Kingston’s HyperX CloudX Pro Gaming Headset Is A Mouthful, But Damn Good Stuff

I’ve bought some crappy headphones in my time, and thankfully this is not a pair of those.

Coming in a welcome firm case for protection for travel, the HyperX CloudX Pro Gaming Headset set is easily moved from location to location without any fear that these puppies are going to be damaged. The size also can carry both the extra set of ear covers—a leather-like pair and a soft, breathable cloth pair—and the extension cable that can split the microphone and headphone jacks for devices that may require both.

The jack is a standard 3.5mm port which works with everything I tested it with… my laptop, my phone, my tablet, even my PS4 without additional setup of configuration. Even though the box says the headset is an Xbox One-licensed product, it’s a universal plug.

The styling is simple and clean, with black faux-leather on black and gray-steel metal pieces, giving the headset a welcome and not-overwhelming weight. They feel solid without being outright heavy, which for a “pro” headset and the insinuated hours of wear in practicing can be a liability. After wearing them for at least a few hours at least five days a week for multiple weeks since I got them, the weight has never once been an issue. The thick and giving cushion across the headband really helps to lessen the pressure even further.

The different ear cups included, a leather-ish pair with breathable cloth, are easy enough to swap on and off in a minute or two. As someone who wears glasses every day, most over-the-ear headsets can push the plastic arms into my temples after some short wearing time. There is just enough pressure on the CloudX to hold onto my head without bringing a major headache. Specifically, the leather-esque cups can be a slight discomfort after a few hours, the cloth pair don’t even need any adjusting after a long spell in front of a screen. Neither are entirely noise-cancelling, but the stiffer cups do a damn fine job at keeping out unwanted noise while still being more than comfortable.

This CloudX pair, like others in the HyperX line, comes with a detachable microphone for easier storage. The quality is great, and the easily bent cable is remarkably stable once it’s in place near the mouth. And the jack it’s held in is an even firmer connection. That thing’s designed to hold on for dear life, almost to the point of feeling scared to pull it out (and refusing to remove it while wearing the set). Within the hard case this mic is well-supported, so there’s no risk of damage by bending it completely out of shape. It might have some trouble fitting into a smaller bag, but even if it’s a tight fit I never felt like they would be damaged in transit.

The cable includes a dial for directly controlling the volume and a switch for the microphone as well. The mic switch does the trick, no problems there, but the dial is analog, so the volume can cut in and out awkwardly. Turning up or down can cut out the sound entirely in one ear, and accidentally bumping it can cause the volume to jump or cut out in one ear entirely (though not permanently). There’s also no way to change any other settings, like the amount of bass, except through your device’s settings, which is a shame. The sound quality’s still damn good, though, and with the blocking out of other noise using the leather-like cups it’s practically a bubble.

But hell, for a hundred bucks, this is a damn good headset—clear sound, solid build quality, works with everything right out of the box, and comfortable as hell to boot? I wish I had a pair of these instead of trying to find the best inexpensive pair… I wouldn’t have saved much money, but I wouldn’t have had to suffer with the tinny noises of dollar-fifty headphones (which yes, they do exist, and you get what you pay for).