HyperX Cloud II Headphones Review
What makes for a good gaming headset? If you answered solid audio performance, a high quality mic and comfort– then you’ll find them all in the HyperX Cloud II gaming headset. An upgraded version of the HyperX Cloud, the Cloud II comes with even more features than its popular predecessor.
Gaming is serious business – and many battles have been fought and won thanks to headphones. Don’t underestimate the power of a good sound system when it comes to locating enemy troops, dodging bullets or hearing game cues for that decisive win.
If you want surround sound for your gaming, then the Cloud II is definitely an improvement over the original, as it comes with a USB Audio Sound Card with 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound. The card works by converting any multi-channel audio from an external source, such as a movie or a game, and remixes it for the headset’s stereo speakers.
What users will get is a wide sound stage with accurate 3D imaging – putting them in the midst of a virtual battle field whilst allowing them to visualize objects and determine directions where sound is coming from with pinpoint accuracy. This feature makes them perfect for gaming, but works well with movies and music as well.
However, users should note that the surround sound only works to its maximum potential when plugged in to high-quality audio sources. Sounds designed for lesser setups will appear muddy, in which case users might decide to leave it off for better clarity.
When not using the card, the headphones still deliver a powerful performance with detailed stereo, thanks to large 53mm drivers backed by neodymium magnets. With a frequency response of 15Hz to 25,000Hz, the bass packs an impressive punch at the low-end whilst still delivering detailed mids and bright, sparkly trebles. They have an impedance rating of 60ohms and are designed to work with gaming devices such as PCs, Macs and PS4s.
Design and Build
Gaming headsets are often characterized by flashy designs and bright LED lights. Like most headsets in this category, the HyperX Cloud II is big and bulky, but the similarity ends there. They have a relatively reserved look, with no flashing lights, a simple color scheme as well as subtle logo placement. For their size, they are surprisingly lightweight at just 9.6 ounces. Their ergonomic design helps to distribute the headset’s weight evenly, so that users will not feel uncomfortable even after long hours of gaming.
The Cloud II is big on comfort and durability. The body is made from tough and durable steel, giving them a robust structure that will hold up against abuse and hard knocks from travelling. Meanwhile, the thick and rounded headband is padded with a leather-like material for maximum comfort, and is fixed securely with mechanical seams.
Their large, swivelling ear cups can be rotated for a customized fit, and a closed back design provides excellent noise isolation to ensure that nothing distracts you from the game. The memory foam interior and leatherette cushions further help to reduce ambient noise, besides being soft and comfy on the ears. As an added bonus, the headset comes with an extra set of velour ear cushions, should users prefer that material.
The headset comes in three colors; namely pink, gun metal and red. The gun metal and red have a muted color scheme paired with a nice brushed metal finish, but if you want something that pops, go for the white and pink model instead.
In-game communication is an important aspect of multiplayer games, and the Cloud II delivers in the form of a digitally-enhanced microphone. It has a noise cancelling feature with automatic gain control as well as echo cancelling capabilities via the USB sound card. The result is crystal clear voice on the other end, as well as reduced background noise. The sound card automatically adjusts the mic’s volume when in-game sounds get louder. Certified by TeamSpeak, it is optimized for voice chat applications such as Skype. The mic is detachable when not in use, although the small size might make it easy to misplace.
Another great feature of the headset is the controls. There are independent audio and mic volume controls, as well as a switch to easily toggle Surround Sound on and off.
As for ease of use, the Cloud II uses a simple plug and play concept, with no complicated driver setups needed. They are compatible with PC and Mac via USB cable, and are stereo compatible with the PS4 and Xbox One. Xbox One users will have to buy a separate stereo adapter, as the one included with the set is a standard 3.5mm jack.
The developers certainly do not skimp when it comes to accessories. We mentioned earlier that the headset comes with an extra set of velour cushions for the ear cups, which you’ll rarely find among headphone manufacturers. They go one step further by also including an airplane adapter and a travel friendly mesh bag for easy storage. It’s these little touches and options offered by the company that makes the headset so well-loved among gamers.
Pros and Cons
- Surround sound 7.1
- Designed for gaming with PC, Mac, PS4 and Xbox One
- Detachable boom mic optimized for chat, noise and echo cancelling
- Discreet design
- Loads of accessories included – extra ear pads, travel bag, airplane adapter
- Convenient independent controls for headphone and mic, toggle button for Surround Sound
- Muddy sound when paired with audio devices not optimized for Surround Sound 7.1
- Headband is non-adjustable
- Mic’s small size makes it easy to lose
The Hyper X Cloud II does an impressive job as a gaming headset, with pros far outweighing the cons. The Surround Sound 7.1 really makes a difference in providing users with an immersive gaming experience, and the mic works flawlessly for in-game communication. The accessories round up the whole package, making the headset a true value-for-money buy.