Review: HyperX Cloud Earbuds (Hardware)
Everyone wants in on the third-party Switch peripheral bandwagon from controllers to power banks to dedicated carry cases! As such, it’s no wonder that companies would want to invest in a crucial aspect of the console: audio. One such company is HyperX which has a history of releasing high quality audio peripherals and has released its very first in-ear earbuds optimized for handheld devices, in particular the Nintendo Switch. After having reviewed their great but pricey Cloud Revolver and the all-rounder Cloud Alpha, I was curious as to how their in-ear earphones would fare.
Contents & Specs
Unboxing the HyperX Cloud Earbuds package will yield with the following:
- 1x HyperX Cloud Earbuds
- 1x Hard case
- 3 different ear tip sizes
Specs-wise, here's what defines the Cloud Earbuds:
- Driver: Dynamic 14mm with neodymium magnets
- Frequency response: 20Hz–20,000Hz
- Impedance: 65 Ω
- Sound pressure level: 116dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
- T.H.D.: < 2%
- Weight: 19g
- Cable type and length: 4 pole, 1.2m
- Element: Electret condenser microphone
- Polar pattern: Omni-directional
- Frequency response: 100Hz-6,300 Hz
- Sensitivity: -42dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
On the go
From a design perspective, it is obvious that this accessory has been optimized for handheld gaming devices. The 90-degree angled plug is telling. You might have noticed yourself that a straight plug that most recent earphones are built after will cause a weird kink, prone to damage, when used on the Switch’s top jack. However this is not the case with the Cloud Earbuds which naturally fall down the back of the console.
The cables are flat and rubberized, giving off a nice feel to the touch and are also “tangle-free” but more like tangle-less for easier unwinding after you stash them in your pocket. At 1.2m, the cables are long enough for handheld devices but if you are on a PC, they might be short depending on how far the headphone jack is situated.
Alternatively, you can securely store these earbuds in the included pocket-sized hard carry case. This case also has an inner storage space of the perfect size for the included ear tips. The latter are also included in the package and come in 3 sizes (small, medium, large) and can easily be swapped to find the best fit for your external auditory meatus. Some attention have also been dedicated to designing those unorthodox-looking eartips as they really hold tight with their extra "wings" and don’t fall out of of my ears as easily (if ever) as I’ve noticed with other in-ear pieces. However they don’t go all the way in the ear canal, so some of the louder outside noise is bound to interfere.
Regarding comfort, the Cloud Earbuds are indeed comfortable to wear for hours on after you finally find an appropriate, albeit not perfect, fitting ear tip. They are advertised as having the signature HyperX comfort but they are nowhere as near as HyperX's very own signature memory foam found on its other headsets.
Of course, given their size and being in-ear earbuds, do not expect these to deliver sound quality as great as HypeX’s own Cloud Revolver or Cloud Alpha. Nevertheless, the Cloud Earbuds do output decent sound with an advertised enhanced bass, and crystal-clear highs, mids, and lows. However, I found them to be quite balanced overall between treble and bass and highs and lows. They do deliver crisp and faithful Hylian tunes in Breath of the Wild and allowed me to appreciate Moonlighter’s unique soundtrack as intended. For the more competitive and demanding gamers, you will appreciate the sound fidelity and lack of latency that wired earphone provide. These pieces even work as daily drivers to listen to songs and watch videos.
The Cloud Earbuds also pack an in-line microphone to communicate in games like Fortnite, and again, those do not deliver your voice as crisp as a boom mic but they do the job by delivering a rather clear audio to the receiving end. The in-line mic also has a button that can be used to answer calls and pause songs (tested on Android Spotify and Android Play Music). If you press the button long enough, it even summons Google Assistant on your Android device. However the high position of the button on the cable can be an inconvenience as it requires quite a reach to operate. Moreover, here I deplore the lack of in-line volume controls which seems like a no-brainer given the presence of an in-line microphone. But alas, HyperX failed to integrate one. To be included in the next itereration, perhaps?
Earbuds, best buds?
HyperX’s Cloud Earbuds are priced at $50 at the time of writing. Ultimately, you can always find cheaper in-ear earphones at a comparable quality or even find decent around the ear headsets for the same price. As such, you might want to look into the Cloud Earbuds for the extras that HyperX provides like the two-year warranty and free technical support or if you want the branded tag. But if you do purchase it, your purchase will be justified by a quality device that outputs quality sound and comes with welcome accessories.
+ Quality audio
+ Well designed
+ Carry case included
+ Three sizes of silicone ear tips included
- No in-line volume controls
- High position of in-line button
out of 10
Looking for a branded and quality pair of in-ear earphones? The HyperX Cloud Earbuds are quite recommended. Just do not expect an audio output on par with higher end around the ear headsets.