From Turtle Beach to Mad Catz products, I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to use a number of quality headsets. I’m happy to share that Kingston’s HyperX Cloud Pro Gaming Headset is joining the ranks of my favourites. This headset really came out of left field for me as I was not expecting anywhere near the quality it offers considering its budget-like price.
The Cloud comes packed with some solid foam padding protecting all of its various components snuggled inside. It also makes for a strong first impression. It looks sleek with an attractive matte black frame, accompanied by red details on both the stitching of the headband and the logo on the side of the ear cups. Built from solid aluminum, the Cloud feels good to hold. The frame feels durable and reliable, immediately convincing me that I could take this headset with me to gaming sessions without worrying about it getting busted during transit.
I jumped right into listening to my favourite tunes and was caught off guard from how great everything sounded. Bass came through moderately punchy and vocals were crisp and carried nicely by shredding guitars. I am admittedly spoiled by my go to headset that provides dramatic low-end growls, but I reminded myself that I was comparing a $100 headset to a $300 headset. With this in mind, I can safely say the Cloud sounds better then any other headset I have used in the same price point. I will note that upon switching the leather ear cushions out for the velour options that the Cloud took on significantly different characteristics. Brighter trebles and less bass we’re the most noticeable changes. In short, I would argue that for gaming the leather cushions took the cake. Beyond the headset and the two sets of ear cups you will find a detachable mic, an optional cable with in-line controls, a cable extender, an airplane jack adapter, and a two-into-one cable that allows the Cloud to be used on a smart phone.
Moving onto some PC gaming I launched into some Far Cry 3. I was met with impressively clear audio, but a somewhat disappointing experience in terms of overall immersion. The Cloud failed to guide my ears to the source of sound while gaming. Explosions and gunshots came through crystal clear, but I often had a hard time determining where they came from to begin with. In terms of gaming, the Cloud provides a very clear lively experience, but one that isn’t particularly immersive. This can be somewhat forgiven though as the tones that do come through are warm and punchy. The included microphone projects your voice crisply whether you’re trash talking other gamers or recording a test on your computer. Upon testing it out over a session of Diablo 3 a friend of mine reported that my voice was coming through quite clearly and only a occasional bit of minor distortion was noted now and then.
Watching a movie with the Cloud is a similar experience to gaming with it. It is quite capable of offering a moderate amount of punch, giving explosions and action scenes some impact. That said it lacks much depth as low bass rumbles often faded out quickly. That being said, this is one of the most comfortable headsets to watch a movie with.
Given that the headset is built primarily from aluminum, I was concerned that it would become quite uncomfortable to use for long periods of time. After sinking into the world of Far Cry 3 for several hours, and while watching the above referenced movie, I almost forgot I even had the Cloud on. The headset’s leather and foam wrapped padded headband cradles your head and both the leather ear cups and the velour cushions offer a tremendously cozy experience, keeping me in the game, or in the movie, without squishing my ears.
At a $100 price point it’s difficult to find any significant faults with the HyperX Cloud Pro Gaming Headset. Though I noted that position-based audio was not a strength of the Cloud, it wasn’t advertised to be in the first place. As it stands, no other $100 headset compares to the Cloud, what with the generous set of accessories and sleek frame, not to mention the crystal clear audio it delivers. It’s by no means the most technically advanced headset available, but the build quality and level of comfort provided is fantastic. If you’re looking for a reliable headset that provides punchy tones without breaking the bank, Kingston’s HyperX Cloud is your best option.