To test the HyperX Cloud Stinger headset, I used it as my daily driver for a number of weeks. I used the headset in a variety of situations – playing games, listening to music and conducting phone calls. As headset reviews are very subjective, my comments below are exactly that – my own opinion.
For starters, it is worth mentioning there is no included software suite with the Cloud Stinger. For £50 we probably would not expect this anyway, but it is worth stating it before we get on to the main body of the review.
As the Cloud Stinger is a gaming headset, I think it is only right we touch upon its performance in games first – as this is what most consumers would be doing with the headset the majority of the time.
To cut to the chase, I found the overall quality of the headset very good for the money, but for £50 the headset is never going to blow any minds. HyperX make a feature of the fact they have included 50mm dynamic drivers – and bass production is very strong accordingly. Playing first-person shooters such as Doom (2016) is a rewarding experience as explosions have great depth and intensity about them, while gunfire sounds full and threatening.
While the bass is strong, though, it is not very pronouced. By this I mean in some instances, particularly when listening to a game’s soundtrack, the bass can sound a little muddy, rather than punchy and rich. This is likely because, being a cheaper headset, the Cloud Stinger does not have as great a frequency response range as its more expensive siblings. In fact, the Cloud Stinger’s frequency response is quoted at 18-23,000 Hz, but the Cloud II, for example, has a quoted response of 15-25,000 Hz. It is not terrible and in most cases you would not notice, but there are instances when the bass could be more detailed to better provide a satisfying listening experience.
The mid and high-end is nice and crisp though, which makes dialogue very clear. For example, I was playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt recently, and walking through White Orchard causes a lot of NPCs to begin talking about all sorts of different things in the game. However, I was able to pick out each different conversation and tune in on that, as dialogue is perfectly produced.
I would not use the Cloud Stinger for listening to music though, as in that situation the high-end dominates and is too sharp to be comfortable. I found this to be the case with some rock and heavy metal – the cymbals, for instance, actually hurt my ears after a while as the sound was just too sharp. Ambient soundscapes sound great though, but on the whole I would recommend a pair of headphones designed for music instead of these if you just want to listen to your music library.
In terms of comfort, I would say the Cloud Stinger is really comfy to wear. The memory foam padding on the ear cups is lovely and soft, and moulds to the shape of your ears very well. This ensures prolonged gaming sessions are unhindered by any rubbing or friction. The cushioned headband did not cause me any problems either, despite the fact that the outer shell is plastic.
I also like the on-ear volume control – it does take some getting used to, as I am accustomed to the little control box that the original Cloud headset uses. However, after a few days of reaching up and missing the slider, you get the hang of it and changing the volume becomes quick and easy. This way of doing things also reduces the cable weight as there is no need for an in-line controller, for example.
I also had a play around the boom mic to ensure that it is of high quality – and I can happily report it is very impressive. I used a number of different methods to test the mic out, including using it in-game, recording myself using my phone, as well as using it with VOIP software. It is very crisp, with very little in the way of background noise ensuring a clear transmission. There is some slight clipping if you are talking particularly loudly, but at normal and comfortable speaking volumes it is a very clear mic.