The Kingston HyperX Cloud II headset offers everything a gamer would want in a headset. The headset boasts great sound from it’s 53mm drivers, surround sound and a detachable microphone. The headset offers your standard 3.5mm connections as well as a detachable USB soundcard (which enables the surround sound functionality) and is even compatible with consoles. Some nice inclusions include two types of ear cushions, airplane adaptor and a carry case.
Positioning themselves away from the crowd (bright, flashy colours with huge logos), the HyperX Cloud II is rather reserved design wise with a nice gun metal coloured design with red (or black) accents. The brushed metal feels good and sturdy, giving the headset a premium feel and the leather cushioning makes the headset great to wear for prolonged gaming sessions. Included is also a set of velour cushions, just incase you prefer that over leather. You can detach the microphone from the headset – presumably to make them easier to transport or for wearing in public but will make it easier to lose.
Connectivity wise, the Cloud II has your standard 3.5mm plug for the speakers and microphone which means they are automatically compatible with a variety of devices. However, included is a USB soundcard which enables the 7.1 surround sound capabilities. The controls on the soundcard are fairly limited with only including sound and microphone volume and controlling the 7.1 surround sound. If you don’t utilise the 7.1 surround sound capabilities, you can ditch the USB controller and plug the headset straight in – however there are no inline controls without the USB sound card.
That being said, the 7.1 surround sound feature is only available on PC and Mac using the USB soundcard. All other devices will be limited to stereo sound.
Even though the Cloud II has a cheap price tag, the audio quality produced is very good – you’d have a hard time finding a similar sounding headset for the price range. The 53mm drivers pack a good punch when it comes to stereo sound with clear and powerful audio. While the headset is more oriented for gamers (and gaming), the headset still impresses with movies and music.
If you’re purchasing these for the 7.1 surround sound functionality then exercise a little caution, since it isn’t true surround sound – only virtual. While the audio does sound fine, it can appear a little muddy and in some cases distorted which may ruin the experience. The headset does seem to do a good idea of accurately positioning the sounds of moving items (like bullets, footsteps etc) but it’s only an approximation as the USB soundcard will reconstruct the audio.
One thing missing from the Cloud II’s is more audio customisation and profiling. Other gaming headsets such as those made from Turtle Beach, offer a wide range of controls to change up the experience (such as treble, bass etc) and set the settings as a profile which can easily be switched between. While this feature is missing, I didn’t really need it myself – the stock settings seemed fine.
8.5 / 10
Great sound quality, awesome extras and nice quality finish
Only virtual surround sound
A great gaming headset which produces fantastic sound
In conclusion, the Kingston HyperX Cloud II headset provides a great experience for all users. It offers fantastic sound quality in a multitude of situations and an OK surround sound experience. We would have liked to see true 7.1 surround sound but perhaps that will come later. The inclusions of a carry case, extra cushions and an airplane audio converter are nice touches which you don’t see too often these days.
The HyperX Cloud II would definitely be a gaming headset that I’d recommend highly.