Generally speaking, there are certain features that are viewed as premium and appear on higher-end models. A couple of years ago that was wireless, but that has since moved to things like virtual 7.1 surround sound. While these are sought after features, a lot of people simply don’t want to invest hundreds into a headset, when there were times when you could’ve legitimately for a PS4 or Xbox One S for less than a headset. Thankfully, HyperX saw this demand and has done a lot to make specialty headsets that appeal to a wide number of players and price points. We’ve covered a number of their higher-end headsets, often quite favorably, but how well the more modest Cloud Stinger S fare? At $60 it boasts virtual 7.1 surround sound, steel slider frame, and the usual HyperX touches, but is it worth the money?
At this point it really isn’t any surprise the Cloud Stinger S is all about communicating features via eye-catching packaging. Given this is a more modest headset, it makes the virtual 7.1 surround sound abundantly clear with two mentions on the front, one on the back, and another on the bottom. Inside is one of the most straightforward designs around, showing the headset in a simple plastic holder. It manages to be cost-effective, without taking away from the fact HyperX cares about all their products.
Upon taking them out, the Cloud Stinger S is a surprisingly light headset. That, combined with the rough plastic makes it feel like a cheaper product. This is especially clear with the earpads, which look really simple and small. Just testing the spreading of the headset makes me worried I might break it, even if there is a metal frame under the plastic. All this, combined with an attached cord and lackluster volume slider makes an underwhelming impression that is quickly forgotten upon use.
Among the notable features of this headset is HyperX’s “signature comfort.” After wearing them a bit, they were actually pretty comfortable. There is enough space to cover my ears, not enough pressure to make it uncomfortable and it was light enough to make wearing it fine. Don’t get me wrong, even something like the Cloud II or a number of other headsets feel a bit nicer but I’ve worn worse options at this price point.
All things considered, the sound performance was better than I was expecting. It has enough range to immerse yourself but not enough to bring the world to life. With virtual 7.1 surround sound, it did a bit better at bringing the world to life, to the point where it could match some headsets at a bit higher level. It just depends on what you’re used to.
Often times the biggest issue was bringing out finer details or setting the right sound stage. So, you might hear some movement and gunfire, but not everything going on in the world. They were often more than enough for most games, just don’t expect much of a competitive edge or the full experience from something like Death Stranding.
Similar things happened with music. They could do a decent job recreating the sound, it was just little things that get lost in the background and the sound stage was very narrow. As a result, some sounds overwrote other ones, which isn’t terrible, it just doesn’t bring the song to life as some higher-end headsets can.
Since these are gaming headphones, the built-in mic does a pretty good job all things considered. It isn’t crystal clear, but clear enough where people can easily understand what you’re saying. It is a shame there is a very distinct click when lowering the mic but otherwise it performs to a point where it is totally fine in most non-competitive situations.
HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review – Verdict
At $60 the Cloud Stringer S is in an interesting spot. If your end goal is getting the most value for as little as possible, it does a fantastic job of that. However, for a little more, something like the ever-popular Cloud II might make a little more sense. They’re more durable, have a replaceable cable, look a bit higher-end, and might be worth the investment. Still, for the money, you’d be hard-pressed to find really anything that can match it at the same cost.
[Editor’s Note: HyperX Cloud Stinger S was was provided to us for review purposes.]