The Hardware Review: HyperX Cloud II Headset
The Cloud II In Action
My last headset review was my first proper written audio equipment review and in preparing that review, I decided on my control set for audio testing.
First up is Tchaikovsky’s Symphony #6, Allegro Molto Vivace (opening few minutes of the third movement) as recreated by Herbert Von Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic in 1964. This very quick, delicate and precise instrumental section I’ve found over the years has had the ability to show the muddiness and lack of precision of quite a few sets of expensive, high end headphones.
The slightly bass heavy headphones which I tend to prefer are often shown up when listening to this piece because they tend to lack the precision needed to give a decent rendition of the sound, but I’m genuinely surprised and impressed that the sound comes through very well. This isn’t just saying that they sound good for a pair of gaming headphones (which, let’s face it, are often lacking when it comes to serious audio reproduction), I mean that they genuinely sound good. As in proper decent audio quality headphone standard good. No doubt about it, this is a very impressive beginning from the Cloud II’s.
Next on the sample list is Eddie Van Halen’s Eruption. This ode to the electric guitar is also quite a precise piece but requires a very different poise from headphones than the first selection. The minimalist drum intro followed by Eddie letting rip on the Frankenstrat culminates in about one and three quarter minutes of pure rock guitar nirvana.
The Cloud II’s here are again impressive. I feel really obligated to point out. They aren’t just good for a pair of relatively inexpensive gaming headphones. They are genuinely good. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a bit of a preference for slightly heavier base than what audiophiles would consider to be proper reproductive sound and these headphones deliver that in droves, but lose none of the precision that cheap, bass heavy headphones tend to give up.
Crank the volume and the sound remains consistent and impressive.
The 53mm drivers deliver good punch which is needed for the song and the slight leaning to the bass end of the spectrum helps on the drum/bass guitar intro before EVH and the Frankenstrat let rip in solo mode. Once again, I can’t help but be impressed here. The precision
Now an absolute personal favourite. Pink Floyd’s Echoes from their Meddle album is an amazing piece. At just over 23 and a half minutes, it’s also one of the longer songs I regularly listen to, plus it has the added bonus of being one of the few songs where the winamp visualiser really makes sense. It’s a great song for testing audio equipment through several different kinds of music. On top of this, it gives me an excuse to put on the headphones and tune out the wife and kids for a while (shhh, don’t tell!)
The song comes through brilliantly. I don’t even look at the visualiser and just sit back with the headphones on for close to half an hour of audio bliss. The Cloud II’s are rapidly becoming my favourite headset. Even to the point that I’d consider taking the mic out and using them as normal headphones which is something I’d never consider with most of the other gaming headsets I’ve tried.