With any product branded for gaming, there is always a sense of alienation. Is this a device too specific for general use?
Is this the best in its category for the kind of games I play? There are many such questions that manufacturers face when building devices, and it is these same questions that we applied to the Cloud Revolver gaming headset, made by Kingston’s performance wing, HyperX.
The Revolver is not quite an addition to the already existing Cloud line, but more of a spin-off. Our review version was the Gears of War Edition, which replaced the traditional HyperX branding on the earcups with the Gears of War logo; the black skull motif really adding to the muted matte red shade of the headphones.
The unboxing experience is quite premium, and the headphones come with a rather short, non-removable braided cable out of the box. This being the Microsoft-blessed version, the short cable makes sense as it can be plugged into the headphone jack on the Xbox One controller and stay mostly out of the way during button-mashing sessions. PC gamers are not forgotten either, with a long 2m cable with audio input at one end, and output as well as microphone jacks at the other, also included in the box. Speaking of that microphone, it is not permanently attached to the headset, but rather plugs into the input port on its left side.
This ensures that it stays rigidly in place, and the sound pickup is good enough that the lack of position adjustability will not be missed much.
Overall, the headphones are a bit on the heavy side, but the large earcups padded with memory foam and the steel frame with a leather insert at the top make it feel solidly built. The only cheap-feeling bit on the entire thing is the inline control for volume and the microphone mute button. The steel frame action is wonderfully smooth, and takes away the usual fiddling to find a comfortable position, which has long been one of our biggest gripes with our pet Plantronics GameCom 380. That said, while the headphones are supremely comfortable around the ears, expect to feel a little fatigue after an extended gaming session. Portability is also an issue, as the rigid frame does not allow the headphones to be folded up for easy transport.
On the performance front, the Revolver does what you expect gaming headphones to do, and that is give you complete awareness of your environment. Though they are said to be geared towards first-person shooters, the brilliant channel separation meant that even in games like the The Witcher 3, we knew exactly which direction unseen threats were coming from. In other titles like BioShock, the slow footsteps of a Big Daddy off to our left, along with the vibrations of the controller, provided a truly immersive experience. Even outside of games, the rich sound and wide soundstage make the Revolver an able companion for music buffs. The bass does tend to be punched up a bit, but other than that the sound is reasonably neutral. There is no 7.1 channel support like on the Cloud 2, and while the microphone is said to be noise-cancelling, it is not the active variety. And at a price point of around Rs. 9,000, they are not the cheapest proposition around
Coming back to our earlier questions, the Revolver does check the boxes as a great companion for casual and semi-hardcore gamers. They are stylish, but not so outlandish that they can’t be taken outside, and the performance is more than enough to appease all but the most demanding gamers.