To test the HyperX Cloud Revolver S, I used it as my daily driver for over a week. This meant using it while gaming, listening to music and watching videos.
I plugged it into my PC using the USB dongle, which allowed me to test the Revolver S and its surround-sound capabilities. Enabling the surround-sound is a simple as pressing the large Dolby button on the dongle itself – it lights-up red once the surround-sound is activated. This is certainly a neat feature, most (if not all) 7.1 headsets require software which makes it more of a faff to enable or disable the surround-sound option.
Before coming to the surround, though, I want to talk about the Revolver S and its stereo capabilities.
In short, the audio sounds great when using the Revolver S in stereo mode. HyperX certainly have a good reputation here and I was not disappointed. The bass is strong and punchy, something which is great for FPS gaming or even listening to music. The latter activity is helped by the fact that the Revolver S produces a very well-balanced sound – there is no particular frequency that dominates the mix, everything sounds smooth and crisp instead.
Watching videos and films is also satisfying because of this, as vocals do not sound muddy at all and there is great clarity to speech.
The USB dongle is nifty as it also features 3 EQ preset modes – bass-boost, flat and vocals. The dongle has 3 small LED indicators on the side which let you know which EQ preset is currently active. If there is no LED showing, no EQ is currently active. It is worth noting that you cannot use these presets while the Dolby 7.1 mode is active, though.
Of these EQ options, I found I used bass-boost the most as it definitely added a bit more intensity to gunfights. I mostly play FPS games, although I have been playing a lot of Ghost Recon: Wildlands recently. Here, the bass-boost sounds great when you are revving-up in a chopper, while gunfire and explosions also sound a bit more threatening when this mode is active.
The other modes I didn’t like as much – the vocal preset sounded a bit tinny to my ears, while the flat was almost too flat for my liking. In my experience, the headset provides a very well-balanced sound anyway, so I did not feel the need to use those last two presets.
So far, so good – I had a great time gaming and listening to music with the Revolver S in stereo mode.
Unfortunately, once I turned the surround-sound on, my experience got a lot worse. Simply put – the Revolver S’ surround-sound is quite poor.
As soon as you press the Dolby button to activate the surround, everything gets a bit louder but then it sounds like the 7.1 has added a massive reverb effect to the audio, and it really affects the overall quality of the sound. You do get used to it after a few minutes, but as soon as you change back to stereo mode, you hear what you were missing out on – everything sounds a lot closer, crisper and more vibrant with the surround turned off.
The virtual surround itself is noticeable – I had a great moment playing Wildlands where I was stood on top of a hill and I could hear birds calling out from every direction, and I was definitely able to place where they were thanks to the surround. However, the reverb still affects the mix to the point where I would rather just play in stereo and forgo the surround entirely.
It is particularly bad when chatting with friends. My brother-in-law and I like to play Star Wars Battlefront together (a game that incidentally offers native support for surround-sound), and we often voice-chat while playing. Trying to do this with the Revolver S while the Dolby 7.1 is active is plain awful – voices just sound like a kid has got hold of a reverb pedal and applied way too much to the mix.
Moving on, I do think the Revolver S is very comfortable. The memory-foam ear cushions are beautifully soft and fit naturally over your ears. The steel headband also prevents any of the ‘creaking’ that can occur with plastic headsets when you move your head. I did notice some vibration noise from the steel frame, but only when I touched it deliberately. In-game, for me at least, I did not hear any noise caused by the steel frame.
Lastly, the mic is also pretty decent. It is clear and crisp – though slightly on the tinny side – but this helps keep it audible over a game’s soundtrack. The noise cancelling worked well-enough though, and I also appreciate the fact that you can bend the boom into any shape you desire.