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HyperX Cloud Alpha Review: Nailing the fundamentals

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In the event you’re into gaming on PCs or consoles, there’s a reasonably good probability you’ve heard concerning the HyperX Cloud Alpha. Half the streamers on Twitch put on it, and for good cause: it’s a rockstar of a headset below $100. However how good is it actually?

Who’s the HyperX Cloud Alpha for?

  • Avid gamers have lengthy loved HyperX gaming headsets as a result of they provide comparatively top quality for a low worth. Moreover, the no-frills expertise retains undesirable issues out of gaming classes.
  • At-home employees will recognize having a headset with an honest mic and comfy padding to facilitate convention calls.

What’s the HyperX Cloud Alpha like?

The HyperX Cloud Alpha sits on a wooden desk in front of a keyboard and mouse

Ah, that basic black and pink.

The HyperX Cloud Alpha was designed to be sturdy and comfy. The body is fabricated from strong steel, with sturdy joints and thick ear pads. Whether or not you’re the kind to calmly work away at your pc, or hurl your headset throughout the room after your squadmates screw up for the thousandth time, one factor might be apparent: This headset is as sturdy as they arrive. In the event you one way or the other harm the cables or microphone, they’re low cost to exchange.

The HyperX is a sturdy gaming headset constructed to resist all types of missions.

With such thick ear pads, the HyperX Cloud Alpha creates an excellent seal in opposition to your head. That’s vital for 2 causes — a great tight seal means a headset gained’t wiggle a lot as you progress your head, and it’ll block out extra noise. Good isolation is vital, whether or not you’re working or gaming in a loud surroundings, and ear pads this thick actually assist with that. Tremendous deep leatherette ear pads permit for excessive consolation, nice isolation. Because the foam is pretty dense, your ears will get sizzling after a pair hours of play.

The HyperX Cloud Alpha lays on a wooden table, with the focus on its headband.

The headscarf is roofed in a really gentle leatherette cushion.

Really utilizing this gaming headset is fairly simple. The HyperX Cloud Alpha can connect with something with a 3.5mm headphone jack — computer systems, console controllers, and even smartphones that also have the port. It options inline controls for muting the microphone and adjusting headphone quantity. The flexibility to mute the mic when your loved ones members or roommates stroll within the room is nice for avoiding the embarrassment of your Discord server listening to your house life, too. HyperX doesn’t embody something apart from the three.5mm cable, so no USB connectivity right here. For that you just’ll  must get the HyperX Cloud Alpha S.

How is the HyperX Cloud Alpha for gaming?

The Cloud Alpha doesn’t deliver a variety of bells and whistles to your gaming expertise, no matter what platform you utilize — it’s principally only a pair of headphones with a removable microphone. Nevertheless, you’ll nonetheless have a good time with it. As I discussed above, this can be a very comfy headset. It’s light-weight and has simply the correct quantity of stress, which is ideal for lengthy gaming classes.

All a gaming headset wants is nice sound and a snug construct, and the HyperX Cloud Alpha presents each in spades.

It is a stereo headset, so there’s no included encompass sound function for individuals who need pinpoint accuracy of their Fortnite matches. Outdoors of the necessity for additional situational consciousness throughout tense battle royale matches, stereo sound actually isn’t a nasty factor. Single participant video games, and video games the place directional audio is much less vital, shouldn’t have any points, and shooters like Overwatch have the flexibility so as to add digital encompass sound anyway. You could not end up fairly as disadvantaged as you’d count on.

How does the HyperX Cloud Alpha sound?

A frequency response chart for the HyperX Cloud Alpha, which shows accurate output with a slight dip in the highs

You’ll be hard-pressed to discover a extra correct gaming headset, although the dip round 4KHz could make some sibilant sounds, and the sounds of musical devices comparable to cymbals. more durable to listen to.

It’s simple to see why this headset is so beloved. It sounds nice, and offers actually good isolation from the world round you. It’s quite a bit cheaper than most high-end gaming headsets, nevertheless it positive provides them a run for his or her cash.

Aside from a dip within the mid-high vary, the frequency response of this headset doesn’t distort the audio despatched by your console or pc that a lot, so every little thing will sound near the way it was initially combined. Meaning little particulars gained’t get misplaced as typically, and music will sound a lot clearer than you is likely to be used to. It’s why studio headphones will usually intention for this kind of sound.

This implies bass isn’t over-emphasized, so in-game noises just like the rumble of an explosion gained’t drown out sound they’re not imagined to. Many gaming headsets increase bass to essentially make you’re feeling each low observe and increase, however most video video games are fairly nicely balanced from an audio perspective. An explosion is all the time going to be the loudest sound in a given scene, so boosting that additional simply makes every little thing more durable to listen to in these moments.

That dip I mentioned in the high range may look severe in the graph, but don’t worry. Many headphones de-emphasize sound in this range because of natural resonances in the ear, where echoes in your ear canal actually make it harder to hear other sounds. Lowering the output around that 4KHz mark means sounds of an even wider frequency range won’t have any trouble competing.

The HyperX Cloud Alpha offers far better audio isolation than most gaming headsets, due in no small part to the headset’s ample ear pads. There’s nothing here approaching active noise canceling, but the kinds of sounds you’d hear at home, like a TV blaring in the other room or a phone ringing, shouldn’t offer much distraction. To learn more about its effectiveness, head over to the SoundGuys HyperX Cloud Alpha review.

The microphone

A detail shot of the inline control unit of the HyperX Cloud Alpha

Being able to quickly adjust volume and mute yourself as needed with tabbing to Discord or another program is an underrated perk.

If there’s one low point on this headset, it’s the microphone. Clearly tailored to the demands of voice chat, this mic de-emphasizes bass sound, which often requires more power to accurately output, and boosts sounds in the high range. If you have a voice of average or high pitch, this means you’ll come through generally louder and clearer. Sibilant sounds (F, S, and SH) will also be easier to hear for other people, which is important for natural sounding speech. However, people with deeper voices will sound a bit different, and a little quieter than you’d expect. All this is done to make the fainter elements of speech easier to hear, and compensate for the extra noise of a mic placed too close to your mouth, which means finding the right placement will take a little bit of work.

Also, this is hardly a podcasting microphone. We’ve gone over its accuracy, but the HyperX Cloud Alpha’s mic struggles to achieve the clarity and output volume of more dedicated microphones like the HyperX Quadcast. Listen for yourself:

https://www.soundguys.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/20190424_151024_Normal.m4a

Should you buy the HyperX Cloud Alpha?

A detail shot of the HyperX Cloud Alpha's ear pads.

The plush ear pads make it easy to use these for hours at a time.

Yes. There are alternatives if you want something with more features, or something cheaper, but the bottom line is this: at any price, you’re going to have a tough time finding a headset that sounds better than the HyperX Cloud Alpha. The only real caveat I can think of is the mic: If a fantastic microphone is what you’re after, there are better options out there, such as the Audio-Technica ATH-G1 or the Logitech G Pro X. Apart from that, this is pretty much the platonic ideal for gaming headphones.

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