HyperX Cloud Alpha S Headset Offers Better Sound at Gamers' Fingertips

Players will get the most out of the HyperX Cloud Alpha S by plugging it into a PC. (Kingston Technology Company)

When you put on a HyperX headset, the first thought that comes to mind is comfort. Few gaming cans can match the pillowy ear cups and feathery weight of its Cloud line. It's a peripheral that players can wear for hours without fatigue, and that's a major reason for its success.

After the initial launch of its Cloud series, HyperX has refined its designed and tried to expand its offerings. The latest entry puts much of the technology it has developed over the past few years and pours it into a single device. The HyperX Cloud Alpha S features the dual chamber drivers and gives players more immediate control over its bass with sliders on the back of the ear cups.

The company threw in a USB Audio Control Mixer to let players fine tune their experience and push out a custom-tuned 7.1 virtual surround sound. The setup gives gamers plenty of customization choices at their fingertips while keeping them comfortable with the signature Cloud design.

Users who like big bass can push the tabs up and get a thumping rumble through the ear cups. If they prefer a flatter sound, they can pull them forward to tamp it down. The sound of the HyperX Cloud has always been good, but it has gotten better with the dual chamber drivers that offer clearer audio between the bass and the mids and highs. It's a system that offers an aggressive sound.

Everything sounds punchier through the Cloud Alpha S. The bass is heavy but clean without distortion while the highs and mids cut through clearly. At times, it can be too rich. The peaks of the highs and lows reach gamers' ears while everything else falls to the wayside.

HyperX mitigates that through its custom-tuned 7.1 virtual surround sound, which tries to bring out the subtlety that's lost. By pressing the 7.1 button on the USB mixer, it expands the sound stage and does a convincing job of making players feel a 360-degree field of sound around them.

Keep in mind the setting is tuned for the Cloud Alpha S and it works best with that specific headset. Using the USB mixer and that setting with other headsets will hurt your ears. It's not a good experience. With the tuned 7.1 surround sound, the richness of the mids and highs lose some of their luster and the audio sounds tinnier as the field expands. Thankfully, the bass is still good with this on.

Overall though, the surround sound is effective at letting players know the direction of gunshots and other audio cues in competitive games. The mode does a nice job handling the subtler sounds and lets them come through amid the cacophony of a gunfight. Although it's not perfect, the HyperX surround sound is effective.

Aside from activating a 7.1 surround sound mode, the mixer also lets players adjust their chat and game audio separately. It's a good move, but unfortunately, the device is barebones and lacks the visual feedback letting users know whether game or chat volume is being adjusted. Without that, players may inadvertently hit a button on the dongle and soften the sound on their game. It's an issue I ran into when playing games finding the sound muffled. It wasn't I fiddled with chat and game sound that the problem was fixed.

A dedicated app similar to its rivals would help solve that issue. It could also open up additional functionality. It could even improve the noise cancellation microphone by offering different settings. The detachable part offers clear audio and is a solid part of package.

Despite the flaw with the USB mixer, the rest of the Cloud Alpha S setup is first-rate. The $129.99 package even includes an extra set of ear cushions and travel bag along with the accompanying cords and mixer.

Ideally, the HyperX Cloud Alpha S is for streamers and players who go on marathon gaming sessions. The product offers a great balance of sound quality and comfort that can keep going as long as the user does.

This article is written by Gieson Cacho from Mercury News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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