they received 5 stars from the magazine WhatHi-Fi?
Here we had to compare two sound transmission technologies, and two types of headphones - open and closed. I must say right away that for the convenience of landing on my head, the RS180 has so far remained the leaders. HiperX on the background of the RS180 is more noticeable on the head due to a tighter fit, however, after three days of preliminary tests, I got used to the new headphones, so by the time of the comparative testing the difference was not very significant.
Of course, you immediately notice the difference in the sound supply between the open and closed headphone design technology. The open one had more lightness and transparency of sound, while the closed one had more bass in advantages, and the bass itself was noticeably deeper.
When listening to Deep Purple (Live In Japan album), the RS180 turned out to be a bit calmer when comparing, you can say the option for long listening to music and the RS180 has a slightly wider scene, HyperX emphasizes details faster and a little better, a slightly brighter milestone.
At Yonderboi, HyperX wins in depth and not much in bass.
Quiet games near by sleeping people
Well, how would I not want to lose the pleasure of listening to musical material, but it's time to move on to the sound in games. However, the musical results already said that with such a speed of the headphones in games there should be no problems.
I’ll make a reservation right away that for me personally, closed-type headphones as a headset are not very suitable in view of the fact that you can only play at night, and that you won’t wake everyone up, you need to control the volume of your voice well, otherwise there is a great chance to be deported from the apartment with all connected "on-line"))
At the same time, I remembered how my son screams when he plays in fairly cheap overhead headphones, even a closed door and daytime background noise from the street cannot save from these “fighting” screams. I didn’t even want to think about what awaited me, if I was sucking at my volume. Unfortunately, as it turned out later, my sound card had problems with the sensitivity of the microphone input, due to which the microphone level had to be overestimated, which in turn adversely affected the spurious background noise, which more than clearly appeared in the background. For further manipulations, he had to move to the computer of his son, who at that moment was serving a link in the village. Moving to another room on another computer solved the problem with the microphone input and added a bit of limit to increasing the volume of the voice when talking on the headset on-line.
Since I don’t have much time for games, I’m very conservative in terms of their assortment. Therefore, I had to install my beloved World of Tanks on my son’s computer, at the same time we will check the quality of communication through Raid Call and the new improved sound scheme in this game.
We go into the hangar, we immediately meet the sounds of active activity of invisible personnel surrounding us, we hear the knocking of sledgehammers, grinders, welding machines, well, everything that is supposed to be done by a
Well, the hangar is a hangar, there is little interesting for our headphones, we take slow artillery (we will need to take time to study the sounds, and not fly around the map on a firefly). We go into battle, the initial melody of the “gerbil” immediately gives out a compressed format, the sounds of the clock are clear, voluminous, and in general all these simple sounds, of course, always sound win-win. From the first minute, when everyone starts to scatter in their corners, we hear the roar of the motors, and in fact these sounds are also not of particular interest, because, in my opinion, they are primitive in quality and are not the ultimate dream in terms of high-quality sound. As the camera approaches and moves away from the equipment, the sounds are proportionally amplified or weakened.
When you switch to sight mode - a bird's eye view - the sounds fade out and only the wind is heard. Also, in close-up sight mode (let's say an airfield on the map), the sound of waves, gulls is very well read, the sound of a flying airplane is too well written, it really buzzes somewhere above your head (and makes it difficult to concentrate). The sound of the “light” warning lamp clearly leads out of aiming thoughtfulness, the reaction to hearing is triggered earlier than the light seen on the screen, there is no delay in the reaction — legs in hands and we run.
But the most relish is of course shots and explosions, and shots from large-caliber barrels are especially impressive! A clear powerful shot and a chic rumble of thunder, spreading echo. The explosions are biting, the sound of exploding technology is damn savory. Really earphones impress with volume, saturation, accuracy and speed of sound! Several times during the game, he was so immersed in the gameplay that he simply forgot why I started it at all, and when the battle ended, I realized that I did not record my feelings from specific sounds at specific moments of the game. I had to make several attempts to test the sound in the game))
At the end of the game tests, I left the microphone connected to the input of the built-in sound card, but I released the sound output to the headphones through the DAC, as a result the sound became even sharper and more juicy.
In addition, I replaced the “leather” ear pads with “velor” ones, initially they seemed to me more prickly and tough, but after half an hour I felt very comfortable in them, besides this there was a feeling that the headphones almost did not press, and the sound became a little lighter ( I don’t exclude the placebo effect on the sound score), but I managed to play 3-4 hours without physical exertion for the ears))
I liked the sound through RaidCall, I heard it clearly and without any problems, I also noted that the interlocutor's voices were clear, and I get much more sonic information about sob sednike and its environment, rather than through a simple headset.
From the very beginning of the test, it was clear that working with a HyperX Cloud headset would be interesting. And for me personally, this was confirmed with each new testing step. Returning to the very beginning of the review, I can say that for me today, at least one headphone has really been found that meets the criterion of high quality music playback and at the same time a good gaming headset with convenient geometry, which makes it possible to use it for a long time. The only caveat would be that, due to the characteristics of my life, I would prefer headphones with an open design.
As always, there will be notes on some points discovered during the operation of the equipment.
1 The input for connecting the microphone to the headphones is closed with a small plug, it is not attached to anything and when you remove it, you should immediately put it in a safe place, otherwise it may get lost.
2 When listening to music, I personally had the impression that it is better to avoid connecting to the source through an extension adapter equipped with volume control, in my ear it interfered with the maximum quality when listening to music, but you need to check it yourself, there may be a feature of this instance.
3 Ear pads change very simply by pulling together some and pulling on other pillows. By the way, the edging of velor ear pads is not made evenly, because of this they may not look neatly dressed. Nevertheless, try them, suddenly for some reason they will suit you even better than regular ones.
4 Headphones are quite demanding on the source and quality of the musical material, and if you have records of not the best quality, you will know about it right away, and the voice acting in some games may be too boring and simple for this headset. You will also learn about the weak sound path, for these ears it is worth taking care of something more decent than a standard sound card on board a non-gaming motherboard, and especially for music.
5 The lengths of the cords are as follows: with headphones 1.2m, with volume control 1m, extension cord 2m, total maximum length 4.2m (lengths measured personally)
How much opium is for the people?
And as always, the last, for many, not unimportant question remains - How much?
I’m always wondering if the price was not announced immediately and during the testing you evaluate how much you would not mind paying for a particular product. When musical testing HyperX with other headphones, it seemed to me that they were playing for five thousand. I knew how much the RS180 cost, but there one wireless audio transmission technology, apparently, costs about half of the total cost of the headphones, and they played very similarly in sound quality. After that, I climbed to watch how much the ATH-M50 costs in our market and was a little surprised at the minimum 5350, but they had a plus for the rotary design of the cups for DJ use.
It remains to see how much HyperX Cloud itself costs. But for starters, I remembered that the box indicated cooperation with QPAD and decided to visit the site of this brand for a look at what was going on with them. Having entered the “headset” section, I saw HyperX Cloud, which I was already familiar with, only with the difference that it is called QH-90 with the recommended price on the QPAD 99 Euro website, the price pleasantly surprised me! Assuming that the price tag in the Russian market would be too high, he turned to the Yandex market about HiperX and was even more pleasantly surprised to see a price of 4,990 rubles, which, as was confirmed later, is the recommended retail price. Those. it turned out that my assessment of values is a little overpriced and today they are asking for less money for high-quality sound in headphones than before, especially considering the moment
After such a “marketing” study, I can, with a clear conscience, recommend this headset to your attention by all criteria.
Your word, comrade Mauser
You could write simply - “Must Have!”, But I will write more diplomatically:
This is definitely an interesting product worthy of your attention!