The importance of a gaming headset for those that delve into the wonderful world of video games is undeniable. I think a lot of people underestimate the value of great sound design for a game and just how much it actually effects someone’s overall gaming experience. Kingston has recently released a follow up to their generally well-reviewed HyperX Cloud Gaming Headset with the HyperX Cloud II Pro Gaming PC/PS4 headset — which was announced at CES 2015 — that also works on PS4 out of the box, and Xbox One with an adapter (not included). You know that feeling you get when you buy a brand new pair of socks and put them on for the first time and they fit just perfectly? Well, that’s the feeling I got when using the HyperX Cloud II — it just fits perfectly.
The HyperX Cloud II is USB compatible with PC and MAC, sporting an advanced USB Sound Card audio control box with built in digital sound processing, and has full 7.1 Virtual surround sound that truly immerses you in your game. To use with a PS4 or mobile device, the 3.5mm connection is used, and to use with an Xbox One, an adapter is required.
The HyperX Cloud II’s design is very well-done. It’s instantly recognizable how comfortable and soft the headset is when you put it on. The over-the-ear cups and headband both are made from 100% memory foam to provide unprecedented comfort for those long gaming sessions (which is a step up from its predecessor which only had memory foam ear muffs). And, as someone that wears glasses, the headset doesn’t push your glasses into the side of your ear — a notably common problem with big headsets — because of how soft the fit is. The removable microphone is an important inclusion for those that don’t want to chat while playing, albeit now commonplace when it comes to the top gaming headsets available. Also noteworthy is the use of strong, reinforced cables (which feel like strong boot laces wrapped around the original wire). This nuance is important for someone like me who CONSISTENTLY has ruined the wiring in every headset I’ve purchased over the last few years.
As far as the HyperX Cloud II’s look, it sports a fierce and bold design. The headset has a black headband and black ear cups that are both highlighted by blood red stitching, brackets and logos (it also comes in gunmetal and pink). This headset has a very solid build; it isn’t flimsy or cheaply put together. While I’ve only had the HyperX Cloud II for a short time, there is no doubt in my mind that it is going to be a long-lasting headset. It also comes with a carrying/storage pouch with a pocket for carrying the mic and extra adapters.
Of course, the most important aspect of any headset is how it sounds, and how much that betters your gameplay experience. The HyperX Cloud II has an impressive frequency response that is between 15hz-25hz, which provides superb lows and, well, high highs. The emulated 7.1 surround sound works great on PC, but it’s unfortunate that we aren’t able to get the 7.1 surround on our PS4 or Xbox One (although, that isn’t through the fault of Kingston, so I won’t hold it against them). When using the headset while playing Battlefield 4 on PC, I had unprecedented audio fidelity so that I was able to hear other players not only chat more clearly, but enemy players sneaking up on me while I was hiding away in the grass sniping as well. While playing Dying Light on PC, I could clearly hear zombies moaning in the distance that progressively grumbled louder as they came closer. WildStar’s soundtrack — one of the best in the MMO business — sounded absolutely incredible. Teamspeak was clear, and I was able to hear players well (and they noted how clear my voice was on their end, too). But the console experience isn’t as noteworthy and standout-ish as it is on PC, obviously due to the stereo 2.0 restrictions caused by the necessity to use the 3.5mm jack. That’s not to say that it still isn’t a good experience on consoles, but the difference between 7.1 and 2.0 is quite a big one.
Overall, Kingston’s HyperX Cloud II PC and PS4 headset provides the most bang for your buck. At a good price point of $99, it’d be hard to not recommend it. The 7.1 surround sound for $99 is a steal, and the impressive build and design of the HyperX Cloud II headset makes it a must have gaming accessory for PC gamers.
- Solid build
- Bold design
- Incredible 7.1 surround on PC and Mac
- Memory foam comfort
- Reinforced audio wires
- Not 7.1 surround sound on PS4 and Xbox