Nowadays, gaming headsets are jampacked with specs that can virtually isolate you from the real world. They all got shimmering lights, snug cushion pads, loud and rumbling sounds, durable and tangle-free cables, and more. However, don’t even think that gaming headsets of the yesteryears are already obsolete and can’t keep up with today’s competition. Just like what the cool kids on the block said, “the OGs are still the best.” HyperX Cloud 2 is a formidable gaming headset launched in 2015 and is still available on the market today. This headset brought the world of gaming into a storm, and up until now, continues to exceed expectations. In this review of the HyperX Cloud 2, we’ll discuss if it’s still a must-buy today.
What Is HyperX Cloud 2?
Kingston, the manufacturer behind HyperX, is a company that is known for producing high-quality random access memory (RAM) for PCs. Their Fury series of RAMs have been selling like hotcakes in the gaming world. And in 2014, the company surprised the PC world with its iteration of gaming headphones named the “HyperX Cloud.”
The following year, Kingston unleashed the HyperX Cloud 2. It is a gaming headset that is tailor-made for the PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. It boasts a slew of specs that can be deemed futuristic in its time. In addition, the HyperX Cloud 2 comes with a 7.1 virtual surround sound, detachable boom microphone, replaceable ear cushions, and the most essential of them all—the 3.5 mm headphone plug. It also got a three-foot cable with in-line volume control. There are two color options for HyperX Cloud 2, namely Gun Metal and Red. It also boasts a sound card that gives more sound options for your PC gaming fix.
These specs have been deemed the golden standard of gaming headsets. Many makers have emulated these specs, but they weren’t able to topple down the HyperX Cloud 2. Its performance itself proved its worth, and that’s why even years after its release, HyperX Cloud 2 is still a favorite throughout the gaming world.
If you’re not convinced yet, continue reading our HyperX Cloud 2 review and see what it offers.
HyperX Cloud 2 Review
The HyperX Cloud 2 might be the finest sub-$100 gaming headset available in the market today. There are many compelling reasons why you should consider buying this pair of headphones among all its hyped-up competitors. Now, let’s review everything that makes the HyperX Cloud 2 a headset worth your consideration.
Sound: Perfect… Well, Almost Perfect.
The first highlight of this review is of course —the sound quality. How does it fare with its competitors? Is it worth your buck?
HyperX Cloud 2 does its job in producing immersive sounds, especially when gaming. You can hear everything, from the subtle footsteps in shooting games like Valorant or Fortnite, to the rumbling of horses and bomb drops in games like Red Dead Redemption or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. The highs, the lows, and the mids are evenly proportioned.
And if you are a PC gamer, you can attach the 7.1 virtual surround sound card to it. The sound card will be attached to the USB port of your PC. Technically, this will add a bit more depth to the sound quality of your PC games. In reality, though, it does not do much. The sounds seem the same even without the dedicated sound card. There’s no software for it too, so you cannot tweak the audio settings to your liking. Nevertheless, we can boldly claim that this gaming headset is among the most ideal piece out there.
Moreover, the headset has a 3.5 mm headphone plug. This makes it compatible with every modern gadget today, like your PC, Xbox One (needs an adapter), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, and even your Android and some iOS phones. Kingston also included two-pronged adapters that you can use on airplanes. Listening to game sounds will have the same experience when playing with a PC or console. However, if you want to listen to music, do not expect any stellar performance with it. The highs and mids are on point, but the bass is not thumping enough. The lack of a noise-canceling function might also turn away some people who prefer to listen to music alone.
The microphone does its job well, too. The six inches mic is ideally placed in front of your mouth. This makes your audio output real clear. It also reduces the noise from the surrounding environment significantly. The output of this mic is pristine enough for your gaming needs. Now, you can speak to your teammates without them rambling about your audio quality. Plus, the mic is detachable, making it the same as your regular headphone.
For Gaming: Approved
For Music: Hit or Miss
Comfortability: Soft as a Pillow.
Not arguing about it, but the HyperX Cloud 2 is one of the snuggest headsets out there. Its stock leatherette ear cups give a cushy feel to its users. You won’t feel any soreness or tightness around your ears for up to 10+ hours of gaming. The headband might feel a little bit tight at first, but that’s a given for any metal material. The headband also flexes according to your head size in the long run. If you don’t feel the comfort of the stock ear cups, you can replace them with cloth ear cups instead. This is a nice touch from HyperX, giving more preferences to its users.
If you are a weight weenie, these headphones won’t disappoint you. It only weighs 11 ounces, which is somewhat in the midpoint of gaming headsets in terms of weight. This might be a little heavy for some, but the weight is fairly unnoticeable especially when you’re already playing.
Design: Simple but Rocks!
Just like what we’ve stated in the early part of this article, every manufacturer seems to be gunning for headsets with rainbow or pulsing lights in them. This surely ups the overall aesthetics, but Kingston went on a different path. Instead, they chose simple, well-rounded ear cups with the HyperX logo on its shell, plus another HyperX logo on the headband. The color on its headphones does not also disappoint. The subtleness of the Gun Metal or Red does not make it an eye-irritant as compared to other gaming headsets. If you prefer everything plain and simple, then HyperX Cloud 2 is the right headset for you.
The ear cups are not foldable, though, so expect portability issues when using this headset outside. Obviously, the HyperX Cloud 2 is more suited for stay-at-home gaming.
Build Quality: Everything but the Wires.
HyperX Cloud 2 proved itself as a simply designed yet very comfy gaming headset. But what about its durability? How does it fare with other gaming headphones in the market?
The headphone’s cable, without the proprietary sound card, measures about three feet. This cable carries in-line audio controls for volume and mic control. It is pretty accessible. When you add the USB sound card, it adds another three feet of cabling. This totals up to six feet. This cord is long enough to connect to your PC, so you don’t have to worry about lacking cable length. The cord is braided, thus making it durable and not susceptible to unwanted tangles.
However, the connection between the ear cups and the cable is exposed. This joint is a potential weak point. So, be wary of flexing this part of the headphone as you might accidentally snap it. And unlike other headphones within its price, this said cord is not detachable, thus adding another reason to take extra care for these pair of headphones.
Aluminum is used on its ear cups shell. This material can withstand any drops so you will feel secure about any damages it may take. You can expect some hair scratches after a fall, but we all care about the sound of the headphones, aren’t we?
Overall, the build quality is truly sturdy on its own. The sound quality will remain the same even if it takes falls and shocks. Just be mindful of those wires.
Build Quality Verdict
Pricing: Fair with Fancy Specs.
With all the specs it carries, you might think that this $99 gaming headset is anything but all hype without substance. In reality, this gaming add-on is somehow fairly priced. Compared to its competitors, the HyperX Cloud 2’s comfort surpasses any gaming headsets out there. The fit is just right for any ear size, plus the addition of cloth ear cups proves a nice gesture from Kingston.
The sound quality is also superb, especially for gaming. And with the 7.1 virtual surround sound USB card, everything is truly worth the penny. Moreover, if you prefer minimal designs, this gaming headset is the perfect one for you. Lastly, it can adapt to almost all of your devices because it fits on a 3.5 mm headphone jack. There’s no need to buy another pair of earphones for your other devices.
Who Should Use HyperX Cloud 2?
HyperX Cloud 2 is truly a great performing gaming headset for its seemly average price. But is this headphone made for everyone?
Basically, HyperX Cloud 2 is specially built for gamers out there. Its large ear cups plus great sounds make gameplays more immersive and intense. Of course, we don’t usually bring out our PC or gaming consoles, so this is truly suitable when playing at home.
Moreover, this headset is suitable for work-at-home individuals. Its noise-reducing microphone helps in refining your pronunciations on every online meeting you participate in. The mic also reduces any ambient noise in its surroundings.
However, if you’re an audiophile, you might not feel satisfied with the performance of this headset. As mentioned already, the trebles and the mids sound perfect when playing music. For bass lovers, however, this might come a little disappointing for you. The bass performs well in games, but the performance on music is a bit lackluster. The shortage of thumps and heart-pumping beats might dismay most of you.
You can use this headset outside with your mobile phones or other handheld consoles, but you might look awkward. Yes, you may use this on your mobile phones with a 3.5 mm headphone jack or Nintendo Switch. But still, it would look too bulky on your ears. If you insist on wearing this outdoors, you might get caught by the fashion police. Plus, the uber-long cable makes this headset virtually not portable. There are other cheap headphones for audiophiles out there that are more suitable for your outdoor adventures. It’s best if you just use them instead of this gaming headset.
HyperX Cloud Alpha vs HyperX Cloud 2: Which Is Better?
Kingston continuously launched gaming headsets throughout the years. The Hyperx Cloud Alpha was launched in 2017, adding to the lineup of superb gaming headsets by Kingston. Perhaps you might have heard of this headset already since this is among the popular choices by most game streamers.
This gaming headset is fairly priced at $79.95, just like its older sibling, the HyperX Cloud 2. You might think that the Cloud Alpha bears more advantages than the Cloud 2 because it went out at a later date. But is that the case?
Basically, HyperX Cloud Alpha is like the twin brother of HyperX Cloud 2. The aesthetics of these headsets look almost identical; you wouldn’t even notice the difference from afar. Both got braided cables, 3.5 mm headphone plugs, and cushy ear cups. However, there’s a stark difference in the performance between the two headsets.
In this part of our HyperX Cloud 2 review, let’s compare the Cloud Alpha with the Cloud 2.
Cloud 2 vs Cloud Alpha: Features
|HyperX Cloud 2||HyperX Cloud Alpha|
|Only the mic is detachable||Mic and audio cable are detachable|
|Comes with replaceable ear cups||No replaceable ear cups|
|7.1 surround sound card included||No USB sound card|
|Single chamber speaker||Dual-chamber speaker|
Cloud Alpha’s hardware has some advantages over Cloud 2. For example, the mic and the audio cable of the Cloud Alpha are detachable, giving a more proper cable organization. Also, in terms of sound performance, these two have a significant difference. The Cloud Alpha doesn’t have any virtual surround sound on it, but Kingston equipped a dual-chamber speaker on it. This reduces interference and distortion between the highs, mids, and lows, and you can experience this on all devices by using a headphone jack. Moreover, Cloud 2 has a 7.1 virtual surround sound card that will immerse you in a home theater-like experience. The caveat is that you can only experience this on a PC.
Even if the Cloud Alpha seems to be gaining the high ground in this comparison, it’s best not to underestimate the power of Cloud 2. Its performance, comfort, and durability make it a formidable competitor in the world of gaming headsets. That’s one reason why it managed to stay in the highly competitive gaming accessory market for the longest time. Perhaps, the illusion of choice is the reason why they still do not retire this in service.
HyperX Cloud 2 Review: Verdict
HyperX Cloud Alpha is on point in every way. It adopts a modern design and great performance in the sound department. Many gamers highly recommend this less than $100 headset.
However, the HyperX Cloud 2 still beats its competitors even after its five years of iteration. The simplicity of its aesthetics and the immersive sound experience it offers make it one of the best headsets in the entirety of the gaming world. Its build quality also adds up to the reasons why it weathered itself through time. If you are looking for a great gaming headset with a 7.1 virtual surround sound, definitely consider purchasing the HyperX Cloud 2.