REVIEW – HyperX recently announced a new high-end headset that is targeted at “the elite PC or console gamer.” Gamers are the typical audience for HyperX—their motto is “we’re all gamers”—but in an interesting twist, the webpage for the Revolver says that it’s great for working from home and for online education. I’m a teleworking engineer and video gamer, and my wife teaches English online. It seems like the Revolver should be the perfect headset for a family like us.
What is it?
The Cloud Revolver is a premium headset for video gamers. The +7.1 version, which I have been testing, features 7.1 surround sound, memory foam ear cushions, and a noise canceling mic. The Revolver is made by HyperX, the high-performance product division of Kingston Memory. Kingston is the world’s largest manufacturer of memory products, and its headquarters are in California.
What’s in the box?
The Revolver arrived in a very sturdy box, making it feel like its contents would be nice. Inside I found:
- 1 headset
- 1 mic mixer
- 1 quick start guide (with 4 pages of English instructions)
- Sound models: Stereo and 7.1 surround
- Frame: Steel
- Ear cushions: Memory foam
- Mic: Noise-cancelling
- Drivers: Dynamic, 50mm with Neodymium magnets
- Compatibility: PC and PlayStation 4
- Weight: 0.8 pounds
- Dimensions: 8.5 inches H x 8 W (when not on the head)
- Cable length: 9.8 feet
Design and features
The Revolver has a solid-steel frame that starts with one ear, runs up over the head, and ends with the other ear. Attached to the frame on either side are the plastic ear pieces that contain the drivers and are fronted with oval-shaped cushions. Mounted between the sides of the frame is the curved, cushioned head piece. The mic extends forward from the left ear piece, and the thick, braided cable falls down from it. The entire headset is black with the exception of a white logo on the ear pieces and some discrete white stitching on the head cushion. There are no RGB lights or any flashy colors, just a very solid, well-constructed headset.
Installation and setup
Setting up the Revolver was simple. First, I removed everything from the box. Second, I plugged the mic mixer into the non-detachable audio cable that comes out of the bottom of the left ear piece. Third, I plugged the microphone into the nearby audio jack. Finally, I plugged the USB cable from the mixer into my computer. There’s no software or drivers to install. All three computers that I tested this headset with (homebrew Window 10, 16” MacBookPro, Mac mini) detected the Revolver and automatically installed the correct drivers. Everything just worked, which is how I like it.
By day, I’m an engineer who has been teleworking for ten years now; my current computer is a 16 inch MacBookPro (with an amazing leather case). Some days I’m able to get stuff done; I code, set up servers in AWS, write papers, or whatever. Other days, however, I don’t get much done; I attend meetings using Microsoft Teams. By night, I’m a video game enthusiast who spends too much time playing Dota 2 on my PC. It’s a 5-vs-5 team game, where good communication is key to coordinating well and winning games. A good headset and mic are absolutely required. My wife is an ESL teacher who teaches online every morning. Communicating with students is so much easier when she has good sound. Together, my wife and I tested the Revolver for working, playing, and teaching.
Our first impression was about the cable: It’s really, really, really long. Nearly 10 feet long. In the past, I have reviewed gadgets where I wished that the cable was a bit longer, but I think this is the first time that I wished it was shorter. I love that the cable is thick and braided–I think it’s very durable and will last a long time–but because it’s so long, we always felt like it was in the way. We had to resort to using cable ties to keep it under control.
The mixer provides four functions that we used. There’s a mute button on the side that lights up red when activated. There a 7.1 button in the center that lights up white when going from stereo to 7.1 surround sound. There are a pair of buttons for the mic volume and the headset volume. Additionally, there’s a clip on the back that we sometimes used to clip the mixer to our shirt. The mixer worked perfectly, and it was nice to have physical buttons to control every aspect of the listening and talking experience. There’s only one annoyance about the mixer, and it’s pretty small: The icons that designate which volume buttons are for the mic and which are for the headset are a dark grey color, and it’s hard to see them unless the room is brightly lit. I think HyperX should make these icons white or have them light up with an LED when one of the volume buttons is pressed.
The main structure of the headset is a piece of curved steel that runs from one earpiece over the head to the other earpiece. This provides a strong foundation for holding everything else in place. On most headsets, the distance from the headpiece to the ear pieces is adjustable; usually, there are a number of set increments that I can contract or expand to ensure that the headset rests comfortably on my head. The Revolver does not have any way to adjust this distance. The headpiece moves up and down on a pair of very light springs, so when I put the headset on, the headpiece moves up but doesn’t provide very much tension. This means that unlike most headsets, the weight of the headset does not primarily rest on the headpiece that’s on the top of my head. At this point, you’re probably wondering, “Then where does the weight rest?” Most of the weight is held by the tension of the steel frame keeping the ear cushions pressed tightly against my head, primarily just under my ear. If you’re thinking that this sounds uncomfortable, you’d be right. Even though ear cushions are wonderfully soft—they’re made with a type of memory foam—the tension of the frame applies more force into the sides of my head then I want. This was especially noticeable after long meetings or teaching several classes in a row. This is not the only headset that has a non-adjustable design, and from talking to others it sounds like this design is hit or miss. If your head happens to be exactly the right size (or perhaps if you have exactly the right amount of hair), then the headpiece will support the weight of the headset and everything will be perfect. Unfortunately, neither I nor my wife has the ideal head/hair size. I’m sorry to say that I don’t care for this design; I would much prefer that the Revolver have some mechanism for adjusting the size.
If the lack of size adjustments is the worst part of the Revolver, then the sound that comes from these little speakers is the best. HyperX touts the Revolver as helpful for providing clear communication for remote work and online classes, and that is certainly true. Everyone that I asked during my Teams meetings replied that my voice sounded much clearer with the Revolver mic compared to the built-in MacBookPro mic, and I found that my co-workers’ voices were clearer and easier to understand. While teaching, my wife also found the audio to be very clear, though she couldn’t tell much difference between the new Revolver and her old headset; that’s probably because she already uses a HyperX headset every day for teaching, the Cloud Alpha.
Although the Revolver is good for normal communications, where it really shines brightest is when it used with audio sources that support 7.1. The first time that I pressed the 7.1 button while playing Dota 2 I was literally blown away. I had no idea how much audio information was available in this game, all of which I had been missing with my older stereo headset. I could hear streams flowing, birds chirping, and little creeps whacking each other with little swords. The big game ultimates of heroes like Enigma, Zeus, and Silencer suddenly sounded so huge. It was absolutely amazing! I think the best word to describe my experience is immersive. Just like having a 7.1 surround sound stereo immerses you in a movie, so the 7.1 headset immersed me in my favorite game. As good as it sounded in Dota, which is only a 2D game, I think the Revolver would be even better in an FPS like Valorant or Rainbow 6 Siege, since they are 3D. If you play FPS games, you’re absolutely gonna love the way they sound while wearing this headset.
The Revolver also works with the PlayStation 4, but as I’m a PC gamer, I don’t have a way to test this. There’s no word on whether or not it supports the newest consoles, the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X.
What I like
- Mind-blowing sound
- Durable construction
What I’d change
- Reduce the length of the cable
- Make the headpiece adjustable
The HyperX Cloud Revolver +7.1 is a high-end headset that sounds good for anyone and sounds amazing for video games, especially those that offer 7.1 surround sound. It’s easy to set up, has a very long audio cable (probably too long), and comes with a handy, clip-on mixer for controlling the volume. The only thing that keeps the Revolver from being perfect is the lack of any way to adjust the size. Because the weight of the headset doesn’t rest on the top of our heads, my wife and I found it be uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Should you buy this headset? I think you’ll be blown away by its great sound, but I’m not sure if the lack of adjustability will be an issue for you. I guess you’ll have to decide for yourself.