HyperX is sticking the Xbox label on one of its new headsets. And it's definitely worth your ears.
HyperX is the gaming brand delivered by Kingston, and is slapped on such peripherals as headsets as well as internal components like SSDs and RAM. Until now Hyper X hasn't actively targeted Xbox One gamers with its products, but the new CloudX changes all that.
This one has a big green strip on the top of the box that says Xbox One and Windows. And this is a headset you have to consider.
Before we dive in, let's take a look at the full hardware specs of the Cloud X:
- Driver: Dynamic, 53mm with neodymium magnets
- Type: Circumaural, Closed back
- Frequency Response: 15Hz–25,000 Hz
- Impedance: 60 Ω
- Sound pressure level: 98dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
- T.H.D.: < 2%
- Input power: Rated 150mW, Maximum 300mW
- Weight: 309g
- Weight w/ mic: 322g
- Cable length and type: Headset (1.3m) + PC extension cable (2m)
- Connection: Headset - 3.5mm plug (4 pole) + PC extension cable - 3.5mm stereo and mic plugs
- Element: Electret condenser microphone
- Polar pattern: Uni-directional, Noise-canceling
- Frequency Response: 50Hz-18,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: -39dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
Part of the Xbox-ness of the CloudX is that it's been tested and approved by Microsoft. Peace of mind if little else, but it does also ensure that you'll be able to use it properly with the Xbox One. And true enough the digital mixer controls on the console will alter the sound output coming into your ears.
Actual physical controls are virtually non-existent unless you plug into the Xbox headset adapter, which will give you a few more buttons. The inline controls on the CloudX give you volume up and down and a one-touch microphone mute, and that's all.
That inline remote is attached to a braided cable with a single 3.5mm jack at the bottom. For PC gamers who want split inputs for headphones and microphone, there's no worries. HyperX includes an adapter in the box to do just this. It's 2m long, too, which will be pleasing to hear since few PC gamers sit as close to their box as you would to an Xbox controller.
The cable isn't removable, which is of minor annoyance when you're stashing your CloudX into the included case. The cable sits right up against the zip and it's a pretty tight squeeze closing it up without catching it. The microphone is at least removable and stows away nicely. The cable also has a nasty habit of getting twisted during gameplay for no apparent reason.
The microphone itself is decent, but you should also remember what it's really for. If you're looking to do voiceover work, it's not for you, but it's great for party chat and online calls. The noise cancellation works OK, and that you can adjust the position as much as you can is a benefit, since you can get it as close to your mouth as necessary.
I have had some issues using it with my laptop, however, which only has a solitary 3.5mm headset jack. It's most likely something I've been doing wrong, but using the splitter on my desktop was much more successful.
One thing you notice immediately upon placing the CloudX atop your head is how incredibly comfortable it is to wear. The aluminum frame is light, but also very tough, and the memory foam cups are a treat for your ears. HyperX throws in a set of velour ear cups swap out if leatherette isn't your thing. But with the leatherette ones on, there's a good amount of ambient noise blocking so you can concentrate on what really matters.
The CloudX sounds great, as well. It's not a surround sound headset such as some of the pricier offerings from the likes of Astro and Turtle Beach, but it also costs a whole lot less. It's quite a basic headset, but it does a few things very well. Even with 'only' stereo sound, you get a lot of in-game feedback. The sound quality is excellent across the board with good lows, mids and highs.
A placebo effect it may be, but I've heard in-game action so much better compared to my own Turtle Beach XO Four. Even without surround sound, you get a good feeling for where shots are fired. It's more than loud enough as well, to the point you'll want to be a little careful with the volume going into a big gunfight.
One of the things I appreciate the most about the Cloud X is that it's a subtle, stylish looking headset. It's completely reasonable to go outside using it as a normal pair of headphones (that sound grand) and not looking ludicrous. Gaming headsets often fall into the stereotype of looking like a child designed them, but not so with HyperX. The CloudX and its black and silver color combo is the best-looking gaming headset you can buy.
So, should you buy this headset? Absolutely. The price is terrific, it's stupidly comfortable to wear and it sounds great. Sure, it lacks some of the flashy bits and pieces some of the competition have, but it doesn't do any one thing badly. Solid, well built and subtle enough not to leave people pointing at you and wondering if you're from this planet while wearing in public.