HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless Review: Making Wires Obsolete

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless

Picture, Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

HyperX was acquired by HP from Kingston final 12 months however its new Cloud Alpha Wi-fi headset proves the corporate hasn’t skipped a beat. A cordless model of the favored and critically profitable Cloud Alpha, the most recent mannequin makes an attempt to make wired headphones out of date by combining excellent consolation and top-notch sound high quality with inconceivably lengthy battery life.

Does it succeed? Earlier than I get into it, an admission: I have never used the Hyper X Cloud Wi-fi for 300 hours but. Why would that probably matter? As a result of the large declare is right here that this headset can final for virtually two full weeks constantly earlier than it’s a must to recharge. You learn that proper. What I can let you know is that I’ve gamed with these cans for dozens of hours and they’re nonetheless at 63%. I am going to replace this text as soon as I’ve executed extra testing, however 300 hours appears doable. Even when it would not hit that mark, these headphones not often want recharging.

With that out of the best way, the Hyper X Cloud Alpha Wi-fi are just like the wired model, adopting their greatest qualities—barely-there consolation, highly effective sonics, a transparent microphone, and a sturdy design. Essentially the most notable distinction is the worth: at $200, these wi-fi newcomers are twice as costly because the wired model. Value alone will put these out of attain for a lot of avid gamers, and there are a number of lacking options, however those that can stretch their budgets ought to strongly think about checking these items out.

At first look, the Cloud Alpha Wi-fi look equivalent to the cheaper corded model, flaunting a well-known black design with pops of crimson on the aluminum bands, headband stitching, and HyperX logos centered on every ovular cup. It trades gaudy RGB and aggressive styling for a easy, comparatively clear aesthetic. On the similar time, these are unmistakably made for gaming with a design that’s extra sensible than fairly, and extra chunky than modern.

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless

Picture, Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

The place the wired fashions have a built-in management unit on the cable, these new wi-fi fashions place the amount wheel on the suitable earcup and the mute and energy buttons on the left subsequent to a USB-C port and an LED indicator. The buttons are small however might be pretty simply recognized, significantly the mute button because of its convex hump. I want the ability button had been positioned on the alternative earcup as a substitute of being distinguished by its concave form—it is not the best to search out or probably the most pleasing to press. And the gear-shaped scroll wheel provides a tad an excessive amount of resistance—I desire the free-scrolling quantity wheel on my Steelseries Arctis P7, even when it takes extra precision to fine-tune quantity ranges.

At 335 grams with the microphone connected (322g with out the mic), the Alpha Wi-fi are barely heftier than the Cloud II Wi-fi (300 grams) and different wi-fi rivals just like the Razer Blackshark V2 Professional (320 grams). Regardless of the burden, the Cloud Alpha Wi-fi are each bit as snug because the wired model—if not, extra so.

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless

Picture, Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

Once I in contrast these side-by-side, the wi-fi mannequin appeared to have much less padding underneath the headphone, which decreased the downward stress on my head. The identical might be mentioned for the reminiscence foam earcups: with much less padding, the clamping power feels ever so barely decreased. Even so, the earpads created a good seal round my head, successfully blocking ambient noise. Different variations between the units are minimal. For instance, the wi-fi fashions have a leather-like texture on the headscarf in comparison with the graceful one on the wired pair.

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless

Cloud Alpha Wi-fi (left); Cloud Alpha (proper)
Picture, Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

On the subject of connectivity, the Cloud Alpha Wi-fi use a 2.4Ghz dongle for an approximate wi-fi vary of 20 yards. I did not encounter any points when utilizing the headset on my desktop PC or PS5. No stuttering or connection loss—the headset began working the second I plugged the dongle into my system of alternative. That dongle, by the best way, is USB 2.0 Kind-A and has a crimson LED indicator for connection standing. Oh, and simply to make clear: the Cloud Alpha Wi-fi are suitable with PC, PS5, and PS4, however not Xbox consoles, which do not help USB audio-out.

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless

Picture, Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

These hoping to pair these to their smartphone will bemoan the shortage of Bluetooth. Whereas 2.4Ghz is extra dependable and allows insane runtimes (300 hours, bear in mind?), Bluetooth would not require any {hardware}. With out Bluetooth or perhaps a 3.5mm headphone enter, there isn’t any good method to take heed to music out of your smartphone or pill (the Asus pictured beneath being one uncommon exception). Additionally price noting is that thin-and-light laptops with out legacy ports have gotten extra able to gaming. If you wish to use the Cloud Alpha Wi-fi on, say, an Intel Arc-powered transportable laptop computerthen you definitely’ll want a dongle.

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless

Picture, Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

I’ve no complaints concerning the microphone. My buddies on PS5 mentioned my voice sounded crisp and clear, and once I chatted with my great colleagues, Florence Ion and Andrew Liszewski, they each mentioned I sounded sharp. This temporary audio clip ought to provide you with a style of the mic high quality; I used to be significantly impressed by the noise cancellation, which eradicated loud banging as my house mounted some damaged pipes. One other good contact is the LED indicator above the windscreen, which illuminates crimson when muted.

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless

Picture, Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wi-fi use 50mm drivers with neodymium magnets and have a 15 Hz-21 kH frequency vary. Wanting previous the flamboyant phrases and numbers, HyperX says the custom-designed twin drivers are barely thinner and lighter, but produce the identical sound high quality as those within the wired model. The sound high quality of this set is great, and I did not discover any dropoff when evaluating them to the wired model.

The engine sounds of Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari had a crisp, deep whine as I sped round Imola Circuit in F1 2021 on PS5. After repeatedly crashing, I switched to Gran Turismo 7 and loved the deep rumble of the yet-to-be-released Nissan Z (my dream automotive FWIW).

On PC, I performed Halo: Infinite and the Cloud Alpha Wi-fi captured every of the weapon’s distinct sounds. Most significantly, I might hear enemies creeping up from behind me—a bonus that ought to have (however did not) enhance my dismal kill-to-death ratio. Throughout work, I streamed music via YouTube Music and customarily loved the sound high quality. These will not substitute my Bose 700, however the deep, rumble bass and crisp treble made these an fulfilling hear.

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless

Picture, Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

You’ll be able to modify the sound by way of HyperX’s NGENUITY software program utilizing EQ controls. Effectively, theoretically. I tinkered with the preset sound profiles however did not discover a lot of a distinction in audio high quality when switching between them or turning the equalizer on and off. Enabling DTS:X spacial barely boosted the sound, however did not precisely create a “3D” impact. One function price enabling is mic monitoring, which lets you hear your individual voice so you are not yelling at mates. I want there have been onboard controls—if these are vital to you, the Steelseries Arctis 7 is price a glance.

Now, about that battery life. I teased this within the intro, however the standout function of the Cloud Alpha Wi-fi is their 300 hours of estimated battery life with the amount set to 50%. Once more, I have never absolutely examined that declare as a result of, nicely, I’ve barely even had these in my possession for 300 hours. To date, although, HyperX’s absurd runtime ranking appears about proper, if barely overstated. I’ve used the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wi-fi for the previous few weeks, gaming virtually day-after-day for a number of hours and they’re seemingly unkillable.

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless

Picture, Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

Once they lastly do run low, the Cloud Alpha Wi-fi recharge by way of a USB-C port on the underside of the left earcup. It takes about 4.5 hours to go from lifeless to 100%. That is slowish so that you would possibly need to hold these plugged in in a single day to keep away from going darkish in the midst of a gaming session.

The Cloud Alpha Wi-fi are a superb possibility for PC or console avid gamers searching for a pair of high-end wi-fi headphones. The spotlight, in fact, is the bonkers battery life, a perk that would convert wired headphone loyalists. Most significantly, you get this record-setting runtime with out many tradeoffs; The Cloud Alpha Wi-fi, very like its wired counterpart, has wonderful consolation, spectacular sound high quality, and a microphone that’ll make your voice sound nice if you squad up with mates.

At $200, the Cloud Alpha Wi-fi joins a aggressive discipline of gaming headsets, together with the superb Steelseries Arctis 7+, Razer Blackshark V2 Professional, and HyperX’s personal $150 Cloud II wi-fi. These are all top-notch choices, however if you would like a terrific all-around machine you could overlook about charging for weeks—and even months—there isn’t any different alternative than the Cloud Alpha Wi-fi.

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