The TRUTH About The HyperX Cloud Stinger Wireless Gaming Headset
Despite the usually higher price point and crappy battery life wireless gaming gear is just so convenient from a desk cleanliness perspective and better mobility for keyboards, mice, and especially headsets. I feel like the reason why wireless headsets aren’t so popular is because of price and sound quality. Previously I’ve done a massive wireless battle comparing eight headsets, most of which were well over a hundred dollars, which is why I’m excited to review the HyperX Cloud Stinger wireless, a new $99 headset that promises a solid experience and is compatible with PC and PS4.
So the original wired Cloud Stinger was a $50 headset and doubling the price of an already barebones frame for the wireless version seems a bit steep, even if they’re just trying to create some separation between other HyperX headsets. The $129 Cloud Flight in my opinion is still a better product altogether, and it goes on sale quite often. Now the direct competitors here would be the Corsair HS70 for $99, the $89 Logitech G533 that is very plasticky but with fantastic surround sound output, and the SteelSeries Arctis 7 also fluctuates around the $120 mark and is worth considering. Now the frame is identical to the original Stinger, all plastic billed with metal size extensions. The plastic coating mimics that of sandblasted aluminium, which is nice, and the brush logo is textured instead of just being red. The ear cups are similar to what you’ll find on the Cloud Flight but with thinner interior fabric.
Weight & Ergonomics
They are slightly lighter at 270 grams versus the 339 grams HS70 or the 315 grams Cloud Flight’s, and I’ve always found their clamping structure to be appropriate for comfortable wear throughout the entire day. Although sound isolation isn’t as good as with the Cloud Flight, it’s actually quite similar to the HS70, meaning that the ear cups are not as soft and don’t create that super seal around the year. I actually prefer this because it makes me really uncomfortable not hearing anything while I’m wearing a headset. It still has decent passive isolation, but not what you’d find on the Cloud Flight. I love the ear cup rotation to wear the headset around your neck, and it’s also low profile enough and none of the joints are poking you. The volume wheel is on the right side and doesn’t have any scroll steps, instead it’s quite smooth with good resistance. The power button with battery LED status is on the left ear cup with color-coded flashes to indicate your battery life.
Now HyperX claims 17 hours of playback at 50% volume and I was able to go for around 12 hours, slightly above 50%. This is not ideal, and you’ll have to get into the habit of recharging this thing every three days depending on how long you game. Thankfully you can still use it while it’s charging, but the provided cable is quite short. The USB receiver is the same found on the Cloud Flight, but with a blue indicator instead of red, and Stinger Wireless text on the receiver for identification. If you travel the receiver fits nicely inside the ear cup. As far as the wireless range, I found no interruptions in my kitchen, which is about six meters away with two walls in between, so pretty standard stuff.
Can you hear me now?
As for the microphone, it is non-removable but has nice resistance upon rotation, and it is muted when in the upright position. In terms of vocal clarity, I feel like it’s got a lot of signal processing going on. The definition of my voice is quite poor. There’s a lot going on at the lower end, I’m guessing they’re trying to cancel out the noise of typing on a keyboard, but it’s still being picked up and the vocal clarity isn’t really as good as the Cloud Flight’s microphone. In comparison to the Corsair HS70 – which sounds flat in comparison to the other two – so really I prefer the Cloud Stinger Wireless even though it’s very bass heavy and not as clear. As a reference point against these other gaming microphones, there’s the Sennheiser GSP 500 which I consider to be the benchmark for wired gaming microphones, and a good way to compare what you’re losing by going to the wireless side… unless of course you go with a ModMic Wireless, which remains excellent despite its lack of wires.
I put in some time into competitive CS:GO gaming with the Stinger Wireless and overall my performance was not any different versus when I gamed with the Sennheiser GSP 500. I didn’t notice any artifacts and could pinpoint the exact direction of players because the sound cues are well-defined. The soundstage is quite narrow though and element separation for really layered stuff could be better. This is not for CS:GO, but for music, listening to movies, and other games, and especially in the mid-range detail is buried behind the bass somewhere. It’s super disappointing and the lack of any driver software means you can not adjust your EQ settings. It has very powerful output though, so volume is not really an issue, but the detail in the mid-range is. If you’ve played the Escape from Tarkov map, you know how hearing steps on wood, glass or metal is very important to map knowledge and enemy presence. Yet with the Stinger Wireless, they were not as audible to me as with the Corsair HS70 and the overall environment just felt muted compared to what I’ve come to expect from my GSP 500 or the HS70. The Corsair headset has sharper treble, thus sounds more detailed, and with much better layer separation but a soundstage that is still pretty close to the Stinger Wireless. Nevertheless, the Cloud Flight has much better texture throughout the entire audio range and has much more detailed and controlled bass compared to these two headsets.
Overall, I’m kind of sad because the sound quality of the HyperX Cloud Stinger is pretty poor. It is muddy and lacks any mid-range definition. It’s almost like listening to a low bandwidth movie that is streaming online over a really poor connection. You know, you expect to hear some definition and it’s just not there. You want more definition and texture in your audio and this thing just does not deliver. In the $99 price range my recommendation is still the Corsair HS70, however if you can afford to spend a little more the HyperX Cloud Flight provides an overall better audio experience.
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