About nine months ago Kingston made its first jump into the gaming headset market with the release of the HyperX Cloud Gaming Headset, which we reviewed here. For a first headset it was one that I kept coming back to because of its quality and comfort. But it looks like I’ll be retiring them for the new HyperX Cloud II Pro.
The build quality and design are one of the most stand out things about this headset, with a brushed aluminum frame, black plastic accents, and black leather headband which has been upgraded to include memory foam, this thing is classy and comfortable. The HyperX Cloud II has a very professional look unique to some very expensive studio headphones but remain extremely comfortable.
The Cloud II features some nice looking stitching similar to the original HyperX Cloud which is used to prevent wear and tear and makes the leather very durable. Just like its predecessor the Cloud II comes with two sets of ear cushions, one being the leather and the other velour. The leather has an inherent feature of noise isolation because of the size of the ear cups they are able to form a seal around your ears. This is great for when you’re in a noisy area, like an airplane or LAN party while the velour is great for just about any other place. I do find that for talking I prefer to have the velour because you’re more able to hear yourself talking which allows you to regulate volume, where the leather left me feeling like I was shouting.The Cloud II also sports the same style detachable cardioid condenser microphone which is great for when you don’t need the microphone to listen to music or quickly plugging in the microphone for gaming or chatting in Teamspeak or Skype. The Hyper X Cloud II is actually one of the first gaming headsets to be certified by Teamspeak and Skype which says a lot about the performance and compatibility.
The cable is the same braided material as the original which keeps in line with the quality and durability of the Cloud II’s. Included in the box is a mesh carrying bag, airplane adapter, and braided cable that shows off one of the great new features, a hardware-driven USB soundcard. This little controller features a HyperX logo backlit by a red LED, Volume up and down and microphone volume up and down as well as a physical mute switch and a 7.1 virtual surround sound button. More on this later. The HyperX Cloud II has a 3 foot braided cable that has a 3 ring 3.5mm plug. This is great for plugging in to your phone to make calls, but will require you to plug into the USB soundcard to use on your computer as it is not packaged with a 3 ring to dual 2 ring adapter. The original HyperX Cloud came standard with the dual 2 ring microphone and headphone plugs and an adapter to convert the dual 2 ring into the single 3 ring. However the HyperX Cloud II does not come with any additional adapters. With the USB soundcard cable the total cable length extends to a sizable nine foot cable. This cable length is a bit excessive, but I’d rather have a cable that was too long than one that wasn’t long enough, plus once it’s hooked up you don’t think about the length of it. The one issue with this cable that I can’t seem to overlook is the orientation of the soundcard. When you plug the headset into the soundcard the controls for this soundcard are upside down. The only reason I could see this being useful is if your computer is located on the floor where the cable has to travel up towards your head. Though this is countered by the 3 foot length between the headset and the soundcard.
HyperX Cloud II Technical Specs
|Transducer Type||dynamic Ø 53mm||Transducer Type||condenser (back electret)|
|Frequency Response||15Hz–25,000 Hz||Polar Pattern||cardioid|
|Nominal SPL||98±3dB||Frequency Response||50-18,000 Hz|
|Operating Principle||closed||Operating Principle||Pressure Gradient|
|Nominal Impedance||60 ? per system||Power Supply||AB Powering|
|Power Handling Capacity||160mW||Current Consumption||max 0.5 mA|
|Sound coupling to the ear||circumaural||Normal Impedance||?2.2 k?|
|Ambient noise attenuation||approx. 20 dBa||Open Circuit Voltage||at f = 1 kHz: 20 mV / Pa|
|Headband Pressure||5N||T.H.D||2% at f = 1 kHz|
|Weight with microphone and cable||320g||Max. SPL||105dB SPL (THD?1.0% at 1 KHz)|
|Cable Length and type||1m + 2m extension||Microphone Output||-39±3dB|
|Connection||single mini stereo jack plug (3.5mm)||Length mic boom||150mm (include gooseneck)|
single mini stereo jack plug (3.5mm)
The performance of the HyperX Cloud was what separated it from the rest of the gaming headsets out there and the Cloud II’s are exactly the same as the originals. Literally, the specifications of the HyperX Cloud and HyperX Cloud II are identical aside one upgrade, the frequency response of the microphone has been upped from 100-12,000 Hz to 50-18,000 Hz which means the microphone will detect speech in a wider range than before. Although this has been covered in the original HyperX cloud review, the Cloud II has incredible quality for a gaming headset and is truly what separates it from its competitors. With 53mm drivers and USB soundcard the Cloud II is able to deliver very punchy bass tones while keeping your mids and highs balanced without very much distortion. The 7.1 virtual surround sound button is a wonderful addition and really adds to the immersive gaming experience of titles like Battlefield 4 and other shooters and action games. If the game you’re playing supports 7.1 you’ll be able to detect some directionality which just simply isn’t there without the virtual 7.1. And did I mention that it doesn’t require any additional software? The USB soundcard features full hardware-level processing and is a great addition for gaming but can be left off for other media as it adds a background noise that seems out of place for most music and films. Like I had mentioned before depending on your preference the leather ear cups provide some great sound isolation on both an internal and external level. Using the leather ear cups and playing Evolve on the PC transported me back to playing on the show floor of PAX East which was a delightful experience. The combination of the sound isolation from the outside and trapping all the sound within the ear cups was great. This once again brings it back to the comfort where the leather is a little less comfortable than the velour. I should note that either choice of ear cup material is great and comfortable and can be worn for many hours without any discomfort but it’s all just a matter of personal preference. The microphone is also noteworthy because of its quality, it provides crystal clear voice clarity while also being able to get rid of some extra background noise. It’s noticeably better than the other gaming headsets on the market that fall around the same price range.
Kingston’s second submission to the gaming headset market hits all the right notes while maintaining the quality, performance, and comfort of the HyperX Cloud name while weighing 30 grams less than the original and improving on everything. The addition of the USB soundcard with virtual 7.1 surround sound as well as the three different colors (black on black, red on black, and pink on white) at the same $99 price point makes this gaming headset a versatile and impressive product that should gain the attention of many naysayers to gaming headsets and thoroughly impress them.
HyperX Cloud II Pro Gaming Headset
Unacceptable |Not Recommended | Acceptable| Recommended | Highly Recommended
The HyperX Cloud II Pro Gaming Headset was reviewed using a review unit provided by Kingston.