HyperX Cloud Revolver Review: $300 dollars of sound for just $120 bucks.

UPDATE: I re-reviewed this headset for its 2017 refresh. I still have more or less the same thoughts…but it’s much less impressive to me now on the whole? Maybe consider the original Cloud or an Arctis instead.

The HyperX Cloud II is the easiest and most prolific recommendation in gaming headsets. It’s a tremendous value, with sound that stomps the competition.

Earlier this year, HyperX released a new, more premium entry called the Cloud Revolver. Does it deliver?

Absolutely. And with only a few caveats.

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A product shot I borrowed from the HyperX web site. Normally, I’d have a goofy shot of me wearing the headset here. But I don’t have it with me. Oops!

The Cloud Revolver costs about 20 bucks more than the Cloud II, retailing for $120 dollars. It doesn’t come with the extra ear pads, the USB sound card, or the case the Cloud II offers. It doesn’t come with the extra ear pads or hard case that the Cloud X offers. Lots of people out there don’t like this. If you want to get the most stuff in your headphone box, the Revolver is not for you. What are you getting for your extra 20 bucks and your loss of bonus extras?

Pristine pro-grade sound, a wider soundstage, a stainless steel frame, and a little extra room for big heads..

The Cloud Revolver has a crisp, powerful, warm-of-balanced sound profile that’s wide and spacious for gaming. It sounds very similar to the Sony MDR-1a…which is a $300 dollar high res headphone. Most gaming headsets opt for a boomy, bass-heavy sound, and the Revolver sidesteps that entirely. The soundstage is wide, bass is present and milky without overwhelming the sound, and mids and highs are crisp and perfectly-rendered.

The dollar-to-sound-quality ratio is excellent.

The mic is also really decent, and detacheable. You won’t want to record voiceovers on it, but for voice-over-IP/game chat it’s beyond adequate. It flexes more than most mics in this price range, and looks more subtle too. The Revolver isn’t wireless (even though that’s the new hot thing in headphones) but both major game consoles are designed around wired headsets, so this ensures easy compatibility.

Build-wise, the headset design keeps the cushy memory foam ear pads and supple head band of the Cloud II…and throws out everything else. The frame is now a heavier stainless steel beast that feels like it’ll never break. The headband adjustment is a floating suspension system that auto-fits to your head. It fits decently well on my giant head, and I’ve got more extra room than I had on the Cloud II.

It’s a little heavier than the other Cloud headsets, but the weight is balanced pretty well. The bottoms of the pads push against my jaw a little more than other headsets, but with a little tweaking I got a fit 90 percent as comfy as the Cloud II. Not bad considering the extra weight.

Now, if you like a subtle overall look…you might want to go elsewhere. Fast. HyperX has given the Revolver flashy red highlights and angular shiny black plastic accents for no apparent reason, though they do fit in well at the sort of eSports events higher-end gaming headsets target. In pictures, I found the design a little off-putting, but in real life I think they look totally fine. I’m actually glad that the cups don’t feature the RGB lighting that’s so popular in gaming products right now. Lighting would have added to the cost and weight, and pushed the look into outright-garish territory.

So, some other negatives. The headset doesn’t fold down at all, and although this helps the headband to be stronger, it means the Revolver is less portable than other popular models. The cord doesn’t detach, although it’s nicely braided and a free y-cable is included which also has volume and mute controls. Both of these portability features are present on competing sets in the price range, like the Razer Kraken Mobile.

Aside from the mic and the y-cable, no other extras are included. I still think the tradeoffs are worth it for the amazing sound quality. If you want a wide soundstage, “audiophile-grade” sound, and a good mic, there’s no better deal in gaming headsets. If you love bass and want some bonus features, you’d be better served by the Cloud II, Cloud X, or Kraken Mobile, among many others.

The HyperX Cloud Revolver joins a rare group of audio gear that delivers value way above its market price. Like the Skullcandy Grind, Cloud II, and Audio-Technica M50X, you’re getting a lot of sound performance and comfort for relatively little money. The feature set here may not appeal to all gamers, but if you value sound quality and reproduction above all other features, there’s no better deal in gaming audio than the Cloud Revolver.

PS: A bunch of reviews mentioned that if you tap the stainless steel frame of these while wearing them, you’ll hear a metal tap sound in the ear cups. Well DUH. This is the most stupid complaint I’ve ever seen about a headphone, and is something that happens with most headphones with a metal headband. How often are you going to be reaching up and touching/hitting your headset while playing a game? Why would you ever do that? Do people go around and tap each other’s headphones while listening to audio?

I don’t understand why this is a complaint, and I don’t understand why so many reviewers got bothered by this. They must have been trying to hard to find negatives for a review, because holy crap. Go have a look. It’s mentioned in basically every review that’s not mine.

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