HyperX Cloud Stinger Review: A True Competitor

by Reads (3,284)
  • Editor's Rating

    Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

      • Performance
      • 8
      • Total Score:
      • 8.00
      • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10
  • Pros

    • well built 
    • comfortable 
    • clear mids 
  • Cons

    • lack of bass/treble
    • poor mic quality 

Quick Take

The HyperX Cloud Stinger is an excellent entry-level gaming headset for competitive focused gamers. 


Kingston HyperX has had nothing short of a meteoric rise in the gaming peripheral market since the release of the of the HyperX Cloud back in 2014. The company gained notoriety for its simple and well-executed designs. The Kingston HyperX Cloud Stinger continues the ethos “less is more” with a striped design and solid performance, but perhaps its most intriguing characteristic is the price. At only $50 the Cloud Stinger is HyperX’s most affordable peripheral to date.

Surprisingly Well Built

As with most budget peripherals, the HyperX Cloud Stinger isn’t going to blow you away with its design. The HyperX Cloud Stinger settles for a stripped down black plastic matte design with matching brand logos on each earcup. The headset features a solid band with textured “HyperX” text engraved along the top. The band utilizes metal adjustable rivets that easily snap into place ensuring that the band won’t slide or readjust when wearing it, which is something that often plagues headsets at this price range. Underneath the band is a thick faux leather padding. The same faux leather sits along the outside of each earcup making the HyperX Cloud Stinger comfortable to wear. The earcups can also turn 90 degrees inward, making them easier to fit into a carrying case or less restrictive when sitting down around your neck. While it isn’t flashy, the HyperX is surprisingly comfortable for a budget peripheral.

There isn’t much in the way of attachments or features. An independent volume slider sits along the bottom of the right cup, while an adjustable noise canceling microphone is attached to the outside of the left earcup. Unfortunately, the microphone is not removable, but the noise canceling feature will take effect when it’s placed into the vertical position. The microphone’s quality is one of the weakest aspects of this device. It’s serviceable enough for casual online play or conversations, as people could hear my words clear enough, but the quality was muddled with noticeable feedback and distortion.

The headset utilizes a 3.5mm audio jack, making the HyperX Cloud Stinger compatible with a long list of devices. Basically, anything that features a 3.5mm port can use this device, so the HyperX Cloud Stinger will work with your computer, mobile devices, and home consoles. However, there may be a few hiccups. For example, the old Xbox One controller does not have a 3.5mm jack, so if you plan to the Cloud Stinger with that you’ll need to purchase an adapter. For use on the PC the HyperX Cloud Stinger ships with an extension cable that splits into two 3.5mm jacks, one designated for audio the other for the microphone. The ease of installation is one of the best aspects of the HyperX Cloud Stinger. With no need additional software, you simply plug and play.

Competitive Audio

While all of these features are a welcomed boon on a budget peripheral, they’re all for not if the sound quality isn’t up to par. So how do the Cloud Stinger sound? Well, that really depends on what you’re looking for. For a budget device, the 50mm drivers sound pretty great. Cheaper headsets tend to rely heavily on lows to deliver most of the punch, which can distort audio quality, but the Cloud Stinger doesn’t do that. Instead, the headset is getting most of its oomph from the midrange, which is great for a gaming headset as most sounds end up coming through crisp and clean. It’s easy enough to pick out most distinctive sounds such as a particular instrument in an orchestral soundtrack, or more importantly a enemies footsteps or incoming fire in an online multiplayer game. Positional tracking and performance are great on the HyperX Cloud Stinger. I tested the device playing a few matches of Overwatch and was able to clearly pinpoint enemies. I would go as far as to say that in terms of positional tracking the HyperX Cloud Stinger held up just as well as my personal pair of SteelSeries Siberia 350, which I bought at more than double the price.

However, the Cloud Stinger does have its weak points as well. Focusing mostly on delivering the mid-range the Cloud Stinger can feel like it lacks a bit in the bass department. While playing Battlefield 1 the constant soundstage of explosions and gunfire felt a bit flat. The same goes for Treble as well. Listening to the soundtrack in the Witcher 3 the highs felt a bit wooden and hollow.

Plainly put it’s clear that the HyperX Cloud Stinger is designed for clarity and competition, which is the likely the best choice for a gaming headset. If you’re looking for a peripheral for more cinematic experiences, you’ll likely be better served by a pair of speakers or a music-focused headset. However, for competitive focused games, the HyperX Cloud Stinger delivers great bang for your buck.

Conclusion

You can’t expect to get everything with a budget peripheral, there’s always going to be tradeoffs and corners cut. However, what makes the HyperX Cloud Stinger special is that they cut those corners with a very clear tailored design. This is a competitive gaming headset first and foremost. The comfortable design and clear audio are perfect for in game performance. If you’re serious about competitive games and don’t want to break the bank the HyperX Cloud Stinger is an excellent option.

Audiophiles and gamers that enjoy immersive cinematic experiences may be a bit disappointed by the headphone’s lack of range. The truth is you likely won’t find many headsets that meet those requirements at this price range, but if you’re willing to spend just a bit more (around the $75 range) there are other options that offer a more well-rounded experience.

But at this price range, you’re going to struggle to find a better competitive gaming headset.

Pros: 

  • well built 
  • comfortable 
  • clear mids 

Cons:

  • lack of bass/treble
  • poor mic quality 


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