We review Kingston’s HyperX Cloud II!
We were pleasantly surprised when we originally reviewed Kingston’s HyperX Cloud a few months ago. While it was Kingtson’s first foray into the gaming headset market, they managed to score a coup with their first offering, delivering a very good mix of performance, comfort and more importantly, price. The company is back at it again with the HyperX Cloud II, which builds on the previous model by adding a few new features without drastically changing its appearance.
Very little has changed from the previous device
From what we’re seeing with the Cloud II, Kingston has chosen to iterate with the headphones instead of creating a whole new design. You’d be hard pressed to see the differences between the Cloud II and the original Cloud, even when you put them side by side.
Not that that’s a big problem though – the original Cloud had a lot of great things going for it design-wise, which includes a leather headband with prominent red stitching with a sturdy metal frame underneath, along with soft, comfortable foam that can be changed out. While the cans obviously still have gamer sensibilities in their design, they’re not overly tacky.
The most apparent change from the previous iteration is the Cloud II’s physical size. Its earcups and headband are slightly bigger and wider, though it’s not really obvious if you don’t have the two headphones together.
The left earcup holds the attachment point for the microphone, which can be detached if you’re just looking to use the Cloud II as a regular (albeit over-sized) pair of over-ear headphones. The headband is adjustable and fit comfortably over our over-sized melon pretty easily. We’re the sort to go on very long gaming binges (especially since we just installed GTA V on our rig) and the comfort of the Cloud II allowed us to play long sessions without worrying about it.
Sound quality that’s not just for gaming
The Cloud II sports large, 53mm drivers that’s able to deliver fantastic aural performance no matter what you listen to. While its overall aural range is crafted for gaming which results in more focused lows and highs, it’s still capable of delivering rather excellent audio quality and clarity. Morgan Jame’s phenomal voice in her rendition of Maroon 5’s Maps is able to punch through the bass, drums and saxophones of Scott Brad Lee’s accompanying band in her cover without losing clarity or detail.
But ultimately, the Cloud II is made for gaming, and this is where it shines. One of the main differences of the Cloud II is that it ships with a USB accessory that’s able to produce virtual 7.1 channel surround sound to the headphones, as well as functioning as the control center of the Cloud II. It’s a bit like ASUS’ Strix DSP, though Kingston’s offering is smaller, easier to handle and store.
Obviously the virtual 7.1 channel surround sound capabilities of the Cloud II won’t match an actual 7.1 channel setup, but it does get pretty close. You get more of an expanded range than an actual audio positioning (with the overall result feeling a bit louder and bigger than with it off), but that’s perfectly acceptable considering the price range of the cans. You can turn off the 7.1 channel setup by pressing the 7.1 button on the in-line controls.
As far as the microphone is concerned, it’s capable of picking up crisp, clear audio and our teammates on the games we play on (GTA V Heists, mostly) have not complained about any audio quality issues while we were using it.
Verdict: 7.1 surround sound may not be enough to upgrade from previous model
Kingston’s HyperX Cloud II is pretty much the same headphones as the previous model with an accompanying 7.1 surround sound capabilities. If you already have the first one, there’s really no need to upgrade to the Cloud II. But if you’re shopping for new gaming cans, you might want to give the Cloud II a try. It’s around 1K more expensive than the original Cloud though, for very little gain.
The Kingston HyperX Cloud II is priced at Php 4,250.