HyperX Cloud II Pro Gaming Headset Review

by

We get a lot of headphones and gaming headsets in for review each year, and at some point they all start to blur together so it is quite refreshing when a product really stands out from all the rest.   When I reviewed the HyperX Cloud Headset last year the only negative thing I could say about it was that I wished it had surround sound support.  Guess what?

Kingston Technology’s new HyperX Cloud II Pro Gaming Headset might just be the first great headset of what is already shaping up to be a great year in gaming and gaming hardware.   From the moment you open the box and admire the plush foam packaging and the high quality contents, you know you are in for a premium experience without the premium price tag.

hyperxcloud2box

Inside the box you’ll find a sturdy yet sexy pair of headphones – ours was the Gunmetal edition, which was black with silver accents and a rugged brushed metal frame complete with padded leather headband and silver stitching.    The whole thing just oozed with stylish swagger the moment you lift it out of the box.  You’ll also find a detachable boom mic with cushy foam pop-filter, a 3.5mm mini stereo adapter, a pair of velour ear cushions if you prefer them over the leather, and a Velcro-sealed carrying pouch.  For those looking to making a fashion statement, the HyperX Cloud II also comes in limited edition white/pink and black/red color options.

hyperxcloud2colors

The HyperX Cloud II headset is a wired headset, using a standard headphone plug to connect to your PS4’s DualShock 4, your Xbox One controller (separate adapter required), your phone, tablet, or any device with a standard headphone jack.  The true power of the HyperX Cloud II is only revealed when you connect it to your PC using the included USB soundcard.  This inline control box handles all of the volume mixing for both the headphones and mic, as well as activating the 7.1 virtual surround sound and enhancing the bass.  It even has LED backlighting for easy use in the dark.

HX_cloud_II_GUNMETAL

The first thing that impressed me after putting on these headphones was just how comfortable they were.  The headphone frame is springy enough to keep the cups securely on your ears without any of that irritating pinching that you can get from other headsets after extended use – especially if you wear glasses.  The over-the-ear cup design allows for passive noise cancellation, which means that as long as there is some sort of sound playing you are pretty much immune to the outside world.  Thanks to the cushioned headband and memory foam cups it is surprisingly easy to forget you are even wearing this headset after a few minutes, which is a huge benefit if you are playing games for hours on end or wearing them on a long flight or road trip.

The detachable mic worked great; easy to remove if you are playing a game where you don’t need to chat or just want to use the headphones for music or a movie, and just as easily plugged back in when you need to talk.  I tested the headset and mic in both multiplayer gaming scenarios and while doing some livestream YouTube videos and was very impressed with the sound quality of the mic.  The foam mic cushion really helped to filter out any breathiness or pops during my video commentary, and in multiplayer matches of Call of Duty and Borderlands I was told I had never sounded better.

HX_cloud_7.1_controllerThe HyperX Cloud II headset delivers some outstanding stereo audio when used with consoles and mobile devices, but the 7.1 virtual surround sound was what really sealed the deal for me.  Playing games like Call of Duty and Battlefield generated the expected immersive experience of visceral warfare, but then I played some other games…games like Alien Isolation, The Evil With, and just prior to this review, Dying Light.  While I am sure much of the credit has to go to the sound designers for those specific games, there is no denying that the HyperX Cloud II headset, when used in conjunction with the in-line USB control box is capable of delivering a 7.1 immersive experience that I would rank right up there with a $300 pair of Astros.   The wide range in frequency combined with the positional audio can actually make you a better gamer, as it allows complete situational awareness, even for things you can’t see.

Priced at only $99, the HyperX Cloud II Pro Gaming Headset delivers the comfort, quality, and performance of competition priced two to three times as much.   The 53mm drivers are totally up for the task of delivering all of the outstanding audio you expect from your games and other entertainment, while the plush leather (or velour) ear cups, padded headband, and lightweight design will make wearing these a totally transparent experience.  And while this headset is compatible with pretty much anything that accepts a standard headphone jack, nothing can prepare you for the awesomely immersive (and possibly terrifying) 7.1 virtual surround sound experience you will get from your PC and the new USB sound card.

Gaming never sounded this good.