Review: HyperX Cloud Alpha (Hardware)
If you’ve been keeping tabs on my headset reviews, you’d notice by now that what would sell me on a gaming headset are features like lightweight, comfort (sound output quality goes without saying) and smaller, yet advantageous, features like a braided cord, detachable mic and in-line volume control. However, a feature that I never thought I would see in one though would be a detachable cable. I fancy the latter because it is, in most cases, the most damage-prone component of any headset and since they are connected to the whole body, damage to the cable means damage to the whole headset, leaving you with an expensive pair of earmuffs. HyperX surprised me by including all of my favorite features and more in their latest gaming-dedicated headset, the HyperX Cloud Alpha.
At an MRSP of $99, the headset comes packed with the following:
- HyperX Cloud Alpha Headset
- Detachable headset cable (1.3m)
- PC extension cable (2m)
- Detachable noise-cancellation microphone
- Soft Travel Bag
- User Guide
- HyperX team welcome message
And boasts the following specs:
- 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)
One of the defining features of the Cloud Alpha is the integration of the all-new HyperX custom Dual Chamber Drivers. It is aimed to give your audio more distinction and clarity by reducing distortion. The dual chambers work by, quoting HyperX on this, “separating the bass from the mids and highs, allowing optimal tuning for cleaner, smoother sound”. Sure enough, the latest addition to HyperX’s growing line of headsets provided me with crisp sound detail in order to hear the groans of the Lost in The Evil Within 2 as well as the detailed carnage in DOOM VFR while still allowing me to detect new enemies coming for more.
While the Dual Chamber Drivers is a move away from the fancy virtual 7.1 surround gimmick that is a feature of much more expensive headsets, it nevertheless does a great job in providing faithful, quality and clear audio output. However, should you miss the virtual 7.1 surround effect, you can get that effect back by pairing it with the 7.1 dongle from the Cloud Revolver.
HyperX hits the spot once again with the comfort side of things by including its signature memory foam and pliable leatherette around its large earcups and tough, adjustable aluminium headband that accommodate my ears easily and sits comfortably on my dome. Although the faux-leather gives the piece a premium look, this choice of material over micro-fiber means that the earcups tends to hold heat a bit better in the long run, especially with the snuggier feel of the expanded headband design choice over a suspension one, my personal favorite. Not significant to annoy one but slightly noticeable. The headset nevertheless feels comfortable during extended use and does not cause excessive pressure over the jaws or temples by clamping over the sides of the wearer’s head and the Cloud Alpha’s overall lightweight definitely helps.
The detachable noise-cancelling microphone is compatible with clients like TeamSpeak, Discord and Skype. While they do a decent job, there is not much to write home about it. They are fine for chatting with teammates but don’t count on it for high-quality streaming or recording.
Speaking of detachable stuff, did I mention how much I love the detachable braided cord? Not only is a braided cord material more durable but being detachable, it potentially increases the lifetime of the whole headset because any damage to the cord will not affect the earpiece as you can just replace it. It also make the hardware travel-ready for you to take wherever you go.
Indeed, the Cloud Alpha can easily double as a pair of regular headsets. Actually the whole piece is quite stylish with HyperX’s signature red and black tones with red threads discreetly adorning the border of the headband and the metallic-red perforated sturdy aluminium forks holding the cups. You also have the red HyperX logo on the outer sides of each matte black earcups. The matte black finish further adds to the headset’s premium look.
Oh, and since the Cloud Alpha features a 3.5mm port, it is compatible with PC, PS4, Xbox One and other platforms with a 3.5mm port really, even your phone! Plug-and-play all the way!
All in all, the HyperX Cloud Alpha strikes me as a well thought of hardware from the design aspect to its audio prowess to the financial aspect; a move in the right direction by HyperX.
+ Quality sound output
+ Great hardware for its price
+ Detachable microphone and cable
+ In-line volume control
+ Multi-platform compatibility
+ Premium look
- Microphone quality
- Soft travel bag instead of a sturdier hard carry case
out of 10
The HyperX Cloud Alpha is a great piece of branded gaming hardware with the looks that compliments its functionality, all at an affordable price. It is currently my most recommended headset from HyperX’s growing catalogue.