HyperX CloudX Stinger Core Wireless Headset Review
While we all love products that offer a plethora of features and options, there’s a refreshing pleasure using well-made, relatively simple and easy-to-understand devices that add convenience instead of complexity to our tech experience. That’s certainly true of the HyperX CloudX Stinger Core Wireless Headset, which despite the tangle of words in its name, is a straightforward wireless gaming headset licensed for Xbox consoles.
Headsets are an essential component of the console gamer’s experience, and not being tethered to a machine is both liberating and safer. Often, wireless headsets represent compromises of one sort or another, but the HyperX CloudX Stinger Core boasts decent on-paper audio specs and usability features, including 90-degree rotating ear cups to provide an adaptive fit, convenient volume controls located on the earcup, a swivel-to-mute noise-canceling microphone, and adjustable steel sliders. It weighs in at 275 grams and has 40mm dynamic drivers, with a frequency response of 10Hz–21kHz.
With a dynamic driver and lack of some audiophile features like virtual surround sound or any way to shape the audio experience beyond volume and chat mixing, the HyperX CloudX Stinger Core clearly isn’t going for the high-end audio market. That said, the over-the-ear, closed back design does a good job of naturally minimizing environmental noise and game music and audio are crisp and well defined at reasonable volume levels, and its swivel-to-mute, 20Hz-6.8kHz condenser mic was clear and responsive, with little distortion. Spatial definition was excellent, even without surround sound. I did notice some high frequency distortion at higher volumes and there were times when I wanted to feel a little more from the low end of the spectrum.
Charging and initially paring the HyperX CloudX Stinger Core comes via a 0.5m USB-C to USB-A charge cable, which is obviously much too short to be used while gaming, and is really too short to be easily practical if your console is hidden away in a cluttered cabinet. The company claims 17 hours of battery life on one charge and that may be true, as I have been using the headset off and on for several weeks without needing to charge again. While most gamers will obviously be using the headset within clear line of sight to their console, it offers a wireless range of 20 meters. Set up is simple and I’ve had no issues with connection dropouts or noticeable lag at normal playing distance.
Build quality is excellent and materials are good for a sub-$100 headset. There are no bells and whistles like programmable colored LEDs , but the simple controls are easily accessible. The fabric-covered, foam ear cups are comfortable and the steel slider frame feels sturdy. The padding over the head is a little minimal, and that brings us to the HyperX CloudX Stinger Core’s overall feel. Head shapes and sizes are, obviously, extremely variable, and building a headset that will be perfectly comfortable for everyone is impossible. I found the HyperX CloudX Stinger Core to be generally quite comfortable, with my biggest complaint being the inflexible stiffness of the steel sliders. They’re not going to conform to your head, but with some care and adjustment, it’s possible to find that sweet spot where the headset disappears into the overall gaming experience. With the relatively large, dynamic drivers, full cover design, and hard plastic construction, this is not a feather-weight feeling headset.
The HyperX CloudX Stinger Core is a very good, reasonably priced headset for Xbox gamers that want to cut the cables, and enjoy audio and communications without being tethered to their machines while still enjoying a full-range musical and audio experience. Being exclusively built for Xbox consoles, this headset will not pair with your PC or Playstation, and although the HyperX CloudX Stinger Core is a pretty basic, no-frills device, it is a more than competent one and easy to recommend for budget-conscious Xbox gamers in the market for a wireless headset.
***HyperX CloudX Stinger Core provided for review***
• Simple to use
• Excellent workmanship and materials
• Decent frequency range and spatial separation
• Wireless convenience
• Budget friendly
• No frills audio
• A little stiff and heavy
• Short charging cable