HyperX Cloud Revolver + 7.1 – Design & Features
The Cloud Revolver gets about as close as gaming headsets can to the look and feel of studio headphones. They’re big, they’re heavy, and they deliver polished, high-quality sound. The frame is stainless steel, uncovered, with thick plastic molding to fasten the large earcups to it. Weighing in at 380 grams (.84 pounds), it’s heavy enough to really need its self-adjusting two-piece top band, which distributes the weight of the headset across the top of your head. The metal exterior band is static, but there’s a leatherette-coated, memory-foam padded inner band that slides on plastic rails. The front and rear edges of the top band have silver and black braided strings, which add a small pop of color against the otherwise dark metallic device.As I’ve mentioned in my Sony Pulse 3D review, I’m personally not a huge fan of this kind of headband: there’s usually a dopey looking gap between the inner and outer bands and, in the Cloud Revolver’s case, it requires some minor adjustments to feel comfortable. That said, it seems like a worthy tradeoff given the headset’s heft: Though the headset’s weight is noticeable, I could wear them for many hours without any head or neck fatigue.
The ear cups, also padded with memory foam, are exceedingly large, which helps to cultivate a big soundscape when the need arises. The closed back design also offers a fair amount of protection from ambient noise, and is quite comfortable to boot. On the inside, the Cloud Revolver features 50mm drivers, which has become standard for most mid-high-grade headsets.
Turning outward, the Cloud Revolver + 7.1 retains the thicker, plastic-coated unidirectional boom mic design found on previous Cloud Revolvers. Though it looks the same, HyperX switched from a bi-directional microphone to unidirectional, which seemingly enhances its ability to filter out ambient noise. While slightly less malleable than the metal wire mic found on most of HyperX’s other headsets, the large microphone panel picks up clean sound even when only positioned generally. Thanks to some extra software-enabled noise cancellation, it’s better than most at keeping outside noise out and focusing on your voice.
Using Logitech Capture, a video chat configuration app, I recorded clips of myself and found my voice came through clean without any extra background noise, even when the mic wasn’t properly lined up in front of my lips. I also tested the mic in games and video chat apps like Zoom, and seemed to come through clear.
Other than a slot for the mic, the Cloud Revolver eschews on-ear ports and controls, offloading them to the detachable USB DaC, which HyperX calls an “audio control box.” The clippable dongle, which converts the headset’s 3.5mm audio cable into USB, powers the headset’s enhanced audio capabilities, including surround sound and active noise cancelling in the microphone.
The control box is the only part of the Cloud Revolver + 7.1 that’s received a significant redesign. The new model has four panel-sized buttons: Volume up and down on one side, mic volume up and down on the other. In the middle, there’s a round illuminating “7.1” button to toggle surround sound on and off. Lastly, on the side, you have a small mic mute button, which lights up red to compensate for its obscured position.
The control box creates some compatibility complications for the Cloud Revolver. While its basic functions are compatible with any platform via 3.5mm audio jack, the USB sound card is only compatible with PCs and PlayStation consoles, so you cannot use its surround sound or software-enhanced microphone noise-cancelling on the Xbox Series X.
When push comes to shove, the Cloud Revolver still delivers great sound on Xbox. If you have a Dolby Atmos license, you can get good – arguably better – surround sound on the platform. Still, without full access to its feature set, I would urge Xbox players to invest in gear made specifically for the platform.
HyperX Cloud Revolver + 7.1 – Gaming
Even without any major changes or many novel features, the Cloud Revolver is still a pretty incredible headset. The large ear cups create room for its booming but precise sound to create a great sense of space in and out of gameplay.
In Immortals Fenyx Rising, the headset creates bold, clear sound across its range – low, mid, and high tones all come through strong and clear. The game’s many musical gameplay cues rang sweet and sharp, making them a pleasure to listen for. In particular, I found the clarity allowed for better-than-average separation between foreground and background audio. When Zeus and Petrocolous talk during intense fights, you can clearly hear both the combat-related audio cues and the dialogue without any bleeding.
That clarity is equally important in a more competitive situation, I played a fair amount of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. It’s easier to distinguish the direction and even the type of gun by ear when every little noise comes through crisp. I also found that the Cloud Revolver put its 50mm drivers to use, generating loud, expansive explosions.
HyperX’s pivot from dolby surround sound to its software seems to have gone swimmingly. Across all the games I tested, the surround sound created a clear sense of space and directionality. The surround sound also adds a little digital audio enhancement, which improves clarity and boosts the volume slightly. It’s a little bit of extra oomph that punches up bass-heavy moments, like when Miles puts on his headphones in the opening cutscene of Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
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