The HyperX Cloud gaming headphones have come in just a few years some of the most popular and popular models on the market. Kingston's gaming division has achieved such results by delivering high performance, relatively affordable headphones, enriching the Cloud range with many models for each pocket. The Cloud Alpha is somewhere in the center of the HyperX offering, being built to the highest standards of construction and performance, just like the more expensive variants, but only delivered to those needed for a basic use experience
Construction, design, accessories
The Cloud HyperX headphones have not changed very much over time in terms of design. Even though some more "plastic" models, such as the Cloud Stinger or others "upset" such as the Cloud Revolver, have remained largely unchanged. We also have Cloud Alpha with the same classic design, made of matt plastic, ecological leather and metal, with small changes to differentiate this model from the rest of the range
Thus, the biggest change is to hold the cup head holder, which instead of being a solid piece of metal, is now a drill bit. This design element does not affect the strength but rather offers a different look. The cup sponges are made of ecological leather and memory foam, the same materials are used at the top where the helmets rest on the wearer's head. All these provide user-friendliness, Cloud Alpha being among the most enjoyable gaming headphones on the market
In the box, HyperX offers a textile pouch, a detachable microphone, a detachable cable with a combo plug and a longer cable with two separate jacks at the end. Unlike Cloud and Cloud II, Alpha does not come with a USB audio interface, or multiple cables to connect to different devices. This way, you can not use Cloud Alpha on a smartphone without the external microphone, as there is no dedicated smartphone cable for your smartphone. But Cloud Alpha is a pair of "multiplatform" gaming headphones, compatible with PCs, PS4 and Xbox One gamepads, and VR headphones. On Nintendo Switch headphones require direct console connection
Not for nothing, HyperX helmets have been on the sales charts around the world and used by professional gamers in competitions. Comfort is probably the most important reason why many choose these models, being a real pleasure to keep Cloud Alpha on your head. The cups are of a size big enough to cover the ears completely, the sponges are soft and provide a very good insulation for ambient noise, and the weight is good for not disturbing in long game sessions. These are neither the easiest nor the heaviest headphones I have tested, being somewhere in the middle of other models on the market
The sound has always been the surprising element of the HyperX Cloud series, which is made for gaming, but can be easily recommended for other uses. Unlike other headphones that come with all kinds of sound profiles and complex software, HyperX Cloud Alpha just works and does not seem to need separate adjustments.
The sound is very well played, with an adequate volume, quite high up to the maximum, but not disturbing, with clear sound on all frequencies and a bit more pronounced bass than with a pair of neutral headphones. So watching a movie or listening to music (even on the street) is not really a bad idea for the users of these headphones.
Of course, the fact that low frequencies are stronger than we would expect could have negative effects in games, but the level is not so high as to cover other frequencies. You will not be able to replace a pair of Beats with HyperX Cloud Alpha, for example.
The truth is that in games the sound is impressive, especially when you take into account the fact that we are talking about a pair of headphones of 100 euros, not an "ultra premium" one. Yes, it will not offer Hi-Res Audio sound, and Cloud Alpha does not come with virtualization 7.1 or other such fireworks more or less useful to gamers, but what it offers is a quality user experience. The cups feature two resonant cameras to deliver clear sound at any volume. Thus, low frequencies are well separated from highs and middles so they do not mix along the way, making it easy to differentiate the various sound effects from games, enemy footsteps, and the direction from which each sound comes. The Cloud Alpha sound spanner is excellent, even when talking about 100% stereo headphones. In competitive games where the direction of the enemy is important, there are few headphones in this price range that manage to provide a comparable experience
If, from the point of view of performance, we are dealing with an excellent product, there are also a few "less fortunate" things that are rather related to the development decisions that engineers probably did not consider could have negative effects. First of all, the cables, which are very qualitative, covered with textile, are inappropriate. Instead of offering two complete cables, both with a remote control, HyperX has included a shorter cable with a combo plug and a two-socket extension cable that separates the speaker microphone
Thus, for use on a PC, it is always necessary to use both cables. For consoles or laptops, only the combo cable can be used. The problem occurs when the cable is too long for use on a PC when they are "stuffed" and too short for times when you would like to use headphones with a smartphone only through the combo jack. Having the PC on the desk and using the jacks on the front panel of the case, I always had a cable that hangs up the floor because it was too long. In the case of other headphones, I complained about short wires, and there is the possibility that they are too long.
Also, the potentiometer remote control does not inspire too much confidence in reliability, as these are usually the first elements that ruin a pair of headphones. It's probably a good idea to leave the volume on your headphones to the maximum, and to control the volume in the game, in Windows or in the console menu.
Finally, I can not help but notice the need for HyperX to control the market for Cloud headphones. The removable cable is not compatible with other cables in the market, the connection port being designed in such a way that only the original cable can be connected. Also, the detachable microprocessor only fits into Cloud Alpha models, so those who have multiple HyperX pairs will not be able to change the microphone from one to the other, a least strange decision, since performance and connectivity are similar from model to model
And that's all about the microphone, it's among the best headset microphones we've tested lately. The sound is clear, the sponge included in the package manages to eliminate the "pop" effect in normal speech, and the background noise is at a very low level. Of course, "professional" streaming is likely to require a more dedicated dedicated microphone, but for those who just want to make a casual gaming stream, the integrated microphone in Cloud Alpha is enough. Obviously, for online conversations on Discord, Teamspeak or Skype, the playback quality is very good.
The Cloud Alpha is a "dull" pair of headphones in terms of design, present on the market for a few years, so easy to recommend for gamers. Its only negative points are minor and do not affect comfort or performance in use, which can only be enjoyed, because at the present price there are fewer alternatives better than these HyperX headphones