It has been an amazing fall for gaming headsets. All of the major brands have released amazing pieces of gear. So I was excited to see that my personal favorite headset was receiving an update. I had previously applauded the HyperX Alpha Pro, which has been my primary gaming headset for close to two years now. Along with that I also have extensively used the HyperX Cloud Mix for all of my mobile and on-the-go gaming and music. So when the new HyperX Cloud Alpha S showed up in the GeekDad office I had a grin on my face. My expectations were high as I opened the box.
Thankfully from the moment I opened that box my expectations were met or exceeded one by one. First and foremost the construction of the Cloud Alpha S is excellent. The strong aluminum body shows durability and yet it is very comfortable and compact. Ear cups are soft and comfortable; they are stable without feeling like it is using too much pressure on your head. My only complaint is the removable boom mic only because I eventually lose these. Perhaps that is more of a reflection on myself and not HyperX but nevertheless I actually prefer the fold-into-the-body style of the Viper V370. To be transparent I don’t play a lot of games that involve chat so that is another reason the mic is often off my headset.
The big advantage of the HyperX Cloud Alpha S is that it works with any of your media equipment whether they are analog or digital. The headset includes a 4 pole 3.5mm plug for use in your console controllers (PS4 and Xbox One) as well as your phone or any other electronics with a 3.5mm socket. The bonus is a cable that you can plug into to convert the headset into a 7.1 surround sound USB device for your PC or Mac. This decoder works great and also adds another three feet to your cable which I appreciate when using my PC.
The box also comes with a soft cloth bag to take your Cloud Alpha S with you wherever you go.
Cloud Alpha S Specifications:
- Driver: Custom dynamic, 50mm with neodymium magnets
- Type: Circumaural, Closed back
- Frequency response: 13Hz – 27kHz
- Impedance: 65 Ω
- Sound pressure level: 99dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
- T.H.D.: ≤ 1%
- Weight: 310g
- Weight with mic: 321g
- Cable length: 1m
- Connection type: 3.5mm plug (4 pole)
- Element: Electret condenser microphone
- Polar pattern: Bi-directional, Noise-cancelling
- Frequency response: 50Hz – 18kHz
- Sensitivity: -38dBV (0dB=1V/Pa at 1kHz)
- USB Audio Control Mixer
- Weight: 57g
- Cable length: 2m
Final Thoughts and Recommendations
I spent hours testing the new Cloud Alpha S and my life literally depended on it. Well… my virtual lives at least. I am a huge fan of horror games and an essential element of the gameplay is sound immersion. Since many of the games are not VR based (with the exception of Resident Evil 7 which I cannot recommend enough and Rush of Blood, both are a good reason to buy a PSVR but that is a discussion for another day!), the sound of these games is critical. Playing Dead By Daylight, Friday the 13th, and Blair Witch, I pushed the entire envelope of high and low frequencies and the Cloud Alpha S exceeded every step of the way. I bounced back and forth between playing these on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The 7.1 surround on the PC was by far the best experience but plugged into my console controllers the sound was still way above par.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha S retails for $129.99 but I assure you it will be worth every penny and will outlive and outperform your $50 headset!
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