Kingston HyperX Cloud II Review
Pros: Incredibly comfortable, great value, solid sound quality
Cons: Harder to mute, no mic sidetone
Compare to Similar Products
Kingston HyperX Cloud II
$69.99 at Amazon
$63.99 at Amazon
$37.29 at Amazon
$34.99 at Amazon
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|Pros||Incredibly comfortable, great value, solid sound quality||Comfortable, good audio qualities, great value||Decently comfortable to wear, solid sound quality||Inexpensive, exceptional microphone quality||Inexpensive, decently comfortable|
|Cons||Harder to mute, no mic sidetone||No detachable mic, easy to accidentally change the volume||Short cable, mic and cable aren't detachable||Not the most comfortable, sound quality could be bette||Unimpressive sound quality, could be more user-friendly|
|Bottom Line||An excellent and affordable all-around gaming headset that's extremely comfortable, even for long sessions||If you are looking for a great all-around product that won't break the bank, then this is a good choice||The G332 is a decent value pick for anyone shopping on the tightest of budgets for a new headset||This headset has a great mic and offers strong value for more limited budgets||While the HS50 is an inexpensive headset, it struggled to make much of an impact compared to some of the other options|
|Rating Categories||Kingston HyperX Clo...||Razer Kraken||Logitech G332||Kingston HyperX Clo...||Corsair HS50 Pro|
|Ease Of Use (10%)|
|Specs||Kingston HyperX Clo...||Razer Kraken||Logitech G332||Kingston HyperX Clo...||Corsair HS50 Pro|
|Wired or Wireless||Wired||Wired||Wired||Wired||Wired|
|Measured cable length||10.6 ft||11.1 ft PC
4.5 ft console
|7.35 ft||10.5 ft||6 feet
with the audio/mic split 80"
|How to mute the mic||Switch||Switch||Lift mic||Lift mic||Button|
|Measured weight||10-7/8 oz||12-1/8 oz||10-7/8 oz||9-1/2 oz||10-3/4 oz|
|Measured ear cushion size||1-1/2" X 2-9/16"||2-1/4" X 2-1/2"||1-5/8" X 2-3/8"||1-5/8" X 2-9/16"||2-1/8" X 2-5/8"|
|Ear cup shape||Oval||Oval||Oval||Oval||Oval|
|Ear cup fabric type||Leatherette
|Heat transfer fabric with cooling gel||Leatherette||Leatherette||Leatherette|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Accounting for 40% of the total score for each of these headsets, our set of Comfort tests are by far the most important when it comes to ranking each of these products. The Cloud II is one of the most comfortable headsets that we have tested, earning it an 8 out of 10 for its superb performance across the board in our comfort tests.
Almost every single one of our comfort testers was more than happy to wear this pair of headsets for extended periods of time — usually 10+ hours. Only a single tester didn't find them comfortable enough to wear for the whole day, but still was fine wearing them for 3-4 hours.
The padding on the headband is covered with the leatherette and securely holds the headset in place, without any unnecessary pressure. The ear cups use a semi-soft padding material that adds to the overall comfort of the Cloud II. There is a decent amount of space for larger ears, with the ear cups measuring about 1.5" wide and a little over 2.5" tall. Best of all, this headset includes two sets of ear cups — one covered in leatherette and one covered in velour, allowing you to match the Cloud II to your personal preferences and make them even more comfortable.
We also particularly liked that there was a small foam pad covering the speaker plate of each ear cup, making them even more comfortable. The Cloud II is about average in terms of weight, just shy of 11 ounces and none of our testers found it to be noticeably heavy.
The Cloud II delivered another strong showing in our audio quality tests, earning a 7 out of 10 for its solid performance, putting it in the upper portion of the overall group. This set of tests account for 30% of the total score for each headset.
This headset is decently well balanced when listening to music, with a slight emphasis on the bass and treble tones. This provides a very immersive experience when gaming, but vocals and voices can occasionally get a little lost with the slightly subdued mid-range.
Our testers found it about average to identify the location of in-game sounds when using the Cloud II, misidentifying the location of a shooter or someone walking a handful of times. However, this headset did do very well with position when given a dedicated binaural recording in our benchmarking tests.
For our other benchmarking tests, the Cloud II delivered a split performance, doing very well in the driver matching test but only mediocre in the bass quality test. The frequency stayed centered all the way through the spectrum, but there was some parasitic buzz when the bass was played at the max. This headset also does a fantastic job with voice quality, making voices sound true to life and exceptionally clear and easy to understand. The Cloud II also does a decent job of blocking out external noise, roughly halving the volume of background music or white noise.
Next, we moved on to evaluating the quality of the microphone on each headset, which constitutes 20% of the total score for each product. The Cloud II continued the trend, delivering another excellent performance and again finishing in the upper part of the group.
This model of gaming headset does a great job of capturing voice and making it sound as realistic as possible. The conversation comes across crystal-clear with no buzz at all. The only slight issue we found is that the voice sounds a little echoey — almost as if you were speaking in a large room, like a garage. It isn't overly sibilant on repeated "S" sounds and doesn't overemphasize "T" or "P" sounds.
The Cloud II's microphone does a decent job of filtering out external noises, with gamers on the other end of the line failing to notice if we were running a fan or playing background music on low, but could definitely hear if we were eating or tv or music was playing at moderate to high volumes.
Ease of Use
For the final 10% of the total score, we looked at how easy it is to actually use and set up the Cloud II. It finished out our tests with a decent showing.
This headset does have inline controls and we did appreciate that you can adjust both the microphone volume and the headset volume, as well as mute the microphone.
However, you need to slide a rather small switch to mute the mic — making it quite hard to quickly mute the mic. The Cloud II has a decently long cord at 10.6 ft, giving you ample room to move about while you are playing and still hear what is going on.
It has a detachable cable and mic, although it doesn't have the capability to enable a microphone sidetone.
The Kingston HyperX Cloud II is a great gaming headset to consider when shopping on a budget and unwilling to make too many concessions when it comes to performance.
While the Cloud II couldn't claim the overall top score, it is still one of our favorites when it comes to these products. It did well across the board, delivering a great performance at an even better price. While some other products have slightly better sound quality, most are accompanied by a significant increase in price.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer