It is always exciting to see a company expand their offerings and give more choice to the market. We’ve all heard of Kingston and most of us have used their products in our PCs at one point or another. However, Kingston is moving into the peripheral markets with the newly created HyperX line of products. We saw the official announcement at PAX East 2014, but we finally got our hands on the first product from that line, the HyperX Cloud Headset.
Let’s face it, when you are buying a headset, the sound quality is the most important factor. Luckily, the HyperX Cloud performs well in this category and does a great job with an impressive hardware set. The headset features a 53mm driver which provides more than enough power to deliver the performance you would expect from a quality headset. As most headsets offer, the HyperX can be fine tuned using software and profiles can be loaded that will auto-tune your headset the way you want. This is particularly important because there is no presets loaded on the headset itself. As long as you properly tune your headset, there is more than enough power to give you the experience you are after.
We also found that this headset has a particularly impressive bass response, so if you like a lot of bass in your headset, you can get the HyperX to deliver as much as you like without any clipping or distortion. However, you should note that because the headset features a large driver, you won’t get the best performance unless you have an amplified line. Using the headset on your phone, iPod or other non-amplified device will deliver a sub-par performance. It is only until you give it the power it needs that you’ll really see what this headset is capable of. Overall, we were impressed with the performance here and we know you will be too.
As far as features go, there are plenty of great features that really let you customize the headsets performance to your liking. However, there are also some glaring omissions that limit the versatility of the headset as a whole.
Some of the better features of the headset is having an in-line control box. On this box, you can control the master volume and there is a button that lets you answer phone calls or advance your music track if you are listening to music via your headset. This brings us to the next positive feature of this headset which is mobile phone integration and cables provided.
The HyperX was designed with the ability to switch between your phone and your gaming without ever having to take off the headset. All you have to do is plug in your phone and you can make calls, listen to music or access your phones features with everything playing through your headset. This is a very forward thinking feature and it should be commended that they really thought about how they want gamers to use the headset. In addition to this new functionality, all the cables you need to take advantage of this are included in the box. Having everything you need right out of the box saves you a ton of headaches when setting up your headset and makes life a lot easier. Believe it or not, but many headsets require additional cables which make you spend even more money to get your headset working the way you want it.
While all this new functionality and standard features are great, there are some glaring omissions that limit how great this headset could be. The biggest problem is the fact that you can only control the master volume on the in-line sound controller. Unfortunately, if you wanted to adjust the mic volume or the game volume, you’d have to do that using your computers settings. This requires that you stop your game, open up your sound settings and try to make adjustments on the go. Worse still, is that if you are using your cell phone, you can’t mute the game or your in-game mic. This would allow everyone to hear what you are saying if you are playing multiplayer. In the end, you have the problem of having too many features with not enough control over each feature individually. While we love the fact that they though to include features for your mobile device, only being able to control the master volume via the in-line sound controller hurts this headset.
We also found that the mic was not sound cancelling so it did pick up a lot of background noise while in use. If you are in a quiet room, this shouldn’t be an issue, but if you play in louder parts of your room, the mic will pick up more noise.
When you consider that the HyperX Cloud retails for $99, you’ll quickly realize that this is a great bargain. In fact, for the money, this is one of the best headsets you can get at that price. If you are looking for a high-end performance for a budget price, this headset has to be on your list. Also, when you consider that you get everything you need in the box, a carrying case, all the cables and a detachable mic; this is a great deal and certainly one worthy of your purchase.
Ease of Use / Comfort: 9
The HyperX Cloud is a very well constructed and comfortable headset. The cups and headband are wrapped in leather and memory foam which makes this a very comfortable headset. The frame is made out of aluminum which adds strength to the headset while still being very light. The combination of solid build quality with premium comfort options makes this a well designed and comfortable headset overall.
As far as setting up this headset is concerned, it couldn’t be any easier. This headset does not utilize any external power so there isn’t a lot you need to set up. Simply plug the headset in and all the features are at your fingertips. If you want to plug in your cellphone, just use the supplied Y-connector and that is ready as well. The total time to set up was under two minutes so you don’t need to know anything in advance to successfully take full advantage of the headset.
Overall, this is a great value-level headset for anyone looking for a solid gaming headset. There is more than enough power here to deliver performance when you need it. It should be noted that this headset works better with amplified lines, but even if you don’t have that, it should still do the trick. Obviously, there are some issues that prevent this from being a better headset, but when you consider that this is HyperX’s first entry into the market, this is a great first effort. If this is where they start from, you can certainly expect great things from HyperX in the near future.
- Excellent Sound Quality
- Great Starting Price
- Too many features, not enough control