If you looked for gaming headsets for the past few years, you most definitely come across one brand – HyperX. They’re well-known for the Cloud series of gaming headsets, and there are actually a total of 4 main branches of in the Cloud family. The one we have here today is the HyperX Cloud Alpha.
In terms of difference, the HyperX Cloud Alpha is actually the most basic of the bunch when compared to other headsets in the Cloud family. It only uses audio jacks, and there are no DSP or USB DAC included. However, HyperX did not compromise when it comes to features, and the HyperX Cloud Alpha does come with a detachable microphone too.
Let’s take a deeper look at the HyperX Cloud Alpha and see what it has to offer compared to other headsets in the market.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha comes in its typical design language – red and black all over. It comes with a sleeve that has an image of the HyperX Cloud Alpha itself with the microphone and cable attached, alongside with some feature highlights like the custom-designed dual chamber drivers and their “signature HyperX comfort”. We’ll put this to the test, obviously.
I do realize that graphic on the packaging itself shows something that looks like fabric earcups. They are actually leatherette – also known as imitation leather. On the packaging itself, there is zero mention that the earcups are actually made out of leatherette.
Sliding off the sleeve reveals a big box with HyperX logo. Very high-quality box too, and has a tab up above if you ever want to hang the box somewhere.
Opening up the box reveals the usual HyperX slew of warm greeting that they send to their customers. A warranty card, a “welcome to the HyperX club” card, and the user manual.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha itself sits in this large plastic mold that holds everything nicely in place, and the detachable microphone is found seated on the same plastic mold as the Cloud Alpha. Underneath the plastic mold pedestal is where the accessories box is seated.
In the accessories box, you get the two included cables and also a drawstring pouch for you to store all of the cables and the microphone together with the HyperX Cloud Alpha to bring it out and about with you. I do wish for a hard shell case in the future for protection during transportation, but that’s just my opinion.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha comes in their signature black and red design, and upon first glance, HyperX really knows what they’re doing. The understated black color with a combination of plastic, soft touch material and leatherette combined with a red lightweight aluminium frame with red stitching on the headband.
The HyperX logo is debossed onto the headband, and there are red HyperX logos on the earcups too. These logos look a little bit more orange compared to the striking red that the aluminium frame has.
Speaking of the frame, it’s really robust. The entire headset can be bent or twisted to some degree and will still work. Unfortunately, the earcups aren’t foldable or rotatable.
While on the subject of earcups, we inspected that the “signature HyperX comfort” too. These cushions has memory foam wrapped by a thick layer of high quality leatherette for both earpads. These foam ear pads are removable too – and perhaps HyperX will have those fabric ear pads for sale too.
On the left earcup of the HyperX Cloud Alpha, there are two holes for jacks – one for TRS jack for the removable boom mic, and another TRRS jack for you to hook the Cloud Alpha to your PC or console. Since this headset is connected by audio jacks only, it works with Nintendo Switch, PS4, and also the Xbox One. Also your phones too, if you have an audio jack.
To my surprise, without the cables, the HyperX Cloud Alpha weighs in at 297 grams. Pretty lightweight for the build quality that it has.
As for the cables, they’re of high quality and braided. The microphone boom arm is flexible and stays at the position where you left it. Very good build quality here.
Without the need of any drivers or USB ports, the HyperX Cloud Alpha works by connecting the audio jacks only. Though, you’ll need the included cable to connect the HyperX Cloud Alpha as the audio jack is a little deeper than others since it has an additional grey part at the base of the tip.
With that said, the included cable in-line controls with a wheel for volume and a slider to mute the microphone too. Since the HyperX Cloud Alpha has an extra grey part on the jack’s tip, our aftermarket TRRS audio jacks couldn’t fit in. Hence, you better not lose the cable that comes with this headset. Though, HyperX’s audio jacks are of great build quality and are braided.
The detachable boom mic is certainly helpful in everyday uses as well. For me, I find the boom mic a little distracting when I’m not gaming – even when I moved it out of the way. So, I just detached it and put it somewhere else. In the pouch, actually. Removing the microphone is especially useful if you’re using the HyperX Cloud Alpha out and about during commute with your smartphone.
Using the HyperX Cloud Alpha
Let’s just begin by saying this – this is the first time I’m actually trying out a HyperX headset. The first thing that impressed me was the build quality. I truly appreciate the materials chose for the HyperX Cloud Alpha here. Thick foam for the headband, and memory foam used for the ear pads. Both are covered in leatherette – presumably for easy cleaning after hours of use and sweat.
In terms of comfort, the memory foam and leatherette material does cover the ear comfortably. It can cover my entire ear pinna without an issue and create a rather decent seal around my ears. Noise isolation is not the best when compared to other gaming headsets that I’ve tried. However, HyperX opted for a very comfortable clamping force. We’ve actually used headsets like the Logitech G633 Artemis Spectrum that sounds great and has great noise isolation, its clamping force caused a headache after 15 minutes of wearing.
Good job, HyperX. The Cloud Alpha is truly comfortable. Gets a little sweaty due to the leatherette after wearing it for some time.
First thing to remember – the Cloud Alpha is HyperX’s first headset to come with dual chambers. This gives a much better separation between highs, mids, and lows. Better sound clarity means less distortion, and an overall more immersive experience.
We’ve tested with a few different scenarios for the HyperX Cloud Alpha. We started with games – Overwatch and CS:GO. I have to say, soundstage is surprisingly good on the HyperX Cloud Alpha. Combined with a great sound engine like what Blizzard has done with Overwatch, I was able to hear footsteps of my enemies and hook them. Got accused of using an aimbot, but it’s all the HyperX Cloud Alpha’s magic.
As for music, well, the HyperX Cloud Alpha is indeed a more bass-focused headset after all. It’s meant to produce better explosion sounds and this headset really surprised me. Electronic music like Delayed Friend Request by 7 Minutes Dead or just anything by Haywyre sounds fantastic. Bass is kept in check and not blown out of proportion. It hits hard but never too much and distortion is nowhere to be found.
Of course, that’s not all. Vocals are surprisingly great – songs like Cheri Cheri Lady by Modern Talking sounds good. Yes, I listen to these music. Lemaitre’s Closer sounds great too, with a mix of vocals and bass-dropping.
As for orchestral music, I find that the highs aren’t as sparkly as what I’d like. It’s acceptable. I did enjoy my time listening to the BBC Big Band Orchestra with the HyperX Cloud Alpha. Piano tracks like Fortune’s Delight from Dead Rising 2’s OST sounds like they’re playing right beside your ears.
Wrapping up the HyperX Cloud Alpha review
In the end, the HyperX Cloud Alpha is a gaming headset that is actually great for both music and gaming. With the inclusion of a detachable microphone and a drawstring pouch, you can actually use the Cloud Alpha as your everyday headphone when you’re out and about during commute while storing all of the accessories inside the pouch.
The only thing I do wish HyperX to include is a hard shell case. Seriously, the drawstring pouch doesn’t offer any sort of protection – and fitting everything inside the pouch and into my bag? It’s not going to be pretty.
As for comfort, the HyperX Cloud Alpha gets an approval from me. The ear pads are magnificently comfortable yet offers decent noise isolation.
For now, the price of the HyperX Cloud Alpha is USD $99.99 at Amazon. As for Malaysians, it’s about ~RM400 depending on what you find it. Honestly speaking, for the price, it’s actually worth buying.