As a fan of co-op and online gaming, who can play for hours at a time, comfort and sound clarity is always a must. With the variety of headsets now available on the market, and with some soon to be available such as the HyperX Cloud White Gaming Headset, making a choice between all of them can be a chore in itself.
We have been trying out the pre-release edition of Kingston Technology’s upcoming headset and have found it is worth the wait until August 13th.
As a long time gamer, I’ve experienced many different headsets ranging from the low end of the scale, up to the Astro A40 with the Mix-amp Pro. When I first saw the press release and high-res images for this set a couple weeks ago, I was surprised to see the $89.99 price tag on an obviously well designed and sharp looking product. It’s one thing to see images of a product and form somewhat of an opinion, but it’s much better to take that product and try it out firsthand. Kingston Technology was nice enough to ship us a pre-release unit for review purposes, and for that we thank them.
One can usually get a pretty good idea of how proud a company is of its product by looking at the packaging for that product. If it’s just some cheap tear-away plastic, with thin cardboard backing, you should know right away that they just wanted it out on the market. On the other hand, if the package itself looks good enough, and is sturdy enough to use as its own carrying case, you know the manufacturer put forth some effort. The HyperX packaging is definitely on the high quality side and once opened, the quality can be seen in the care given overall. The package looks good enough to be used as its own display case on a showroom floor somewhere.
Once you take everything out of their protective sleeves, what you’ll find is a quality that goes beyond what you would expect from the $89.99 price tag. The headset is well built, with a sleek and lightweight design that fits snugly and is adjustable for a variety of head sizes. The ear cups are more elongated than other gaming headsets and fit nicely for those with larger than average ears. You’ll have your choice of leather or cloth pads, and we found the leather to cut out more noise but they also hold in more heat. The cloth pads breathe better overall and the noise canceling loss over the leather is minimal. After four or five hours of gaming, having your ears less toasty is usually a plus, unless of course you game in a cold environment, then go leather.
The headset is compatible with the PS4, PS Vita and the PC right out of the box and works great when plugged directly into the PS4 controller, directly into the PS Vita, as well as the mic and headphone jacks on the PC. The sound quality on both is outstanding thanks to the 53mm drivers inside the headset. The PS4 gives you the option of having chat only go through the headset but for late night gaming, you’ll want it all in your ears and not out in your house. An inline volume control box gives you a handy way to adjust the volume with a wheel while also giving you two mute options. You can hold down a quick mute button for that quick moment needed away from the mic, or slide the mute button to silence your mic completely without having to hold anything down.
While compatibility with the PS3 isn’t listed, if you have Astro’s Mixamp Pro you can plug these in and use that to adjust volume and balance your chat and game audio to your liking. It also also works great for the PS4. For Xbox One fans, you’ll need the Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter in order to use them. Regardless of your platform of choice, these headsets put out high quality surround sound at a decent price.
The headset isn’t just for gaming as it is also compatible with your Android phones and tablets, as well as the iPad, iPhone, and can be used with any portable MP3 player. The mic is removable and has a nice little cap to cover the mic jack on the headset. With the mic in place you can use it has a hands free device for your phone but I wouldn’t recommend using it while driving your car as most states have laws against wearing full headphones while driving. Plug these into your home stereo, or your own sound mixer for you DJ’s out there, and the sound quality goes up another notch, based on the quality of your system.
One of the big drawbacks of using a wired headset is that the wires have a tendency to break internally, then fray and come apart altogether. With the braided set of wires attached to this headset that shouldn’t be a problem. Braided wires are also used for the extension and for the secondary wiring, so props to the designers for knowing a headsets greatest weakness.
There are a variety of headsets on the market these days, with very few being able to cross over between gaming and general use, while actually looking good and bringing comfort to the table. Kingston Technology’s HyperX Cloud White Gaming Headset does it all, while not compromising on sound quality or on overall product quality.
Say hello to my new favorite headset.