We review a lot of headphones here at MMORPG.com in all sorts of different price brackets - from budget headsets to audiophile bank busters. We’ve done RGB blinged out headsets, earbuds, and some that I frankly found so expensive I’m not sure who would ever buy them outside of studio musicians. My point is we love headsets - so when given the opportunity to check out the new wireless headset from HyperX I jumped on the opportunity. After all, at any price range, I don’t recall ever having something from HyperX that was a bad product. Without further ado, I’ll throw you some specifications and dive into the deep end.
- MSRP: $99.99
- 2.4Ghz Wireless
- Durable, adjustable steel sliders
- Rotating Ear Cups
- Compatible with PC, PS4 and PS4 Pro
- Driver: Dynamic, 50mm w/ neodymium magnets
- Type: Circumaural, Closed Back
- Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
- Impedance: 20 Ohms
- Sound Pressure Level: 109dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
- T.H.D. (Total Harmonic Distortion): < 2%
- Weight: 270g
- Cable Length: 1m rubber micro-USB
- Element: Electret condenser microphone
- Polar Pattern: Noise-cancelling
- Frequency Response: 100Hz-7kHz
- Sensitivity: -47dBV
- Battery Life: 17 hours
- Wireless Range: Up to 12 meters
A Moment About Drivers
Before I talk about the HyperX Cloud Stinger’s specifically I want to take a moment to discuss a key piece of its internal makeup: the driver. Headphones today typically come in five different varieties when it comes to drivers: Dynamic (moving coil), planar magnetic, electrostatic, bone conduction, and balanced armature. I’m not going to get into all of those types but I do want to touch on dynamic drivers as that’s the flavor equipped on this HyperX headset.
The image and information are referenced from an article on headphonesty.com, which you can view here. The main purpose of a driver in a headphone is to convert the electric signal from the source to sound waves that can be perceived by you, the user. Dynamic drivers are made from three parts: a neodymium magnet, a voice coil, and a diaphragm fixed to the voice coil. The dynamic driver is actually really simple in its operation: the magnets magnetize the voice coils which make it an electromagnet. The voice coils receive current from the source (console, PC, etc) which creates a magnetic field that polarizes in a direction determined by the flow of current. The voice coil is then either repelled or attracted towards the magnetic field which causes the attached diaphragm to move and displace air. The displacement of air is what creates a sound that you can hear - the larger the displacement, the higher the volume. One of the reasons dynamic drivers are so popular in wireless headsets is their simplicity means they don’t require much power at all to operate or reach large volumes. A drawback is that audio can become distorted at higher volumes if the headset was a victim to poor engineering quality.
Build and Comfort
Wireless usually means a premium to the price and since HyperX stuck with an MSRP of $99 some concessions had to be made with materials used. What surprised me the most, especially after reviewing some rather pricey non-wireless headsets, is how little difference I noticed in comfort level. At 270 grams the headset sit around half a pound, which feels like almost nothing on my head. The headband is padded with about half an inch of pleather covered foam that cushions my bald head nicely from the hard plastic that makes up the exterior of the headband. I’m bummed that there’s no memory foam to be found on the headset (I’ve been spoiled by cooling gel and memory foam lately) but ultimately the quantity of foam used in the earpads and headband are nigh perfect and even with long use (over 4 hours of continuous wear) I noticed no sweating or heat issues on my ears or discomfort on pressure spots.
Each earpiece fits nicely over my ears and is designed for a variety of head shapes and sizes. With the ability to swivel a full 90 degrees I can’t imagine anyone being unable to find a comfortable position for the headset. The microphone is located on the left side and swivels from a full vertical position into place. The boom for the microphone is fully flexible allowing you to position the microphone exactly how you want it. Recording quality is about what you’d expect from a headset mic - it’s not going to turn any heads - but it does its job. My biggest gripe would have to be no option to use a 3.5mm audio cable if I chose to, there only being a port of the included micro-USB to charge the headset.
Sound quality can be a tough thing to talk about. Like almost all headsets these days the HyperX Cloud Stinger Wireless has a frequency response ranging from 20Hz to 20kHz, which in and of itself doesn’t mean much. What matters is the quality of the driver build that we discussed early. A flimsy diaphragm and you get distorted sound. Too much impedance (resistance to current) and you’ll miss minute details of sound.
I ran the gamut on this headset over the past 3 weeks, listening to everything from battle royal games like Apex and PUBG, to the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan and multiple loops of Darude’s “Sandstorm” at dangerously high volumes. I was on the lookout for any possible distortion, particularly in my highs and lows, and was pleased to be unable to detect any.
For a $99 headset, the HyperX Cloud Stinger Wireless manages to check off boxes that even more expensive counterparts don’t manage to hit. While you may not be getting the luxury comforts of cooling gel or memory foam, you still get a solidly built headset and delivers sound quality well above its current pricing. With great battery life and easy setup, the HyperX Cloud Stinger Wireless Headset is an easy decision for someone who wants to plug in and go with a reliable name in gaming.
- Great Sound Quality
- Comfortable, even without premium materials
- No ability to optionally use 3.5mm
- The microphone is just okay
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.