The HyperX CloudX is the latest in Kingston’s Cloud series of headsets, the CloudX is their Xbox-focused entry and as such is Microsoft certified and designed for use with the Xbox One and PC. Xbox green flourishes are present on both packaging and the alternative padded ear cushions to remind you of this.
The Cloud series of headsets are generally regarded as high quality, decent sounding headsets at a reasonable cost and the CloudX is no exception. They are clearly based on the existing Cloud design but given a bit of tweaking for Xbox use.
In the box you get a 2m extension/breakout cable that splits into separate 3.5mm microphone and stereo audio plugs for connecting to a PC, the detachable microphone, a hard-shell carrying case and a set of velour padded ear cushions that swap with the leatherette ones applied out of the box.
The build quality is exceptionally solid, the aluminium frame feels really sturdy and the padding over the frame is really comfortable. It has a nice sewn trim with HyperX branding across the top giving a really premium feel and finish. The in-line volume and mic control is a nice distance from the headset, easily reachable without needing to look away from the action should you need to make adjustments.
So how does it sound? First of all, this headset is designed to work with the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller along with newer standard Xbox One controllers that have the 3.5mm stereo headset jack (most controllers since the middle of 2015 will be this newer type), if your controller is an older variety you can purchase Microsoft’s Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter to enable you to use headsets with a 3.5mm plug.
Actually using the headset is completely plug and play, connect it into the controller and you’ll immediately be able to throw commands at Cortana. The microphone quality is fine for voice and does a good job of cancelling out ambient noise. Cortana had no issues figuring out what words I was saying and testing it out in a session of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare actually had the party I was in comment on the clarity of voice compared to the regular Microsoft Xbox One Chat Headset.
The headset itself has a good range and doesn’t clip even at high volume, and at max volume these are loud. The out of the box leatherette ear cushions are snug and with the circumaural, closed back design do a great job of passive noise reduction. They can cause your ears to get quite hot after a long session however. Replacing these with the velour padded ones gives the headset a lighter feel, they do increase the amount of outside noise you can hear but they also let your ears ‘breathe’ a bit. It’s nice you have the option of differing cushions though.
In general the headset is extremely comfortable, when I saw the metal frame I had fears that it would ‘push’ into your head over time but it’s surprisingly light and stays comfortable for extremely long periods. Combined with the choice of ear cushions you should never really be in a situation where you need to take them off and give your ears a rest.
The CloudX are a stereo headset rather than a surround set and whilst that initially sounds disappointing the separation for both ears is exceptionally good and I felt very aware of enemy positions and gunfire in Advanced Warfare, footstep clarity and just general positional audio was really clean and definitely helped me play better (or at least stopped me getting shot so frequently).
The audio quality is generally very high, the balance is definitely set up more for gaming then general audio but it is more than okay for that too. The bass levels are great and really give impacts some feeling, gunshots and explosions have a good kick to them. Overall levels are good and give a rich sound to almost anything that comes through them.
The headset retails for £79.99 and honestly is well worth that, the build quality, overall comfort and attention to detail is great all around. From the padding and stitching detail on the headset through to the sturdy carry case (that has a large fabric loop for holding or attaching to something) and polished packaging design it’s a very well thought through product.
As well as the Xbox One (which is the primary platform of use) it can be also be used on PC and other devices with a CTIA compatible jack meaning most phones/tablets etc. I’ve been using it on the PC alongside the Xbox One (which is really simple thanks to the included breakout/extension cable meaning I can just disconnect from the PC, plug into the Xbox and back again at will) and it works exactly as you’d expect. It’s certified for use with Teamspeak and has been tested across Skype, Discord, Ventrilo, Mumble and Raidcall.
The only negative I have is regarding the microphone port on the headset, out of the box the microphone isn’t attached and simply pops into the port no problem, however initially there’s a tiny rubber stopper filling the gap which isn’t attached at all and will simply get lost over time. Whilst that port being exposed isn’t a problem at all (as it is partly sunken) it’s a shame the stopper wasn’t a permanent fixture on the headset itself, especially after the attention to detail shown throughout the rest of the product.
All in all I’d heartily recommend this headset whether you have an Xbox Elite Wireless controller or a compatible regular controller, it sounds great, it’s comfortable and it’s well put together. You can’t really ask for much more.
HyperX CloudX Pro Gaming Headset Review
A great headset for gaming use that has a very professional feel with lovely attention to detail, extremely comfortable with good audio range and clarity. Well worth the asking price.