14/01/2022

๐ŸŽง HyperX Cloud Alpha | Headset Review | "Music (and Sound Effects) to my Ears" ๐ŸŽง @HyperX #HyperXFamily

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I’m not an audiophile. I don’t have a bespoke stereo system that costs more than a small family car. But I am an avid gamer and have been since the 1980s.

Now, back then, the sound effects and music in games was a tad basic, to say the least. Polyphonic it was not. The surround sound back then wasn’t 7.1 or even 5.1. It was barely 1.1. 

But as sound quality in games improved and games spread online, there developed the need to be able to hear and be heard in high fidelity. But, Luddite and lazy as I am, I’d not really embraced what this meant for headsets. My TV has decent speakers, but nothing special, and my old Turtle Beach headset was fine. Wasn’t it?

After an hour or two with a HyperX Cloud Alpha headset, I can say emphatically, NO.

Firstly, there’s the build. On my old headset, I had to take some remedial action in the form of slipping the ear pads back on where they’d become detached (which happened a fair few times). This headset feels very sturdy but, like one of those fancy carbon fibre bikes, doesn’t feel bulky on your bonce. 

Then there are the ear pads themselves. As gamers will know, sessions can last for HOURS. And the Alpha pads are nice and soft. I was aware that where I previously would have had to take my old set off regularly, I didn’t get that with these.

Most importantly, there’s the sound, of course. And what a joy. For a headset that can be bought for under £50, the sound is a revelation. Rich and layered, with great bass and definition, the step up from my last experience is very noticeable and welcome. I’d never been inclined (or had sufficient spare monies) to throw hundreds at a headset, so I assumed that I would have to make do.

As well as the overall sound quality, two other aspects were a noticeable step up from basic cans. Firstly, the comfy pads did a great job of isolating sounds, so nothing crept in from elsewhere. (I used them when working from home the other day as builders erected (lol) scaffolding about 5m from my window and I didn’t hear a single hammer blow or wolf whistle).

One improvement that I didn’t notice, but was made aware of, was with the microphone (detachable, or you can rotate it aware from the face). Friends who I game with regularly, immediately picked up on the difference. They could hear me clearly, where before I could sometimes have fuzz or distortion.

In Serious Sam 4, one opponent you face is a headless man with bombs for hands. They’re a tad kamikaze in temperament and their M.O. is to run at you, screaming, then exploding. Ouch. I mention this as an example of where the directional sound in the Cloud Alpha is enhanced. With my new headset, I was able to speedily tell exactly where these dangerous fellows were coming from and avoid a date with deadstiny. 

So, in short, this headset is a gem. I’ve read other reviews that talk about the technical details of the speakers, the bass, the treble etc, but this is not my area. I’m an average gamer who never thought a headset at this price would be as comfy, solid and great sounding as the HyperX Cloud Alpha phones are.

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