We recently reviewed the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core headset. But if you watch other HyperX users, including pros and streamers, you’ll notice many of them wear the classic red headset. This one is the HyperX Cloud headset. There’s a whole family of HyperX Cloud headsets out there. Last November, the Cloud II was added to this lineup, and we’ve got our hands on one to test it out. How does it differ to the Cloud Stinger? Is the worth the extra money? We’ve got the answers for you in our HyperX Cloud II review.
HyperX Cloud II vs. Cloud Stinger Core
When it comes to headset pricing, wireless and wired are like chalk and cheese. The wireless options tend to be much more expensive than the wired versions. Therefore, we’ll need to compare the Cloud II wireless and the Cloud Stinger wireless versions.
Unlike the Cloud Stinger, the Cloud II sits in the more ‘premium’ end of the headset market. The Cloud II is less flimsy and more robust than its wireless Stinger counterpart. In terms of sound, they both have built-in virtual 7.1 surround sound. So if you’re looking at sound quality, these are about on par with one another. Instead, it’s all the other bits and pieces that make the Cloud II a more desirable headset.
Firstly, there’s the fully detachable microphone. This is nearly always a preference for those streamers and gamers who use an additional, separate microphone. The microphone comes with an added pop filter if you are going to use it, offering slightly more control over your sound.
If you’re a HyperX fan and you love the red accents on their products, then you’ll want the Cloud II. It has beautiful, shiny red highlights on each side of the headset. To top if off, there’s even lovely red stitching around the top headband, which completes the overall look of the HyperX Cloud II. Personally, I prefer the Cloud II over the Cloud Stinger Core because of this beautiful form factor, coupled with sturdy build quality and delightful comfort.
Comfort for long hours of gaming
So, now we’ve established that the Cloud II is a nicer looking headset, let’s talk about how it feels and performs. In terms of comfort, this headset meet my requirements. Those requirements are wearing it for long hours without getting a sore head. My head is tiny, so I love the adjustable nature of this headset. It easily slides up and down to accommodate a beanie when it’s cold, or to fit onto my mate’s bigger head too! The leatherette cushion ears add to the comfort as well and the metal castings keep everything neatly in place on my head.
The only thing that could have made this more comfortable is if the headset had interchangeable fluffy ear cups, or if there was the option of gel cooling pads. As it stands, leatherette is the only option here.
Let’s face it, you want to be comfortable when gaming but if the sound is terrible, then comfort only takes you so far. I already mentioned that both the Cloud II and Cloud Stinger Core have the virtual 7.1 surround sound experience. With more and more headsets on the market being released with this feature, you almost can’t get away with not having it now.
There’s a noticeable difference between having the surround sound on or off. With it on, the sounds are much richer. You can hear more depth if you are listening to music, and if you’re gaming, you can easily discern where footsteps, gunfire and the likes are coming from.
The Cloud II also does a pretty good job of blocking out other noises. It’s not fully noise cancelling, but there’s enough to make you feel immersed in whatever game you’re playing. I can’t say the same about the Cloud Stinger Core in that regard. While the virtual surround sound is virtually the same, the Cloud II does a better job at blocking out real environment sounds.
Okay, onto the controls. One of the coolest things about the Cloud II is its little start-up beep! If you’re not listening for it you might miss it, but this is a nice addition to the overall experience. Finding the power button is really intuitive too, as it sits alongside the mute button on the left of the set, while the volume control is on the right side.
Speaking of which, the volume wheel has great tactility. It does feature an endless scroll though, meaning there’s no high or low point to the volume wheel. This isn’t a problem if you have feedback as to where your volume is currently at. But, you might end up thinking you haven’t hit the max when in fact, you were there ten minutes ago! This isn’t a major issue, but it’s something to note.
Wireless and setting up
If you’ve read some of my previous reviews on headsets, you’ll know I personally dislike wireless options. I’m always forgetting to charge them and I dislike having to figure out how to pair them. Luckily, there are two solutions for this. The first is the Cloud II comes in a wired edition, which also costs a lot less for the budget-conscious gamer.
Or if you do like wireless – due to their usefulness in decluttering your desk and the ease in moving around if you’re on a call or chatting in Discord – then you’ll be happy to know the HyperX Cloud II is super easy to setup. Just plug in the USB dongle and in a few seconds your headset will be ready to use, as long as it’s charged and switched on.
If you want more control however, download the HyperX NGenuity software. NGenuity will give you a lot more feedback on your product. For example, you’ll be able to see whether it’s successfully connected via wireless and if your headset is fully charged. You can also adjust volume, mute the microphone and change the surround sound settings through the software.
It’s also great that the headset has USB-C charging, allowing you to use a USB-C cable you might have lying around from your phone or even a Nintendo Switch. I do wish though, that this headset also had the option of Bluetooth pairing instead of taking up another USB port with the dongle.
HyperX Cloud II review
If this sounds like the headset for you, then the website has more info on specs and where to buy. There’s also a great comparison chart on the wireless vs. wired headset options, if you can’t make up your mind. The wireless headset comes in at a hefty $299 AUD (approx. $229 USD) while the wired edition is only $179 AUD (approx. $129 USD).
For a chance to not have to pay at all, HyperX and World of Tanks ANZ are doing a limited edition run of these headsets that you can enter to win. Here’s more detail on the WoT finals and how you could win.