The gaming headset space is crowded. We have SteelSeries, Astro Gaming, Turtle Beach, Razer, Tritton and many others fighting for your attention, but we have a new entry in the industry from a long time PC manufacturer: Kingston. Best known for their memory and hard drives, Kingston joined the headset race earlier this year with the HyperX Cloud Gaming, offering quality at a reasonable price. With the successful launch, the company has introduced a brand new white and black model, hoping to attract PC, console and mobile users around the world.
The design of the HyperX Cloud Gaming headset is solid with an aluminium frame holding everything together. It’s a simplistic form made for portability in mind as you won’t see multiple headband adjustments or a bulky, stationary design holding it back. As per usual, height is adjustable on each side, but it could be extended a little bit more. I don’t have a particularly large head, but I did have to adjust the length all the way for it to fit, so those with larger domes may not be as comfortable. The cable is braided, which is a nice touch, but the 2m extension is unfortunately standard plastic. The HyperX logo on the top of the headband is also stitched in, giving this a quality appearance.
Purchasers will be treated to various components that will help its portability and usability with different pieces of tech. Along with the 2m extension, there’s also a control box adapter that will let you adjust volume on the go, which unfortunately feels overly bulky and kind of gets in the way. Additionally, the best adapter included is the 3.5mm jack, letting those who own a smartphone, PS4 or any other device to be able to use the headset with great results. If you’re not a fan of leather headphones, they’re completely removable and actually comes with a set of velour ear cushions. Finally, an interesting but somewhat convenient for those on the go, a two-pronged airplane headphone adapter is also found in the fancy box of goodies. All of this can be snugged away in an included mesh bag, with all the compartments necessary to bring your HyperX Cloud Gaming headset wherever you go.
As for technological features, the Hyper X Cloud Gaming has it a lot to offer with the biggest advantage being the 60 Ω nominal impedance, requiring nearly double the power compared to most of its gaming competition.
- Transducer type: dynamic Ø 53mm
- Operating principle: closed
- Frequency response: 15Hz–25,000 Hz
- Nominal impedance: 60 Ω per system
- Nominal SPL: 98±3dB
- T.H.D.: < 2%
- Power handling capacity: 150mW
- Sound coupling to the ear: circumaural
- Ambient noise attenuation: approx. 20 dBa
- Headband pressure: 5N
- Weight with microphone and cable: 350g
- Cable length and type: 1m + 2m extension + 10cm iPhone
- Connection: mini stereo jack plug (3.5 mm)
The microphone performs as a microphone should. It’s nothing particular special, but it does the job and is convenient being detachable and incredibly flexible. It has a very basic foam windshield attached to the end and is unfortunately a little lengthy.
- Transducer type: condenser (back electret)
- Operating principle: pressure gradient
- Polar pattern: cardioid
- Power supply: AB powering
- Supply voltage: 2V
- Current consumption: max 0.5 mA
- Nominal impedance: ≤2.2 kΩ
- Open circuit voltage: at f = 1 kHz: 20 mV / Pa
- Frequency response: 100–12,000 Hz
- THD: 2% at f = 1 kHz
- Max. SPL: 105dB SPL (THD≤1.0% at 1 KHz)
- Microphone output: -39±3dB
- Length mic boom: 150mm (include gooseneck)
- Capsule diameter: Ø6*5 mm
- Connection: mini stereo jack plug (3.5mm)
Comfort and accessibility are always important components when buying a headphone. No one wants to put on a pair and feel like steel is pressing against their skull. Fortunately, Kingston HyperX Cloud Gaming Headset is the right balance of size and cushioning. There’s one long leather cushioned strip on the headband and obviously two for where the earphones are. These are incredibly soft and as said before, does come with two velour ear cushions if your preference leans more towards that. I do think if the earphones could have been an inch or two larger as they don’t leave a lot of breathing room for your ears. These are also very lightweight headphones. At 350g, I constantly would forget I was wearing them until the braided cable would give some resistance when moving. Overall, these are a surprisingly nice fit with flexibility and portability not at all in question.
This is a gaming headset, tailored for PC, console and mobile users in mind, so we tested it out on various platforms to see how it performs. We started with consoles, namely the PlayStation 4, and what better game to sample this with than The Last of Us Remastered. Well, we were shocked at the level of detail the headphones was able to capture. Subtle noises in the background and weapons discharges sounded perfect, and even if they don’t necessarily simulate surround sound as these are stereo headphones, detecting where enemies are located in the surroundings is not at all difficult. We then tested it on the Silent Hills demo, P.T., which these only enhanced the atmospheric, frightening experience. I almost didn’t want to wear them because I felt too immersed in the closed quarters, with every creek and chatter being heard perfectly. Finally, the less serious and more of a comical game, Rayman Legends, was able to get us beating our heads to the tunes. Suffice to say, if you have a PlayStation 4, these are very sound headphones to be using and you won’t be disappointed with the quality.
Outside the console games, PC handles this phenomenally. Getting a sound card for this pair of headphones is suggested as onboard audio sounds right in line with the console sound quality, which isn’t necessarily bad, but you’ll get far better results and a tighter bass if you shell out a couple extra dollars. We tried out DmC Devil May Cry, Dark Souls II and Risen 3, all of which sound crystal clear. But being games are not just single player experiences and a lot of competitive gamers, we tested this out on shooters such as Borderlands 2, Crysis 3 and Battlefield 4 and we were left happy with the accuracy and high level of quality these were able produce. Even watching movies, TV shows and listening to music delighted us greatly.
Kingston HyperX Cloud Gaming Headset blew us away. This is still technically Kingston’s first attempt to break into gaming headset and they hit the nail on the head right away by going with Qpad. While the earphones could be a tad more spacious and the control box is a bit clunky, the sound quality, portability and bang for your buck really make you overlook a lot of the minor issues. For a sub $100 pair of headphones, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything better.