Most, if not all gamers have heard of the HyperX brand. HyperX is synonymous with gaming peripherals and has an extensive amount of audio-related products, specifically gaming headsets. HyperX isn’t the first brand to try and expand into gaming earbuds, two words you don’t often hear together, but today we are looking at the HyperX Cloud Earbuds.
Earbuds have had a mixed bag of reviews since bursting onto the scene and the issue is mostly down to marketing. The fact is unless you struggle to wear a headset for comfort reasons or you need just the one product to cover all your audio needs, in-ears just don’t cut it for those that take gaming seriously.
That being said, with the increased popularity of mobile gaming and compatibility with consoles, the HyperX Cloud Earbuds may just find their purpose. Let’s take a closer look.
- Performance - Solid sound and microphone quality
- Affordable - Very reasonable price point
- Cable - Lightweight, tangle-free cable
- Build Quality - Feel like they could break if you are not careful
- Controls - No hardware volume controls or mic mute
Let's take a quick look at what you can expect in the box and the overall specs of the HyperX Cloud Earbuds.
Inside the box, we see:
- HyperX Cloud Earbuds
- Carry case
- 3 ear tip sizes
- In-line mic with multi-function button
|Headphone Frequency Response||20 - 20,000 Hz|
|Microphone Frequency Response||100 - 6,300 Hz|
The HyperX Cloud Earbuds look like any other fashionable pair of in-ears, they look great. The HyperX red and black color scheme is visually pleasing and the HyperX logo on the earphone casing is a nice design touch. These have a 1.2m length cable in a vibrant red, with the black accents coming from the earbuds and control box. Each earbud has removable rubber tips, which are grey in color and angular for a better fit in the ear canal.
The overall build quality is, well, fine. There isn’t a lot to talk about but you are getting what you pay for here. The earbuds are plastic, which is a bit of a concern for me as I often chuck my in-ears around, with little regard for their well being. That being said, I’m used to slightly higher quality, a little above this price point. The quality of these over time is one I’m yet to see, as I haven’t used these for long enough but if you were using the Cloud Earbuds on your daily commute, I can’t help but feel they will break when being repeatedly being stuffed into pockets and bags.
If we take Razer’s Hammerhead V2’s as a direct comparison (even though they are around $20 more), we see a massive jump in build quality. While the audio is similar, the build quality of the Razer earbuds is well worth that hike in price as they feel built to last. Regardless, the HyperX Cloud Earbuds are a cheap alternative, and for the price, they are reliable but just take a bit of extra care.
Like most in-ear headphones these days, we see the tangle-free rubberized cable. This is always a welcomed feature and certainly adds value to this affordable pair, making your life a lot easier in those sleepy morning commutes. At the business end of the cable is a 90-degree angled “plug”. As I’m pretty heavy-handed with my in-ears, the angled plug goes a long way for me, as I’ll often listen to audio using my phone in my pocket, which can put a bit of strain on a straight plug over time.
The microphone is encased in the “control box” and is basically a small hole on the back. The control box is entirely plastic with a centralized button. One of the biggest drawbacks of this pair of earphones is the lack of hardware controls. There is no volume control or mic mute, instead just a button for mobile devices (play/answer). I have to say I’m quite surprised that this pair doesn’t feature what I would class as “essential” controls for any gamer. Of course, for those using a mobile or Nintendo Switch on the go, you can always use your device’s controls but this could be the deal-breaker.
There are a lot fewer factors to consider when we look at the comfort of an in-ear pair of headphones but it’s still important for any gamer. With the Cloud Earbuds, we have a product that is ultra-lightweight weighing just 19 grams. Now, these don’t sit on your head or anything like that but this low weight will help them stay in your ears.
Comfort across HyperX’s audio range is something that seems to be championed with every pair offering a decent level of comfort from either materials or design. The earbuds feature a silicone ear tip that is smooth to the touch but also feels like it’s going to kind of stick to your inner ear. For additional comfort, there are a few different size options that you can swap out. The Cloud Earbuds feature small, medium, and large tips to cater to a wide variety of ears.
I don’t have the smallest ears and even though I use in-ear headphones a lot on the go, they still tend to just fall out over time, regardless of the tip I use. I can honestly say that these remained in my ear throughout use while gaming but when on the move they did need the odd adjustment.
The small slider on the cable features on most, if not all headphones but it did its job well and stopped the cables getting caught on my jacket, doors, or anything else sticking out! My only gripe with the headphones comfort-wise was actually from the position of the control box. I found it was a little hard to find the button without looking but this was only until I became used to the Cloud Earbuds.
With the price and fact that these are in-ear headphones, my initial expectations were quite low. While the overall sound quality was a step up from your standard affordable in-ears, the lack of controls somewhat affecting my gaming with PC. that being said, when used with handheld devices and console, they performed well enough and offered as much immersion as an affordable gaming headset.
The HyperX Cloud Earbuds come with the standard frequency response range of 20 - 20,000Hz and delivers rather bass-heavy audio but with enough in the highs and mids to give a well-rounded gaming experience. The sound stage is small due to the fact the sound is being funneled directly into the ear canal but this wasn’t a major issue. These feature dynamic 14mm drivers with neodymium magnets and worked fine for music but are they worth upgrading your current pair for that alone? Probably not.
I tested these out on my PC before anything else, loading up a variety of game titles. Straight off the bat, these performed similarly to budget headsets, as expected. They sounded similar to the Corsair HS60s/ HS35s, with enough detail but lacking that sound quality you get from a higher quality pair like Sennheisers GSP 370s. These are clearly not made for PC but they work if you are stuck and the sound quality is good enough for both casual and competitive play although not advisable for the latter. Most gaming headsets offer little isolation and noise cancelation but it is worth noting that these, obviously, offer much less.
I loaded up Squad and the in-game voice chat was clear, positional cues were easily heard, and the glorious in-game audio effects sounded immersive and were enjoyed. Despite this, it could have been better, and having to change my audio settings because there were no hardware volume controls was a massive pain in the backside.
Another issue with using these on a PC is cable length. Fortunately, I have a spare audio jack to the front of my PC but if you don’t you may struggle to get comfortable. As mentioned, these do not feel optimized for PC and when using them with console, I could kind of tell. They plug straight into any controller (I was using PS4) and work without issue. The sound quality of both voice and game was decent and you could say much more immersive than TV speakers and those basic headsets they send out with the console.
These are marketed towards the Nintendo Switch but there is nothing that stands out to say you should own these for that reason. They worked fine with the Switch but so do all of my headphones.
These were minimal features to the HyperX Cloud Earbuds but they are affordable in-ear headphones, so fair enough. These came with adjustment ear options and a nice little carry case to keep your gear safe when on the move.
These come with a microphone and it works perfectly for both gaming and taking calls. If you are going to be playing multiplayer then you are going to need a microphone that casts your voice clearly and the HyperX Cloud Earbuds does that.
Inside the control box is an electret condenser microphone, with a frequency response of 100 - 6,300Hz. Due to the fact this is going to be dangling below your head and not really set in position, it is an Omni-directional mic. Other players were adamant I sounded clear and the mic didn’t pick up any unwanted background noise during use.
The bottom line is, the HyperX Cloud Earbuds may not offer an impressive level of quality but for the price, they bring clean sound for everyday use. You get what you pay for here, there isn’t anything particularly exciting to note, with solid sound and in plug and play functionality.
For PC gaming, I’m always going to advise you to buy a decent gaming headset. Audiophiles, competitive gamers, and anyone who can save an extra $20-$30 should probably steer clear but they do a fine job for the price. The biggest concern for me is a lack of hardware controls but for those out there looking for earbuds for the console, these aren’t a bad affordable option.
Regardless, the HyperX Cloud Earbuds and gaming earbuds, in general, are an interesting approach to in-game audio and if IEM’s (in-ear monitors) become cheaper in the future, we could see earbuds gaining a bit of traction with the community.