Quality Sound. Quality Comfort. –
Expanding from the original Cloud model, HyperX has taken their headset catalog to a new height with the Cloud II design. Although the overall cosmetic design hasn’t changed much, the newly included bells and whistles put this 2.0 model head-and-shoulders above the original.
The biggest and most welcome updates with the Cloud II are the included USB connection and virtual 7.1 surround sound features. No longer limited to just a standard headset jack, the USB connection allows for use with PC/Mac, PS4, Xbox One, and even mobile devices and tablets. With no drivers to install or settings to tinker with, this headset is truly plug-and-play and couldn’t be easier to use. Even if you are not a tech genius, the included Quick Start Guide spells everything out.
Sound features have also been given a complete upgrade as well. Using the optional virtual 7.1 surround sound feature clearly makes a difference over a standard stereo headset but is nowhere near as accurate and powerful than a true 7.1 unit like the stellar Astro A50 model. The key difference between this Cloud II unit and the A50 is the price point. Selling for about one-third the cost of true 7.1 units, the Cloud II provides a quality sound experience for those looking to save some cash over higher end models. I personally have been using a stereo Logitech headset on my PC for years and immediately noticed how richer and clearer the sound is when using this Cloud II model. The virtual 7.1 difference was night and day over a standard stereo.
Besides the obvious sound quality enhancements, the construction is also built solidly and with comfort. With thick headband paddling and noise cancelling ear cups, this is one surprisingly comfortable headset. The unit itself weighs a little more so there is more pressure put on the headband but the padding makes everything comfortable. My only cosmetic complaint comes from the top of each ear cup – there is a wire sticking out that connects to the rest of the unit. It seems like this cord was intentionally put there for a cooler cosmetic appearance but I feel like it could get caught on something, although unlikely.
The rest of the unit is also well designed and pleasingly functional. The mic is easily detachable when just wanting to listen to music and is composed of flexible material. While highly adjustable, the mic is still very solid and will firmly stay in place. I also heard no complaints about the quality of the mic when tested over Skype and even seemed to provide better quality than my previous Logitech unit. I recorded all our recently Podcasts and Live Streams using this mic so you can hear the quality for yourself. Even the USB cable features a non-kinking texture that looks and feels more like a shoelace than a typical plastic wire. The control panel is also straightforward and easy to use. Besides adjusting headset volume and mic volume, the virtual 7.1 surround sound option is activated by a single push of a button and even glows red. Muting is also just a convenient flick of a switch away. But since this unit features noise canceling ear cups, my biggest complaint is this feature actually might work a little too well as it is difficult to hear yourself talk. This means users might actually have to speak louder when using the mic just to hear yourself speak. It can be a little jarring without a feedback system in place but this is a problem many headsets have.
From an overall presentation stand point, the Cloud II is actually rather impressive. The packaging that houses this unit and all the accessories creates a commanding presentation, making the user feel like they are opening a 007 bomb case. This foamy interior not only provides ample shipping protection but just looks really sophisticated. The included cloth carrying case is a nice addition but if you plan on traveling long distances, you might want to bring the entire packaging it is shipped in to provide a more clamshell design to prevent crushing.
With a retail value of around a hundred bucks, there isn’t too much to complain about with this new Cloud II model. The virtual 7.1 surround sound isn’t as great as a true 7.1 unit but still a significant increase over standard stereo units and the included attachments will fit any need (Xbox One users will need to use the controller adapter which is sold separately). With a few different color schemes available, this new Cloud unit not only looks cool but is surprisingly comfortable even for eyeglass wearers and provides a quality experience for those users looking to save a few bucks over a true surround sound unit. For the cost, users get a lot of bang for their buck with this HyperX model.
Not As Good As: the more expensive Astro A50 unit
Better Than: any standard stereo unit
Wait For It: a true 7.1 surround sound unit
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com