HyperX Cloud Alpha wireless gaming headset review: it lasts a long time

HyperX Cloud Alpha gaming headset on a blue background.

Lori Grunin / topwatchbest

HyperX makes some of them the most convenient gaming headsets whenever you park over your ears. The company’s latest addition to its most convenient line of PC compatible models (also Compatible with PS5) is Cloud Alpha Wireless. It’s an excellent model that uses the same dual-chamber audio technology as original alpha cloudwho is now five years old.

While most headsets use hardware and technology from older models, including the same microphone, buttons, and ear cushions as Wireless Cloud IICloud Alpha Wireless also stands out long battery life: rated at 300 hours in a category where 50 hours is an episode. But if you take that battery life and the relatively light weight of 11.2 ounces (322 grams) from the equation, its $ 200 price tag (which converts to around £ 150, $ 260) seems high compared to what you get the same for. money as good competitors.

Like

  • Great sound and DTS Headphone: X support
  • Excellent battery life and super fast charging
  • A very good microphone

I do not like

  • Wireless range is not as good as some
  • Wired network cannot be used and there is no Bluetooth
  • Expensive for what it offers if you don’t need a very long battery life

HyperX’s Ngenuity software can be buggy, making it difficult to judge how much battery life is left. For example, when I used it to play music, use the microphone and listen voices in Senua’s head – Hellblade: Senua’s victim is still one of my favorite games for testing headsets and surround sound – on the PC. This is what you can expect from a drain that receives a rating. I ran a test with microphone monitoring, DTS: X SpaciousWindows surround and various equalizer profiles enabled.

Then I plugged it into charging (zippy 1% per minute over USB-C, which theoretically gives 45 hours for 15 minutes of charging), but then the software decided the battery had dropped to 47% instead of 64%. That’s a 30% difference. Hm. So the extrapolated battery life would be around 260 hours, 182 hours, or somewhere in the huge gap between them. Tapping the power button tells you the battery level, but the software reported 95% while the headset reported 100%. This discrepancy in size, however, is much more common.

HyperX Alpha wireless headset with detachable microphone.

An LED around the microphone indicates if it’s muted, but it can be hard to see when the foam is on.

Lori Grunin / topwatchbest

But most importantly, 182 hours is still epic. It’s not exhilarating marketing with many exclamation marks of 300 hours, but enough for a whole week of 24/7 use and much longer than any other model. Most of us should charge our headsets every seven to 10 days for about 5 hours. (This is what the woman who routinely forgets to say is this.) However, if you’re good at charging and not using it for marathon sessions, you don’t really need to care for battery life beyond the typical 30-40 hour range. Even so, I feel good seeing “285 hours left” at 95%.

Wireless range may matter more to you, and the Cloud Alpha wireless headphones don’t reach as far as other headsets I’ve tested using the 2.4GHz dongle, including the Cloud 2 Wireless. The range varies depending on obstacles in your surroundings, so I didn’t expect it to reach the nominal distance of 66 feet (20 meters) in my multi-walled apartment. But I tested headsets that went at least a 60-meter hike with a solid signal (both chat and listening). Cloud Alpha Wireless did not drop the signal completely, but only arrived about 40 feet before the signal began to degrade. For me, that means the difference between being able to pop into the fridge and not.

Besides, nuts and bolts are familiar to anyone who has used the HyperX Cloud model. It’s light for its class, but doesn’t use sparse materials to get there. It’s mostly aluminum and feels solid. The oval shaped memory foam and leatherette earpads and cushions are the same as the sibling models. Unlike many others, the cushions are not too deep or hard, making the headset comfortable to wear with glasses.

Like the Cloud 2 Wireless, there are only a few controls: the volume knob on the right earcup, and the power and mic mute buttons on the left. The latter work twice: tap the power button to check the battery level and hold the mute button for a few seconds to toggle the microphone monitoring.

A close-up of the power buttons on the HyperX headphones.

The hard-to-feel concave power button is one of my little worries about an otherwise OK design.

Lori Grunin / topwatchbest

The two buttons have a different feel, making them easy to identify – the power is concave and the mute is convex – but the power button is hard to maneuver, and holding mute to activate the sidetone accidentally muted the microphone more than once. The red ring on the microphone indicates it is muted, but I found it too far in my peripheral vision, especially with my glasses, to be noticed quickly. The microphone is detachable, which is cool and saves weight, but I prefer the flip-up mechanism as that way it’s less likely to disappear.

The software has a basic set of equalizer settings – but not for music or movies – as well as the ability to create custom presets. You can also set the headset to sleep time out to 10, 20, or 30 minutes. But you can’t adjust the microphone monitoring volume.

Hear the outside world when wearing the headset, but the sound is muffled – a good compromise. You can’t turn off mic noise canceling, but it sounds so much better than the Cloud 2 Wireless, without that compressed tonality that makes most of the noise cancellation tinny. It is good to filter out some noise like an air conditioner, but less effective at dampening the sound of a mechanical keyboard or someone speaking loudly.

I have no complaints about the quality or volume of the music or audio in games; it can be loud with minimal distortion. Its dual-chamber drivers separate the mid and high frequencies from the bass, allowing two sets of frequencies to be individually tuned. This makes equalizer adjustment effective and minimizes fouling. It’s not a unique design – it’s similar to the way Razer Triforce drivers separate the mids, highs, and lows, for example.

This is an overall great gaming headset. For $ 200, however, I expect a little more, as very long battery life is not that critical for many people. While the dongle is compatible with a PC or PS5, I miss the flexibility offered by similarly priced but excellent and equally comfortable models such as SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless, with an additional Bluetooth connection or even a basic analog wired connection, which can come in handy when you are in a hurry and don’t have time to troubleshoot wireless connectivity issues. And you can use SteelSeries with your Xbox console.

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