Back in December of 2014, I had the chance to review Kingston’s HyperX Cloud Headsets, the company’s foray into creating a gaming headset that doubled as an everyday driver. The only problem with that model was a lack of a USB power option. Kingston have fixed that and taken everything that worked with the Cloud, slightly tweaked it and released the Cloud II. The HyperX Cloud II follows the exact same trend as the Cloud with a few added benefits to appeal to a much bigger audience.
From the colour scheme, the added component and the virtual 7.1 sound board.
Design wise, the HyperX Cloud II follows the same style as its predecessor. A flexible leather head strap followed by equally comfortable leather foam ear cups. Once placed on your head, they don’t feel too tight and sit perfectly on top of your ears. Providing a level of comfort you don’t really find on a pair of inexpensive headsets.
Whilst they’re just as comfortable, they do suffer from the same heating issues after a few hours of use. I’m not too sure whether my ears are more prone to fatigue whilst wearing over the ear headsets, but I needed to adjust them ever so slightly to ease the pressure they were putting on my ears. Again, this was after roughly 3 or 4 hours of constant use as I used them for a stint to stream to Twitch due to the fact that the adjustable boom mic now supports the ability to cancel out any unwanted outside noise around your voice, which gives you a clearer and crisper voice when using these for voice calls or in-game chat.
Streaming at 540p with AAC 96kbp/s, my voice still sounded crystal clear to anyone that was watching me, outside noise that was not my voice was cancelled out as well. It didn’t distort nor add any unnecessary value to alter my voice. I couldn’t do this with the previous Cloud as it would not work with OBS via the 3.5mm cable, and you wouldn’t really use them for anything else apart form mobile phone calls. These can be used for your PC/Mac, PS4 or mobile phone, and for the Xbox One as with most headphones you’ll need to buy the adapter. Out of the box though it’ll work with almost all devices, a huge bonus when shopping for headphones/headsets.
The shirt clip which houses the virtual 7.1 option also allows users to raise or lower the volume of the headphone and the microphone volume. A must for any headphones or headsets in this day and age.
Apart from these inclusions that’s where the feature stop for the Cloud II, they ever so slightly improve over the Cloud with added benefits. Virutal 7.1 is perhaps the biggest addition and being housed in the shirt clip means it’s not reliant on your PC being able to do this. Whilst many will find that virtual 7.1 is a neat addition the amount of use this will get is minimal. It’s hard to virtually replicate the sounds of footsteps coming from behind you or from your right, as this process mixes both left and right to create a false sense of surround sound.
Whilst being loud is a plus it doesn’t necessarily provide the benefit of 7.1, users will most likely never turn this option on as it is optional if you DID want to use it.
Out of the box it’s a pretty standard affair. The Cloud II features the same internals as the Cloud, from the headset, secondary ear cups, the new USB housed virtual sound card complete with a shirt clip, travel bag and the boom microphone.
The Cloud II’s are packaged exactly the same as the Cloud and as always it’s a treat to un-box them. They’re an inexpensive pair of headphones that scream quality from the moment that you open the box. Quality wise they’re just as good as the Cloud. Kingston have again created a pair of headphones that won’t break the bank and appeal to many gamers. What I love about them is that they don’t necessarily look like a pair of gaming headphones with an over the top design. The black matte finish on the ear cups is a nice touch, the leather strap feels quite premium and the overall weight of the headphones don’t feel too heavy like they’ll slide off your head when wearing them.
Again, design wise, they are a treat and you’ll be hard struck to find a better pair of headphones in the same price range as the Cloud II’s that have the same premium finish and feel to them.
If you already own the HyperX Cloud or any other inexpensive gaming headset, definitely look at upgrading to the Cloud II. With the added ability to connect to your PC via USB and upgraded boom mic, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. Whilst you won’t really use or need the virtual 7.1 surround sound you’ll still appreciate that it’s there. With how comfortable these headsets feel and how premium they look, I don’t think I’ll need to be using anything else for a while.
- Matte finish gives these headsets a quality feel
- Powered via USB or 3.5mm jack for mobile devices or PC’s
- Still just as comfortable and premium as its predecessor
- I still suffer from excessive warmth after long periods of use (Could be my ears are prone to this not sure)
- 7.1 surround sound is virtual and more an illusion
Note: The HyperX Cloud II Headsets were provided to us by Kingston to review