HyperX launched the Cloud II gaming headset back in February 2015 to replace their Cloud headset. After a few years’ run on the market, you’d think that it would be replaced with a new flagship headset from HyperX. Or perhaps you thought the Cloud Alpha / Cloud Alpha Pro was to replace this unit and on the surface you would have been correct, however as its current 3 years+ run, this unit is still readily available with no end in sight of its useful life expectancy.
Audio: The Cloud line of headsets from HyperX really sets the bar high with a decent frequency response range. On the bass end, it drops to an impressive 15 Hz and goes up to 25,000 Hz on the high end. Any headset that goes beyond the range of human hearing on both ends of the spectrum is impressive and people should take note.
While in most cases, people can’t hear bass frequencies below 20 Hz it does provide a three-dimensional sound effect where frequencies below his range are actually felt.
It’s also prudent to point out, that the Cloud II headset is both TeamSpeak and Discord Certified. What this means to the consumer is that HyperX provided this unit to TeamSpeak and Discord where it underwent rigorous testing and passed all audio tests with flying colors. Having another third party organization (gaming audio ‘standard’ organizations for that matter) test and certify a product is an added bonus when making purchasing decisions.
The HyperX Cloud headset used a 3.5mm cable to connect directly from the device to the headset. While the Cloud II also uses the 3.5mm cable, it’s also where the Cloud II moves into the next generation of headsets with an in-line audio controller, which then uses a USB connector to plug into your PC or Xbox.
The Cloud II audio controller features your standard volume up/down as well as microphone volume up/down, however it enables the use of Dolby 7.1 surround sound with the push of a button. While most users will keep the 7.1 surround sound enabled all the time, others will want to turn this feature on/off to suit their needs (gaming vs music is a perfect example as to why you would toggle this. Personally I’m fan of a company that gives this power directly to the user to control, rather than forcing a user to the always-on mode.
The switch on the left side of the controller allows the user to instantly mute the microphone. Lastly, on the underside of the controller is a belt clip – ingenious! I really wish other manufacturers would offer this feature, especially since this headset has been out on the market now for several years!
Microphone: Another feature that changes from the Cloud to Cloud II is the removable microphone. The Cloud headset came with a retractable microphone (pretty standard in the industry), but what HyperX is doing with the Cloud II and many of their next-generation headsets is having a removable microphone so users can take the device anywhere. By removing the mic, you can plug these headsets directly into your smartphone and head off for a run, or off to the gym.
Another feature of the Cloud II microphone is that it’s noise cancelling and does a pretty decent job at reducing ambient background noise. For more information and understanding on how the noise cancelling feature works, check out my post titled Noise Reduction Headphones – How They Work. When testing this device out, nobody mentioned my voice came across as soft. That’s likely due to the work HyperX conducted with Discord and TeamSpeak to have the unit certified.
Cushions: This is one of the few headsets which ship two (2) ear cushions with the headset. Direct from the manufacturer, the unit is equipped with a nice soft leatherette ear cushions, however I noticed that these tended to heat up a bit. As I suffer from hot ears when wearing headsets and headphones for longer periods of time, HyperX provided a 2nd pair of cushions made of a breathable fabric.
Headband & Adjuster: The HyperX Cloud and Cloud II offer the exact same headset and adjusters. These headsets utilize an aluminum frame inside the headband and covered with thick memory foam. In my opinion, this feature of using an aluminum inner-frame over a plastic one should be an industry standard, but alas, only a few manufacturers do this. The top of the headband has the HyperX logo in black with rich, red stitching.
As with the Cloud Alpha/Cloud Alpha Pro, the adjusters are a continuation of the aluminum where it slides in and out of the headband. The metal adjusters have small micro-dimples to lock in place into the ear cushions. I prefer metal adjusters over plastic adjusters all the time, as brittle plastic creates a weak point which will always break when flexed or bent.
Color: The Cloud II does not have any RGB lighting; however the headset itself ships in two varieties of colors. The main color is black with red stitching and a red aluminum frame. The other choice is black with white stitching and a black aluminum frame. When this unit first debuted on the market, it was available in white with pink stitching and a pink aluminum frame. The pink model was a limited edition, so it’s no longer available, unless you can source a used one elsewhere.
What I Like
In all honestly, the differences between the Cloud II and the Cloud Alpha/Cloud Alpha Pro or miniscule, so it really gets down to your budget as to what you prefer.
I love that this headset comes in a variety (well, two actually) colors for stitching and that it doesn’t have any unnecessary RGB lights (this is a feature that some love and some hate).
I also like that these come with a removable microphone which means these can become fully portable.
The sound quality of these is great, but not as good at the Cloud Alpha/Cloud Alpha Pro, as the Alpha’s use a dual chamber ear cup to provide a richer sound.
Lastly, I like that these ear cups are an oval shape, as to fit the ears perfectly.
What I Don’t Like
Honestly, there’s not a lot I don’t like about these and would actually say they’re probably one of the best headsets on the market for the price.
The one and only thing I don’t like about these is the same thing I don’t like with the Alpha’s. Because of the aluminum frame, HyperX hasn’t figured out how to deal with the wires to the drivers, so they run external wires between the headband the ear cups. In my house, this is something that will easily get snagged and broken – if that happens, these are useless. For this one reason, I would not recommend these headsets to younger children. As a teenager, you’re more likely to take care of your possessions, so this won’t likely be an issue.
Verdict – Would I Buy It Again?
I truly love these and with the fabric ear cushions, I prefer them over the Alpha’s. For adults and teenagers, this is probably the best headset on the market in this price range and I would totally buy them again. But if purchasing these for a younger child (13 and under), then I’d look to a different make and model that
doesn’t have external wires.
Detailed Product Information
Product: HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset
Cheapest place to buy: Amazon
Warranty: 2 Years
My Rating: 8 out of 10