The HyperX Cloud Alpha S is the successor to the HyperX Cloud Alpha gaming headset. The originals are a certified favorite of gamers, performing well in every department.
The next generation comes with a new audio control system on a separate USB dongle and the ability to alter the bass via sliders on each ear cup. The 7.1 surround sound also offers the potential for a more immersive gaming experience.
So the question is, does the HyperX Cloud Alpha S improve on an already good product, and is it worth your hard-earned money?
You’re about to find out in-depth HyperX Cloud Alpha S Review.
Design/Build – HyperX Cloud Alpha S Review
Out of the box, the HyperX Cloud Alpha S looks pretty similar to its predecessor. It’s a beautifully minimalist design that looks well-built and durable. Nicely cushioned leatherette padding covers a solid aluminum headband, with Y-shaped metal arms attaching the ear cups to the headband.
Two-color schemes give you the choice between all black or mostly black with blue arms and peripherals and blue stitching on the headband.
The ear cups use a memory foam padding. You can choose between faux leather or more breathable fabric covering. The extra set comes in the box and is easy to install.
The detachable braided cables should do a good job of protecting the internal wiring from damage. The HyperX Cloud Alpha S also sports a detachable and adjustable boom microphone.
On the left ear cup, you’ll find the 3.5mm audio cable port and the port for the detachable mic. Both ear cups have a bass adjustment slider with three settings. This novel idea works by providing a vent to give the bass driver extra or less room to reverberate.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha S comes with a fabric carry case, which is definitely handy but won’t offer the headset much in the way of protection from any serious knocks. A hard-case would have been better.
What really separates the HyperX Cloud Alpha S from the previous model is the small rectangular USB mixer box. You can use it to control volume, activate the 7.1 surround sound feature, and change the game/chat balance to your liking.
However, the cable with this attachment feels extremely long and more often than not ends up getting stuck in your chair or feet. That being said, I’d rather have long cable which I can clip rather than a short one which doesn’t reach out properly.
Comfort – HyperX Cloud Alpha S Review
Just like its older brother, the HyperX Cloud Alpha S gets top marks for comfort levels. You can game to your heart’s content with virtually zero ear fatigue. They sit on your head perfectly without ever exerting too much clamping force.
A good range of adjustability means they’ll fit almost any head size with the same level of comfort. The memory foam padding on the cups, and the headband also do their job well with no discomfort experienced.
Gaming Performance – HyperX Cloud Alpha S Review
PC and console gaming is what the HyperX Cloud Alpha S is made for, and they are more than up to the task. We tested them across multiple gaming genres, and they performed well across the board. Sound effects, dialogue, and musical scores were all reproduced very nicely.
Also, the directional audio experience worked very well when playing first-person shoot-em-ups. The ability to locate sounds like footsteps in these games is integral to the play. The HyperX Cloud Alpha S performs admirably to enhance the gaming experience.
So is it an upgrade?
Everything was very satisfying when using them in stereo mode and was enhanced with the 7.1 surround sound mode even if ever so slightly. The surround technology does enhance spatial sound while gaming but also seems to distort the sound to a certain extent.
While it should not be considered a USP of these headset, it adds to the list of features I’d rather have and not use than want and not have.
Microphone Performance – HyperX Cloud Alpha S Review
The HyperX Cloud Alpha S has a decent enough microphone. Test recordings picked up our voices cleanly enough. There was a minor amount of background noise pickup too, but nothing that your average gamer needs to worry about.
In short, this microphone should suit the needs of most casual gamers just fine. For streaming on Twitch etc. the mic is more than enough but if you are a professional, we’d suggest you use a dedicated mic.
Audio Performance – HyperX Cloud Alpha S Review
The HyperX Cloud Alpha S is definitely more adept for the gaming audio experience than for listening to music. Each ear cup has dual-chamber drivers, one for the bass and the other for the treble and mids. This does a good job of cutting out any frequency overlaps and distortion when cranked up to a high volume.
The bass sliders on each ear cup is a clever idea. Although in reality, when listening to music, it doesn’t really hit the mark. The change in the bass intensity is not really noticeable but then again, these cans aren’t made for listening to music and as far as the treble range is concerned they do a good job.
App support – HyperX Cloud Alpha S Review
The HyperX Cloud Alpha S does have a very mediocre companion app called Hyper Ngenuity. To be honest, it’s hard to see why they bothered considering all you can do is adjust the microphone level and turn on/off the 7.1 surround sound. Hopefully, the next incarnation will have full EQ adjustability as part of the software support.
HyperX Cloud Alpha S Review Pros and Cons:
- Super comfortable.
- Solidly built.
- Clean sound across multiple gaming genres.
- Mediocre surround sound.
- No included hard-case
- Not for music-listening
HyperX Cloud Alpha S Review – The Verdict
The HyperX Cloud Alpha S is basically the same ultra-comfortable and practical gaming headset as its predecessor, with a couple of bells and whistles thrown in. If those extra USPs are useful or not are a personal call and one can decide the same on the basis of their needs and wants.
Overall, the HyperX Cloud Alpha S is a very capable gaming headset which is easy to recommend.