Sound is most definitely a very important aspect of gaming. Depending on what you’re playing, it can be the difference between winning and losing. The HyperX Cloud Alpha gaming headset is one of the newest options available from the gaming peripheral company. Keep reading to see how it performs in this full review.
- Driver: Custom dynamic, 50mm with neodymium magnets
- Type: Circumaural, closed back
- Frequency response: 13Hz–27,000Hz
- Impedance: 65 Ω
- Sound pressure level: 98dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
- T.H.D.: < 1%
- Weight: 298g
- Weight with mic & cable: 336g
- Cable length and type: Detachable headset cable (1.3m) + PC extension cable (2m)
- Connection: Detachable headset cable – 3.5mm plug (4 pole) + PC extension cable – 3.5mm stereo and mic plugs
- Element: Electret condenser microphone
- Polar pattern: Noise-cancelling
- Frequency response: 50Hz-18,000Hz
- Sensitivity: -43dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
What’s in the Box
- HyperX Cloud Alpha
- Removeable adjustable boom mic
- 3.5mm audio cable with inline volume control
- 3.5mm audio extension cable with split mic/audio connections
- Carrying pouch
- Quick Start guide
HyperX wanted the Cloud Alpha gaming headset to fill the needs of gamers, so they talked to gamers to help come up with several design elements of the finished product. The overall result is quite nice indeed.
Starting at the top of the headset you’ll find the leatherette headband which is wrapped around a memory foam core for comfort. The HyperX name mark is adorned across the top, while red stitching along either side gives the headband a more interesting design. The headband is capped on either side by black soft-touch plastic with the R/L indicator as well as where the remainder of the headphones are attached.
The earcups are attached to an inverted Y-shaped aluminum brace. The inside of the brace where the headphones are adjustable includes a series of dots to show to what degree the headphones are expanded. The curved portion of the brace includes cut out sections to add to the design as well as reduce weight.
The earcups themselves are large and oval in shape. The HyperX logo sits on the outer sandblasted shell, while a wire runs from the top of each earcup up to the soft-touch plastic cap on the headband to connect one earcup to the other. The earcups are thick, each measuring approximately 2” deep, though about ¾” of that is made up of HyperX signature memory foam, which is incredibly soft and comfortable. The remaining body of the earcups is made of the same soft-touch plastic found on the headband caps and provides a very nice feel when you’re putting on, taking off, or just holding the headphones.
The only other ports, buttons, and switches on the headphones themselves are the two 3.5mm jacks for the removable noise-cancelling boom mic and the removable braided audio cable. The audio cable itself is about 55” long, which should be more than enough for most applications, though you’ll also receive an audio cable extender that adds 6 ½’ to the cable, as well as ends in two 3.5mm plugs in case you need to plug the headphones and mic in separately on your PC. The only adornment on the default audio cable is an in-line control box including a volume dial as well as mic mute button.
With a 3.5mm output, the HyperX Cloud Alpha is compatible with any device with a 3.5mm audio jack. It works out of the box with PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and mobile. If you’ve got a newer Xbox One controller with a 3.5mm jack you shouldn’t have any issues, otherwise, you may need an additional adapter that can be purchased separately.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha headphones definitely fit the same overall style and aesthetic of the rest of the HyperX gaming headsets, though you can tell that just a little something extra was added here. The addition of the aluminum frame and soft-touch plastics make for a very premium looking headset, but even more importantly, these things are really comfortable to wear. One of the items HyperX focused on with Cloud Alpha was to make them more comfortable for larger heads. Admittedly, I’ve never had any problems with the other HyperX headphones I’ve used, but the Cloud Alpha’s combination of extra thick memory foam, as well as a slightly larger frame and lighter grip, allow for a supremely comfortable experience.
HyperX touts their dual chamber design here, partnering with the large 50mm drivers found on the Cloud Alpha. The idea behind the dual chamber allows for bass frequencies to be tuned separately from mids and highs, creating an immersive and dynamic sound. I’m happy to say that whatever they’ve got going on inside the ear cups, it’s doing something right. I mentioned the large soundstage present in the previous set of HyperX gaming headphones that I reviewed, and the Cloud Alphas build on that to provide a very clear and open aural environment for gaming.
Some gaming headsets are tuned so specifically for gaming to the detriment of most other audio, but that’s not the case here. I put any headphones that I review through a set playlist of songs. I have a pretty diverse set of music in that setlist, with everything from pop to heavy metal, jazz, dubstep, EDM, punk, and more, each with specific things that I want to listen for. This allows me to have a consistent point of comparison with which to listen. These don’t provide the same sort of audio for music as you’d find in a pair of high-end cans, but I don’t expect them to. They do a more than adequate job for music, and a sound really good for gaming so that’s basically exactly what you’d want from a pair of gaming headphones.
Hearing everything going on around you in your favorite games is obviously important, but if you’re into multiplayer games it’s often quite important for your teammates to be able to hear you as well. HyperX has taken great strides to ensure the best possible voice quality, getting their mic certified by Discord and Teamspeak, two of the largest game chat providers.
The detachable noise-cancelling boom mic bends easily, allowing you to position it in its best possible way to pick up your voice clearly. Teammates had no problem hearing or understanding me even with a little bit of background noise happening around me. The mic mute button works as anticipated, otherwise controlling the mic via software keybinding works as well.
Priced at $99.99 USD, the HyperX Cloud Alpha headphones sit right in the sweet spot for a large variety of gaming headphones. The Cloud Alphas hold their own here, offering great gaming audio and chat performance for a wide variety of gaming consoles as well as a nice understated style and incredible comfort.
HyperX has been doing some great things in the gaming hardware business, and the Cloud Alpha headphones are no exception. They sound great, are priced right, and are one of the most comfortable pairs of headphones I’ve ever worn.