HyperX is known for its range of Pro Gaming headsets, but the Cloud Stinger Core headset is targeted at the console crowd. This is also HyperX’s first foray into budget headset market.
Of course, this means the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core isn’t the most fully featured set of cans on the market, but they aim to provide solid basic features at a budget price level.
We were sent a pair to put to the test – our findings are below!
HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Review
Given the price point, the most important thing to note is that the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core is a stereo device. This isn’t 5.1, not 7.1, not surround, but simply stereo.
Compared to headsets in the higher price bracket, this is immediately apparent. That said, the quality of the stereo cannot be faulted – the sound is directed to the left or right ear clearly and effectively.
While the cups themselves are large and fit well over the ear, the speakers are slightly smaller than other sets on the market. At only at 40mm it means that although the headset is capable of producing sound within a fairly standard frequency range, the quality at the higher and lower ends of the scale tends to muddy out.
That said, I really only noticed this when the speakers needed to produce a range of sounds – isolated or simple sounds were crisp and clear.
This does mean that the headset is not ideal for audiophiles, and may not provide the best audio experience for movie fans, or for a dedicated music lover, but they do provide good sound for everyday basic use.
Compared to other budget headsets, however, the Cloud Stinger Core really shines – most similar devices are muddy or muffled at the best of times while the quality here is consistent for the most part.
The headset also uses a form of noise cancelling, which, when combined with the closed over-ear design, results in highly isolated sound, blocking the majority of ambient noise that may be surrounding you, and much more besides.
Budget, but Great
I didn’t encounter any major issues with chat during testing. The headset was tested on PS4 and Xbox One for chat functionality in addition to audio testing on Switch and my Android phone. Testing was done using the platform party chat function and in-game where available.
As expected, party chat provided the best experience, with in-game chat tending to have slightly reduced pickup. This is often the case regardless of the headset in use so isn’t a fault directly attributed to the Cloud Stinger Core.
One issue that I did notice was when using additional apps (such as Spotify on PS4) seemed to have an adverse effect on microphone quality that wasn’t replicated with other devices. I’m unsure as to what may be the cause for this, but it’s certainly something to be noted.
It was fixed by simply adjusting the microphone sensitivity in settings, however, I then found myself needing to change these settings every time I made a change. I don’t often use Spotify while playing AND chatting, so it’s not something I’d be likely to encounter often, but it was annoying at the time.
The in-line controls, though, are a godsend. The ability to make quick changes to volume or mute the mic using these controls was something that was missing from other devices that I have used previously. Having these controls on a lower-priced device was very helpful, particularly as I have kids that can make a great deal of noise with little-to-no warning.
Being able to mute this quickly and easily is a much-needed function.
It should be noted, though, that putting the mic in the “up” position does not mute the mic, although it does almost eliminate the ability for your teammates to hear you clearly.
In fact, the microphone does need to be carefully positioned for the best clarity, but this is often the case with modern headsets, as they work to eliminate ambient noise pickup via the use of directional microphones.
Quality as expected
Ease of Use
It’s a very simple device – the headset is solid (much more solid than similarly priced headsets), fits neatly over the ears, and has a swinging arm boom mic. When worn normally, the inline controls sit neatly at about chest level, providing easy access to controls.
However, the button configuration and volume control knob isn’t immediately intuitive and will take some time to learn which direction is which. Still, this is nit-picking and realistically applies to all such devices.
The cable is long enough for handheld use, but this was clearly designed with modern controllers in mind – the 3.5mm audio jack would suit most mobile devices, but not many gaming PCs. Still, basic plug-and-play functionality with inline audio and mute control puts this a cut above the rest in this category.
Design and Fit
This headset was made with comfort in mind – solid plastic all around, cushioned cups and headband, wide metal band to adjust fit – all components of a high-end headset. Still, the design is rigid and the fit is tight, particularly for those with giant cantaloupe skulls like me [I’ve seen his head and can attest to its size – Ed].
This isn’t a bad thing – a firm grip over the ears results in a better seal, after all. As a result, the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core headset feels like a high-end headset when compared to its cheaper brethren.
It should be noted that it does feel cheap when compared to a high-end headset, but for $70 it’s mighty impressive. The cups themselves use a very thick cushion with a cloth cover – the longest playtime I used them for was around 3 hours, and I didn’t feel that they became hot or uncomfortable, which is a big plus.
Further, the solid build and wide metal band means they are unlikely to break from simple mishaps, which is also a benefit for the budget-conscious or those with rowdy kids.
A Worthy Purchase
The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core is clearly a good option for console gamers looking for a gaming headset on a budget. With an RRP of $69.95 AUD, they are well priced against the next best competitor.
Sound quality is not going to blow anybody away, and there may be issues when using Spotify and chat at the same time, but given the build quality, functionality, and price point, it wouldn’t be a mistake to consider these if your budget is within this range.
The Nitty Gritty
- Driver: Dynamic, 40mm with neodymium magnets
- Type: Circumaural, Closed back
- Frequency response: 20Hz–20,000Hz
- Impedance: 16 Ω
- Sound pressure level: 99dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
- H.D.: < 2%
- Weight: 215g
- Cable length and type: Headset (1.3m)
- Connection: Headset – 3.5mm plug (4 pole)
- Element: Electret condenser microphone
- Polar pattern: Noise-cancelling
- Frequency response: 50Hz-18,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: -41.5dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core was reviewed using a unit supplied by HyperX.
Product Name: HyperX Cloud Stinger Core
Offer price: 69.95
High Quality Build and Feel
Excellent Stereo Sound
Comfortable, even during extended play