To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Kingston’s HyperX professional gaming line of hardware the company partnered with the headphone specialists at SteelSeries to manufacture a limited edition gaming headset. The fruits of that partnership yielded the aptly named Kingston HyperX Gaming Headset, which is geared towards e-sports professionals, and backed by three of competitive gaming’s most illustrious crews in Incredible Miracle, SK Gaming, and Navi Gaming. Each group had a hand in providing feedback for the headset’s design, and their input helped to shape Kingston’s limited edition gaming headset into a formidable addition to any gamer’s arsenal of accessories.
The Kingston HyperX Gaming Headset is modeled after SteelSeries’ Siberia V2 design, and pack 50mm drivers to produce dynamic sounding landscapes, complete with 3D positional sounds to give gamers an edge in competitive FPS type of matches. The headset comes with a retractable uni-directional microphone that can easily be stored within the left ear pad. Both the mic and sound level can be controlled from an easy to use switch located on the headset’s 1m cord for those times when you need to mute your voice, or to crank up or down the on-screen action in one fell swoop.
The 1m cord is enhanced by a 2m extension cable that comes packed with the headset giving it 3m of cable length in total. The jack is of the 3.5mm variety, so it can be plugged into other devices such as MP3 players, smartphones, and tablets, effectively extending the uses for Kingston’s gaming headset.
The headphones themselves operate in the 18 – 28,000 Hz range, and are the closed type. Each one is padded for comfort and held together by an auto-adjusting headband, so there’s no need to ever mess with sizing the headphones to suit your head shape. The headphones are contained in a plastic chassis that doesn’t feel cheap with a metal exterior for the speakers, and they’re styled with the blue and black colors of the HyperX line.
The hardware specs and physical feel of the HyperX Gaming Headset are top notch. Sounds from any source come through the headphones with crystal clear clarity, and offer a wide range of tones and surround sound to immerse you in a video game, or while relaxing and listening to your favorite music. The headset enhanced the audible experience on every medium we tested it on, which includes a Mac playing Diablo III, a 3DS playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and on an iPad listening to music and playing a FPS game.
Kingston’s gaming headset definitely shined brightest while using it for gaming. It works well for music, but doesn’t quite match up to a pair of Beats in terms of bass and crispness, but for less than half the price they still offer a much better alternative to a pair of packed-in ear buds. While playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf the game’s already impressive use of surround sound became even more evident with Kingston’s headset on. Chirping crickets could be heard and tracked solely based on the position of their sounds, which were richly detailed by the right and left headphones giving the game a sense of 3D space.
Pro gamers usually live and die in the FPS arena, and while we couldn’t test Kingston’s headset with a copy of Battlefield 4, or Call of Duty: Ghosts, we did use them with Call of Duty: Strike Team for iOS, and they did offer the rich layers of surround sound that competitive gamers need to get the edge on their competition.
The inclusion of a retractable mic on the HyperX Gaming Headset allows it to be used for more than just gaming. If you’re an avid Skype user, or do videocasts with groups of people on G+, then this headset will serve your IP telephony needs well. The mic produces clear sounding voices without much white noise interfering with the actual dialogue, and the earphones deliver clear broadcasts from the person you’re talking to.
The fact that the headphone jack is of the 3.5mm variety means Kingston’s limited edition headset can also be used with various MP3 players, tablets, and mobile gaming devices. This increases the uses for the headset making them more of a multi-purpose purchase than just for gaming. We tested it’s multi-function capabilities with an iPad playing music, and on a 3DS playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and both mediums were greatly enhanced thanks to the audio boost from the HyperX headset.
The only downside to the headset’s function list is the fact that it doesn’t come with an adapter to use with consoles. It would have been fantastic if these headphones could be plugged into an Xbox 360 controller to use for chats. They’re much more comfortable to wear than the standard Xbox 360 headsets, and based on the richness it added to Skype calls there’s no doubt that they could do the same for Xbox 360 party chats. There may be an adapter out there to buy, but it would’ve been a solid move on Kingston’s part to include a kit in the box.
One downside to wearing an oversized pair of headphones is the fact that they can begin to feel heavy on your head, or they’ll mash your ears against your dome causing some pain. This is not the case whatsoever with Kingston’s new headset. The self-adjusting headband ensures that you’re always wearing the headset correctly for the shape of your skull, and it manages to alleviate any pressure on top of your head. Your ears also won’t feel smushed thanks to the generous amount of soft padding that lines each headphone. The attention to detail that went into the design for Kingston’s blue beauties is easily realized once you strap them on, and there’s no doubt you’ll be able to wear them for extended gaming sessions without the fear of giving yourself a headache.
The Kingston HyperX Gaming Headset will definitely make a worthy addition to any gamer’s accessory collection. It’s ability to recreate 3D surround sound and various levels of rich sounding tones amps up the onscreen action in your ears. The lightweight design allows this headset to be worn for extended periods of time without fatigue, and the fact that they can be used with any device that sports a 3.5mm headphone jack gives them legs. It would have been nice if they worked with consoles right out of the box, but outside of that negative there really isn’t much downside to owning a pair of these chrome blue and black headphones. For $89.99 there’s no reason to not secure a pair for your gaming needs.
Link to specifications
[schema type=”review” name=”Kingston HyperX Gaming Headset | Review Summary” description=”The Awesome: Sound great, Comfortable to wear, Hidden mic, Cool look | The Not so Awesome: No console support” rev_name=”Kingston HyperX Gaming Headset” rev_body=”Kingston’s limited edition headset created by SteelSeries will make a fine addition to any competitive gamers accessory lineup. The headphones offer rich sounding tones and 3D surround sound for those FPS matches where you need to hear every footstep. They sport a hidden mic that produces clear voices, and offer a 3.5mm jack for uses outside of gaming. The lightweight design makes it seems as if you’re not even wearing them during marathon music listening, or gameplay sessions. If you’re looking for a moderately priced high-end pair of headphones Kingston’s headset should definitely be added to your comparison list.” author=”Matt Heywood” pubdate=”2013-10-23″ user_review=”9″ min_review=”0″ max_review=”10″ ]
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