HyperX is the manufacturer of some of the best gaming headsets out there, and I’ve had the opportunity of testing this amazing bit of kit that is a must for your gaming needs; also your head will thank you but, we will get more into that later. The Cloud Stinger has been a consideration for serious gamers on a budget for some time now, and for good reason — the headphones come at only £50 but, are they worth it, or should you keep saving up? I put them to the test to find out.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger gaming headset has the following features and specifications:
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
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
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
Element: Electret condenser microphone
Polar pattern: Uni-directional, Noise-cancelling Frequency response: 50Hz~18,000Hz
Sensitivity: -40 dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
What’s in the box?
Before opening it up, let’s have a look at the packaging. The HyperX Cloud Stinger comes in a sleek red and black retail box. On the front there is a photo of the headset and it lets us know it is compatible with PC, Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, Mac, and also I’ve tested it on the Nintendo Switch where it works like a dream. Flipping the box over to the back there is an overview of the headset showing off many of the features. Opening the box up the headset is nicely nested inside some foam. Removing the top foam cover allows us to see the Cloud Stinger Headset itself and superbly packaged it is too, snuggled securely. Beneath the soft foam we find the additional 1.7m extension cable, a quick start guide and some welcome leaflets.
My first thought was how simple it looked but, this is deceiving as this headset is anything but simple. Its sleek design runs smoothly beneath my fingertips and I was amazed at how light it was coming in at only 275 grams. This is always my main concern with headsets and that’s the weight as I game for long periods of time so, a lightweight headset is key for me to warn off those dreaded pressure headaches. I loved the black matte look with the red signature HyperX logo on the ear pieces.
This headset has a lay-flat design. This is great for a couple of reasons, first it makes this headset really easy to take with you as it can lay flat in your bag or backpack. Secondly the lay-flat design allows you to rest the headset on your shoulder area, so you don’t need to take the headset off in between gaming sessions. You will notice that the left ear cup has a microphone on it. This adjustable microphone will auto-mute when it is in the up position, extremely handy and very simple…no fiddling around with buttons looking for the mute switch.
The ear cups themselves they are equipped with Kingston’s signature HyperX memory foam cushions. These will make using the HyperX Cloud Stinger very comfortable, even after long hours of gaming. Also to help with comfort there is a cushion on the headband. The headband itself is adjustable and has a steel slider so you know it is not going to break like cheaper headsets. Inside each ear cup you have 50 mm directional drivers. These drivers are parallel to the ear to position sound directly into the ear for precision gaming-grade gaming audio.
The chassis is constructed almost entirely from plastic although by any means does it feel cheap, and a strip of metal still runs through the headband making it feel sturdy. Overall, this headset feels durable enough to survive normal use—e.g., tossed into a backpack, dropped onto a desk, and all the usual battle scars but, if you are a headset abuser and you enjoy a good rage when you’ve lost a game, these won’t survive a good thrashing.
My head would like to thank the people at HyperX for making, at long last, a very comfortable headset! The headset fitted perfectly around my rather large head with ease and only having to adjust the size once at the start, then I was good to go. When it comes to comfort, the HyperX Cloud Stinger shoots way above its pay-grade. The fact is, gaming headsets need to be comfortable, because gamers generally have them on for at least a few hours at a time. The memory foam sits really well and covers my ears entirely, and even a few hours into an intense Fortnite battle, I didn’t have sweaty lobes nor any pressure around my head that some headsets can give you, I was totally unaware a lot of the time that I was wearing a headset at all!
Sound and Microphone
For this test I played a lot of Fortnite on the PS4, a game called The Council also on the PS4 and Fe on the Nintendo Switch. I was extremely impressed with the range of the HyperX cloud stinger, it was just as good if not better than my PlayStation platinum headset that I used to wear all the time (until HyperX cloud stinger that is) In Fortnite I could hear shots in the distance, someone walking above and below me and all the essentials you need in a battle royale game. It may not be as powerful as its more expensive headsets, but it still sounds awesome. In The Council I heard some amazing sounds like the sea rolling on the beach, fire crackling as I stood by the fireplace and the low hum of people conversing in the background. In Fe all of the noises you hear are mostly nature related so I could easily pick up the wind in the trees, the sound of running streams and waterfalls and the delicate tweeting of the nearby birds in the sky. All in all, I heard everything I wanted to with no distortion at all. It was clear and precise, what more could you want?
Let’s start with the bass, and while it’s generally well-tuned, there could be a little more of it. The bass that is there sounds great and helps make those explosions nice and powerful — but it could definitely use a little fine tuning to help make it sound a bit fuller.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger is easy to connect. By default, it connects via a 3.5-mm audio jack, but you can also attach it to a splitter (which is included) for discrete microphone and audio streams on a gaming rig. The cord is long enough to attach comfortably to a desktop, laptop or controller. Aside from the aforementioned splitter and volume slider on the right ear cup, the Cloud Stinger is admirably light on features. It’s not a USB headset, so there’s no software to grapple with. For better or worse, there’s no external amp. The microphone mutes automatically when you slide it all the way up and you can hear it click to let you know it is indeed muted, which is a great touch.
The sound quality of the mic was average. Sometimes it would feel slightly tinny, but nothing out of the ordinary for a headset microphone. It did cancel out background noise, which is really helpful when you have some people in the room that don’t know how to be quiet. I found the microphone exactly how it should be for something of this price and I was very happy with it.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger is everything you’d want from a budget headset and more. With it’s amazing comfort and lightweight appeal you’d be fooled into thinking you were wearing a high-end headset. A comfortable pair of headphones goes a long way, especially for a gaming headset where you’re going to be wearing it for long stretches at a time and you can’t go wrong with these nestled on your head. For £50, you can’t expect the moon and stars in a gaming headset; you just want something competent and comfortable. In those respects, the Cloud Stinger delivers. I have now replaced my more expensive Sony Platinum headset with that of the HyperX Cloud Stinger.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger receives an unbelievably comfortable Thumb Culture Gold Award
Disclamier: HyperX sent me a review unit for the purposes of this review article