Audio immersion can make or break a game, podcasts, music, a friendly chat, or even a business meeting. Yet all too often the pandemic saw companies scrambling for the lowest-priced headsets for their suddenly working-from-home staff. The impact to business on delays and misunderstandings caused by an inferior audio experience is immeasurable. Conventional wisdom dictated you required a higher-end set of headphones. Yet, HyperX - a leading manufacturer of eSports computing peripherals - has turned its attention to how you can have quality and affordability together. Enter the Cloud Core Wireless.
HyperX is the number one PC gaming headset brand in US retail and it's easy to see why. The company makes durable, comfortable, and importantly - immersive audio-precise - professional gaming-grade accessories. During CES in January, they announced their coming HyperX Cloud Alpha wireless headset which promises an astounding 300-hour battery life.
Of course, that's one end of the range. You might have a more modest budget. Here, HyperX’s Cloud Core range is their entry-level series. Yet, “entry-level” in HyperX’s mind is not what you might normally think of. For what is labelled as their “core” or base product, it delivers a phenomenal amount of functionality and performance for an unparalleled price.
For your money, this gaming headset brings wireless DTS spatial audio, along with HyperX's signature comfort and durability, and a long 20-hour battery life measured at 50% volume. Your mileage will vary in practice, but you can certainly expect to enjoy long gaming sessions.
You get 53mm drivers for clear and accurate positional sound, low latency with 20 metres of wireless range, Discord and TeamSpeak certification to guarantee seamless chat capability, a flexible and detachable bi-directional noise-cancelling microphone, an aluminium frame, adjustable headband, and soft leatherette and plush memory foam earpads.
iTWire found the HyperX Cloud Core Wireless gaming headset truly delivered; we could game and talk concurrently. Background noises were eliminated, ensuring clear voice quality. The build is comfortable and truly permitted long-lasting wear, in line with its battery life. The sound was sharp and immersive, and we could identify enemy attackers and footsteps while stealthily moving through our terrain.
Note spatial audio is provided via software support, and the headphones do not use Bluetooth; instead, they communicate via a USB wireless adapter. Neither of these detracted from iTWire’s enjoyment. The headset is a cinch to set up and use, and the spatial audio worked tremendously under Windows. The box includes the headset, microphone, USB adapter, and a 0.5m USB charging cable.
The battery is charged in three hours; audio controls are onboard the headphones with physical buttons that are easily found, and it weighs a mere 283g or 294g with the microphone. Bass was performant, mids were clean and accurate, and highs were clear.
Ultimately, HyperX has hit a high note (pun intended) with the Cloud Core Wireless gaming headset; it brings the substance of what gamers need packed in a single unit without unnecessary expense for features that you can easily get by without. It's quite telling that HyperX label this their "core" - while other brands might make their entry-level products by working out the minimum they can supply, HyperX has clearly come at it differently by establishing what is the core of what a gamer needs - quality audio, long-lasting comfort, immersion, and the ability to game for hours on end. They've truly supplied a magnificent product that can, in no way, really be called "entry-level" by feature set, only by price.
The HyperX Cloud Core Wireless gaming headset is available at select retailers for $159 ($NZ 169 in New Zealand). It features a two-year warranty.