A good gaming headset can be important for a lot of reasons. Some people like to play multiplayer with friends or a clan and need group communication to succeed. Some people play video games in an apartment or crowded house and can’t have explosions blasting at 3AM. Some people just prefer the intimacy of having a horror title whisper creaks and groans right into their ears. Whatever the reason, the same qualities apply. A good headset needs to sound good, send your voice out clearly, and be built well enough to last. The HyperX Cloud White headset, the latest version of the previously red and black Cloud line, delivers on all of those fronts to varying degrees and delivers a quality product worthy of a purchase.
Build and Looks
One thing that was immediately apparent when I first received and opened the headset is that everything from the build quality, to the packaging, to the visual aesthetics oozes quality. The box doesn’t have any cheap plastic or thin cardboard casing, but is instead constructed of an incredibly sturdy matte black cardboard embossed with silver lettering and filled with a gratuitous amount of sturdy soft foam that nestle the set and included accessories snugly and safely. I know not everyone cares about or keeps packaging handy, but at the very minimum it makes a fantastic first impression.
The actual headset itself matches the quality of its packaging, looking clean and feeling sturdy. Everything is a nice combination of matte black and white aluminum and leather that keep it fingerprint free. I’m fully confident that the HyperX Cloud White is going to last quite some time. The aluminum core adds heft without making the unit uncomfortably heavy, and the braided wire shouldn’t be fraying or cracking anytime soon like ones made more cheaply. There aren’t any fancy light-up logos or crazy geometry, which I consider a plus. They’re stylish enough to be worth displaying by your pc, but professional enough not to look silly if you decide to wear them outside as a regular pair of headphones. Lastly, this is one of the more comfortable headsets I’ve worn. While there’s no horizontal swivel in the earpieces, the cups fit my ears perfectly, and pressure is well balanced enough that it negates the moderate heft and doesn’t result in any soreness even after extended usage. The set comes with interchangeable leather and velour ear cup padding, and both are very comfortable. I personally prefer softer leather, but those who are either exceptionally prone to sweating or who prefer a more firm pad will be perfectly happy with the velour.
Of course it doesn’t much matter how nice looking or comfortable a gaming headset is if it doesn’t sound well and send out crisp voice. Of the two, the HyperX Cloud definitely thrives more with its headset audio than its microphone quality. While it’s marketed as a pro gaming headset, the HyperX Cloud sports a standard 3.5MM mini stereo jack and can therefore be used with PCs, PS4s, Xbox Ones with the relevant stereo headset adapter, cell phones, iPods, and most other consumer electronics that support headphone usage. For this review I tried to mix up input source and audio genre the best I could, and I was happy with each one. On my PC I tested Battlefield 4 and Amnesia. Each explosion and gunshot in Battlefield 4 sounded crisp, and while there’s no surround sound or faux-surround sound in the set, none of the quieter subtle effects in Amnesia we lost either. Beyond that I listened to the soundtrack from Thor: The Dark World on my PC, Deadmau5 on my iPhone, talk radio on my tablet, and plugged them into my keyboard via an adapter of my own. There was no noticeable struggle with bass, treble, or mid-range in any of the samples. My only wish is for maybe just a few more controls like treble or bass boost to further fine-tune certain audio sources. Like I mentioned earlier, these really are a nice product to use even just as a standard pair of headphones. Since the mic can detach and they look great, I fully plan to use them as such.
While the headphone quality in the HyperX Cloud is fantastic, the mic isn't as good. Voice comes through recognizably enough, but even after tweaking settings on my computer there’s definitely a bit of a tinny quality to it. The mic is also fairly susceptible to pops. It’s absolutely adequate for general gaming communication, but is inferior to mics like the lower-priced Turtle Beach PX22s that I use for my personal podcast recordings. I wouldn’t recommend them for those looking for an all-in-one solution to professional grade podcasting or other recording. Since the mic is detachable, however, those looking for something beyond adequate can certainly purchase a separate higher-quality microphone and plug it in.
Below are specifications for the HyperX Cloud headphones and microphone.
* 15Hz-25KHz frequency response
* 150mW power handling capacity
* 5N headband pressure
* 350g weight with mic attached
* 1 meter cable length (with 2m extension included in box)
* 100-12,000 Hz frequency response
* 2v supply voltage
* -39±3db mic output
* 3.5MM jack plug connection to headphone
* 150MM boom
Overall I really like the HyperX Cloud White gaming headset. It doesn’t do anything fancy and doesn’t include a thousand accessories (just a cable extender, airplane adapter, mic/headset Y adapter, and carrying case), but it knows what it needs to do: sound good and last a long time, and it does those well. The build quality is fantastic, the unit is very comfortable, and the set sounds great, but it isn’t the right solution for those looking for top-notch voice recording quality. I’d have little hesitation recommending these to those looking for a solid gaming headset.