Freeing yourself from headphone cables and wires is always a liberating experience, but it can be an expensive one too. To that end, HyperX has those looking for a relatively low-cost wireless gaming headset covered with the Cloud Stinger Wireless, which gets players up and running in practically no time.
Cutting the cord
The wireless Cloud Stinger is practically identical to the wired version in terms of build quality and audio performance. Key differences include how the wireless version takes away the cord, so you don’t have to worry about anything getting in the way or tangled, and a more flexible microphone boom.
Both headsets feature 50 mm drivers, earcups that rotate 90 degrees, steel sliders inside the headband, and memory foam cushions. The rest of the headset is made from lightweight plastic, and the adapter fits snugly inside the earcup if you need to take it on the go. There aren’t any lighting effects on either headset, but there’s a nice HyperX logo etched onto the sides and on the headband.
Overall, it’s sturdy, comfortable, and lightweight enough to wear for hours at a time. However, it does get a little hot under the earcups after about 30 minutes or so despite how they offer mid-range noise isolation. They’ll probably work well enough for households and small parties, but I wouldn’t recommend them for more crowded and noisy environments.
Despite how there aren’t many notable technical differences between the wired and wireless versions of the Cloud Stinger, the convenience of wireless does come at a significant cost. While the wired version currently retails for $49.99, the wireless edition goes for $89.99. That’s a fairly reasonable price for an entry level wireless headset, but it’s tough to overlook the fact that you’d be paying almost double for practically the same audio hardware.
Perks of being wireless
In the box are the headset, the wireless adapter, and a micro USB charging cable. Installation is as easy as it gets. All you have to do is plug the adapter into an available USB port, turn on the charged headset, and you’re ready to go. My PC quickly detected and installed the drivers for the Cloud Stinger Wireless, and I didn’t have to go through the hassle of pairing the two components.
According to HyperX, the headsets run for about 17 hours at 50% volume, which roughly matches the 12 hours of battery life I got out of it playing at 60% volume. I was also pleased that the headset turned itself off after I took it off and left it sitting with a long period of inactivity. Your mileage will vary depending on your gaming habits and preferences. It’s possible to use the headset while it’s charging, but be aware that the included cable is only about three feet long, so it might not comfortably reach many computer and notebook setups.
The 2.4 GHz wireless signal is strong with very good range and stability. I was able to walk about 25 feet (7.62 meters) from the adapter before the sound cut out. That’s not the 39 feet (12 meters) shown on the headset’s spec sheet, but forgivable considering how the signal had to pass through walls. The volume dial is also comfortably placed and offers decent resistance when adjusting.
Listening for the big boom
The HyperX Cloud Stinger Wireless excels at volume, but not necessarily sound depth. It works well enough for listening to music, but it’s not terribly impressive for high-action movies or games. Sound comes through fine, but it’s a little dull. Weapons and explosions in Rage 2 don’t sound as big or impactful as they should. Meanwhile, subtle sounds like the hum of the station or footsteps from a nearby Typhon in Prey can be difficult to fully make out. All put together, using this headset can lead to a rather subdued audio experience.
My voice over the microphone sounded similarly muddied and perhaps over-processed, but I have to hand it to HyperX – the noise canceling is excellent. Although it couldn’t completely silence loud typing, the mic did successfully cut out droning noises like a nearby fan from the conversation. So, although the sound tends to lack richness, communications came through clearly.
Also, the mic boom can’t be removed, but it’s easy to adjust and mutes automatically when pushed up.
It should further be noted that the wireless HyperX Cloud Flight, which offers better noise isolation, a removable mic, and an estimated 30 hours of battery life, retails for $139.99. That’s a $50 difference that can easily be reduced by a sale, so saving up for the Cloud Flight could be worth considering to get the extra features.
That’s not to say that the Cloud Stinger Wireless offers a terrible experience, just not a particularly standout one. Not even turning on Windows Sonic for software-based special audio on the stereo headphones did much to liven up things up. So, it doesn’t jump out as the sub-$100 wireless headset to have. The wireless adapter is compatible with PCs and the PlayStation 4, which is a nice plus. But if that’s not important to you, then there are wireless headsets out there that offer the same or more features at a comparable or lower price.