HyperX has built up a reputation for having some of the better gaming headsets on the market. The gaming division of Kingston has won over a lot of fans with its Cloud and Cloud II headsets, and now the company has an updated version of its high-end Revolver for people looking to get some more features. The HyperX Cloud Revolver S is $150, and it comes bundled with a dedicated, plug-and-play Dolby 7.1 surround sound USB dongle. That makes it about $100 less expensive than some similarly decked-out headsets on the market, like the Sennheiser PC 373D. It works great with PC as well as PlayStation 4.
But how does the Revolver S stack up in real-world use? Well, it’s a comfy, high-quality experience with only a couple of shortcomings.
What you’ll like
HyperX has always delivered comfy headsets that should fit right on most people, and the Revolver S continues that lineage. This device also earns its “Cloud” moniker with a lightweight design that applies little to no pressure on your skull. I will say that I think the Revolver S is a bit too loose and has a tendency to rattle when I move my head, but it’s not enough to distract me or cause irritation.
The pads for the ear cups are soft and squishy. They enable you to move and adjust the headset around without having to worry about hard plastics digging into your skin.
I’ve worn them for lengthy gaming sessions for hours at a time, and they never got to a point where I really noticed I was wearing them let alone felt the need to take them off.
Plug-and-play Dolby surround
In addition to comfort, the other key feature HyperX typically hits is sound quality. With the Revolver S, it has its best sounding headset yet. The big reason for that is the included dongle that features one-touch support for virtual 7.1 Dolby surround sound.
That dongle amplifies and adds immersion to your audio sources, and it is very simple to set up. All you have to do is plug it into your PC, select the headset as your audio source, and then turn on 7.1 surround with all of the speakers in Windows. You don’t need any extra firmware or software, and you can turn it off at any time by tapping the Dolby button on the dongle.
Overall, the Revolver S handles most gaming audio situations incredibly well. Chaotic scenes with lots of gunfire or fighting will take advantage of that surround sound, but you will also get clarity across a number of channels. Explosions, voices, and ambient sounds all come through without squashing each other.
The Revolver S’s weakness is high-end audio for voices in music. Bass instruments can make singers sound slightly compressed at higher volumes. I would chalk this up to HyperX tuning the headset for gaming, where I didn’t notice similar problems.
But the star is the Dolby-enabled dongle. This is the most affordable headset ever to have that kind of hardware bundled in, and it makes the Revolver S a standout in the $150 price range.
The Revolver S microphone sounds wonderful. It’s clear enough that I’d consider using it for livestreams. I think the $250 Sennheiser PC 373D and the $200 Turtle Beach Elite Pro with the optional $20 Noise-Canceling Microphone still sound better, but no other $150 gaming headset can match this. You’ll get some distortion if you have the mic too close while using plosives, but you can adjust the arm to position it just right to avoid that.
What you won’t like
No mic monitoring
The biggest bummer for me is that the Revolver S doesn’t feature built-in mic monitoring. Gaming headsets exist as a category because companies can make money by building decent-sounding headphones with communications capabilities. But a USB headset that you want to use at high volumes loses some of that functionality if you can’t hear your own voice when you speak.
Mic monitoring isn’t crucial, and I think plenty of people are happy without it, but it makes me hesitant about using the Revolver S in online multiplayer games. When I go to speak and my voice sounds muffled, it causes my brain to stutter or even makes me shout without realizing it.
If HyperX included this feature, the Revolver S would have everything I want from a PC gaming headset.
It’s too easy to accidentally turn the volume knobs
Finally, my only other issue is that it’s easy for your shirt to rub against the volume knobs and adjust them without you knowing. This affects both your mic volume and the headphones, and you may have to wait for your crew to tell you that you got quiet before you realized it happened.
The solution here is to clip the in-line volume controls to your shirt or something else. I clip it to a handle on my desk, and that works — but I don’t love attaching it to my clothing.
HyperX consistently nails each price range it enters with its headsets, and the Revolver S is no exception. It features powerful, clear audio quality in a comfortable package. If you are in the $150 price range for a headset, this is an easy recommendation.
HyperX provided GamesBeat with a sample unit for the purposes of this review. The Cloud Revolver S is out now for $150.