Hardware Review: HyperX Cloud Stinger Headset

The best Headset you could ever ask for, for under $50USD

I was an internet radio DJ for about 6 years.  Being an internet radio DJ is pretty similar to a gamer, and requires a piece of equipment that both have in common, that being a headset. You don’t necessarily need a headset, but it was something that
everyone who gamed already had on hand, so no additional cost was required.  Every gamer needs a headset at some point, whether it is for those times when the significant other is sleeping and you want to game quietly, or if you need to hop on voice chat to plan that next raid.  Chances are you have a headset right now, either on your head listening to music, or you have one sitting on your desk, ready for your next gaming session. But just how good is your headset?  How much did you spend?  These are good questions to ask, and I’m going to try and prove to you why your next pair of headphones should be the Cloud Stingers from HyperX.

First off I want to thank HyperX for sending us the demo unit we are using to review.  I enjoyed using them for the past several days for several hours each day.

The HyperX Cloud Stinger is the latest headset in the Cloud line from HyperX.  The other two models, the Cloud  series and Cloud Revolver series are both designed for the Pro-gamer in mind, with varying models and features including 7.1 surround sound, and detachable mics.  There is a Cloud Revolver Gears of War edition available also.

But back to our review of the HyperX Cloud Stinger.  Here are some of the key features of the Cloud Stinger:

  • Lightweight Design – Minimal weight for enhanced comfort
  • Audio Precision – Optimal audio performance and sound quality
  • Adjustable Steel Slider – Long lasting durability and stability; high-quality build
  • Intuitive Volume Control – Easily accessible volume slider to adjust audio on the headset
  • Noise-Cancellation Microphone – Clear voice quality; conveniently flip the microphone to mute
  • Multi-Platform Compatibility – Enjoy comfort and enhanced audio experience on PC or console; plug into a mobile device and wear the headset on the go

Now I wanted to compare the Cloud Stinger to my previous headset which was a Plantronics Gamecon 777, as well as Tali’s headset which is a Razer Kraken Chroma.  First off I’m going to say that the Razer Krakens were not for me.  The size of my head made them uncomfortable to wear after a short period of time, and they caused my ears to hurt.  While the sound of them is great, and the Chroma affect is also a cool touch, these are headphones I can’t support.  On the other hand Tali loves them, and I will prod her to get a review going for those at some point.

The Plantronics Gamecon 777’s were my previous headset which I had used for about 4 years.  They were comfortable, but a bit heavier.  They were all made of plastic and had good sound, and I liked the added feature of the USB dongle to make the headphones USB, and USB 7.1.  They fit well and worked great.  While they are obsolete at this time, I bought them at Pax in 2011 for about $120USD.

Now onto the HyperX Cloud Stinger.  These headphones are light and comfortable.  They fit over my ears well and the sound is great.  The main unit has a tri-pole connection on it for use with a mobile device like your cellphone.  They sound great and are nice to wear, though I wouldn’t recommend wearing them out of the house as they are a bit big for something to wear on the commute to work. They come with an additional extension cord which splits off the mic and headphone jack for use in a PC or other device.  This cord adds about 5ft more to the cord length making it suitable to reach any desktop tower or game console.  The cord might be a problem using it on a laptop or a device closer to your person, but as a band-aid you could always wind the cord up.

I’m going to go over the headphone part, but before I do, here are some specs on it;

  • Driver: Dynamic, 50mm with neodymium magnets
  • Type: Circumaural; closed back
  • Frequency response: 18Hz-23,000Hz
  • Impedance: 30 Ω
  • Sound pressure level: 102 ± 3dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
  • T.H.D: ≦ 2%
  • Input power: Rated 30mW, Maximum 500mW
  • Weight: 275g
  • Cable length and type: Headset (1.3m) + Extension Y-cable (1.7m)
  • Connection: Headset – 3.5mm plug (4 pole) + extension cable – 3.5mm stereo and mic plugs

Since using this headset, I have thoroughly enjoyed wearing them from the moment I put them on.  They are light, and you hardly notice them on your head.  The longest I’ve worn them in a solo session of gaming so far is 4 hours, and in that time, my ears didn’t get fatigued or sweaty as they often did with the Plantronics 777’s.  The ear cups are very comfortable, with a decent amount of padding with ‘HyperX’s Signiture Memory foam’ as well as being covered with a leather cover.  The Plantronics ear cups were covered with a faux suede material that didn’t let your ears breathe, so they tended to get sweaty after extended periods of time.  The Kraken ear cups were also leather covered, but were so uncomfortable for me I couldn’t get past an hour of wearing them.  The cord hasn’t gotten tangled or in the way so far, and is made of a nice rubbery material.  If these headphones had a higher price point I’d expect they would have some sort of fabric sleeving covering the cords, which would be a nice touch, but for the price, it is totally sufficient as it is.

Now for the Microphone I have not had really much time to test it out other than sound testing it with my voice comms program (I recommend GameVox, free 250 person server) but from what I’ve heard the voice coming through is crisp and clear. The mic folds up nicely, and when folded up is muted.  The mic is also flexible to conform to the shape of your cheek.  Some specs for the mic are below;

  • Element: Electret condenser microphone
  • Polar pattern: Uni-directional, Noise-canceling
  • Frequency response: 50Hz~18,000Hz
  • Sensitivity: -40 dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)

The HyperX Cloud Stinger has multi-platform compatibility right out-of-the-box, and works with PC, Xbox One, PS4, Wii-U and mobile devices.  I have only tested it with my Cellphone and PC, but it works as simple as plugging in the cord.  The sound on my cellphone was exceptional, though as I stated above, I wouldn’t recommend wearing these outside of the house due to their size.  The ear cups rotate 90 degrees to make the headset more compact for storage and transport, which is very handy. I found myself rotating them so they laid flat on my desk when they were not being used.

Overall I feel that this headset is simply outstanding.  The build quality for a $50 headset is amazing.  The sound quality is perfect, and they are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time without fatigue.  With the multi-platform compatibility of this headset, it makes it the perfect tool to have for any gamer, and  I recommend this headset to anyone, as they will definitely get a lot of use out of them.

While we were at PaxWest 2016, we got the chance to meet Mark Tekunoff and he walked us through a few of HyperX’s products, including the Cloud Stinger.  I’ve linked the video below.