HyperX Cloud Alpha Headset review: Staggering $100 sound

HyperX's excellent Cloud Alpha headset is one of the most immersive gaming headsets out there.

Windows Central Recommended Award

HyperX is widely renowned for high-quality headsets with solid audio, that do exactly what they say on the tin. Great sound, great comfort, and great microphones typify the HyperX lineup, all at great prices. The Cloud Alpha is a little different from some of its similarly-priced brethren, rocking a dual chamber speaker design that adds a whole new dimension to sound I felt very familiar with. Just don't expect a ton of bells and whistles, though.

What you'll love about the HyperX Cloud Alpha headset

The HyperX Cloud Alpha is not too far removed from some of the company's other Cloud headsets in terms of design and quality. The over-ear closed back speakers feel premium-grade from every angle, with metal connectors for the adjustable headband. Weighing just 336g with the mic, this headset really lives up to its "Cloud" monicker, supremely comfortable for long sessions, with airy cups that'll feel pleasant even in warm weather.

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Speakers50mm neodymium
Frequency response13Hz – 27,000Hz
Impedance65 ohms
FeaturesDetachable mic, braided cable with in-line controls, dual-chamber audio set up

With nothing negative to say about the fit of the headset, the same positive sentiments extend to the build quality, which as usual, is top-notch. The matte plastics HyperX has used here feel dense and robust, and the headband feels as though it'll take a ton of punishment.

I've had the HyperX CloudX design headset for years, across all sorts of abuse, and the construction here is very similar. You'll have no issues with the longevity of this product.

Without a doubt one of the best $100 wired headsets on the market.

Finally, and most importantly, the sound quality on offer with the Cloud Alpha is excellent. With minimal distortion even at the highest volumes, even with the most aggressive bassy explosions or shrill gunfire, the Cloud Alpha handles everything you throw at it with ease.

The dual chamber configuration seems to help with range separation as well, which feels incredibly immersive in games like Battlefield V and Star Wars Battlefront II, where the chaos can easily overwhelm a lesser headset. The microphone audio is also great, with noise-cancellation for noisy environments.

What you'll dislike about the HyperX Cloud Alpha headset

There's very little to actually dislike about this headset, with criticisms amounting to mere nitpicks than genuine problems. The Cloud Alpha comes with a detachable microphone and a braided cable with in-line controls for volume and muting, but the bundled cable is quite short, perhaps designed for use connected to a controller. If you require a longer cable for your set up, you might need to pick up an extension cable. Thankfully, they're pretty cheap.

One thing worth being aware of when it comes to the audio is that it's closer to the developer's vision for gaming, without any strict processing conventions for tactical sound. The stunning audio creates more realistic soundscapes. Explosions overwhelm the sound of footsteps and player movements, for example, which offers a more realistic experience, albeit at the cost of potential strategic advantages.

Some gaming headsets emphasis the highs range to help you hear enemy movements a little better. The Cloud Alpha instead tries to produce a more realistic range. This isn't necessarily a downside, depending on your preference, but it's worth being aware of. They can also be a bit leaky at higher volumes, limiting their potential as a mobile headset for use in public.

The only other real criticism I can leverage at the Cloud Alpha is that the HyperX logo is a bit large which betrays what would otherwise be a sleek and subtle design, but I'm really scraping the barrel here. The Cloud Alpha is simply a great headset, ear to ear.

Should you buy the HyperX Cloud Alpha headset?

HyperX Cloud Alpha

HyperX Cloud Alpha (Image credit: Windows Central)

There aren't any frills that go with this headset, no 7.1 surround sound, no mic monitoring, and no customization, but if you're looking for a headset that does the job, and does it extremely well, then look no further.

With some of the most impressive audio at this price range I've ever heard, with HyperX's signature comfort, and a stellar microphone, this is without a doubt one of the best $100 wired headsets on the market right now.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!