Headphones and Me
When it comes to headphones, the Monoprice has spoilt me. Its unbelievable affordable price, delivering quality sound and not having a fixed wire (the easily-damaged part that had me change so many earphones already) were what sold me on the piece and I've had no reason to change since I started using it. However, it does not feature a microphone and you can feel it pressing on your ears after prolonged use, hence not totally ideal for gaming.
In case you didn't know, HyperX is the high-performance product division of Kingston Technology and encompasses multiple product lines including memory modules, solid-state drives, USB Flash drives, headsets and mouse pads, all aimed at the tech enthusiast and gamer demography.
The unit used in this review was provided by Kingston Technology. Huge thanks to them!
The HyperX Cloud Stinger
Strife Stinger was safely and rapidly delivered by UPS and out of the package came this:
As seen above, out of the box you'll get:
- The HyperX Cloud Stinger Headset
- 3.5mm speaker and mic PC extension cable
- HyperX Team welcoming leaflet
- User manual
Officially, the Cloud Stinger boasts the following features:
- 90-degree rotating ear cups — HyperX Cloud Stinger’s ear cups rotate in a 90-degree angle to fit better around your neck, so you can play in comfort for hours.
- Lightweight comfort — At just 275 grams, HyperX Cloud Stinger won’t weight you down, making it ideal for prolonged gaming sessions.
- 50mm directional drivers for audio precision — The 50mm drivers are parallel to the ear, to position sound directly into the ear for gaming-grade sound quality.
- HyperX Signature Memory Foam — Play in comfort for hours with HyperX signature memory foam.
- Adjustable steel slider — HyperX Cloud Stinger’s high-quality, adjustable solid steel slider is built for long-lasting durability and stability.
- Intuitive volume control on headset ear cup — The volume slider is located on the bottom of the right ear cup, making it easy to access and adjust the audio volume.
- Swivel-to-mute noise-cancellation microphone — Conveniently mute the microphone by flipping it vertically against your head. HyperX Cloud Stinger’s built-in passive noise cancellation reduces background noise for clearer voice quality. The headset is certified by TeamSpeak and Discord, and compatible with other leading chat programs, including Skype, RaidCall and Ventrilo.
- Multi-platform compatibility — HyperX Cloud Stinger is compatible with PC, Xbox One1 , PS4™, Wii U™ and mobile devices2 and has a single 3.5mm stereo plug (4 pole) and PC extension cable with dual 3.5mm stereo and mic plugs. Enjoy the same comfort and enhanced audio experience on PC or console, or just plug into your mobile device2 and wear it on the go.
And if you want more detailed specs, they are as follows:
Comfort & Design
If you're going to sit down to game for hours on while donning a headset, you might be concerned about its toll on your head and ears. The Cloud Stinger was designed with this particular concern taken into consideration. Actually the whole package felt so light when I got it that I wondered if if really did contain the headset. It is indeed very light at 275 grams and with the HyperX signature memory foam on the headband and the over-the-ear ear cups and adjustable slider, it is comfortable to wear for extended periods of play. Even when resting around the neck it's not much of a bother (rotate the ear cups 90 degrees and they'll rest painlessly on your clavicle). You barely feel its weight! I'd start feeling the need to put it down after around 2-3 hours of use though because, although the ear cups don't press hard on your ears, they do exert some pressure that is felt with time.
Another well-designed part of the headset is the intuitive location of the volume slider; it's right below the right ear cup. It's easily reached and feels like a natural location for the component rather than fiddling with the wire, but it needs some getting used to (and I'd personally prefer a wheel) and I'm not sure if left-handed people will find a similar ease with this design option.
The swivel-to-mute noise-cancellation microphone (phew!) located on the left ear cup is bendable to your liking and all of its adjectives are welcomed features. However, I would have very much preferred if the microphone is removable since I sometimes go out (yes) and would like to bring my headphones along without looking like a call center agent who takes his job a bit too seriously. And despite being advertised as "noise-cancelling", I've noticed that the mic tends to pick up some background noises. Better not rely too much on it when in a busy café!
Although being an understandable choice of material to cut down costs, I can't help not disregarding the cheap plastic feel of the chassis and questioning if it will survive the test of time, particularly with those who might treat their peripheral harshly, especially when rage quitting. And as far as looks go, there's nothing particular about the Cloud Stinger's that make it stand out or look game-y other than the fancy HX logo.
A Stinger Performance?
Listening to music is an integral part of my online browsing experience and most of the time I don some headphones to do so. So if you're like me, you'll also be interested in how your headset will perform outside of gaming as well. While using the Cloud Stinger to listen to music and watch videos, I've noticed that it leans more on the bass but delivers clear middle and treble tones; all in all, it delivers decent sound quality with a strong bass component.
But when it comes to gaming, the headset delivers faithful enough audio to enhance your gaming sessions. Vocal sounds play out clearly be it for games, music or movies. Audible cues from incoming enemies, gunshots or the in-game environment in general are delivered clearly as well, allowing you to point to their location.
Wrapping up, the HyperX Cloud Stinger offers some decent quality performance that will suit your general gaming and audio needs; if you are not gaming in a noisy place and using the mic, you should be golden. Its highlights are definitely its affordability, comfort and lightweight build. Definitely take a look at it if you plan to game on a budget!
|What We Liked . . . Affordable Delivers decent sound quality Comfortable to wear Ergonomic volume slider and microphone piece||What We Didn't Like . . . Cheap plastic feel and look Non-detachable weak microphone|
out of 10
The 'HyperX Cloud Stinger' is one of the most affordable branded gaming headset that offers decent quality and functionality. Although not perfect and not comparable to its pricier counterparts, its affordable price point makes it a viable option for the gamer on a budget.