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Kingston HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset Review

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Pro Gaming Headset Final Thoughts

In general, gaming headsets fall short of actual headphones in terms of sound. The Kingston HyperX Cloud II is no different in that aspect. But as a headset, the HyperX Cloud II performs well, providing good sound clarity and nice features not found in other headsets.

Much like it’s predecessor, the Cloud II performs very well as a stereo headset. It falls very short of other virtual 7.1 surround headsets, such as the Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Headset, but it is still a very nice and well performing headset. If the virtual 7.1 feature is not that important to you, then you would have no reason not to love this headset. That being said, there is always room to improve sound quality from a headset, but at what cost? Far more than some would consider reasonable. With that in mind, the Kingston HyperX Cloud II is a real value for a PC gaming headset, and an even greater value for usage with your PS4 or Xbox One.

I personally like this headset, it’s a very nice “enhanced stereo” headset that won’t set you back a bundle. Is it a worthy upgrade to the original HyperX Cloud headset? Well that depends on if you need or want a USB headset instead of one that uses 3.5mm plugs. Personally I would say yes, as I like the versatility this headset offers with other devices and the option to use it with USB if the need were to arise. I’m even thinking about ordering a 3.5mm to 2.5mm tri-band adapter, so I can use it at work when I take phone calls! The shorter cord makes it perfect for this, as well as gaming console controllers. If Kingston would throw in just one more adapter, the 3.5mm to dual 3.5mm headphone and mic splitter, then this would truly be a package that could please every gamer.

Kingston-HyperX-Cloud-II-Gaming-Headset-left-side-with-mic-with-kingston-logo

Kingston HyperX Cloud II Conclusion

When trying to gauge and measure the performance of a headset it will come down to sound quality and microphone clarity. The Kingston HyperX Cloud II does both of these very well, matching some of their competitors. The lows, mids, and highs were clear with the in-line DSP, and just as clear when paired with a 3.5mm splitter/adapter and a quality sound card. The multi-device compatibility and adaptability of this headset along with it’s online price of $99.99 (Amazon | NewEgg) is what will put it over the top.

The HyperX Cloud II is a very aesthetically pleasing headset, with metal accents on the cans, a braided cable, and a nicely sewn headband, giving the HyperX Cloud II a nice quality look to it. It looks identical to it’s predecessor with exception to the colored can arms. The introduction of a pink and white version, as well as the gun-metal is a nice option as well, striving to meet every gamer’s tastes no doubt.

The construction of this headset is solid, you get no “plastic” feel to it and there is zero rattle or felt potential of rattle within this headset. The braided cable is always a welcomed feature in headsets, and in my opinion, should be an industry standard.

In terms of functionality, the HyperX Cloud II meets most of the goals the original was designed for. The virtual 7.1 goal, unfortunately, is where the headset starts to fall short. If Kingston would develop some nice software to go with this USB DSP that could allow you to fine tune the sound card and enhance the effects it’s trying to achieve, then maybe this could be a top contender with other virtual 7.1 headsets. Throw in the 3.5mm adapter/splitter I referenced in the Testing portion of this article, and then you will elevate this to a truly completely versatile device that could potentially please everyone.

Available online for $99.99 (MSRP), the Kingston HyperX Cloud II is a good value at a nice price point. It’s predecessor currently sells for $79.99 on Amazon, so for the extra $20 you get the option of an in-line DSP and colored can arms. Would I recommend you buying the older version over the newer to save $20? Well that depends on you, that extra $20 does also get you a little bit nicer microphone and more versatility in terms of what types connections you can utilize. If you intend to use the headset solely as a 3.5mm headset, then of course the answer would be no, get the older version. But if you want greater versatility and a nicer color combo from your headset, then that just might worth the extra $20.

No headset can please everyone, but the HyperX Cloud II does come close. It’s only real shortcoming is that there is no software to fine tune the in-line DSP. To some, they’re perfectly fine not having a bunch of different options with the way their sound is reproduced. But to me, the more options the better! I would recommend the headset for most gamers, especially those who want to be more cost conscious in their purchases.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award Logo (Small)

+ 7.1 Channel Surround
+ Multi-Device Support
+ Braided Cable
+ Detachable Microphone
+ Includes airplane adapter
+ 53mm drivers
+ USB interface for PC

Cons:

– Need to include an adapter that allows 3.5mm plug usage on a PC
– 7.1 Channel Surround doesn’t have much depth
– Software for controlling and fine tuning the USB DSP would have been preferred.
– USB interface for PC. Yes this was listed in the pros as well, as USB interface is not for everyone.

Ratings:

  • Performance: 8.50
  • Appearance: 9.50
  • Construction: 9.00
  • Functionality: 8.50
  • Value: 9.50

Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

NewEgg.com

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6 comments

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  1. Phillip

    Do you know if for sure the usb connection will work on the PS4 to allow for the 7.1 surround? If not, then I am definitely going to go for the first HyperX Cloud.

    1. Jason Vaught

      According to Sony, after patch 1.60, all USB headsets should be supported by the PS4, including 7.1ch surround headsets both wired and wireless.

  2. Vinny

    Some sources have stated the HyperX Cloud 1’s will perform better with a headphone amp and DAC, since the Cloud II’s share the same specs, does the USB DSP plug provide adequate power to move those drivers in the headphones?

    1. Jason Vaught

      Yes, the USB does provide adequate power to the drivers. The headset also performs well via 3.5mm plug on internal sounds card, external DAC, and even pocket headphone amps (altoid amp).

  3. InfidelGastro

    I like this gadget but Kingston should offer it in two variants… 1. As it is now 2. With a longer cable and only with 3.5mm jacks. I would definitely jump at the latter. The USB 7.1 DSP is a deal breaker for me, it’s trash, 7.1 simulated sound is a gimmick and I don’t want it so I wouldn’t pay for it.

  4. Jason

    If I use a 3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter, will the headset work on my xbox 360 controller?

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