When it comes to gaming, having great audio is something to pay attention to if you want a fully immersive experience. A convenient way of going about this is by getting a good gaming headset. Our comprehensive gaming headphone buying guide can prove helpful in this process.
PRODUCT INFO Cloud Orbit S Manufacture HyperX Available at View at Amazon
If you make the right choice, you end up getting a great experience for both music and gaming, and you also get a great mic for voice chat. The question is, how much should you spend?
HyperX has partnered with Audeze to create a rendition of the excellent Audeze Mobius with a “cheaper” price tag.
If you’re considering buying the Cloud Orbit S, then you are someone who appreciates premium sound quality, high-end build quality, and a plethora of features. Well, HyperX just took that question and almost made it meaningless. While the HyperX Cloud Orbit S is certainly expensive, it brings a surprising amount of value to the table.
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So, the Cloud Orbit S looks and sounds premium. If we were to define this headset in one word, it would be versatile. Let’s have a look at how that versatility justifies the premium price tag.
The Unboxing Experience
I’ve had a fair share of experience with HyperX products in the past. It’s important to say this because the unboxing feels quite similar to other HyperX devices. The Cloud Orbit S arrives in a cardboard box with the iconic red and white theme that is carried throughout. The front of the box has a picture of the headset and lists some of the features. On the back, we have a brief breakdown of all of the features.
One side of the box lists the compatibility while the other side shows another side profile of the headset. The box can be cracked open from the top, and you can pull out the packaging in which the Cloud Orbit S sits inside. In the box, we get a quick start guide, a welcome card, and the headset itself.
Apart from that, we get three different cables for connecting to our audio source. There is a USB-C to USB-C cable, a regular 3.5mm audio cable, and a Type-C to Type-A USB cable. Finally, we have the detachable microphone. All of these accessories are tucked away nicely in a HyperX branded cloth pouch. This is quite similar to the stuff you find with other HyperX headphones, as seen in our HyperX Cloud Stinger Review.
HyperX and Audeze
Before we get into the design, here’s a bit of background for the audiophiles out there. Many of you are likely familiar with Audeze, a California-based company that was started in 2008. They use high-quality internals and design premium headphones for enthusiasts.
The Audeze Mobius was the first gaming headset to use planar magnetic drivers. Since HyperX has partnered with Audeze, the Cloud Orbit S shares much of the same design, and even the same excellent drivers.
Design and Build Quality
The Cloud Orbit has the appearance and feel of a gaming headset but in a more toned-down and sophisticated way. If you are someone who prefers their devices to be sleek and stylish, then you’ll love the HyperX Cloud Orbit S. It has a clean design but doesn’t end up being boring either.
The outside of the cloud orbit has a matte black finish over the plastic, and it feels quite good in the hand. Both earcups have the HyperX logo in a silver/grey color. This provides a nice contrast to the overall black color scheme.
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Moving on, the left side of the earcup appears to be quite busy. It has all of the controls, dials, and buttons. This looks a bit daunting at first, but there’s a reason behind it.
If you’re playing on PC, you never need to take your right hand off the mouse as all of your controls are on the left earcup. It’s a minor thing that most won’t care about, but it goes to show the lengths they are willing to go to create a great experience.
On the outside of the earcup, we have the power button and mute button for the microphone. The power button almost sits flush with the HyperX logo. The right earcup is completely clean and does not house any controls. Overall, the design of the Cloud Orbit is executed quite well, and all of the controls are easy to access. Quite similar cues to the ones we discovered in our HyperX Cloud II Wireless Review.
It is built quite sturdily as well. While the exterior of the headset is plastic, it still ends up feeling premium. Due to the planar magnetic drivers, the headset has quite a bit of heft to it. However, thanks to the weight distribution, it does not feel uncomfortable.
In terms of comfort, the padding and feel of the earcups happen to be similar to the Cloud Alpha headset. The earcups and the headband both have faux leather padding on the exterior, cushioned by memory foam underneath. There are no adjustment markings on the sliders, but they are easy to get used to. This headset can also fit comfortably on larger heads, so size should not be an issue.
The weight of the headset comes in at around 362g. It is slightly heavier than the HyperX Cloud Alpha and the Astro A50 headset. The memory foam padding is dense, but not to the point that it ends up feeling firm. If you are used to gaming headsets in general, the Cloud Orbit S should feel quite familiar.
It does require a bit of breaking in, but after a couple of days, you won’t notice the pads around your ears. The clamping force is finely tuned as well, it is a bit firm, but unless you are super sensitive to that, it won’t be too much of an annoyance. Other than that, the Cloud Orbit S gets a thumbs up from us in terms of comfort.
Going into this review, I knew the Cloud Orbit S was going to sound great. How could they not? This is another rendition of the excellent Audeze Mobius headset. Combine planar magnetic drivers, excellent soundstage, and Audeze’s fine-tuning, and we have ourselves a winner. What I did not know going into this review was just how many aspects to sound quality there would be with this headset.
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To sum it up, the Orbit S sounds phenomenal. But to truly understand that, we need to go over all of the modes and features. Let’s dive into that.
3D Audio – Head Tracking Tech + Immersive Surround
Usually, when I hear the words 3D stamped onto most devices, the knee-jerk reaction is to think that it’s nothing more than a gimmick. I was not expecting the Cloud Orbit S to be anything different. Keeping that in mind, I am very glad to report that the 3D audio functionality here is quite impressive. Allow me to explain how it works.
Think of it this way, you are sitting in front of desktop speakers. When you move your head to the left, the sound is louder on your left. The same happens when you look in any other direction. This is what the Waves Nx head tracking technology is trying to imitate. Combine that with the 7.1 surround sound mode, and the sensation becomes unreal.
If you find the right movies or games to test it out with, you are in for a wild ride. The first time around it almost feels bizarre, as you are not used to this type of audio. While not everyone will use it all the time, it’s a great bonus feature to play around with. When paired with the right game, you will start hearing everything. Imagine vividly hearing the sound of your boots scratching against rocks when you’re crawling on the terrain in Battlefield V.
3D mode only works when you are connected via USB and have 7.1 surround sound turned on. It has three modes that you can play around with, the standard 3D mode, 3D automatic, and 3D manual. You can adjust the center point when in manual mode.
7.1 Surround Sound
7.1 surround sound is one of the three modes present on the headset. You can switch between these three modes by pressing and holding the mic volume wheel. A female voice will point out whatever mode you are using at that time. The standard two-channel stereo mode is 16 bit at 48kHz, and the 7.1 mode is 24 bit at 48kHz. Finally, the last mode is High-res, which will be discussed in-depth in the next section.
So, there’s not much to say here about the 7.1 surround sound. Coming from other HyperX headsets such as the Cloud Revolver and Cloud Alpha, the experience is still great here. Enemy footprints are easy to pinpoint, and explosions feel punchy and loud. It works especially great when combined with stereo mode.
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It’s just that some people don’t always get great use of simulated surround sound, because it sort of ruins the audio in some games, especially single-player experiences. Still, part of the blame goes to a few game developers who don’t care about surround sound. When it does work, it works really well.
As someone who cares about their audio quality a lot, this is something I was very interested in testing out. If you are the type of person who has lossless files for their music, and you won’t listen to anything but the very best version of your favorite tracks, this mode is for you. High-Res mode is 24 bit at 96kHz.
When you combine it with the right type of music (I personally tested it out with Pink Floyd’s – Another Brick In The Wall), the experience is sublime. The planar magnetic drivers really shine through here. The isolation is excellent, and the soundstage is surprisingly wide. You can even play around with a room ambiance setting in the software. Usually, when the soundstage is this wide, you tend to give up that punchy bass.
That’s not the case here. The bass is quite powerful and detailed. Thanks to the 100mm planar magnetic drivers, this headset gets plenty loud. Finally, the best part is that you do not need an amplifier to power these beastly drivers. That’s why we mentioned this headset being so versatile in the beginning of this review.
For the price, you’d expect the HyperX Cloud Orbit S to have a pretty decent mic. Thankfully, you will not be disappointed here. The mic does have background noise suppression, so when you’re typing away the clicking of your keys will be a bit faint. It works more than enough for voice chat in games.
In all honesty, the quality is good enough that you can use it to record videos or even use it while streaming. The only problem is that it does not tend to get as loud as proper standalone microphones. While that’s normally not an issue, maybe some would expect even better performance for the price.
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In our opinion, the quality suffices. It’s crystal clear and does the job very well if you are using it for in-game voice chat.
For some people, this section might come straight out of left-field. It certainly was a bit surprising when I became aware of the details. While the Orbit S is a completely wired headset, it will need to run off batteries when connected via the 3.5mm cable. This is because the headset uses digital signal processing or DSP. We won’t go into the details here but a simple explanation is that the phone can’t handle the drivers on its own.
This is why the headset needs to operate via battery power so that the drivers can work as intended. Fortunately, this is not a problem when connected to a PC via USB, as the battery gets topped off when you are plugged in. However, the battery will easily get you 6+ hours of music if you’re using the analog 3.5mm jack connection.
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To sum it up, the Cloud Orbit S is quite the overall package. Versatility is the name of the game here. It is impressive just how much this headset can get done. If you care about a surround sound experience, turn on the 3D audio and pair it with virtual 7.1 for a great experience. If you’re an audiophile, the planar magnetic drives paired with High-Res mode will leave you satisfied.
The build quality is phenomenal, the comfort is quite good, and the extra features sprinkled in make up for the high price tag. Sure, it’s not an affordable headset by any means, but to the right buyer, it more than justifies its price tag. Especially considering that this pricing is quite decent when it comes to most planar magnetic headphones, which can cost twice or triple the price of this headset.
HyperX Cloud Orbit S
The King Of Versatility
- Flawless planar magnetic drivers
- Surprisingly impressive 3D audio
- Sleek and sophisticated design
- Lots of connectivity options
- Robust build quality
- Needs to run off batteries when connecting to phones
- Microphone quality could be better
Microphone: Detachable condenser microphone | Frequency Response: 10Hz-50kHz | Weight: 362g | Connectivity Type: USB Type-C, USB Type-A, and 3.5mm cable | Bluetooth: N/A | Battery Life: Around 10-15 hours
VERDICT:Very rarely do gaming headsets end up justifying their high price tags. This is why the Cloud Orbit S is so special. Thanks to its plethora of features, it is going to appeal to a wide audience. If you can afford the price, this might be the end-game headset for you.