Most people think of computer memory when they hear the name Kingston, so it’s rather unusual to see the company expand to what is an otherwise over-saturated market: gaming headphones. Fortunately, Kingston’s approach to headset design is on par with some of the best in the industry. The HyperX CloudX Pro Gaming Headset looks, feels and performs like a premium headset.
Kingston has done exactly what most audio enthusiasts always ask for: nix the useless features and focus exclusively on audio performance and build quality. If the superb sound isn’t enough, Kingston has also managed to keep the pricing low at only $109 (at the time of this review), which makes the CloudX Pro an attractive option for gamers on a budget.
The HyperX CloudX Pro Gaming Headset falls somewhere in the mid to high-end category, despite its budget price. It can’t compete with SteelSeries’ Siberia 840 (few headsets do), but it comes relatively close in terms of raw performance. The CloudX Pro is advertised as an officially licensed Xbox One headset, but thanks to its 3.5mm connection, it can be used with anything that supports the input.
"Fortunately, Kingston’s approach to headset design is on par with some of the best in the industry. The HyperX CloudX Pro Gaming Headset looks, feels and performs like a premium headset."
Kingston has gone a step further. The HyperX CloudX Pro comes in sleekly designed packaging that contains a luxurious, hard shell carrying case for traveling. Within the case, there is a spot for keeping the mic safe when not in use, as well as two Xbox-branded, interchangeable ear cups. There is also an additional 2M PC extension cable for those who those who need the extra length.
The HyperX CloudX Pro Gaming Headset doesn’t come with the usual EQ settings, audio modes or any of the countless features seen in typical gaming headsets. Instead, it comes with two things that matters most: amazing audio performance and unparalleled comfort. This is a high-quality sound device that performs just as well for music and movies as it does for video games. In fact, I still can’t decide whether I enjoy its music or in-game performance better.
I’ve been using the headset nonstop for the past two weeks, and I never experienced a hint of discomfort. The memory foam cushions feel sublime. The steel frame gives the HyperX CloudX Pro a sturdy, industrial feel, while the soft headband cushion contrasts the firm frame with comfort where it counts.
"Overall, the HyperX CloudX Pro Gaming Headset is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a high-quality stereo without any bells and whistles. Kingston is becoming a serious contender in the gaming headset market."
I tested music, movies and games on the CloudX Pro, and the sound quality impressed regardless of the media. The CloudX Pro handles extreme frequency shifts beautifully. The new Battlefield 1 Open Beta, for example, is perfect for testing the headset’s ability to sustain balanced sound frequencies while explosions go off around the environment.
If there’s one complaint, it’d have to be the counterintuitive volume dial. It feels cheap, the volume knob doesn’t rotate smoothly, and there’s no indicator for high and low volume. This makes it easy to blow your eardrums if you accidentally turn the knob in the wrong direction before plugging it in. You have to be especially careful if hooking up the headset to an amp. It’s an unusual choice considering the headset’s otherwise premium quality.
Overall, the HyperX CloudX Pro Gaming Headset is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a high-quality stereo without any bells and whistles. Kingston is becoming a serious contender in the gaming headset market, and I’m curious to see how far they’ll continue to push their audio engineering to compete with veterans like SteelSeries, Turtle Beach, and especially Creative Labs.