“Updated for the Fans!” — HyperX Cloud Revolver Headset 2017 Review

Never let it be said that HyperX doesn’t respond to their audience.

Nearly every review of last year’s $119 Cloud Revolver headset (except for mine!) complained about the same “horrific flaw:” the metal headband would make sounds in the ear cups if you struck it while wearing the headset.

This didn’t bother me because I don’t hit headsets while I’m wearing them.

But it bothered the crap out of the rest of the world. So HyperX went and did something about it. Newer units of the Revolver, and the newly launched $149 Cloud Revolver S, now contain these little rubber bits inside the steel headband to help dampen this sound.

Does it fix the “problem”? Not entirely! But it’s better. And it’s a very classy move by HyperX.

So now we’re never going to talk about the metal sound again, right?

Good!

Although I reviewed this headset when it first launched, I didn’t write reviews the same way I do now.

Since the headset got refreshed for the new year, I thought it was time to give the new model a proper look, and talk a little about which HyperX headset might be right for you. Because they make a crap-ton of them. And they’re all pretty good.

Here’s one of last year’s original models. Note the lack of rubber insert thingy in the headband! It’s still a pretty great headset in spite of that.

Overview

You’ve got two headsets to pick from if you want a Revolver: the original, and the S. The S has a slightly wider headband, and comes with a Dolby Headphone USB dongle that will work on PC and PS4. The regular headset comes with HyperX’s standard-width headband, and a cable extension/splitter with an in-line mic mute switch.

The regular headset is black with red accents. The S is black with white accents and some rubberized bits. I personally prefer the look of the regular headset.

Both feature the same decent removable mic. The S is $149 and the regular one is $119. Is the S worth the extra money? Only if you need the surround dongle. If you’re a stereo listener, go with the regular one.

Or maaaaaybe just stick with the original Cloud Core/Cloud/Cloud II/Cloud X, unless you really like suspension headbands.

Sound Quality

Like all of HyperX’s headset products, the sound of the Revolver is generally fantastic. The sound signature is slightly-heightened away from flat, in a way that gamers will probably appreciate.

Bass is nice and warm, without any aggressive push or boost. It’s smooth and pleasant, similar to the bass on more- expensive headphones. It’s got plenty of extension and will render even the deepest tones at a moderate volume, but if you want the absolute thumpiest bass, you might be a little bummed.

Above that is where I start to get confused. There’s a slight harshness to the Revolver that I can’t quite place. The mids are good and natural. Voices sound a tiny bit thin at times, but other than that it’s pretty flat through the midrange.

Both the original HyperX Cloud and the DT 770 it’s based on have a notch in their driver response at 4khz that’s filled in by some resonance in the ear cups. This notch helps to tone down some of the harshness of their sound. The Revolver has no dip in its response like this…and I think I kind of miss it.

I’ve been listening to my DT770s and my Clouds a lot this week, so it could just be expectation bias of some sort. But there’s something a little bit shrill about the upper end of the Revolvers. The sound is very detailed and clean, and great for gaming where you’ve got to pinpoint audio cues.

The highs never get outright fatiguing and they render with plenty of speed.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just being too picky. They’re just a little unpleasant on certain songs.

As a result of the detailed mids and highs, and the new ear cup and driver design, the Revolvers have a very nice wide soundstage. Is it better than the soundstage on the DT 770, or even the original Cloud? No! I’d say that it’s “different.” It’s a little more pushed to the front than the sound of those headphones, if that makes sense. It feels like a wall of sound is slightly in front of me, instead of enveloping me.

It’s rather speaker-like in its effect, and some people will really love it.

The Stinger is HyperX’s fun v-shaped headphone. The standard Cloud is their “neutral”, studio-style headphone. The Revolver is their “premium” model, with a sound that sometimes reminded me of much more expensive pairs like the Audio-Technica MSR7 and the Sony MDR-1A. Kind of amazing, since those cost twice as much as this headset.

It’s just not a sound signature that I’m going to want to listen to at all times. And I’m not sure if it’s worth the price premium over HyperX’s other models. There’s just too much energy in the upper mids and highs.

This isn’t a total deal breaker, but it kept leaping out at me. Chalk it up to a subjective taste thing and not a specific problem with the headset. It still sounds great for the price. But I’d pick the CloudX/II or the DT 770 ten times out of ten on sound quality just for my tastes.

Design

The Cloud Revolver looks almost nothing like HyperX’s other products. It has the same stitched headband and similar ear pads…and throws out everything else. It was their first headset designed from the ground up by their internal design team. And it’s way more gaming headset-y.

In spite of that, I think it’s a look that manages to live in a good middle ground between headset and headphone. People will definitely know that you’re wearing a gaming product in public, but they won’t laugh at you over it. It’s about half as doofy-looking as the average gaming headset, but more angular and highlighted than HyperX’s other offerings.

The 4 foot cable doesn’t detach. The microphone slots into a little hole next to the cable entry, and it’s pretty nice. HyperX included a little rubber flap with the original Cloud to cover the mic hole, but there’s no such flap here.

Nothing folds down or collapses here, so you’ll have to store them fully opened and in their default orientation.

Build Quality

Here’s the category where HyperX tries their hardest to justify the increased price of the Revolver over the rest of their lineup. The build on their other products was already stellar, and this headset kicks it up one notch.

The headband support is made of steel. It’s a big piece of solid, easily-flexing steel, and it feels like it’ll never break. The ear cups are made out of a solid plastic. The suspension mechanism seems well thought-out and durable…though I’ve never owned one of these for longer than six months, so maybe my big head just hasn’t had enough time to wear it out yet.

As far as the cable goes, it’s braided, and a tiny bit more springy than the cable on the original Cloud. Which is a shame. But it’s still pretty good.

Comfort

The Revolver is a touch heavier than HyperX’s other headsets, but they’ve wisely compensated for this in the design. The suspension headband is good at evenly distributing weight across the whole width of your head. The S has an even wider headband, so it should be even better at this.

HyperX loves to tout that they use memory foam in things, and here they’ve used more of it than in any of their other products. The headband is nicely padded. The ear cups have the densest, largest amount of padding for any of their headsets, and this also helps with the weight. Because of the increased thickness of the padding, you’ll notice these on your head a little bit more than their other products…but they’re still comfy for hours.

The dense padding helps to prevent your ear from touching anything inside the ear cups, so if that bothers you on other headphones it shouldn’t be a big problem here. The ear cups have a surprising amount of rotation/adjustment to them, and there’s enough room under the steel head support for just about any size of head. My head is big, and I’ve got a little extra room, so you should be good.

If anything, I wish the clamp was just a hair tighter, something you’ll probably never see me write again. I think HyperX played it safe with the amount of clamping force. As a result, the main focus point for the pressure of the pads is just a touch lower on my face than I’m used to from other headphones.

Features/Extras

As mentioned above, you get a detachable mic and an extension thingy and that’s it. the extension is made of the same braided cable as the headset cable is, and the plastic control box feels a little thin. The microphone is pretty good. It’s about the same quality as the mic in the original HyperX Cloud. I like the way it bends and twists around, and holds its shape.

Final Thoughts

It sounds like I don’t really like this anymore…but I promise it’s not true. I remembered this as being a warmer, more gentle headphone, and was surprised at the amount of detail and energy in the upper ranges. They aren’t annoying, they just stick out a little more than seems right. But if you’re way into detail and footstep clarity, you’ll dig it.

However, I can’t say that the sound is objectively better than the $49 Stinger or the $69 Cloud Core/$99 Cloud II. And the comfort of those models is in the same top tier.

So I guess it comes down to this: Do you like suspension headbands? Do you want to get a taste of “premium-style” $300 audio for half that price? Do you love memory foam to the point where you need the most of it no matter what? Then get the Revolver. Otherwise, there are plenty of other headsets at a cheaper price that will serve you just as well… including several from HyperX.

It’s not a bad headset at all, and the rubber bits do improve the dumb metal sound non-problem. But the original Cloud is so good that this doesn’t really represent an outright improvement: it’s just different.

Thanks for reading. Please click that heart to help me excuse my constant headphone-buying behavior!