We live in a golden age for gaming headsets. Gamers have countless headsets to choose from, though they tend to get costly. And yet the HyperX Cloud Stinger headset for Xbox One and PC won't break the bank, clocking in at $50. Can an affordable headset still deliver the goods? Read on to find out!
Cloud Stinger at a glance
These are the basic features of the Cloud Stinger stereo headset:
- Lightweight headset with 90-degree rotating ear cups.
- 50mm directional drivers for Audio precision.
- HyperX signature Memory foam. Adjustable steel Slider.
- Intuitive Volume control on headset ear cup.
- Swivel-to-mute noise-cancellation Microphone. Multi-platform compatibility.
A headset for many platforms
The Cloud Stinger connects to devices via a 4-foot cable with a 3.5mm connector. It also includes an adapter with microphone and speaker plugs for use with Windows PCs. The adapter adds a couple of extra feet of cable, so PC users can sit farther from their computers while using the headset.
The built-in 3.5mm connector allows the Cloud Stinger to be used with Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Using the Cloud Stinger with launch-era Xbox One controllers will require either the Chatpad or Stereo Headset adapter, but controllers made after June 2015 have built-in 3.5mm headset jacks. For the purposes of this review, we primarily used the headset with Xbox One.
Enter the Stinger
The Cloud Stinger's frame is composed primarily of lightweight black plastic. Memory foam padding lines the top inner frame of the headset as well as both ear-cups. It's comfortable to wear, although slightly less so than some of the $100+ headsets I've used. This one feels a bit tight, even with the slider fully extended. But most users probably won't notice, especially without an expensive headset for comparison,
Sound quality is always important with headsets, and the Cloud Stinger doesn't disappoint. The 50mm drivers deliver very good sound, especially where voice chat is concerned. The lining between the ear pad and the driver itself looks a bit thin, but that thinness doesn't adversely affect sound quality to this normal user's ears.
The Cloud Stinger's microphone features a unidirectional, swiveling design. When not in use, you simply tilt the microphone up. Pointing it up automatically mutes the microphone – a clever design touch. Some headsets like the Corsair VOID Surround botch the mute function design, making it difficult to tell when the mic is muted or not muted. No such problems with the Cloud Stinger!
A volume slider on the bottom of the right ear cup controls the loudness of the sound from the headset's speakers. The Cloud Stingray doesn't have microphone volume controls, but Xbox One users can easily adjust that through the console menus. The volume slider is nice and clicky. It requires a mild amount of force to move, so you won't adjust it by mistake.
Big performance, small price
The HyperX Cloud Stinger is a great choice for gamers on a budget. Its black industrial design looks attractive without being flashy. The ear cups and microphone are both nicer than I'd expect from a $50 headset. Volume and mute controls both work especially well, outperforming some higher-priced headsets.
With smart overall design and no major faults, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better headset at this price point than the Cloud Stinger.
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