Kingston HyperX Cloud Stinger Headset

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Product: HyperX Cloud Stinger Headset
Provided By: HyperX Gaming
Price: ~$49.99 Online at time of Publication

 

Introduction:

Hey all, it’s been a while since I was able to get another review done but the wait has paid off with what could be a great headset at a great price point. Today we’ll be looking at the brand new HyperX Cloud Stinger gaming headset that features 50mm directional drivers, an ear cup volume slider, a swivel to mute noise the canceling microphone, and some 90° rotating ear cups. On top of that this headset can be plugged and played with many different systems such as PC, Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, Macs and some mobile devices.

Before I get too caught up on the details, lets first take a look at the unboxing.

Box Front Box Back

 

The headset is packaged very nicely and is quite secure with foam padding protecting it as you can see below.

Open Box Secure In Box

 

Technical Specifications:

The specifications and features below were copied and pasted from the product page for the Cloud Stinger. For all the latest information, please refer to the manufacturer's page as the information below has been posted merely for your convenience.

Headset:

  • Driver: Dynamic, 50mm with neodymium magnets
  • Type: Circumaural, Closed back
  • Frequency response: 18Hz-23,000Hz
  • Impedance: 30 Ω
  • Sound pressure level: 102 ± 3dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
  • T.H.D.: < 2%
  • Input power: Rated 30mW, Maximum 500mW
  • Weight: 275g
  • Cable length and type: Headset (1.3m) + Extension Y-cable(1.7m)
  • Connection: Headset - 3.5mm plug (4 pole) + extension cable - 3.5mm stereo and mic plugs

 

Microphone:

  • Element: Electret condenser microphone
  • Polar pattern: Uni-directional, Noise-canceling
  • Frequency response: 50Hz~18,000Hz
  • Sensitivity: -40 dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)

 

On the next page we'll take an in-depth look at the features before we jump into testing.


Features In-Depth:

As I take a closer look at the headset first thing to note is its clean and streamlined design that all flows together. Upon handling it for the first time, it was very evident that it is a lot lighter than other headsets, yet at the same time it still feels fairly durable. The adjustable steel slider allows for a sturdier connection between the ear cups and the band all while the notched adjustments make a customizable fit easier to achieve. The signature memory foam on the ear cups and headband make for a very comfortable fit and when you combine that with the reduced weight, one can almost forget the headset is being worn. 

 

The slide volume control on the right ear cup was a good idea which saves the user from having to search for a volume control on the cord. The only issue I found with the volume slider was that when close to the no volume side of the slider the sound would cut out in one of ear cups. A similar issue would also arise when slowly bringing the volume up from zero on the slider however this could be an isolated issue with this particular headset. By eliminating the in line volume/mic control, HyperX had to come up with another way to mute the mic which they accomplished with the swivel mic. Though there are headsets that allow for a removable mic this headset does not allow that, however when the mic is swiveled up to where the user hears a click, the user then knows the mic is muted. The click can also be heard when swiveling the mic down to unmute. 

Volume Control

Another nice feature about the headset that not too many other headsets have right now is the 90° rotating ear cups. This makes for a more comfortable wear when hanging the headset around the neck. Oddly enough it allows the ear cups to lay flat on a desk or almost flush against a wall, which could help in keeping the headset from being damaged, and it allows for better storage when on the go. One of the great things about this headset is its ability to be used on multiple platforms such as PC, Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, Mac, and mobile devices. This is made possible by its different 3.5mm connections. The primary cord on the headset has a singular 3.5mm stereo connector for console and mobile devices. Included with the headset is an extension audio cord that splits the single stereo connection into two, one for stereo playback and the other for the microphone. This allows the headset to also be used with PCs, laptops and the like.

Cable-1 Cable

 

The 50mm directional drivers are one of the things that make this headset so amazing, as it makes you feel like you have a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound headset for half the price. The HyperX Cloud Stinger gave the same sound across all the systems it was tested on for this review (PC, laptop, mobile device) making it a great value for its price.

On the last page we'll cover testing as well as wrap up with our final thoughts.


Testing:

For this review the HyperX Cloud Stinger was tested on a PC, a laptop and a mobile device. For all tests the system volume was set to 100% and any volume adjustments beyond that would be done via the volume slider on the ear cup.

To gauge the performance of the headset, a few tests were conducted that included music playback, movie and video playback, gaming (not applicable on the laptop and mobile device), and voice recording/chatting. For the music playback test I selected a variety of songs (listed below) which were put on all three devices to provide consistency.

 

Song List for Test:

  • Kenna - Never let me down (download to donate to Haiti album 2010) 
  • Not Alone - Linkin Park (download to donate to Haiti album 2010)
  • 30 seconds to mars - This is War
  • 30 seconds to mars - Closer to the Edge
  • Komine Lisa - Resuscitated Hope
  • T.I. - Castle Walls
  • Chiddy Bang - Opposite of Adults
  • Bob and Tom - The Joe Jefferson Vocabulary Builder Upper
  • Heywood Banks - Trauma to The Groin (Bob and Tom Show)
  • Tenishia - Point of no Return (Francisco Echeverria Bootleg)
  • Aaren Reale & Hack The System - Elements
  • Disco Fries Feat. Nick Hexum - Head in the Clouds
  • Borgeous Feat. Lights - Zero Gravity
  • Gareth Emery feat Wayward Daughter - Reckless (Gareth Emery & Luke Bond Remix)
  • Flux Pavilion - Bass Cannon
  • Dave Matthews Band - Typical Situation (Live)(download to donate to Haiti album 2010)
  • Train - Hey soul sister
  • Bruno Mars – Grenade


 

After listening to and comparing what was heard from each device, a theme started to take shape. The audio coming from ear cups sounded the same no matter what device was being used (PC/laptop/mobile device). The vocals and tones of all the audio sounded very clear and well balanced. No one level gets drowned out by any other level or combination of levels. The only, very minor draw back, is that the bass depending on the genre of music could be a little much but at the same time this could just be a personal preference. 

In efforts to be consistent across all devices for the movie/video test, I decided to use Marvel’s show Luke Cage on Netflix. Upon completing the first fifteen minutes of episode one on each device, I was able to conclude that no matter what sound drivers are installed (sound blaster, realtek, etc) the audio would consistently be clear across all the levels. The bass, which could be a little much for certain types of music genres, actually fits much better for movie/video entertainment and voices and dialogues are always crisp and clear even during heavy action sequences.

Cloud Stinger

 

Microphone Test:

Speaking of voice clarity, the mic on the headset is able to produce very clear audio no matter what form voice of communication is being used. For the mobile device testing, The Samsung Galaxy S 5 was used to test voice and call quality with the Cloud Stinger. This headset can be used for the most part, like the Samsung earbuds and mic that come with the phone, but without the button controls. The audio quality from a phone call is at the best it can be when using this headset while at the same time producing clear and crisp voice audio with the mic. Below are audio samples of voice recordings from each device the headset was tested on.

 

Regrettably, there seems to be some interference on my laptop that is making for an altered voice recording and at the time of this review I am unable to fully figure out what the issue is. A good positive though is that the recording from my PC and my mobile device sound pretty consistent with clarity and tone leading me to believe this is proper representation of the mic quality. For benchmarking purposes the program Audacity was used on both the PC and laptop. The default voice recorder app was used on the mobile device.

 

Game Test:

Unfortunately the game testing could only be completed on the PC as the laptop and mobile device are not able to handle most games. That being said lets jump right in and start with a quick note on TeamSpeak. Being that this headset is TeamSpeak certified I feel like that alone should speak for itself. The three games that were used for testing purposes were Call of Duty Black Ops II, Call of Duty Black Ops III, and Tom Clancy’s The Division. For all 3 games, Directionality of the audio was very accurate while all levels were clear and crisp. I did find that the bass is a little much for both Call of Duty games however I did not notice it as much when playing the Division most likely for the fact that certain sounds in the Black Ops games are more important to hear than in The Division. As an example when walking or running in both Black Ops games the sounds of footsteps have a bit more bass to them then what I feel should be there and can sometimes effect the sounds of another’s footsteps, possibly making them harder to hear. The same can be said of the explosions in both Black Ops games, however, this could also be more of a personal preference. 

 

Final Thoughts:

In looking back on this headset one can’t help but be in awe of the great quality this headset has to offer at such an affordable price. The signature memory foam padding along with the light weight make for a combination that allows for long extended hours of gaming with a very comfortable experience. From time to time I almost forgot I was wearing the headset. The 90° rotating ear cups help to maximize comfort when resting the headset around the neck yet might also help reduce any damage that could have be done if they were non-rotating ear cups. The best part of the headset though is the superb audio produced. Not only does this headset produce crisp and clean high quality audio with levels across the board, but at the same time produces a surround sound like feel with its 50mm directional drivers. Even though I have my opinion about the level of the bass, this headset is a gem for its price.

 

Pros:

  • Light weight
  • Simple and clean design
  • Compatibility with many devices
  • Signature memory foam padding
  • 50mm Directional drivers (like surround sound)
  • 90° rotating ear cups
  • Price

 

Cons:

  • Issue with volume slider as it nears 0% (could be an isolated issue)

 

At the end of the day, I can happily score these a solid 9.9 as they offer great performance and absolutely incredible value. I saw these on sale for a mere $35 at one point! Please feel free to leave your thoughts, comments and questions in the forum at the link below.

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