HyperX first made a name for itself back in 2014 with the release of its Cloud headset. Featuring clean audio and an incredible level of comfort for a street price of under Rs 5000, we’ve been in awe of the Cloud ever since. It’s an excellent entry-level headset, with superb craftsmanship.
But a new contender has appeared to snatch this position as the top affordable headset—and the surprising part is that this one’s also made by HyperX. Following is our HyperX Cloud Stinger Review.
Cloud just got cheaper!
With a list price of under Rs 4000 , the Cloud Stinger is one of the most pocket-friendly gaming headsets you’re probable to find—at least as far as reputable, name-brand companies are concerned.
Of course, with cut in the price comes some corners have been cut. Build quality is where you’ll feel it most: The chassis is constructed almost entirely from cheap-feeling plastic, though a strip of metal still runs through the headband. Overall, this headset feels durable enough to survive normal use—e.g., tossed into a backpack, dropped onto a desk, and all the usual battle scars headsets sustain—but you won’t pick up the Cloud Stinger and mistake it for anything more than a budget headset.
In jet black with the trademark red logo on each earcup, the Cloud Stinger doesn’t look much different than its pricier siblings.
Nor does it sacrifice HyperX’s reputation for comfort. Most budget headsets sit on the head with all the grace of a falling anvil, but not the Cloud Stinger. Both the headband and ear cups are padded generously, and the faux-leather covering breathes a surprising amount.
Best of all: A volume slider comes embedded on the bottom of the right earcup. The lack of competent in-line or on-headset controls has been one of my major complaints with HyperX’s offerings up to now, but the Cloud Stinger finally takes the leap into modern convenience.
The microphone controls also get an upgrade, ditching the finicky in-line controls for a simple flip-to-mute. Microphone’s up? You’re muted. Down, and you’re ready to talk.
But what about Audio?
Of course, the most important question is how much sound can you get for Rs 4000?
The Cloud Stinger isn’t half bad. Sure, it’s a budget headset. Don’t expect to get the same audio from the Cloud Stinger as Logitech’s G933, or a high-end pair of headphones.
The Cloud Stinger does a decent job, though. Most of its punch comes from the mid range, so maybe 80 percent of any given game (or film or music) comes through sounding clear and clean. And for a headset of this size, you get a surprising amount of stereo width. With music playing, you can easily pinpoint where each instrument resides in the mix—something you can’t do with most budget headsets. You get a similar positive experience in games when it comes to pinpointing enemies or the direction of incoming gunshots.
It’s that 20 percent that might bother more discerning listeners. While most gaming headsets lean on the low end to cover up imperfections, the Cloud Stinger doesn’t pack much bass at all. Explosions sound somewhat neutered, as does the rumble of a passing tank, a growling monster, or what have you.
The same is true of the extreme treble range—maybe that top 10 percent. Cymbal crashes get drowned out, gunshots lose some of their sharp crack, and you miss some of the subtler textures.
However, these are audiophile complaints about a under Rs 5k headset. If you’re only willing to spend so much on a headset, the Cloud Stinger is a damn fine option. It’s better than any similarly priced competitor I’ve tested.
Speaking of the microphone, it’s serviceable and not much more. Voices have a distinctly nasal quality and the mic has a tendency to pick up background noises. The Cloud Stinger also plugs straight into a 3.5mm jack—either a single, as found on laptops, or separate headphones/mic ports with the accompanying cable extension and splitter.
You’ve probably noticed the same refrain throughout this review: “The Cloud Stinger is good, for a Rs 4000 headset.” And that’s true. These cans won’t stand up next to competitors two or three times the price, either in sound or in comfort.
The Cloud Stinger is a remarkable headset though, with HyperX once again working miracles on the lower end of the market. Solid sound, serious comfort, and an attractive design make it a great option for anyone taking their first foray into gaming headsets, or anyone who just needs “good enough” quality without the accompanying wallet-shock.