Anyone who’s followed HyperX for the past few years and saw last year’sCloud Revolver knew what was coming next: the HyperX Cloud Revolver S. It’s a familiar pattern for the company nowadays—first the stereo version of a headset and then, about a year later, the USB-enabled version with surround sound.
And that’s exactly what we’ve got here. The Cloud Revolver S takes last year’s design, adds in a USB sound card and 7.1 surround support, a chat mixer, and tacks on a premium price ($150 on Amazon). So is it worth it?
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Design: The floating band
- Performance: Does it pay off?
Design: The floating band
The design of the Cloud Revolver S is almost identical to last year’s model, aside from a white-and-black color scheme in lieu of the its predecessor’s red and black. Eschewing the solid headband of the standard Cloud headsets, the Revolver models use a SteelSeries Sibera-esque floating band—a metal frame arcing effortlessly above a tensed piece of padded leatherette.
Like the original Cloud Revolver, the S model is incredibly comfortable—even more than the original Cloud actually, which itself is still one of the most comfortable headsets on the market. I occasionally noticed its clamp on my jawline, but it was firm, not painful. And the tradeoff? No pain on the crown of the head, nor any real pressure on the ears. It’s a joy to wear, and HyperX’s generously padded earcups are still some of the most luxurious in the industry.
The downsides also come straight from its predecessor. One, it feels fragile—a consequence of all these floating headband designs. Two, there’s still a weird “reverb” noise triggered by any contact with the metal headband. It’s like a tuning fork wired directly into your ears, and something as innocuous as scratching an itch on your head can send raspy metallic noises through the headset. The effect has been minimized a bit by two new rubber bits at each end of the headband, but it’s not gone completely.
It’s 90 percent the same design, just in a different color. What really sets the Cloud Revolver S apart is the inline USB soundcard and control box. In last year’s Revolver review I wrote:
My one complaint is that HyperX still hasn’t figured out how to do inline controls efficiently. Once again the Revolver ships with a dual 3.5mm PC extension cable and control box, which features a mute switch and volume dial. And while these boxes keep getting more attractive, there’s still room for improvement. A complete rethinking of the approach would be nice, actually. (Personally, I’d prefer controls built into the headset.)
Don’t get your hopes up for a full redesign—the Cloud Revolver S still uses an inline box embedded awkwardly far down the headset cable. I still think HyperX’s next model needs controls built into the headset itself to stay competitive.