Let's dig deeper
So, the headset is basically identical to the Cloud II in specifications, structure and weight, but does it feel the same? In regards to the feel in your hands, once again, this headset feels extremely well-built, sturdy and like it will survive many years of wear and tear.
Although slightly heavy, the product feels fine on my head over extended gaming sessions and doesn't cause discomfort. Comparing it to other headsets I have laying around here like the CM Storm Ceres 500, Tt eSPORTS Shock 3D 7.1 and Dracco Captain, it certainly feels nicer to wear, although fairly comparable to the Shock 3D overall in comfort levels.
The leather ear cups are something that I wanted to touch on again, as they're more stiff than the Cloud II and it's noticeable instantly. The second I put on the headset I knew something wasn't right, which means that they've improved Cloud II before release with much softer ear cups.
As for a slight niggling issue, the annoying little rubber plug made its debut on the Cloud I. It's there to plug up the microphone hole and it's something that is a minor concern. It looks cool when the microphone is detached by letting you cover the space left by the missing piece, however, it's tiny, doesn't attach to or store on the headset, and is easy to lose. To top it off, if you don't consciously push it in with force, it's likely to fall out and be lost forever.
The only real improvement I can see to be made to this headset would be to make the ear-cups softer and Kingston did that with the Cloud II. The Cloud I's microphone also looks a little weird with the elongated cover, also seeing an update in the later model.
Listening Experience - A Dota 2 analysis
Back to the same game that I tested the Cloud II with, it's time to see if the 7.1 surround-sound card really made a difference. The short answer is yes, the long answer is below.
Once again the music sounded decent in the background and my Batrider blink-lasso initiations (image above courtesy of Fame Biography) sounded fairly crisp and clear, but overall, it just sounded 'wrong' compared to what the Cloud II has to offer.
The sound is more flat, doesn't have the same punch and clear mid-high's as you see through the Cloud II's 7.1 card inclusion, and there's the problem with bass slightly taking over what you're listening to as seen with most 'gaming grade' headsets. In no way is the Cloud I bad to use, but the Cloud II is a clear victor in this field.
Let's keep gaming
Once again moving on to World of Warcraft and cranking the music up a notch saw a similar experience encountered. Big-bass songs sounded great, alongside whacks of my warriors axe, however, priest healing and other lighter sounds were lacklustre compared to the recently released Cloud II.
The microphone is most certainly of lower quality than the Cloud II as shown through the specifications list and replicated through use. My friends in Mumble and Skype were able to notice a significant difference in audio quality of the Cloud II compared to this model - furthering the Cloud II as a great improvement for only roughly $30 more.
Once again, I'd like to say that the Cloud I is in no way a bad headset, for $80 it's better than any other headset I've tried at this price point, but when in comparison with the Cloud II, you can see the significant and important improvements that have been made to the product design. Another reason you may want to invest in the original cloud is due to it being 3.5mm only. Many users don't like using USB in day-to-day activities as sometimes you can experience niggling compatibility issues with various games and programs.
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Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, Pricing & Availability]
- Page 2 [A Closer Look & How They Feel and Listening Experience]
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