HyperX Cloud Revolver S Headset Review
I have to confess I’m a big fan of HyperX’s Headsets and have used one of their Cloud Headsets exclusively for the last few years. That in itself should tell you all you need to know. Recently I tested the very impressive HyperX Cloud Revolver and have been using it ever since as my daily Gaming Headset of choice. So it was only natural for me to take a look at their latest (and most expensive) Cloud Headset when it became available…
Enter the HyperX Cloud Revolver S and it’s that ‘S’ that’s the important part as this Cloud Revolver Headset features Dolby 7.1 Virtual surround sound and it is specifically this that differentiates it from the regular Cloud Revolver. The HyperX Cloud Revolver S is a circumaural stereo (with Dolby 7.1 Virtual surround sound) Headset with 50mm Drivers and a Frequency Response of 12Hz–28,000 Hz. The Headset itself utilises a steel frame, floating headband and memory foam ear cushions and headband. In addition to this there’s an in-line control box that features audio volume, microphone volume and microphone mute controls, as well as Dolby Surround modes and three equaliser modes. The Cloud Revolver S is compatible with PC, Xbox One*, PS4, Wii U, Mac and Mobile**.
The HyperX Cloud Revolver S arrived at pcG in a smart, predominately black box with a large image of the Headset on the front. In addition to HyperX highlighting that this is a ‘Pro Gaming Headset’ and the fact that it is compatible with PC, Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, Mac & Mobile, HyperX also promotes the following features:
The back of the box further highlights specific features of the Headset by way of another large image and various pointers that highlight the following: USB Sound Card Audio Control Box, Durable Steel Frame, Signature HyperX Memory Foam, 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound, 50mm Directional Drivers and Detachable Noise Cancellation Mic. In addition to this we can see that the Cloud Revolver S is compatible with (Teamspeak, Discord, Skype, Ventrilo, Mumble & Raidcall) and comes with a 2 year warranty.
Removing the outer sleeve reveals a smart looking simple black presentation box complete with HyperX logo. This helps to give the Cloud Revolver S a somewhat premium feel.
On opening the box we can see that the Cloud Revolver S is both beautifully packaged and presented. This is the same packaging as used in almost all previous Cloud Headsets and impressive it is too…
Despite all that packaging there’s not that much in the box though, gone is the carry bag also, which is odd given the Revolver S high retail price. Other than the Headset itself we find a multilingual Quick Start Guide, an extension cable, USB cable complete with In-Line Control Box (ILCB) and a detachable microphone.
At the time of writing the HyperX Cloud Revolver S Headset is available at Overclockers UK for approximately £140 and comes with a 2 year warranty.
courtesy of HyperX
Driver: Dynamic, 50mm with neodymium magnets
Type: Circumaural, Closed back
Frequency response: 12Hz–28,000 Hz
Impedance: 30 Ω
Sound pressure level: 100.5dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
T.H.D.: < 2%
Input power: Rated 30mW, Maximum 500mW
Weight with mic: 376g
Cable length and type: Headset (1m) + USB Audio Control Box (2.2m)
Connection: Headset – 3.5mm plug (4 pole) + USB Audio Control Box – USB + PC extension cable – 3.5mm stereo and mic plugs
Element: Electret condenser microphone
Polar pattern: Uni-directional, Noise-cancelling
Frequency response: 50Hz-18,000 Hz
Sensitivity: -40dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
To look at, the HyperX Cloud Revolver S is almost identical to the original (stereo) Cloud Revolver, especially when looking at just the Headset itself. The only real way to tell them apart is the colouring used on the ear-cups. On the original Revolver Headset it was red but here on the Revolver S it is white. The fact that not much has changed is good news as the original Cloud Revolver is a good looking, well made Headset and that is still the case here…
Both ear-cups are identical and neither ear-cup features any additional functionality to speak of. The white aggressive HyperX logo design on the centre of the ear-cup looks good and looks like it might illuminate, but alas it does not! This would have been a nice addition to the Revolver S, especially as it now uses USB, but no. 🙁 The plastics used have also been updated and are now softer and have a more premium look/feel to them.
Within each closed back ear-cup (meaning that sound is kept within the ear-cup) HyperX have squeezed a large 50mm Driver (that’s apparently directional, although I have no idea how/why) with neodymium magnets, with a Frequency Response of 12Hz–28,000 Hz.
The headband is of the floating variety meaning that the padded central band is allowed to float (up & down) within the outer band’s steel frame. The headband itself is made from leatherette (that’s fake leather to you and me) and features some rather smart white stitching on the edges. The top of the headband also features a subtle embossed HyperX logo.
The inner part of the headband, also made from leatherette is padded with memory foam, although there’s not much of it from what I can tell. Although I already know from using the Cloud Revolver for extended periods of time that this has no detrimental effect on comfort.
As you can see from the image above left the HyperX Cloud Revolver features nice large circumaural (over the ear) ear-cups with large memory foam cushions. The cushions are covered once again in leatherette and are extremely comfortable. The inner section of the ear-cup feature a simple black acoustic cloth that covers the exposed 50mm Driver hiding within.
Note the small vent holes in the back of the era-cups allowing the Driver within to breathe. This does not seem to let much air/sound out, meaning that the HyperX Cloud Revolver S is very much a closed back design.
The HyperX Cloud Revolver S ships with both a basic 1m long PC braided extension cable complete with 3.5mm plugs and a braided USB extension cable that features the the inbuilt sound card. Using the extension cable for PC would bypass the In Line Control Box (ILCB) meaning that you could connect the Revolver S up to a dedicated sound card if you wished. Of course, should you do this all virtual surround sound functionality would be lost as this is housed with the USB sound card that is in turn part of the USB extension cable.
The ILCB is found at the end of the 2.2m USB cable and is a definite improvement over the one found on the original Cloud Revolver. Somewhat obviously this now features a Dolby 7.1 Virtual surround sound mode and three basic EQ settings (Voice/Flat/Bass). In addition to this the new control box features both audio and microphone volume controls as well as an easy to activate microphone mute. The large Dolby Headphone button activates the 7.1 Virtual surround sound mode while the small button on the side cycles through the aforementioned EQ modes. Note however, you can only use either the Dolby Mode or one of the EQ modes, not both at the same time. Both the Dolby/Headphone button and the mic mute button illuminate red when enabled.
The detachable uni-directional microphone simply plugs into the bottom of the left ear-cup thanks to a simple 3.5mm Jack socket, although the socket itself is keyed. The microphone is of the flexible (pipe cleaner) boom variety and thankfully the boom tends to stay where you put it. The microphone itself features noise cancellation and has a Frequency Response of 50Hz-18,000 Hz.
Hardware Installation/Testing Methodology/Setup
The following Games were also used during testing:
The performance of a Headset is predominately based upon what it sounds like, therefore what we have here is my opinion on what I think about the audio performance of the HyperX Cloud Revolver Headset; of course this is somewhat subjective…
Now we already know (from this review) that the HyperX Cloud Revolver isn’t just a good Headset, it is in fact one of the best on the market today when looking at the sub £100 category. But this, the Cloud Revolver S, is way more than £100, costing closer to £140 at the time of review. What we want to know then is what do we get for that extra £50 and does it actually sound any better?
The only thing that really makes any difference to the already great sounding Revolver is that USB sound card, that provides both Dolby 7.1 Virtual surround sound and three additional DSP modes (Voice/Flat/Bass). But I need to get something off of my chest first: I’m not a fan of Virtual surround sound and you dont need a surround sound Headset to hear surround sound. After all we only have two (that’s stereo BTW) ears! 😉
So, can you hear a difference with the Dolby Mode on? Yes definitely and some may think that this means that it’s working, and I guess it is. Just bear in mind all you’re hearing is a different (processed) sound. Is it more immersive? Yes, I would say so and that’s down to the additional echo/reverb that’s been added to the sound. Can you place players in Game more accurately? No, I would say not as the additional processing messes with the stereo separation, muddying the waters somewhat.
Well what about the overall quality of the sound? Well that’s very good, very good indeed in fact and this is, of course, down to the fact that HyperX are still using the same 50mm Drivers as the ones in the original Cloud Revolver.
Taking all of that on-board, I would say that the HyperX Cloud Revolver S is as good as any Virtual surround sound Headset that I’ve tested. The DSP for the Dolby mode is not too aggressive and it does add to the overall immersion in Game, especially Games like the Forest and The Hunter: Call of the Wild. Of course you can turn the Dolby DSP mode off also and just have stereo, in which case you’ve got a great sounding stereo Headset also.
The big question is: Is it any better James? And when pushed into this corner I would say – No. What it is, is different and for some of us that difference will seem to be better, while for others (like myself) it’s just, well, different and not necessarily better…
Microphone quality was found to be good as this is the same mic as found in the Revolver; with no complaints (other than the usual) from my online friends when using our VOIP program of choice Discord. Voice pickup was also good thanks to the bendable microphone boom that can be easily positioned close to the mouth and, more importantly, stays where your put it. Also the inclusion of a microphone volume control aboard the ILCB is a real boon and extremely useful also. I hope more manufacturers begin to include this feature in the future…
When not in use the microphone can be removed from the bottom of the left ear-cup; a handy feature as otherwise it has a tendency to get in the way. Although I would have still preferred to find a rotating (auto mute) microphone like the one found on the cheaper HyperX Cloud Stinger.
The big question that’s needs answering is: Is the new HyperX Cloud Revolver S better than the HyperX Cloud Revolver? Unfortunately you’re not going to like my answer as the answer is: Yes and No. It offers the same audio performance as the Revolver and adds DSP and Virtual surround sound into the mix; but that doesn’t make it better, it just makes it sound different.
The HyperX Cloud Revolver arrived at pcG in a smart large, predominately black box with the contents within both beautifully packaged and presented. As I have said before this is an area that HyperX have excelled at ever since the original HyperX Cloud. There’s not much in the box, the original carry case that came with the Cloud seems to have be dropped as has some of the cable accessories, even though this is the most expensive Headset that HyperX make. What you do get though is a good quality detachable microphone, decent braided cabling and the new In Line Control Box (ILCB) that is a marked improvement over the original.
Once out of the box the HyperX Cloud Revolver S was found to be near identical to the original Cloud Revolver, it’s a good looking Headset and well made too. Some of the harder plastics found on the original Revolver have been improved also. The new Revolver S now sports soft touch plastic over most of its exterior. The Headset itself features the same two 50mm Drivers with Dolby 7.1 Virtual surround sound coming courtesy of the USB sound card.
As with all HyperX Cloud based headsets and the original Revolver the Headset itself was found to be extremely comfortable even during those longer play sessions. The large circumaural ear-cups, equipped with memory foam provided a cosseting feeling around the ear. The floating headband was also found to be comfortable despite the headset’s relatively heavy weight of around 360g.
Of course the main difference hear (haha) aboard the Cloud Revolver S is the inclusion of DSP, namely Dolby 7.1 Virtual surround sound. As to my thoughts on Virtual surround sound in general, this can be found in the main review. From a pure audio performance point of view the Revolver S is as good as the Revolver, as it is in fact the same Headset. But when connected via the USB cable the USB based sound card comes into play and you can enjoy the benefits of Virtual surround sound as well as a couple of other basic DSP modes (Voice/Bass). As far as Virtual surround sound goes this is an example of one of the best and if you know that (VSS) is what you’re after you’ll no doubt be happy. Just remember that you don’t need Virtual surround sound to hear surround sound, check out this video (and listen) for more detail…
The detachable microphone is good, good enough I guess but I feel it still could do with a little more optimisation to improve it’s overall pickup and noise cancellation. Although, I very much appreciate the inclusion of a microphone volume control on the ILCB.
My current Headset of choice is in fact a HyperX Cloud Revolver and the best question is would I swap to the Revolver S if I could. The answer to that question is no. But that’s purely because I’m not a fan of Virtual surround sound and DSP in general. But, there’s no doubt that the HyperX Cloud Revolver S is a fine example of a 7.1 Virtual surround sound Headset and there are other improvements over the original Revolver too, such as the better plastics and the much improved ILCB. But all of this is going to cost you another £50 and that’s a lot of money to make it sound, just different…
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Many thanks to HyperX for providing this sample for review