Kingston has been around the block for many years now and wooing in PC enthusiasts & gamers alike with their impressive and sturdy line of memory and storage devices. But lately in an attempt to explore new territories they are expanding their presence in the world of gaming headsets and boy they are making ripples for sure!
So today I have with me a very interesting member of the same lineup, today I have with me the Kingston HyperX Cloud Core Gaming Headset for review. It carries their gaming exclusive HyperX branding and belongs to the very successful Cloud series about which the top dog HyperX Cloud Pro speaks volumes!
The Kingston HyperX Cloud Core utilizes 53mm neodymium drivers to deliver a thump pumping audio quality at a maximum 25Khz all working perfectly with almost any device you can name of including PC, cell phones, tablets and even gaming consoles of the latest generation.
With an impedance of 60 Ohms and a maximum output power of 150mW we're looking at around a 50mW output higher and almost-double the Ohms on offer than competing headsets, once again accentuating the HyperX quality I have experienced in the past.
On the downside it lacks features like USB connectivity and 7.1 virtual sound experience that its big brother the Cloud Core II has to offer at an obviously higher price point.
Packing and Closer Look
The HyperX Cloud is brought to us in a blood red cardboard box. The product image and vital information are neatly listed on the left side in four languages topped up with a big Cloud Core branding.
Same story can be seen at the back where a detailed & marked image of the headsets is printed for customers to get a full fledged information about what they'll be potentially buying.
All in all its a good packing that will appeal to gamers and audiophiles alike.
Open the box and you'll find yourself the Kingston HyperX Cloud Core Headsets along with a detachable mic and an extension cum splitter cable to enable you to use the mic and headphones together. The wires are braided and thick, feeling strong and durable.
I feel bad since there are some vitals missing like a HyperX decal for displaying on the chassis or a carry pouch which is necessary for LAN gamers and Kingston being a huge promoter of the same should've incorporated this basic accessory into the bundle.
Looking at the headsets themselves the cups are high quality plastic with a brushed aluminum plate carrying the HyperX logo. On the inside they are covered with memory foam inside a durable imitation leather casing, that doesn't feel cheap and is comfortable on the ears even during long gaming sessions though sweat is still a problem in warm & humid climate but no issue of itching was observed during tests.
Call it nit-picking but I found the protruding wires near the cups a bit odd since that can act as a nemesis to its robust build quality.
The over the head band is made out of light and flexible aluminum covered in leatherette padding which is immaculately stitched with red thread to gel with the theme. A HyperX logo is nicely crafted on top to complete the look. The aluminum not only imparts longevity and quality to the product but weighs in at just 320g overall which is nominal.
The detachable mic is flexible & brandishes a frequency response of 100 Hz - 12 KHz, a sensitivity @ 1kHz of -39dB +/- 3dB and is set to pick up sound in a cardioid pattern with an impedance of < 2.2 KOhms. Since its a three ring mic it can work flawlessly with your handheld devices through the extension cable duly provided. I found the mic's performance upto the mark & it is neither too sensitive nor too less to surrounding noises which I've experienced with a couple of gaming headsets that I've recently reviewed.
Testing to the Core!
We opted to test the Kingston HyperX Cloud Core first with music and movies rather than gaming. First up I used my PC and plugged in the jack powered by Intel RLC 1150 chip. Watching a variety of movies like the dialogue intensive Schindler's List & 12 Years a Slave to high pitch titles like Avatar and The Avengers, all came out in exceptional quality.
Music was played via my Apple iPhone 6S with default player and settings. Bryan Adam's Heaven and some of my all time favorite Bollywood songs sounded great with exceptional mids and lows accompanied by a good treble. Eminem Legacy and Rap God were as clear as they can be but lacked the punchy bass and even at full volume songs from 3 Doors Down, Motorhead or Metallica didn't crack displaying the true power of the 53mm drivers that it uses. Much more expensive headphones suffer from this issue but not the HyperX Cloud.
Time to Game! We tested the Cloud Core on a plethora of titles like Mad Max, Battlefield 4, Far Cry 4, Batman Arkham Knigh, Need For Speed: Rivals and Crysis 3 to name a few and the result was sheer awesomeness. The sound is clear and mid to low bass makes the footsteps perfectly audible especially in FPS. Even after over 90 minutes of gaming I didn't feel uncomfortable on the ear nor did the headset felt heavy on the head in-spite of its perfect fitting
One thing that I constantly missed was the provision of an in-line volume controller for the headphones since adjusting the volume for each game via game settings is a bit cumbersome.
A carry pouch and decal is missing from the bundle which is a little disappointing since its a cost-free accessory but adds tons of face value to the product. LED rings or USB connectivity is something that I don't really miss but some might depending on personal taste but hey you can't have everything for such a small amount can you!
The Kingston HyperX Cloud Core is something that I recommend to anyone today who is looking for a headset that looks, feels and performs like a high end gear but doesn't cost like one!
I give it a 8/10