A decent pair of headphones are an integral part of any gamer who is pursuing E-sports with some degree of seriousness and today we are looking at the Kingston HyperX Cloud Core.
The first thing that comes to mind about any electronic gadgets are the specs:
> Transducer type — dynamic O 53mm
> Operating principle — closed
> Frequency response — 15Hz–25,000Hz
> Nominal impedance — 60 Ω per system
> Nominal SPL — 98~}3dB
> THD — < 2% > Power handling capacity — 150mW
> Sound coupling to the ear — circumaural
> Ambient noise attenuation — approx. 20 dBa
> Headband pressure — 5N
> Weight with microphone and cable — 320g
> Cable length and type — 1m + 2m extension
> Connection — 3.5mm mini stereo & mic plug (4 pole)
> Transducer type — condenser (back electret)
> Operating principle — pressure gradient
> Polar pattern — cardioid
> Power supply — AB powering
> Supply voltage — 2V
> Current consumption — max 0.5 mA
> Nominal impedance — ≤2.2 kΩ
> Open circuit voltage — at f = 1 kHz: 20 mV / Pa
> Frequency response — 100–12,000 Hz
> THD — 2% at f = 1 kHz
> Max. SPL — 105dB SPL (THD≤1.0% at 1 KHz)
> Microphone output — -39~}3dB
> Length mic boom — 150mm (include gooseneck)
> Capsule diameter — O6*5 mm
> Connection — 3.5mm mini stereo plug
Inside The Box
Look & Feel
Gaming accessories are generally associated with good looks and Kingston sure has delivered on that front. From the red stitching on the headband along with the HyperX logo on top to the overall frame, it looks sleek and elegant. Of course, it doesn’t have the LEDs, but that would be stretching it in this kind of budget.which is the craze these days, but in such a kind of budget, RGB lighting would be stretching it.
The ear cups are soft and will be comfortable for the biggest of ears. In my particular case, due to having protruding ears, it became a bit uncomfortable after a CSGO match which lasted about 50-70 minutes on an average. I am pretty sure that’ll not be the case with everyone because it is made keeping in mind a majority of the people.
Apart from that, the headphones are easy to hold and well balanced when in hand or placed on a level surface which keeps them from stumbling around(For the rare cases you need to hold/place them).
Testing On Various Games
We tested a variety of games with these which include- CSGO, Doom, Rocket League, Nier: Automata. Now to be very clear I am not an audiophile, but I do enjoy songs from time to time, hence the selection of Nier: Automata.
CSGO and Doom are FPSs which require an extremely good sense of awareness which is a mixture of the person’s perception of video and audio cues. Taking CSGO into account, maps like Nuke, Mirage, Overpass etc have a lot of verticality and the Cloud Core does an extremely good job of delivering precise sounds of footsteps in a 3 dimensional space.
As far as Nier: Automata goes, in my opinion it has one of the best soundtracks in gaming and for that reason I chose to test the headphones on this game. Inherently, I am one of those who prefer a treble effect over the bass effect. In this department, the HyperX (By default) favors a bass effect and is great for those who want a good gaming cum music headphones and are bass buffs.
The voice quality of the mic is pretty good for a headphone attached mic. I own a Snowball Blue mic and had asked my friends to judge in-game voice quality by using the headphone mic and Snowball in consecutive matches. According to them, the mic on the headphone picks up relatively more noise than the dedicated mic, but the voice clarity remains, so communicating with team-mates isn’t hindered.
In a country like India, this is the biggest factor when it comes to deciding whether to buy a product or not. Priced at INR 5482, it’ll be a hard reach for a considerable amount of aspiring E-sports players who depend on their parents for everything.
The headset looks great, the design is simple yet elegant, the build quality is exceptional and the sound quality is great from a gaming stand-point. As I said earlier, people with protruding ears might find this to be a bit uncomfortable, but otherwise this is an excellent product for the price. I can’t really find a flaw with the headphones apart from the fact that it’s priced a bit higher than what most people are willing to dish out in a country where E-sports is probably the largest sector in gaming (No I don’t consider mobile gaming ever).