The HyperX Cloud White is slick and comfortable.
While the vast majority of our coverage over the years has been software, it’s not without precedent that we take a peripheral or two for a test run. In that spirit we’re checking out Kingston’s upcoming HyperX Cloud White headphones.
Retailing at US$89.99 and set to launch on August 13, the Cloud is compatible with PCs, notebooks, mobile phones and tablets. For the purposes of our review, however, we’ll be looking at it with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One — please note that the Cloud will not work with the Xbox One controller without buying Microsoft’s Stereo Headset Adapter, which costs around US$35.
First off, it’s important to note that there are no instructions in the retail box. And while it’s a fairly straightforward process, if you need any help setting things up you’ll have to visit the website.
Moving past that, the unit itself comes packed with pretty much everything an aspiring gamer would need (except the aforementioned XB1 adapter, which is Microsoft’s doing, not Kingston’s), including the splitter cable that allows you to turn the two-pronged 3.5mm jack into a single output. From there you can simply plug the cord into the bottom of your PS4 controller, make a couple of adjustments to your settings and you’re good to go.
With the Xbox One you just have the added step of plugging the aforementioned adapter into the bottom of your wireless controller. The rest is the same.
It’s incredibly simple, especially compared to some of the headsets we’ve seen and used for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, respectively, which required direct connections to the system. The Skullcandy PLYR 2, while very nice, was a pain to switch between systems. Here, you literally unplug from one controller and into another. Granted, these are “wired” headphones, as opposed to true wireless ones, but given that they plug into wireless devices it doesn’t really matter.
As much as we liked the PLYR 2 for its comfort, the HyperX Cloud beats it hands down. The design is lightweight without feeling cheap or flimsy, and both the band and ear cushions are very soft. Even as the hours piled up we didn’t feel neck stiffness or tender ears — two telltale signs of uncomfortable headphones — creeping in.
The headband is wrapped in padded leather, and although it creates a very snug fit, it maintains its comfort over long sessions remarkably well. The ear cups are quite large and padded with memory foam, allowing ears to be encased with ease for optimal immersion in the sound. A second set of ear cushions (these ones are velour, not leatherette) is generously included as well.
Although it technically doesn’t affect the comfort, it’s worth noting how slick the headphones look with the HyperX logo emblazoned on both sides. The mic can be easily moved out of the way or detached completely if you’re listening to music or just not engaging in the social aspects of modern gaming.
Ease of use and comfort are certainly important components of any headset, but they wouldn’t mean much if the audio quality didn’t deliver. Thankfully, the HyperX Cloud White has no such shortcomings with two 53mm drivers kicking out clear music and immersive gaming effects. We played a variety of genres, and the HyperX just kept outputting high-quality sound, whether it was booming explosions or the subtle creak of floorboards in the distance.
We fiddled with the volume levels and found no appreciable distortion as we cranked it up, and even on lower settings it was still easy to hear almost everything going on. To be fair, the HyperX does feel like it could kick out a little more bass, which can undercut certain moments when it feels like there should be more of a deep pounding going on. Still, on the scale of possible headset problems it rates pretty close to the bottom.
When you combine its simplicity, quality, comfort and price, it’s hard to find much bad to write about the HyperX Cloud White headphones. You can wear them for hours, switch between outputs and then easily wrap up the cord, stick it in the mesh bag provided and store it in moments. If you’re looking for a great product at an even better price, you found it.