Kingston HyperX Cloud Headset Review: Great Sound, Poor Mic

Kingston’s latest entry into the headset market, the HyperX Cloud, is a great choice for gaming, but not so much for other applications.

The HyperX Cloud isn’t the first headset Kingston has brought to market. They had previously partnered with SteelSeries to create the SteelSeries Siberia V2 HyperX edition. The Cloud, by comparison, is the result of a collaboration with Swedish peripheral maker QPAD, and represents a substantial jump in quality over its predecessor. While it appears to be nothing more than an updated version of some of QPAD’s products, it does make for a pretty nice looking headset.

The first you’ll notice when you removed the Cloud from the box is that it’s light. Compared to some other headsets I have around the office, it’s noticeably lighter. This is due to its mostly aluminum construction. In testing, this was a boon during longer gaming sessions, as you barely notice the headset when you’re wearing it. Pair this with the padded leather band, and you’ve got a headset that is very comfortable to wear.

Included in the box are two sets of earcups – one leather, and one velour. If you like being able to hear what’s going on around you while you’re gaming, you’ll want to put the velour set on. When using the leather cups, you’ll find that very little background noise intrudes on your gaming. While it’s not as effective as active noise cancelling, it did a good job of preventing everyday noises from distracting me from the on-screen action.

Another nice feature the Cloud offers is a split-length cable. The main headset cable is about three and a half feet long. Including with the headset is a second three and a half foot cable (this contains the in-line muting and volume control) as well as an extension cable that adds another six feet of length. Splitting the cords this way allows you to use a short cable for working on a laptop or tablet, while still supplying you enough cable to allow some movement while it’s plugged into your PC or console. There’s even an included conversion plug to allow you to use the Cloud with your cell phone.

While all of these features are nice, the biggest thing a headset needs to do is deliver high quality sound, and the HyperX Cloud nails it. Highs are clear and crisp, mid-range tones are well-articulated, and the bass is solid with being distorted, even with the volume cranked. When using it for Skype or in-game chat, voices are reproduced quite well. It’s certainly got the best sound of any $100 headset I’ve tested in quite a while.

While the incoming sound is great, the outgoing sound leaves a bit to be desired. The Cloud features a detachable microphone that plugs into the bottom of the left earphone, and as is often the case with such microphones, the quality is lacking. While it’s certainly serviceable for in-game chat or casual Skype calls, you won’t want to use this for streaming or recording of any type. The microphone lacks noise-canceling, so it picks up just about any background noise it can find, and even in a whisper-silent room, it seems to have a bit of a buzz to it. It shouldn’t affect gamers, but if you do more than just gaming, it could be an issue.

Still, the HyperX Cloud is an awfully good gaming headset for the money. It’s comfortable, lightweight, has great sound, and works with basically any platform. For just under $100, you can’t ask for much more. While it might not be the best tool for recording audio, it’s a great headset for just about any gamer, and it won’t break the bank.

The HyperX Cloud was reviewed using a sample provided by Kingston.

Ron Whitaker is managing editor at GameFront. Find more of his work here, and follow him and Game Front on Twitter: @ffronw and @gamefrontcom.

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