Aural Pleasure.

I think that I have slightly under sold my gaming experience with regards to my audio. I have normally had a separate audio card, from the SoundBlaster 16 AWE to Soundblater Fatal1y. When I had the Fatal1ty I paired it with a pair of ‘shielded’ speakers either side of my monitor. But times have changed motherboards now have inbuilt soundcards…

Originally I was using my TV as a monitor and driving my sound through there as well via HDMI which worked. As I play my XBox though my TV it seemed like a pretty easy and cheap way to get everything to work together. Then a friend got me a headset mic, it was amazing… Now I’m going to struggle… Imagine looking at a the painting La Grenouillére by Claude Monet while drunk through the bottom of a beer glass, you might be able to make out an island, people stood on the island and a few boats. But listening via a headset has been able to spot the children playing in the water and see individual brush strokes of a master. The sounds I was able to discern while playing Elite Dangerous(ED) where amazing. The sound work in ED is phenomenal I feel as much work was poured into the sound as the visuals. Listening to ED with headphones allows you to pick up nuance that I was missing out with via TV.

The headset I was using was a headset mic affair with a USB lead which is how I used it but also came with phono’s and 2.5mm jack. Last week I upgraded my headset, I got a nice deal on a Kingston HyperX Cloud II. This headset comes with an external USB sound card which you then plug-in the 3.5 mm jack. So that is a bonus it coming with a standard jack not the 2.5 mm my old headphones came with.  My old headphones cost around £25 the Cloud II are more in the range of £70 so there is a big jump in price and also in quality. My old headphones had a slight background hiss on both the audio and mic, which the cloud II’s don’t have. So obviously this gives a cleaner sound allowing you to pick up more positional sound. The background hiss on the mic was to prominent to even be removed completely by Audacity, which always annoyed me in my video’s.

The Cloud II’s also simulate 7.1 surrond sound via software, which is amazing. I’ve been spending a lot of time playing E:D doing Ram Tah’s alien ruins missions, so the SRV’s scanner spends most of the time ‘pinging’ and as I play in open as much as possible Listening to other player ships fly past or hovering over the site. It has blown me away, I even at one site plugged my old headset in to do a direct comparison because I couldn’t belive my old headset was not delivering  the nuance I was able to pick up with my new clouds. The background hiss on my old headset smothered the positional data sounds…

The cloud II’s are even more comfortable than my old headset and are probably a little more stylish as well. I can’t lie I have a big head I know this cause I have to buy a helmet which if they are sized say XL, I’m looking at you Sweet Protection. The clamping effect on the head is not to strong and the pads are large enough to accommodate my ears with a little room to spare. The cushioning on the ear pads and the top band is very comfatable allowing for easy long-term use, which I mean for a gaming session lasting over 4 hours.

I have tested the Mic but at present have not used a great deal, a little multi-crewing in E:D. I tested the mic using Audacity and got a very clear signal with no background noise. No scrubbing was needed via software. At some later point I might do some more video’s and will look into the mic in more detail.

So after a week of use I have fallen in love with my Cloud II’s. Worth every last penny E:D has the best sound of the games I play at the moment but I have been testing it with Skyrim, World of Warships, Star Trek Online, KSP and will be testing it with Doom very soon! Seventy pound is a lot of money to spend and is actually more expansive than my monitor. ahem! My monitor is on the list to upgrade eventually. But for me the money I spent for the headset is worth it. Even if I had paid for my original headset (£25) upgrading to the Cloud II’s is still worth the investment. It does matter a little a bit but the HyperX’s do look pretty snazzy as well. Not that you see them when they are on your head, but i do see them when they are laid on top of my two mini towers stacked on top of each other…

I probably should mention that this is NOT a paid article as with all my content I’ve paid for the headset myself with my own money.

See you on the other side…

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About tothebreach

Gaming both on the PC and the Xbox One general game chat and including guides and coaching.
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