Kingston recently released their new HyperX Cloud Headset targeted for gamers looking for great quality and superior comfort at a surprisingly affordable price. Aptly named, this headset is so light and so comfortable you will quite literally forget you are wearing anything on your head after about ten minutes. I test and review numerous headsets every year, and now that I am spending more than half my gaming time doing livestream commentary I am looking for something I can wear for extended periods of time. The HyperX Cloud uses an aluminum construction for light weight and durability combined with a padded headband and cloth-covered memory foam for the over-the-ear cups that block out any real-world sounds while keeping your ears sweat-free if you swap out leatherette ear cushions for the velour.
I could throw all sorts of boring stats at you like the 53mm speaker drivers or the 100-12,000Hz frequency response of the detachable microphone with foam pop-filter, but numbers and stats aren’t nearly as impressive as the results you’ll experience when you slip these cloud-like cups over your ears and plug them in to your PC, gaming console, or anything else with a standard headphone jack. The HyperX Cloud does a fantastic job of covering the complete spectrum of sound from the highest highs to the lowest lows using some impressive enhanced bass reproduction. If you closed your eyes and had somebody put these headphones on and a pair of $300 Beats I’m betting you would pick the Cloud for not only its superior sound quality but also its extreme comfort.
For those playing online multiplayer or doing commentary, rest assured that you will be heard by everyone with crystal clear clarity thanks to the adjustable boom mic that captures and reproduces my voice with nearly the same quality as an entry level studio mic and certainly better than any other boom mic on any other headset I’ve tested. The mic is detachable when you don’t need it, and fully adjustable when you do, and it does a great job of minimizing any ambient room noise so people are only going to hear you.
While the HyperX Cloud is obviously targeted for gamers there is no reason you can’t detach the mic and enjoy these for listening to music or movies on your phone, tablet, or other portable device. For those looking for awesome audio on their portable games, these headphone are a dream for PS Vita and 3DS gaming. While not exactly as portable as the game systems themselves, the HyperX Clouds do fold up for easy transport and there is a handy travel pouch if you need to take any accessories out of the house.
There are some really brilliant ideas at work in this package. The headset has a 1m cable making it great for portable use and the 2m extension allows for easy connection to your PC or console across the room while providing a convenient breakaway to avoid accidents. The memory foam is a revelation and a revolution and I’ll be expecting this on any future headphones from any manufacturer. The padded headband combined with the velour cup covers created a completely transparent listening situation, and I loved the relaxed pressure of the headband that kept the headphones secure without that pinching or pressure situation.
There were a few minor issues but mostly personal preference stuff. I would have enjoyed a swivel cup design – makes it easier if you need to temporarily remove one cup from your ear. The passive noise cancellation blocks out almost all outside noise as long as you are actively listening to something, but if your game goes quiet or you are between music tracks you might get a brief audio dose of reality. For those looking for virtual surround gaming audio, the HyperX Cloud does offer adequate panning for left and right but still falls short of any 5.1 or 7.1 headsets.
If you are looking for a wireless listening solution or something with virtual surround then the HyperX Cloud headset won’t be for you, but if you don’t mind the cable then you won’t find a better set of headphones at this price point. While I do enjoy the convenience of a wireless headset, I don’t like having my gaming or livestream sessions interrupted by a low-level battery alert, plus this headset is so comfortable, I am able to do some marathon-level Twitch shows with absolutely no discomfort.
Whether you are a competitive online gamer, Twitch streamer, or just looking for an awesome new gaming headset, the $90 Kingston HyperX Cloud has all the quality, performance, and durability of Astro/Skullcandy or Beats and at a third of the price. Now available in black or white designs on Amazon and Newegg, I can’t recommend these highly enough.
Check out the product website for more information and all those boring stats and specifications.