As technology’s quality increases, so too does its price tag. However, Kingston have decided to go against the grain as they deliver their newest gaming headset, the HyperX Cloud II. The Cloud II combines the most comfortable audio experience available on the market, with the pristine sound quality of a professional gaming headset. If experiencing immersive surround sound audio on the most versatile piece of hardware isn’t enough to grab your attention, the $100 price tag will most likely change your mind.
Compatible with PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One or any other device with a 3.5mm, the Cloud II is a flexible piece of hardware with crisp 7.1 surround sound. Innovating on previous designs, these headphones are capable of analyzing any type of audio, breaking it down to its various tracks, and precisely sending them where they need to be. Providing all of this at a range of 15Hz – 20,000 KHz, the Cloud II is can even produce sounds that human ears aren’t even capable of hearing. Jumping immediately into the ultimate GamersPack test trials, the HyperX Cloud II stood tall and strong as it delivered impeccably audio in all kinds of conditions.
Beginning with an extensive music library, as well as in-game soundtracks, the headset was actually able to reveal hidden layers and sounds within the music. Whether mono, stereo, or a fully mixed surround sound experience, the headset is able to distribute each sound individually to the speakers. Essentially, this means that the headset can upgrade the overall quality of each type of audio. Mono tracks (single speaker) can be separated into a stereo format, while stereo tracks (two speakers) can be separated into the minute speakers within each ear cup to simulate a surround sound experience. More importantly, however, is that fully mixed audio can be experienced in its most uncompressed state and played directly into your ears for a personal experience.
Although Kingston have already shown their talent for both design and innovation, the biggest question to consider when buying a gaming headset, is how immersive it is while actually playing a game. Ambient noise is a huge feature in digital worlds, that helps players believe that the jumbled mess of 1s and 0s is a fully realized world. The Cloud II knows how to highlight it. Layered audio tracks are allowed to truly shine now that they can be registered as individual sounds instead of being compressed with other environment noises. The headset gives a deeper sense of immersion as you can begin to identify the multitude of animals that are around you in a forest (seriously helpful when hunting in Rise of the Tomb Raider), or the eerie echoes of your own footsteps as you explore an accent tomb.
When tested against a live stream of Diablo 3 on the PS4, the headset microphone showed its resilience by accurately registering all four of the hosts as they battled their way through the hordes of undead. During the height of gameplay and viewership, the Cloud II handled the live stream connection perfectly well as it never once dropped a signal, inaccurately monitored the stream volume, or interrupted with annoying feedback. Even though a headset wasn’t exactly ideal for multi-person stream, it demonstrated that it was more than capable of handling it. Helping ease its burden was the external microphone. An overall well-designed piece of audio equipment that is not only removable, but also adjustable to ensure that other gamers won’t be able to hear your breathing.
The mic is indeed a very powerful tool in the Cloud II’s arsenal, but it is still one step down from production microphones found on the sets of big name streamers. The difference isn’t bothersome, nor does it reduce the ability for people to understand what you are saying, but gamers may notice a less defined sound when they monitor their voices. While the Cloud II may not offer the exact quality found on high end streaming channels, the microphone is still a quality product that improves your online gameplay, as well as the quality of your personal stream.
One of the greatest features on the headset is the level of comfort provided during any gaming experience. The headband and ear cups within the headset are surrounded by a thick layer of memory foam and leatherette on top, creating a perfectly comfortable gaming headspace for multiple hours at a time. Combined with the flexible headband, the Cloud II does an excellent job of conforming to the shape of your head instead of using plastic ridges to crush your head into place. Adding to this sense of comfort are the Pro-gaming certified noise canceling leatherette ear cup cushions. With the HyperX brand around your ears, you will no longer feel the intrusion of real life into your gaming space as people go about vacuuming, singing out loud, or simply living a normal, loud, life.
Last, and most certainly not least, is the Cloud II’s USB audio control box and sound card. Attached to a 3ft. USB cord extender, the easy to use control box allows players to adjust every aspect of sound within the headset. The design features two very simple plus or minus switches for both the headphone and microphone volume levels. In the middle of these two volume controls is the 7.1 surround sound audio button, allowing users to switch seamlessly between an immersive high quality sound, and a standard gaming experience. The 7.1 surround sound is often better used during solo campaigns and online streaming, whereas its quality is really lost on PvP gaming as you will hear each and every one of their insults with crystal clarity.
You will, however, feel the intrusion of a 6ft. USB cord between you and your console. Out of the box, the headset is only connected to a 3ft. long 3.5mm connection cable, meaning you have to sit within three feet of your console. However, the audio control box that comes packaged with the headset is attached to a USB extension cord that adds an additional 3ft. in length. While the extra space is appreciated, we wish we didn’t have to deal with some serious detachment issues, the headset and the audio control box kept separating mid-game.
The biggest surprise of the HyperX Cloud II headset is that even though it is one of the most comfortable and high quality gaming headset on the market, no sacrifices in quality were made to accommodate the $100 price tag. Providing a crystal clear quality that outperforms more expensive headsets isn’t just simply a technological feat, but statement to broke gamers every where that it is possible to have nice things without ending up on the street.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.