HyperX NAILED It! Cloud Orbit & QuadCast Streaming Mic
Hello good people, CES 2019 is continuing and we stopped at the HyperX suite to see some impressive gaming headsets in their new Cloud Orbit series. They’re are supposed to bring gaming audio to the next level.
Pricing & Audio Quality
Now while HyperX has been mainly focused on delivering affordable headsets that provide awesome value along with good performance, the Current Orbit series is very different. These are premium products that incorporate advanced audio features to deliver a more immersive gaming experience. At least that’s what HyperX claims. We’re all used to HyperX headsets going for between $75 to about $150, but the basic Cloud Orbit will be going for around $300 while the more advanced Orbit S carries a $30 premium and costs $330.
You heard that right! These are two of the most expensive gaming headsets on the market right now, but why does HyperX even think that they can charge this much when even premium gaming headsets from Sennheiser go for much less. Let’s look at the Orbit to put things into perspective. It’s based on the high-end Audeze Mobius, which is widely regarded as one of the best sounding headsets around. It uses 100mm planar magnetic drivers and closed backs to deliver an incredibly realistic soundstage, with a frequency response of 10Hz to 50,000Hz. In our short time listening to them I can honestly say that are the among the best – especially when it comes to three-dimensional audio – but I’m still not sure about the price point. The microphone being used here is pretty impressive too. It is an electric condenser mic with noise canceling capabilities, and it can be completely detached in case you only want to use the headset for listening to music. This works because luckily the design doesn’t scream Gamer either.
Design & Ergonomics
Since the Orbit series is wired, HyperX has made sure that they have all have detachable cables too. There is a 1.2 meter long 3.5mm cord, and since they use a standard USB Type-C connection, both USB-C to USB-A and USB-C to USB-C cables are included, which is nice. But what makes the Orbit S $30 more expensive? Well it incorporates something called Waves NX technology that’s supposed to track your head movements to deliver better positional audio. That sounds better than reality though, but you know from our experience it was certainly interesting. For example, I’m not gotta try out the center channel mode or center 3D mode that basically emulates a center channel speaker in front of you. And then as you move your head towards the left and right, that speaker position at the center would stay exactly where it is so you get a nice dynamic shift when moving your head around, which is actually quite an interesting experience. It doesn’t replicate virtual 7.1 surround sound, but it takes positional awareness to a whole new level. I certainly have to spend some more time with this headset, so definitely stay tuned for my full review.
It’s more than obvious that Audeze’s partnership with HyperX will get their technology into more people’s hands, but the Orbit S price point is just way too high. We’ll have to see what happens but I might end up comparing it to the actual Moebius so definitely stay tuned for that. Another thing that HyperX showed was their new QuadCast standalone mic for streamers on PC, Xbox, PS4 and Mac. It seems like everyone is releasing their microphones lately and it will be tough for this one to distinguish itself. Although I like a few features I’ll get to in a moment.
The QuadCast does have an anti-vibration shock mount and it also comes with an adapter. If you were to buy a third-party arm that extends towards you – one that’s a little bit more flexible – you can use this adapter and to it mount easily, which is pretty awesome. It also comes with gain control and a tap-to-mute function, which is pretty awesome. It actually lights up in red as soon as you hit the untap button which gives you an easily viewable indicator that you’re actually recording which is pretty nice. And of course there are four selectable polar patterns.
Dmitri likes it too!
I’m going to throw it over to Dmitri to hear his thoughts on the microphone quality so you guys can get a good idea of how this thing sounds. Here are his thoughts: “The HyperX QuadCast sounds great in bi-directional pattern recording, which records everything from the front and the back, isolating things on the sides. From a distance you can still hear me perfectly in very low sensitivity mode, or I can boost that up a little bit using the very helpful gain knob on the microphone for when I want to be closer to the mic and speak a bit if bit quieter, to do the whole ASMR thing. For streamers, you can turn down the sensitivity and move back a bit to have a little bit distance between the microphone and your mouth, and it will still pick up your voice very well. Now there is noise cancellation applied directly to the microphone, but the noise cancellation is not too aggressive, but it’s definitely audible. Another cool feature of this particular mic is that it’s totally driverless and plug-and-play for the best possible compatibility. Overall, I think this mic sounds great. It has great condenser quality, and at around $140 the HyperX Quantcast seems to be a fantastic standalone microphone from HyperX.”