Looking for a gaming headset isn’t easy – there are so many to choose from, but which one is right for you? But if you’re wondering whether the HyperX Cloud Alpha S is worth a look, you’ve come to the right place for some insights.
TVs these days are capable of blasting out gorgeous sounds just from the main unit, but there are always ways to improve the experience, and buying yourself a snazzy gaming headset is one of the easiest ways to enhance your gaming audio.
You are not short of choice when it comes to picking up a headset, as there are many out there on the market that you can pick from. HyperX is a company that knows a thing or two about crafting amazing headsets, and they have another solid one on their hands with the Cloud Alpha S.
But is this a headset that is worth buying? Is it as good as the sleek design indicates? Keep on reading, and we’ll lay down all the essential info in our full review!
- HyperX Cloud Alpha S headset review: summary
- What is the HyperX Cloud Alpha S headset?
- How much is the HyperX Cloud Alpha S headset?
- HyperX Cloud Alpha S headset setup
- Our verdict
- Where to buy
It may not be the fanciest headset on the market, but the HyperX Cloud Alpha S does have a lot going for it – as well as offering great sound quality, it’s also extremely comfortable, and there are even two different earcup coverings to choose from. But this headset does leave a little to be desired in some areas, especially if you’re trying to use it on a console (rather than the PC setup it is designed for).
HyperX has been making Cloud Alpha headsets for a while now, and this latest iteration throws a few new features into the mix while trying to keep everything we all loved about the last one present and correct for this new version – something that is achieved in certain areas while lacking somewhat in others. But still, it’s an okay choice at this price point.
You’ll be forking out just under the hundred-pound mark for the HyperX Cloud Alpha S, with it retailing at around £99. Amazon claims that the RRP was originally set at £119.99, but nowhere seems to be selling it at that price point right now.
You don’t get much more than the headset in the box other than the accompanying wires that you will need (including a little removable microphone). There are a couple of leaflets included and the instruction manual, as well as a nice little travel bag, but that’s it – so don’t expect much in the way of fancy extras, as you won’t be getting them here.
The best word to describe the look of the HyperX Cloud Alpha S is sleek. There are three different colours you can buy, and we went with black, which is a colour that covers the whole of the headset. The logo on either ear is barely visible, and yet somehow, that makes it look even better, and the slight variation of tone and the pattern around the portion that goes over your head really adds to the style and vibe it gives off.
It retains the metal frame that the last did, which keeps it sturdy, and the soft foam and leatherette of the earpiece are as comfy to wear as ever. If, for some reason, those sorts of earpads are not for you, then you do have the option to swap them out for ones made from fabric, and you’ll find this backup pair at the bottom of the box – they’re easier to wear if you use glasses while you play.
The headset is a little bulkier than we expected, but this is no bad thing and just takes a little getting used to. Overall, this is just a polished and pleasing bit of equipment to look at. But this should come as no surprise to those familiar with the Cloud Alpha as it stays very close to what the last one looked like, and given that it is one of the nicest around, we are not surprised that there has not been much in the way of style changes for this next one.
The microphone can be muted – something we have to do a lot when the rage in something like CoD overwhelms us – but those controls are part of the USB adapter, which may prove to be a niggling annoyance for some. It is an even more obvious annoyance with consoles, though, where you have to adjust the volume through the console menu rather than on the mic – something that should have been avoided in 2021. It’s a hard sell for gamers if they have to back out of a game just to change the volume, and it is a little bemusing that this is the case.
Something to keep in mind is that while you can use this headset for console gaming on devices like the PS4, it is still a 3.5mm gaming headset. The focus here is on making it a go-to headset for PC gamers, and many of the differences between the S and the last model are focused on that.
It comes with a USB adapter with an audio control unit, and bass adjustment has been factored in, and the vents along the bottom of both headphones are there to help with just that – they can be opened up either all the way or halfway, depending on your preference.
Much like the last, there is a detachable 3.5mm microphone included – it’s stored in a stylish bag (which also doubles as a travel bag) that you get in the box along with other wires needed – and this can be moved about and placed wherever best suits you as you play.
As mentioned, this is a stellar headset for PC gaming, and while it will work with the PS4 and other consoles, you will find that the performance is not quite as strong if you’re playing on a console rather than a computer. One of the big drawbacks here is the lack of surround sound for consoles which will likely be a dealbreaker for some. It is worth noting that the headset’s stereo performance does make up for this to a degree, but it is still disappointing to not have it work fully unless you are connected via a PC.
That being said, the PS5 and the Xbox Series X have the capability of creating their own surround sound (3D audio was one of the buzzphrases of this console generation, after all) that will play through any compatible headset – so you won’t be missing out if you’re up to date with the latest gaming consoles, but you will notice the differences with the likes of the Xbox One and the PS4.
To get the best sound, we have found it best to have the vents at the bottom of the headset all the way open, and the surround sound option activated when playing on PC. Largely the sound is just as good as we had hoped, and that is also the case when we gave it a shot with the PS5. The smallest of noises like footsteps are clearly heard, and, while playing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, there were elements of sound in a brutal fight we found ourselves in that we had never heard until we played the game wearing these.
Sadly, noise cancelling is not a big part of this, and we were able to hear things going on around the house while we were playing – and those in the room with us could hear the action of the game coming out of the headset while we were in a noisy section. It was not to the point of distraction but worth noting if you like to keep the sound in the headphones and you don’t want any distractions from the outside world.
You can get into the more nitty-gritty areas of the volume and sound controls by downloading the Hyper X NGENUITY app, which will give you many options to tweak and hone it to what best suits you. Using this isn’t required, and you can get things almost as good as they can be without it, but the option is there for more tech-minded gamers.
As for how comfy it is, I sunk a few hours into Fortnite while using it and never did I begin to feel uncomfortable. The earpieces themselves are so soft that the comfort you feel when you first put them on lasts until you take them off, and you can easily adjust them if they are too tight or loose.
Then there is the microphone which was a bit of a disappointment in the last model, and there remains room for improvement this time around too. It’s not bad per se, and those listening to you will be able to hear what you are saying without any trouble, but there is a tin can like effect that pops up quite a bit, and the volume is not as powerful as it should be. So it does the job but won’t be winning any mic of the year awards.
There is not a huge amount to say here, but that is actually a good thing, as there isn’t much you need to know before setting this up to use. It’s about as simple a process as you can have, with it being a case of just plugging it in (with the 3mm audio jack cable included) and playing. And while things can get a bit more involved if you are fine-tuning it with the aforementioned app, the actual process of getting going is quick and painless – just how we like it!
If you are a PC gamer and you are looking for a new headset that won’t break the bank, this is a highly recommended one to go for, as it appears to be made with PC gaming in mind. There are others out there that will do the job just as well, but we were happy with how this performed on PC, and we are comfortable in recommending it.
Truthfully though, we can’t say the same thing about consoles. With the older models like the Xbox One and the PS4, we would advise looking elsewhere as you will be able to find headsets released in the past that will give you an equally, or at times better, experience at a lower price.
Same too for the Xbox Series X and the PS5, as while that sounds much better than the older versions, there are still some annoyances such as not being able to adjust the volume in-game that will quite rightly have people looking elsewhere. So, in short, definitely worth a purchase if you play on PC, but you can be forgiven for looking elsewhere if consoles are your thing.
- Set-up: 5 / 5
- Design: 3.5 / 5
- Features: 3.5 / 5
- Performance: 3.5 / 5
- Value for money: 3.5 / 5
Overall star rating: 3.6 / 5
Available stock of the HyperX Cloud Alpha S headset appears to be few and far between in many of the usual haunts right now, but we do know that Amazon seems to be carrying it here in the UK. If you really want one, then it might be wise to buy it sooner rather than later.
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