Having played games for as long as I have I've went through my fair share of gaming headsets. Sometimes the headsets such as the Turtle Beaches I've owned would fail right out of the package, and I'd have to take them back to the store for a replacement. Other times the copper wire would break somewhere inside the plastic wire casing causing the headsets not to work after a short term use. Over time I learned to always buy an extended warranty, because of these types of issues. Due to my dealings with faulty, and poorly designed headsets in the past I've not been too keen on purchasing anymore. Having a new PS4 in the house made me want to get the perfect one regardless of my skepticism though. I've looked online, and even at Gamestop for a decently priced headset, but never really found one worth investing in. It wasn't until a Kingston Technology representative got my attention about an upcoming PS4 compatible headset that I got my hopes back up again. The "HyperX" headset, as it is known was first released in a black design, and was widely accepted amongst the gaming community. From online Images I could tell that a lot of work went into the design, and that it definitely looked of good enough quality for the $89.99 asking price.
After talking to the Kingston rep I was able to secure a pre-release "HyperX Cloud White" headset for review. I was actually very excited to see how it did in case I wanted to make a future purchase from Kingston, and if it was worthy enough to recommend to my followers, readers, and family. Being surrounded by gamers I figured some of the people I know would be interested in hearing what the HyperX headset offered the gamer.
The HyperX Cloud White headset, in general is a gaming headset designed for comfort, long term use, and an overall immersive experience. Every part of the headset from the satin finished ear cups to the leather cushioned ear pads, and the leather covered head band come together to make the headset the quality product that it is. From the box to the actual product you will find that Kingston spares absolutely no expense when it comes to the promoting the quality build of the product. Unlike the cheap boxes of Turtle Beach the slipcase covered box of the "HyperX" gaming headset screams quality itself. The slip cover that covers the main portion of the packaging is satin in appearance with glossy images properly promoting the contents inside. Once you remove the outer box cover, and get into the actual two piece holding box you will find that it's a hard case worth keeping your headset in should you wish to return it to it's original casing.
Inside of the main product box you will find a very welcoming letter printed underneath the lid which accepts you as a new member of the Kingston HyperX gaming community. The letter is printed in gold lettering, and is a proper welcoming for a product that is anything but shallow in getting itself noticed. Aside from the letter you will also find encased in foam the actual HyperX headset along with the multi-purpose adapters, plugs, an audio adjustment box, detachable mic, and carry-all bag with a velcro sealed pouch for storing all of the in-box contents. One thing you need to know is that the 'HyperX Cloud White' gaming headset was designed to be used on a variety of different gaming, and media devices. Among those said devices are the PS4, PC, laptops, notebooks, tablets, and even mobile phones. While there are multiple adapters to hook up to the actual headset you will need to use the ones that go along with the type of gaming device you are hooking up to.
As far as the main part of the HyperX headset goes you will find that it is built extremely well. It has satin finished ear cups that feature a black metallic outer center with a shortened 'Hyper X' insignia on the outer sides. It also has a leather covered, and firmly padded headband with an embroidered "HyperX" logo on top. The embroidering is done up in black, and the leather of the head rest/headband is stitched up with white, and black thread accenting the other white, and black details of the headset. The adjustable parts of the headband that are hooked firmly into the white ear cups are solid metal further improving upon the quality build of the headset. In the way of cushions you'll find that the HyperX Cloud White headset comes complete with a standard pair of soft leather covered memory foam ear pads as well as an an extra pair of ear pads of similar make that have a sort of micro-fiber cloth covering for an entirely different type of comfort.
The main wire that feeds into the bottom of one of the ear cups, and acts as the initial hook-up point for all the other cables, and adapters is braided in a way that will prevent wire breaking. By that I mean the copper inside is covered by a durable nylon thread in a criss-cross style weaving which makes the cord more flexible, and less likely for the wire inside to break should it happen to get bent. From the top of the same ear cup a thinner wire exits the top, and goes into the white satin piece of plastic at the tail end of the leather headband cushion in a way that is non-intrusive to the metal adjustment feature. Of course the wire then travels through the arch of the headband, and exits through the opposite white plastic end that then feeds into the second ear cup. At the bottom of the second ear cup you will find a plugged port for hooking up the detachable, and flexibly adjustable mic.
The mic itself has a sort of metallic, or hard plastic extension that ends with a foam mic cover. It attaches to the headset port via a metal prong that is much like the ones that feed into the other wired adapters. The mic's outward pointing extension/arm can be bent, and adjusted how you see fit. Most gamers will want to curve the mic towards their face, and mouth for optimal voice output. Of course you can also leave it extended straight outward as it came in the package, but your voice might be a little distance if you choose to do so. The mic's thin plastic extension/arm is sturdily built, and is solid black in color. Even the mic cover at the end of it is black.
Hooking the 'Hyper X' headset up to your PS4 Dualshock4 controller is not rocket science by any means, but you will need to get it right if you want to enjoy the type of sound quality that the headset offers. In the 'HyperX Cloud White' package you will find a generic black "Y" adapter, and an audio adjustment box which allows the gamer to set the volume, and bass level as well as turn on/off the mic. The first thing you'll need to do is hook the branching pink, and green striped audio prongs that come off of the headset's main wire into the audio adjustment box's built-on "Y" connector holes of similar marked colors. After you have this part hooked up you will then need to hook the other end of the audio adjustment box's cable that also branches off int a "Y" adapter into the separate smaller "Y" adapter the came with the set. Once that's done you'll need to firmly attach, and press in the single prong coming off of the just attached "Y" adapter into the Dualshock4's headset port/hole. You'll know you have it connected correctly when the silver of the "Y" adapter prong is no longer visible, and when you hear a click within the Dualshock 4 controller. After that all you need to do is boot up your PS4, and set your device, and audio settings as you see fit. The PS4 console will recognize the headset with no issues at all, assuming you have properly connected everything.
For those of you looking to store, or carry your headset with you you will find that the box the headset comes in makes for a proper storage case, and that a nylon mesh bag with a drawstring tie and velcro sealed pouch is also included for such storage purposes as well. The box comes complete with preformed foam for keeping the contents from moving around as well as a separate box compartment the holds the smaller accessories in place. The mesh drawstring bag that is included in the box along with the other contents features an additional outside pouch for carrying all the cables, accessories, and mics. Either way you choose to do it you will find that you have to very good options for storing your HyperX gaming headset.
About the Sound ...
After hooking up the HyperX headset to my PS4 Dualshock4 controller I chose to give it a test run in "Call of Duty: GHOSTS". I figured that would be a game that everyone could relate to, and one that gamers would more than likely want to know about in relation to the HyperX gaming headset. With the volume set high via the PS4, the bass turned on, and the headset's audio adjustment box set to full blast I ventured into some online GHOSTS to test the headsets mic, and sound capabilities. From the lobby standpoint the audio coming in from other players' mics was somewhat horrible, but that static nature of the incoming mics turned out to be a result of the other players' crappy headsets. The more I entered lobbies, and heard different people speak I found that some gamers' voices were coming through the headset clearly, and others not so much. It definitely wasn't the headset's fault for the static.
In the way of actual gaming I found the sound to be totally immersive, for the lack of a better word. It was like being on an actual battlefield. The sounds were multi-layered, and organized in a realistic manner with closer in-game movements, and sound effects sounding close, and distance sound effects, and movements sounding like they were truly at a distance. I could easily hear soldiers' footsteps as they approached as well as environmental sound effects, explosions, and gunfire as if it were happening in the room with me. It's the type of headset experience that one dreams of, but never really gets through the likes of headsets such as Turtle Beach.
When it came down to using the mic I did run into an issue. Since the ear pads are designed to cup your ears, and keep the outside sound from invading I found it hard to hear my own voice as it would be heard without the headset on. The cupping ear pads were built to keep in the game's audio (should you have the PS4 device setting set to "All Audio", and not "Chat"), and drown out any outside sounds that should impede on your gaming experience. Even with the PS4 "Device" settings set to chat you will still find issues with hearing the game's audio through the television as well as your spoken voice due to the cupping of the ear pads. Sure you'll be able to hear your voice better with that setting in place, but it's not the best thing to do if you aim to get the most out of your HyperX gaming headset. I'm not sure if I mentioned it earlier but the mic on the headset can be removed if you just want to listen to the game, and not chat. I personally don't chat often, because I swear a lot. If you are the same I think you'll enjoy using the headset without the added mic as I did. On the flipside I could also see the mic issue being a significant problem if you bought the headset for the purpose of chatting. It's something that you'll have to weigh if you are considering purchasing the HyperX Cloud White headset.
The Verdict ...
For $89.99 you are getting a solid piece of audio equipment that can be used on a variety of different electronics, and for a variety of different reasons. The retail price is definitely friendly in comparison to the best quality Playstation 4 headset that Gamestop was trying to sell me. The $80 range seems to be the going price for many different headsets in the market, and also seems to be acceptable for most gamers. In the way of sound quality the Kingston "HyperX Cloud White" headset definitely outperforms any previous headset that I've used when the PS4's 'Device' setting is set to "All Audio". It is in-your-room surround sound at it's finest. As I mentioned earlier the headset separates sounds according to distance as well as the side on which the sound oriented action is taking place. The only flaw, if there is one lies with the fact that the ear pads which are designed to cup the ear, and keep the sound in do such an outstanding job that it muffles the sound of your own voice, and keeps you from hearing how loudly/softly you are speaking into the mic. This could be a big issue for those looking to chat, but not so much of an issue for those looking to enjoy their games with the best of sound quality.
In the end the quality is there, and the price is most definitely right. It's up to you to decided if this is something you'd be interested in, or not though. I've given you the pros & cons according to my testing experience so that you can take my opinions as you see fit. I hope that my review helps you in your decision either way you choose to go. Remember that this particular version of the HyperX gaming headset will be released on August 13 after the Cologne, Germany Gamescom convention for $89.99 plus shipping costs. You will be able to buy it online from both 'Newegg.com', and 'Amazon.com' on release day. You may also be order to pre-order yourself a set if the sites provide such a service.