Kingston is a well-known computer memory brand manufacturer. Though they aren’t purely into memory chips, they do support computer related products like headphones, gaming sponsorships and the like.
Today we have Kingston’s HyperX Cloud Core headset for review. We weren’t particularly keen at first noting our lustreless experience with the previous Cloud Drone headset. However, the Cloud Core headset is higher up in the ladder and looks a lot more interesting.
Build and Design: 8.5/10
The headset is really sturdy. The all metal frame is made of lightweight aluminium and can take a lot of beating.
The lightweight design and memory foam on the headband as well as the leatherette ear cushions are very comfortable, certainly a lot more than the original Audio Technica M50. Funnily, the M50 weighs a little lesser but feels a lot heavier than this headset. It speaks volumes of the weight distribution and design.
In the box, you get the headset with a shorter 1m cable that can be plugged directly into a laptop or used as a phone headset, a detachable mic, and a long 2m cable extension for desktops with separate mic and headphones capability. It is a thoughtful package that covers the essentials well. All cables are sturdy braided ones that don’t entangle at all and can stand a lot of pulling and tugging.
The performance was tested on a Windows 10 desktop with onboard audio for the mic, for music with FiiO Q1 DAC + Amp and with/without DFX Audio enhancer. For gaming, Steam was used with multiplayer and co-op games.
From the gaming standpoint
The HyperX Cloud Core headset has very good sound. It does have a good wide soundstage to pick out those footsteps easier, though not as good as an open-ended headphone. The gun shots, the booms, and the voices all sounded really good and clean.
From the Music Standpoint
The headset is on the warmer side and sounds wonderful. It is well-balanced without skewing towards bass for cheap thrills.
Objectively, the HyperX Cloud Core has enough bass but not too heavy and neither does it lean far too much towards mids (previous model HyperX Cloud Drone did). The highs aren’t sibilant and mids don’t feel too recessed. Soundstage is wide for a closed cup design.
Subjectively, I was impressed by the sound for the price and that too in a headset. Many headsets love to boost the bass to sound boomy and gimmicky but not the HyperX Cloud Core. I liked the sound and the lightness more than my very own old trusty Audio Technica M50 (which are studio monitoring class). Quite the shocker for me. Also, the M50’s do tend to lean a little more towards bass but not this headset. The M50 does have a narrow soundstage causing the music to come all from one spatial space whereas the Cloud Core has a much better soundstage.
Voice quality: 7.5/10
I loved the fact that the mic is detachable and can be easily manoeuvred towards your mouth, below or away as you deem fit.
The quality is good, the mic catches all sounds including background noise, though sound cards nowadays use noise suppression to minimise the effect. Overall, listening to other players over the headset and more importantly, other players had no issue with the quality of the voice output. Though none of the players mentioned as to whether there was a change in quality, just a little louder due to the better positioning of the headset. Don’t expect the mic in this cost to be of excellent quality, it is typically average but gets the job done well.
I’m a bit concerned with the detachable 3.5mm connector for mic as well as extendable cable, as experience has shown over time, these tend to get loose and cause static pop issues. However, there is no way to verify this during testing but something to be aware of nonetheless.
Verdict and Price in India
This headset is a solid recommend. For a street price of Rs 3,600, you cannot get a better one at all. The entire Kingston’s HyperX Cloud line other than the 40mm Drone headset has the same awesome sound quality though with varying prices due to differences such as 7.1 sound card in the Cloud II headset.
Apparently, the sound performance should be of no surprise, the HyperX Cloud line is based on the famous QPAD gaming headsets. The styling, the looks, and the sound are all the same! The interesting bit is that QPAD headsets aren’t available in India at all, however, with Kingston merrily rebranding these we have no reason to complain and that too with a solid two-year warranty. This indeed is a good deal.
Find our entire collection of stories, in-depth analysis, live updates, videos & more on Chandrayaan 2 Moon Mission on our dedicated #Chandrayaan2TheMoon domain.