American gaming gear brand, HyperX, is going to launch its latest wireless gaming headphones, the Cloud Stinger Core Wireless 7.1 during the upcoming Amazon Prime Day sale. These entry-level headphones will be the first-ever HyperX wireless headphones to be launched in India and will retail at a price of Rs. 9,990. They will be available to purchase starting August 6th.
Having been using these for some time, we’ll be taking a look at whether these headphones are actually worth the price tag they carry. We’ll be testing the audio performance, battery life, wireless strength, microphone quality and the overall design & durability of these headphones to find which ones are its strong points and which ones need improvement.
- Gaming grade wireless via 2.4 GHz USB Adapter
- Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound via HyperX NGENUITY software
- Swivel-to-Mute Microphone
- Up to 17 hours of battery life
- Compatible with PC
- Onboard Audio Controls
- Sturdy Frame with Steel Sliders
What’s in the Box:
- 1 x HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless
- 1 x 2.4 GHz USB Adapter
- 1 x USB Charging Cable
- Quick Start Guide
The Cloud series of gaming headphones were introduced by HyperX in 2014 and it has been a reliable and trustworthy name among gamers since. So, the expectations for the latest offering in this series were quite high and whether it met those expectations or not, let’s find out.
Right off the bat, when you open the packaging and hold these headphones, you can feel the premium build quality and the sturdy design. They feel solid in your hands, exactly how you’d expect any pair of HyperX headphones to feel.
The headphones are quite lightweight at just 244 grams and feature soft breathable cushioning on the ear cups and the headband. The adjustable steel sliders ensure a snug fit for every head shape and size. I can easily see anyone wearing these for hours continuously without any major displeasure. So, comfort-wise, these headphones get the nod.
Other things you’d notice on the outside are the status LED, the power button, volume wheel and the USB-C port for charging. The onboard controls are pretty straightforward and basic. The volume wheel obviously controls the system volume, the status LED which switches between Red and Green colour gives the user information about the charging status, battery level, and pairing status of the headphones. Holding the power button for 3 seconds switches the headphones on and off. There’s nothing there other than this on the robust plastic body of these headphones, apart from, of course, the microphone.
The headphones connect to your PC through a 2.4 GHz USB Dongle, which is just about the same size as a standard pen drive. The pairing is fast and needs nothing except plugging in of the dongle. The wireless range of about 20 meters is good enough for a huge room. I didn’t experience any lag whatsoever, thanks to its gaming-grade wireless connectivity.
These Cloud Stinger Core feature a noise-cancelling microphone on a non-removable adjustable arm which enables the user to easily position it near your mouth. The microphone arm has a swivel movement which does two things, first, it gets the microphone out of your way, and second, it also mutes it. As there is no physical button to mute your mic, the swivel action is the only way to do it onboard. The mic quality is pretty decent and the noise cancelling works just fine. It’s not the best in this price bracket but gets the job done. The volume of the mic cannot be adjusted on board but through HyperX’s NGENUITY software, more about it later.
Regarding the battery life, the company claims battery backup of up to 17 hours at a 50 percent volume level, which is quite great. In my personal usage, I was able to get around 15 hours of battery backup while switching between 50 and 60 percent volume level before the status LED went red, signalling low battery level and I was still able to get an extra hour of usage even after that, before the headphone completely ran out of juice. The charging is done using the USB Type-C port, and is really fast. Moreover, if you own a really long charging cable like I do, you can even use the headphones while charging them. So, no complaints on that front too.
Now, coming to the most important aspect, the audio performance. The sound on these headphones is handled by two 40mm drivers with a frequency range of 20-20,000 Hz and they deliver a pretty great listening experience. The sound profile is balanced and tight. The bass is not overpowered and doesn’t mess with the low, mid or high ends. While listening to music, the vocals were crystal clear with no distortion of any sort.
Turning on the Virtual 7.1 Surround really takes things up a notch. The sound stage becomes much wider and the headphones start catching even the minute sounds and details, it really made the gaming experience even more immersive and will surely help users improve their gameplay with the added awareness and sense of location. It’s really great to see this feature in an entry-level wireless gaming headset.
Watching movies was also a treat with these headphones and while rewatching some movies, I was able to hear things that were inaudible to me the first time around. To sum up the audio performance, unless you’re an audiophile, you won’t find anything wrong with how it sounds. HyperX has done a great job with the tuning of the audio output of these headphones and it will sound amazing to an average user.
So these are the things I found to be the strong points of the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless.
Now I’ll list out some areas where there’s still some room for improvements.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless with 7.1 Surround will retail at a price of Rs. 9,990, which is considered to be entry-level for wireless gaming headphones, but is still a lot of cash for a pair of headphones, especially to the Indian Gaming Community, considering the sheer number of cheaper alternatives available in the market from relatively unknown and smaller brands. So all the points mentioned here will be considering the money the user is going to pay for these headphones.
To start off, I’ll talk about HyperX’s NGENUITY software. To sum it up in one word, it was Underwhelming. The software is extremely bare-bones and provides close to no customization. All you can do from the software is control the headset volume, microphone volume and toggle the 7.1 Surround Sound. Apart from that, you can save multiple presets but I don’t think anyone would ever need it as there is nothing to customize at all.
Although still entry-level, HyperX should have added provision for an equalizer at the minimum. Other than that, the battery status indicator isn’t accurate, even after fully charging the headsets, it shows either low or medium battery level.
Basically, nothing about this software feels polished. HyperX should really work on this particular aspect.
Other than that, there’s absolutely no provision for any sort of wired use which means you cannot use it with your mobile devices. I believe adding a 3.5mm audio port could have made these headphones a go-to for gaming as well as music enthusiasts. Considering you’re spending almost 10k on these, the ability to use them with your phone is something users would’ve appreciated a lot.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless is being marketed as entry-level wireless gaming headphones, and the users’ expectations should be aligned with that. Plus the pricing surely justifies it being given that entry-level tag. But don’t let that tag fool you, this is a solid performer in most of the areas that matter the most in gaming headphones.
At Rs.9,990, you’ll have a very hard time finding another wireless gaming headset from a brand like HyperX at this price. Let alone finding one that matches its sound quality and robust design.
And not just the sound quality, these are lightweight, comfortable to wear and offer decent microphone performance. The virtual 7.1 Surround Sound provides an amazing immersive gaming and movie-watching experience, something not that common in wireless headphones at this price range. And the 17-hour battery life is just icing on the cake to make this an easy recommendation to anyone looking for a new wireless gaming headset from a reputed brand while also not breaking the bank.
If you have not used any HyperX headphones ever, this would be a great point to start off. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Sure there are some areas that still need some improvement, but none of these issues is big enough to be considered a deal-breaker. The pros just simply outweigh the cons.
So to conclude, and I’m repeating myself, if you’re in the market for a reliable and solid pair of wireless gaming headphones and don’t want to burn a hole in your pocket, just grab the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless + 7.1 without giving a thought.
HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless + 7.1 will be launched on Amazon during their Prime Day sale on August 6th and will retail for a price of Rs. 9,990.