In the audio peripheral market, we have a lot of noteworthy names that have long been in the business. Their products have been etched into our minds and are something that we will not be forgetting anytime soon. Razer and Logitech are just two of the names that come to mind when talking about the audio peripheral market in a world where there are many contenders.
PRODUCT INFO Cloud Alpha S Manufacture Hyper X Available at View at Amazon
Compared to these two, Hyper X has gained popularity relatively recently. In that time, the Hyper X headphones have found themselves being used by not just enthusiastic gamers but professional streamers and esports players as well.
The Cloud headphones were Hyper X’s gateway into the gaming headphones market and it was surprisingly good. With more of a budgeted price, these headphones didn’t take long before they were recognized as truly a catch. The Cloud might be a few years old now but they are still standing strong on the basis of their performance and overall exceptional design.
Hyper X’s catalog is looking as strong as ever now and they have continued with their consistency of making great headphones. The Hyper X Cloud Alpha S offers notable improvements over the Cloud while keeping a price tag that will attract all.
Let us find out if the Alpha S keeps the legacy of the cloud series alive or not, shall we?
Right off the bat when laying eyes on the Hyper X Cloud Alpha S’s box, it is evident that you’re getting a premium product. The box is a big one and has all the contents inside neatly tucked away for you. There is also a velvet pocket for you to put your Cloud Alpha S in and carry it around.
The box contents are as follows:
- Hyper X Cloud Alpha S headphones
- Detachable microphone
- 3.5mm audio cable
- USB mixer amp
- Warranty and product information
Build and Design
Hyper X has followed its red and black color scheme with many of its products. And it has worked to a great extent since the two colors work together really well. However, with the Cloud Alpha S, Hyper X opted for black and blue which promotes a sleek and rather stealthy look. In no way does the Cloud Alpha S seem to be poorly built. On the contrary, all the parts and pieces seem intact and have a weight about them that not only ensures durability but also that they can withstand a bit of rough use over long periods of time. The aluminum frame can back us up on that.
The headband looks solid and feels great to the touch as well. With the same aluminum base, it has soft and plush leather padding to ensure that you feel comfortable using the Cloud Alpha S. These cushioned padding on the headband and soft ear cups are there so that even in long gaming sessions, you don’t feel like you’re wearing heavyweights around your head. I found the clamping force of the headband to be just right. It didn’t push my ears and my head too much and neither was it too low. Due to the ideal clamping force, the Hyper X Cloud Alpha S stayed around my head and sat there comfortably.
On the earcups, there is thick faux leather padding that covers your ears properly and helps increase sound and noise isolation. Since the ear cups are quite nicely covering your ears, you also get passive noise cancellation to a little degree. However, a common issue that arises with such paddings is that over time, you start to notice the warmth building up in your ears. There is less room for air and your ears to breathe so sweaty ears and sweaty earcups are a given.
On the right side, you can find two jacks, one for the cable and the other for the detachable microphone. The microphone is flexible as well so you can really position it to how you want. And if there is no need for it, you can just remove it altogether. You can also find a 3-way slider that is used to adjust the bass. The wire also has a USB audio-control with buttons for volume control, 7.1 surround and more.
Hyper X, as always, does not disappoint when it comes to the quality of the build of their headphones. Despite the Cloud Alpha S headphones sporting a relatively friendlier price tag compared to some of the more premium gaming headphones, the build and design are exceptionally well executed.
It is important for a gaming headset to not only produce quality sound but also be easy and comfortable to use. It will not matter that much if the sound is top-notch if the headphones end up hurting your head when you use them. And gaming headphones are particularly more prone to that since gaming sessions often end up extending to continuously long hours. Therefore, it was important that the Hyper X Cloud Alpha S was a comfortable headphone to put on your head as well, otherwise, the experience could easily turn sour.
Due to not just the design but the material used in the making of the Hyper X Cloud Alpha S, they are quite comfortable. Like the predecessors of the Cloud Alpha S put out by Hyper X, this too does not weigh down too much on your head. The ear cups are made with soft and supple leather with sufficient padding in them. Along with that, the headband is also adjustable and you can find a position that lets the padded headband be in an ideal position around your head. These things help make the Hyper X Cloud Alpha S a very pleasant headset to use.
The clamping force is just right and you will not witness any wearing fatigue while using the Hyper X Cloud Alpha S. The Hyper X Cloud Alpha S gets just about everything right to make sure that your user experience is as good as it can possibly be. I did miss the fact that the earcups do not swivel, but I am used to earcups with a swivel. If you’re used to that or not, the Hyper X Cloud Alpha S will still feel very great to use as the clamping force has been adjusted to make up for that.
Virtual 7.1 Surround And Other Features
An upgrade and a really great one at that that the Hyper X Cloud Alpha S has is the virtual 7.1 surround audio. In order to use the virtual 7.1 surround audio, you must connect the USB mixer amp that the Hyper X Cloud Alpha S comes with. At first, you must connect the 3.5mm audio cable to the headphones. This cable has the same 3.5mm connector on both ends so you can use it with not just your PCs but mobile phones and PS4 controllers as well. You must connect the mixer amp to the other end of that 3.5mm cable which gives you a USB end on the other side. This process does end up with you getting an unnecessarily long cable that might become a drag to work with. However, the result is quite rewarding.
With the mixer amp, you also get buttons that lets you control the volume of the game and voice chat individually. You can adjust the mix between the two in the middle of the game and find the right fit. In addition to that, you can mute and unmute the mic along with toggling the virtual 7.1 surround sound on and off. These button controls are really great and are easily put to good use since you don’t have to minimize your game to control the different volume mixes.
However, due to the cable being two parts, the mixer amp will often end up being a bit far away from you. Rather than being easy to reach, you’ll end up having to pull the cable and the mixer amp close to you to get to the controls.
You can download the Hyper X NGENUITY app to further increase the controls and customization tools at your disposal. With the Hyper X Dual Chamber Drivers and the NGENUITY app being able to identify the game and selecting the best audio profile, you really don’t have to put in much work before being able to enjoy the Hyper X Cloud Alpha S headphones. Most of the work is done for you, all you have to do is sit back and game away.
The Hyper X Cloud Alpha S excels in giving you the best gaming performance possible. No matter if it’s an FPS game with lots of action sequences or a laid-back game for you to relax and enjoy the music, you will be greatly satisfied. The Cloud Alpha S comes with Hyper X’s Dual Chamber Drivers that allows the highs, mids and bass to be separated. As a result, there is more and easier distinction between the different frequencies, making for much more crystal and crisp audio. These are 50mm Neodymium drivers. On top of that, the bass can be adjusted on the fly as well using the 3-way bass slider. Fully open for maximum bass, midway for a balanced auditory experience, and close them to reduce the emphasis on bass altogether.
I used Cloud Alpha S with many games but what really struck gold in my book was how clear and audibly the footsteps were in Apex Legends. Even in the middle of gunfights, I was able to not only distinguish the sounds of gunshots and footsteps but was also able to pinpoint where they were coming from. The ability to change the bass levels is great as it really aids in gaming. You can do that on the fly as well so that the sound is catered to the type of game that you’re playing.
The detachable microphone is not something we haven’t seen before, but it sure is great to use. The detachable noise-canceling mic is Discord and Teamspeak certified, making for clear and smooth communication between you and your teammates. With the bendable cable, you should have no problems putting the mic in an ideal position in front of your mouth. This can help maximize the volume being output to your teammates. For online casual gaming, the Hyper X Cloud Alpha S’s detachable bi-directional mic will suffice. With that being said, there is a noticeable change in the voice when you have the mixer amp connected. However, you have to deal with an overly long cable if you want the somewhat improved quality of your audio for your teammates. Your teammates will notice the low volume being output as well and that can get a bit annoying. The microphone is okay for casual gaming but not really ideal for recording videos etc.
I talked about the drivers of the Hyper X Cloud Alpha S before, but what exactly are they? The Dual Chamber Drivers, as their name suggests, feature two separate chambers for the mids and the highs. As a result, the frequencies don’t get mixed and jumbled up in between. One chamber is reserved for the mids and highs whereas the other is for the bass. Usually, there is notable bass distortion at higher volumes as the frequencies can get mixed up. With the Hyper X Cloud Alpha S, you can enjoy high-bass music at max volume as well as focus more on the melodious tracks at low volumes. Whatever the case may be, the sounds are great to hear. This is further complemented by the fact that you can change the bass levels on the fly.
The Hyper X Cloud Alpha S offers a range of options for you to explore and enjoy the sounds. Stereo or 7.1 surrounds, open or closed bass, and more. However, they really start to shine when the virtual surround is toggled on and the bass vents are opened up to the max. The virtual surround option is not present for console players but you can somewhat make up for it by using the adjustable bass slider. If you start to notice any muddiness, use the slider to your advantage and watch the Hyper X Cloud Alpha S swoon you.
Audiophiles who are going to pay attention to the quality and clarity of the lows, mids, and highs might notice the under-emphasis on them. And that’s fair game. That can be improved a lot when you use the mixer amp. Plugging that in with the Cloud Alpha S really lets these headphones shine. There is more clarity in the sound and the mix of instrumentals with vocals is easily distinguishable. There are still some drops at higher frequencies but for a gaming headset, the results are quite pleasant.
There is no active noise cancellation present in the Hyper X Cloud Alpha S headphones. Instead, you have passive noise cancellation which is due to the thick leather earcups and the overall design. Since there is no swivel on the earcups, some might find it a bit difficult to properly get the Cloud Alpha S to sit around their head.
However, due to the large size of the earcups, they easily cover your whole ear, making for some efficient passive noise cancellation.
The Hyper X Cloud Alpha S can easily be dubbed as a great purchase if you’re looking for a gaming headset. They get many things right including not just the quality of the sound but build and range of options. The virtual 7.1 surround makes a noticeable difference in the quality of the audio produced and helps make the gaming experience even more immersive. On top of that, the USB mixer amp gives you options that let you change the volume of game audio and chat audio on the fly, without having to manually change it from the volume mixer. The price tag still lets them fall under the budget category of gaming headsets. Despite that, Hyper X makes no compromises when it comes to the quality of these great headsets.
The microphone and the annoyance of having to deal with a wire that’s just too long to control make things a bit difficult at times. But these are minor inconveniences compared to what the Cloud Alpha S gets right. They are really a great purchase for PC gaming due to the NGENUITY software’s different profiles and the ability to make use of the 7.1 virtual surround. Unfortunately, that’s not doable for those who play on consoles. But the ability to change the bass from open to closed does a lot of wonders as the difference is noticeable and easily admirable.
HyperX Cloud Alpha S
Bass Heavy Utilitarian
- Robust build quality
- Soft and supple earcups
- Impressive USB mixer amp
- Adjustable Bass
- Dual-chamber drivers
- Earcups have no swivel
- Better suited for just PC gaming
Drivers: 2x 50mm Neodymium Dual Chamber drivers | Connector: 3.5mm audio jack, USB | Frequency Response: 13 - 27kHz | Impedance: 65 Ohms | Microphone pick-up pattern: Bidirectional
VERDICT:The HyperX Cloud Alpha S pack a lot of punch and come in a design that is comfortable to use for everyone. 3-way slider to change bass on the go, mixer amp with more controls offered so you don't have to minimize your game for minor inconveniences and much more are what make these headphones a great pick. There are going to be problems in managing the very long cables when you connect the mixer amp, but the performance boost is worth it. With a comfortable design and great sound quality, the HyperX Cloud Alpha S check just about all the right boxes.