HyperX Cloud Stinger Gaming Headset Review
Packaging and First Look
The CLOUD Stinger comes in a fairly innocuous box, wrapped in an attractively designed dustcover, decorated with a ton of info about the headset, and a number of photographs and call-outs. The background of the front of the dust cover is red, gray and black, in sort of an impressionist background. The photos and labeling show up well against this background, and the headset itself is well presented by the photos. The dust cover is secured well to the box by 2 tape circles.
A quick slice of the two adhesive patches allows one to slide the plain black unmarked box out from the dust shield. There are no windows into the box, it is just a plain black box with a small hook at the top to hang it on a store rack. Interesting.
Slipping the lid open reveals…well…foam. Well, OK it also reveals a couple of pieces of cardstock. The top piece appears to be a “Congratulations!” card from HyperX. It’s decorated on one side with a picture containing a good sampling of HyperX’s product line, (Headsets, SSD’s RAM, etc), and on the other with a letter from Anders Willumsen, the HyperX General Manager. I won’t ruin it for you here, but Mr Willumsen says nice things about HyperX, and congratulates us for choosing HyperX for our gaming needs! Very nice. Thanks Anders!
Underneath the greeting card is a small 2 page leaflet containing the Quick Start Guide.
The quick start guide is just that. It shows you how to adjust the headset volume, mute the mic, and how to hook the headset up to your PC/Laptop/XBox/PS4. Mac and Mobile users (and us Linux types), sorry, you must already know how to do all these things. HyperX already knows that, so they didn’t waste any ink or paper on you. You should feel good, because you’re contributing to the health of the planet by just knowing that stuff and by being so cool. Yeah, that’s it, cool.
Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: The reveal. The headset in it’s awesome glory! By lifting a thin piece of foam up, they are revealed.
Padded thoroughly by a high quality foam insert, the headset is nestled into the foam awaiting extraction by the new owner. The microphone boom is lain at a 45 degree angle, and is cradled by the foam to ensure it is not damaged in shipment.
On extracting the headset from the foam, a cardboard foldout is revealed which concealed the headset cord, and a adapter cord with two 35mm jacks on it (one marked for headphone, the other for microphone).
The cables themselves are nothing fancy, being black rubber in appearance with a good amount of flexibility and length. The joint at the headset is reinforced, and stiff enough to protect the connection. Note, the cable is not detachable or replaceable.
The ear-cup pads are soft vinyl covered with about 3/4″ of foam padding. HyperX says that the padding is Memory Foam, compared to the foam on some of my other headsets, the foam does indeed appear to be what HyperX says it is! This could have some ramifications for long term wear in terms of the headphones getting a bit warm, however I haven’t noticed any significant difference compared to other over-the-ear headphones in terms of temperature.
The ear-cup cover is technically removable if you should happen to want to try cleaning them or just want to examine the drivers. Not recommended unless you just enjoy spending a lot of time trying to put things back together! The headband has a similar pad (non-removable) with about half an inch of padding. The headset is quite comfortable and while a seemingly a bit snug, they actually grip not too tightly, and are adjustable pretty well for size. Weight wise, at 275 Grams it seems similar to other gaming headsets, and seems a decent weight without being overly heavy.
The entire headset is made of a matte-black finished plastic. There is a metal band in the headband which actually bridges the left and right, but this is covered in a black plastic shell. The look is consistent and reasonably appealing. However, the vibe in the end is that of competence and utility, not that of a high end set of music cans. But that’s OK, these are gamer’s headsets after all, and are aimed squarely at the gaming market.
The HyperX logo is called out tastefully in red on each ear cup, and a glossy black HyperX is incised in the top of the headband in relief to the stark matte-black otherwise present.
The microphone is a slightly curved boom ending in a flattened microphone shroud. The boom is flexible and stays where you bend it fairly well. The boom has a mute function that works when the boom is pushed up to the stow position. If you listen carefully while wearing the headset, you can hear the slight click of the mute switch engaging.
Before we see how they sound, let’s have a brief look at their specifications according to HyperX.