HyperX Cloud Alpha Review

by Reads (1,768)
  • Editor's Rating

    Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

      • Performance
      • 9
      • Total Score:
      • 9.00
      • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10
  • Pros

    • Comfortable design
    • Affordable
    • Dual-chambered drivers are neat
  • Cons

    • Lack full 7.1 surround sound
    • Headband still reverberates 

Quick Take

The dual-chambered drivers are a homerun! The HyperX Cloud Alpha offers crisp weighting in-game audio that is sure to please gamers.


The HyperX Cloud II is still regarded by many — even years after it’s release — to be one of the best mid-range gaming headsets on the market. So to say that gamers and critics are excited about the release of its follow-up is an understatement. The HyperX Cloud Alpha looks to dethrone the Cloud II as the new king of mid-range audio excellence. It may just have to tools to do it too with brand new dual-chamber drivers. HyperX claims the innovation offers cleaner audio and less distortion.

Does this sound too good to be true? Read the full review to find out.

Build and Design

The HyperX Cloud Alpha certainly retains a lot of the same aesthetic from the previous iterations of the HyperX Cloud series, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some nifty improvements. The ear cups are connected by a single metal notched frame that is coated in a thick cushioned headband. Each earcup houses the red HyperX logo on the outer plate contrasting against the black aluminum. The cups rotate generously to provide a comfortable fit. There’s also a decent amount of tension ensuring the cups hug snugly. The detachable microphone and audio plugs are located on the left ear cup. The metal frame along the ear cups is hollowed providing a more aggressive stylish look. It seems like something small, but it makes a big difference when you look at the headset.

More importantly than how it looks though is how the headset feels. HyperX has added some thicker cushy foam along the earcups and headbands. The extra cushions feel great, especially around the earcups. It’s the kind of quality life change that really makes a difference in marathon sessions. NBR was able to use the headset for the entire workday with absolute comfort.

The HyperX Cloud Alpha features independent volume controls and a quick mic mute slider. The headphone also offers a PC adapter that extends the headset significantly allowing for microphone and audio inputs. The long cord is a blessing for PC users, especially when trying to connect the headset to the back of the rig.

The only real issue NBR has with the design, is that singular metal frame can cause the sound to reverberate when you bump the headband. HyperX fixed this issue with their flagship headset the HyperX Revolver, with small shock absorbers. We would have liked to see a similar solution here. It’s a rather small gripe, but after seeing the company come up with such a smart solution, we would have hoped that they would implement it across all of their future products.

Still, the HyperX Cloud Alpha is a very comfortable headset, and the added padding is a noticeable improvement over previous Cloud iterations. 

HyperX Cloud Alpha Performance

The real star of the show though is the new dual chamber 50mm driver earcups. The drivers are particularly well tuned to gaming adding a layer of complexity to the headset’s sound profile, allowing for better audio with less distortion. The dual chambers separate the bass and mids so they conflict with one another.  What does all of that mean? Tangible weighty sound effects that don’t overpower a game’s soundscape. NBR tested out the new tech with the Battlefield One. The WWI shooter is a game renowned for its soundscape, but NBR was still blown away by how crisp it sounded on the HyperX Alpha. Gunshots and explosions rang out with power and drew our attention, but we were still able to make out with clarity the dirt kicking up as stray bullets missed their marks, and the muffled grunts of our soldier as he labored over the next trench.

There is a tradeoff for this crisp authentic sound though, HyperX has done away with its simulated 7.1 surround sound. With 2.1 channels the sound is certainly richer and better defined than the previous HyperX Cloud II, but it comes at the cost of some directional awareness. That being said, NBR was still able to locate opponents positions using sound. We played a number of high-level Overwatch games without any noticeable issues. We were even able to shoot a few pesky Phara’s out of the air, locating them easily by the sounds of her hovering jets. That being said if you’re playing a competitive game that relies heavily on directional sounds such as Counter-Strike: Global Elite you may want to consider opting for something with more channels and better sensitivity. However, for your average gamer, this is a well worthwhile tradeoff.

The HyperX Alpha offers a wider frequency than the Cloud II at 13 Hz -27,000Hz, though to the layman this likely won’t result in a notable difference in sound quality. Listening to a few orchestral tracks NBR was impressed by the range of the headset. The HyperX Alpha did a masterful job of capturing the highs and mids of Adam Levin’s violin as it punched and sharply stabbed in the collaborative work Duo Sonidos.

HyperX Cloud Alpha Final Thoughts

If there’s one thing that we love about HyperX products it’s that they always feel hyper-focused and finely tuned to their audience. The HyperX Cloud Alpha isn’t trying to be your everything in one headset. This is a highly refined gaming headset that focuses on providing excellent sound quality that captures the complex and bombastic soundscape of games at an affordable MSRP of $100. The lack of full 7.1 surround sound is a bit of a bummer, but the hit is well worth the improved dual-chambered drivers.

Pros:

  • Comfortable design
  • Affordable
  • Dual-chambered drivers are neat

Cons:

  • Lack full 7.1 surround sound
  • Headband still reverberates 



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