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Best Gaming Headset of 2014
And the Escapist Award goes to ...
Manufactured by Kingston
HyperX Cloud product page
Senior Editor C.J. Miozzi says: The HyperX headset - from Kingston, of all companies - takes this year's prize for providing excellent quality at a sub-$100 price point. Built out of strong, lightweight, and flexible aluminum, there's no risk of the HyperX cracking or snapping like flimsier, plastic headsets you may find at a similar price point. The leather coated memory foam headband and earcups ensure a comfortable fit, and a set of secondary, more breathable earcups without the leather coating serve as a backup option for those who get sweaty during extended gaming sessions on those hot summer days.
Within the truly circumaural earcups are two 53mm drivers that produce high-fidelity sound without distortion even at high volumes, and there's very little sound leakage to disturb those around you. The braided cable ensures longevity and fewer tangles, an in-line controller comes with volume and mic mute controls and also serves as an adapter for mobile devices, and a six-foot extension cable offers plenty of slack for you to move around your desk space.
The mic is detachable and has a very flexible boom that allows you to position it however you want. It's not the best mic around, but hey - this is a gaming headset, not a podcasting headset. It gets the job done.
You may have noticed that I didn't mention surround sound - that's because the HyperX has no such features. "What?" you cry, "You're giving the gaming headset award to a headset that doesn't have surround sound?" Yes I am. Deal with it.
Surround sound may be necessary for highly competitive FPS players, but for general gaming usage, I'll pick high-quality stereo sound over lesser-quality surround sound any day. Many of today's top PC games have little to no need for 7.1 positional audio, and some gamers can't even accurately pinpoint the direction of audio in simulated surround sound.
Simply put, the HyperX offers a level of quality far beyond its price point.
Note: To qualify for this award, the product must have initially released in 2014, or had a new version release in 2014.