Here are reviews of five flagship gaming headsets on the market.

Kingston HyperX Cloud II

PHOTO: KINGSTON

The Kingston HyperX Cloud II is one of the most well-rounded gaming headsets on the market.

It is a very comfortable and understated headset, backed by solid construction and performance. It is also pitched at a price that will not break the bank.

Kingston's excellence in this arena may be surprising, given that the American firm is better known for its storage solutions. But it wisely decided to draw on the expertise of co-developer and gaming peripheral firm Qpad instead of developing its own product from scratch.

Comfort-wise, the Cloud II lives up to its name. The length of the headband is padded with memory foam, and the pivoting ear cups make it easy to fit most head shapes.

Among headsets in this line-up, I found it the most comfortable to wear over a span of several hours.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $149

    OPERATING PRINCIPLE: Closed

    DRIVER: 53mm with neodynium magnets

    FREQUENCY RESPONSE:15Hz to 25,000Hz

    WEIGHT: Headset alone, 320g; with microphone and cable, 350g

  • RATING

  • FEATURES: 3/5

    DESIGN: 5/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE: 5/5

    OVERALL: 5/5

The headset also comes with a set of fabric ear cups that users can switch to if the default leatherette ones prove too warm.

Kingston has included extras such as a netted carrying case and an airplane adapter - perks that are not necessary, but a nice touch.

Unlike many other gaming headsets, the Cloud II has eschewed the usual garish route for a construction that feels sturdy and refined. There are no lights or bright colours here, just brushed aluminium accents and aluminium coverings on ear cups.

It is also simple to use. The default 3.5mm input can be plugged into a USB input extension, which adds on an in-line controller that doubles as a 7.1 virtual surround sound processor.

The controller comes with a button for toggling the virtual surround sound on and off, which is very useful as running audio through 7.1 processing tends to muddy the small details in a soundscape.

Overall, I found the headphone well balanced at both extremes, performing just as well with bassy explosions as it did with high- pitched vocals.

Lisabel Ting

  • Verdict: The Cloud II is one ofthe best gaming headsets on the market, with unparalleled comfort and solid performance.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 20, 2016, with the headline 'Kingston HyperX Cloud II'. Print Edition | Subscribe