This year seems to be the year of the headphone. Not that I can complain, along with being a gamer, I am a music lover so it's nice to be able to compare various headphones to find the best and most affordable. Being able to test them for a beforehand is just a bonus. This week I have two sets that feed into both of my loves. First will be the Kinivo BTH260 Premium Bluetooth Sport Headphones and second will be the HyperX Cloud Stinger gaming headset.

Kinivo BTH260 Premium Bluetooth Sport Headphones

The Kinivo BTH260 Premium Bluetooth Sport Headphones seem to follow the "K.I.S." (Keep It Simple) rule. Out of the box, they are charged and ready to go. Turning them on and a voice tells me "Battery high." A quick peruse of the "Quick Reference Guide" and I have them paired with my phone and my iPad in no time.

Sound-wise they are good. The range is not super, but for a wireless set of workout headphones they fit the bill. I’m not looking for super Hi-Fi audiophile quality headphones while I make puddles of sweat and wheeze like the pug dog that just chased its tail for an hour. I want to be able to hear my music without distortion at any volume level and have a bass response better than tinny earbuds. The Kinivo BTH260 delivers. A nice plus is that they are sweat-proof.

The battery life seemed a bit shy of 23 hours, but your mileage will vary with volume and range from your device. You can also use them for placing and receiving phone calls. The mic picks up your voice well enough that the person on the other end doesn't notice the difference. The only drawback I found is that there is a bit of lag over the Bluetooth, so game playing on your phone or tablet is out. Not a deal breaker, but something to be aware of.

Overall the Kinivo BTH260 Premium Bluetooth Sport Headphones are up to the task of providing an excellent soundtrack while you attempt just one more pushup. I can recommend them.

For more information see the official Kinivo BTH260 website.

HyperX Cloud Stinger

For the better part of the last year, my gaming headset of choice has been the HyperX Cloud. So when I was offered the HyperX Cloud Stinger headset for review I had no problem giving them a run through.

The HyperX Cloud Stinger model is for the gamer on a budget. There are less leather and steel and more plastic, but that doesn't seem to translate to less quality. In fact, I would almost say they have a few touches that make them superior to the Cloud series headset.

Sound-wise I was hard pressed to really notice a difference between the Cloud and the Cloud Stinger. Music gave me crisp highs and that deep beautiful bass I love. In games, the chatter and sound effects were spot on and clear. In fact, I recently gave them a trial by fire at a LAN party a friend of mine put on. A weekend full of Battlefield 1 and 7 Days to Die’s layered sound, plus some music on the occasional break. They were up to the challenge and came through with flying colors.

The plastic keeps them lightweight so they didn't weigh down on my head. The headband pad and ear pads have that nice memory foam for comfort. Since I have to wear glasses while gaming it is really nice that the ear cups don’t squeeze my head in such a way that makes the arms dig into the side of my head.

Two really nice touches that the Cloud Stinger has over the Cloud, that I liked, were the microphone switch and the volume slider placement. There is a switch within the microphone boom that, as you swivel it up, shuts off the microphone so as to not broadcast random noise. You can feel it switch as you move it so you know when it's on or off. The volume slider is on the bottom side of the right ear cup. I didn’t have to slide my hand down a cord and fumble with a knob. I just reached up slid it as needed.

Quite frankly I was very impressed with the HyperX Cloud Stinger headset. For a gamer on a budget, these are the headsets you want to get if you want quality at a price that won’t break the bank. I recommend the HyperX Cloud Stinger.

For more information on the HyperX Cloud Stinger headset see the official website.