HyperX Cloud Alpha Gaming Headset Review

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HyperX Cloud Alpha Headset – Overall Thoughts

Going back to the drawing board and improving upon a popular design that has helped define your brand in a particular market is tough for any company. With their original Cloud, HyperX simply made some tweaks to a proven headset that was designed for the production industry. That move paid off and over the past few years, HyperX has become a very well known brand when it comes to gaming headsets. Times change and the PC gaming industry is a volatile one. Did HyperX succeed in moving the Cloud forward and making enough changes to make it a viable choice for users picking up a new headset in the $99 range? They definitely have. Will users of the existing Cloud find it a worthy upgrade? That’s a bit more debatable, but I will say that HyperX Cloud Alpha improves upon the original Cloud in every way possible.

HyperX Alpha Cloud - Front View

The Cloud Alpha is more comfortable than its predecessor, while providing a clearer soundstage and slightly improved microphone quality. HyperX set out to separate the bass from the midrange and high frequencies and they did a great job, as the HyperX Cloud Alpha have an amazingly neutral sound, with highs and mids being very clear and understandable. The bass produced was tight and while it rarely tickled my ears, there were definite moments where the HyperX Cloud Alpha flexed a bit of muscle. No matter what, though, they didn’t distort even into higher volumes on my Sound Blaster GX5 or Katana sound bar headphone output. With the microphone removed, the Cloud Alpha look like a stylish set of premium headphones that people unaware of the HyperX brand would never assume is a gaming headset. The build quality of the HyperX Cloud Alpha is excellent, with a well-built, flexible aluminum band covered in a stitched leatherette material. Often times, gaming headsets get disregarded because they offer mediocre sound and mic quality along with features of questionable quality to gamers, all while carrying a price premium and sci-fi inspired design. The HyperX Cloud Alpha has a great aesthetic, with sound that is comparable to a pair of $150 Sennheiser HD 598CS and it even comes with a decent microphone.

HyperX Cloud Alpha - Front View w/Mic

I can’t fault the HyperX Cloud Alpha too much for anything, other than not being able to do things it’s not even advertised to do. Many gamers these days want 7.1 surround sound and wireless capability. While you can definitely run the HyperX Cloud Alpha through any number of sound cards that will produce virtual surround sound, it seems a lot of consumers want this functionality out of the box and HyperX even has it available on their Cloud Revolver headset via the form of a USB dongle. I do wish that a longer 3.5mm cable without inline volume control for listening on an external DAC were provided, but that’s no big deal and it doesn’t fit the target audience of the Cloud Alpha. Thankfully, since the HyperX Cloud Alpha have a non-proprietery audio input jack, you can use any aftermarket 3.5mm cable with them. Wireless capability would add a price premium and often adds latency that isn’t condusive to quality competitive gaming. If HyperX could take this exact headset, tweak it as little as possible and release a wireless version with latency on par with the SteelSeries Arctis 7, I think it would create a lot of interest with consumers.

Given their comfort and sound signature, the HyperX Cloud Alpha have become my new primary gaming headset, replacing the SteelSeries Arctis 7 that I reviewed a few months ago. HyperX went back to the drawing board and designed a truly amazing headset in the HyperX Cloud Alpha and I’m struggling to think of a competing gaming headset for $99 that I’d consider purchasing over it. If you’re looking for a new gaming headset and don’t mind it not being wireless, the HyperX Cloud Alpha is going to be pretty hard to beatΒ for $99.99.

Legit Reviews Editors Choice Award

Legit Bottom Line: The HyperX Cloud Alpha headset improves on virtually every facet of the legendary Cloud and offers excellent sound quality, style and comfort at an attractive price point.Β 

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  • 99q__

    guys this or the artics 5?

    • Sean Kumar Sinha

      IMO, unless you need RGB or surround, or another of the features of Arctis 5, these all day.

  • Alex

    I`ve had a bit of a strange issue with my Alphas,the mic to be exact.There always was a pretty strong hissing soud coming from it(besides a mic volume issue,which I think could be circumstantial),initially I thought it was a driver related issue,but I plugged them into my phone and the hissing was still present.I`m using a Gigabyte AB350 Gaming 3( Realtek ALC 1220),and the headset was connected directly into the rear 3.5mm ports.I`m pretty sure the cable was plugged all the way in.I`ve since RMAd the Alphas,and after checking it the etailer I bought it from concluded that everything was alright with it.I`m thinking about getting another pair but since I don`t really know what the cause of the issue was,I`m a bit skeptical.Has anyone encountered a similar problem?Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Sean Kumar Sinha

      I can’t be 100% sure, but it sounds like you may have an issue with the in-line controls on your Cloud Alpha. My headset produces no hiss, but if that cable were to develop an issue, it could cause potential interference, since it is a resistance adjustment.

  • paalo sordoni

    Very nice informative review ,on offer at the moment in the uk,Β£60 ,absolute steal !!

  • Thank you so much for this review, your head seems about the same size as mine and I really can relate to certain very expensive headsets feeling very uncomfortable, especially at first. I was going to stick with steelseries but after reading your excellent and thorough review I am going to give this product a try. Your work here is truly appreciated.

    • Sean Kumar Sinha

      The Cloud Alpha’s will be more comfortable than the SteelSeries, for sure. The SS are great, but the Cloud Alpha are a step above in terms of audio quality and comfort.

  • PrototypeTec

    What’s a good additional 3.5 mm headphone cable? I have a few lying around but none fit, though I have heard that Vmoda cables are pretty decent. I just wanna be prepared for the inevitable tearing of the headphone cable… At least they’re braided.

    • Sean Kumar Sinha

      What is the issue you are having with 3.5MM cables fitting? Are the ends too large to fit into the Cloud Alpha?

      You can get a replacement cable from HyperX. I have a 3.5MM cable I got from IXCC on Amazon a long time ago that works, you just need one with a small enough end to fit. Also, make sure you get a 4 Pole connector.

      • PrototypeTec

        Yes, the spare cables I had lying around were not 4-pole connectors and the ends were too large.

        Really? It must not be on their accessories page. I recently ordered their USB 7.1 Surround Sound Card (Revolver S model), in hopes of improving my sound quality on the PS4. iXCC 3.5mm cable from Amazon? Thanks, you’re the first person to give me a serious response.

  • EB

    I ordered an Astro A40 + MixAmp Pro TR combo for my XB1 but after a shipping mishap only ended up receiving the Mixamp pro. Thinking of getting the Alpha’s over the A40s now. Thanks for the review.

    • Sean Kumar Sinha

      These are going to sound great on console if you hook them up to a Mixamp, man.

  • dMN

    My cloud alpha mic isn’t working. Got another pair and it’s still the same. My old headset is working perfectly fine. When I plug cloud alpha cables, I can only hear voice, but mic is meh. When I’am trying it in team speak, I can only hear some strange noises, and not my voice. There are no drivers for this headset, so how the hell can I even make it work?

    • Sean Kumar Sinha

      Make sure you are plugging the cables into the right ports, as mixing the mic and speaker cables might still let them work, but there will be funky cross-talk. I’ve used the Cloud Alpha and mic with my onboard sound, a Katana and an external GX5. I was just playing PUBG earlier with our Editor in Chief and the mic on the Cloud Alpha worked fine. If two different units haven’t worked, I think there may be other problems. Was your other headset a USB headset, or did it use the same audio ports as the Cloud Alpha?

  • Be My Guest

    Surround in cans is a gimmick … simulated or otherwise.

    • Sean Kumar Sinha

      The Cloud is a stereo headset and really fits into the market exactly where a gaming headset should. When you start to spend more for gaming headsets, the prospect of rolling your own headset becomes to hard to ignore. As it stands, it’s tough to roll your own headset that’s going to be better than the Cloud Alpha at $99, though. Also, I agree, simulated surround tends to make headsets sound awful by messing with delay and accentuating frequencies way too much. A good binaural recording is where it’s at. Unfortunately, so many people want surround sound and will disregard a headset if it is not capable, so I did have to make those points about the Cloud Alpha. It didn’t change my personal perspective of them, but console users should be aware of their limitations.

      • Be My Guest

        I think the statement that ‘so many people want’ something is dangerous territory. And if we are going to throw caution to the wind with respect to anecdotal evidence, I haven’t met anyone that was persuaded to buy a headset based on the surround feature and few that have used it for any duration when the headset was capable.

        All that said – I still thoroughly enjoyed your review.

        • Sean Kumar Sinha

          Trust me, I wouldn’t be spouting that about surround sound and it being popular if it wasn’t. You should see the comments on the Youtube videos for this. So many people are in the A)it’s not wireless, boo! or B)it doesn’t have surround on console? Boo! camp. I personally don’t like them, but Astro sells a LOT of those Mixamps for consoles, or just standalone Mixamps, because console gamers want surround sound.

          There is definitely a camp of people out there who like surround sound gaming. I try to not talk to them, or we might get into an argument.

        • Be My Guest

          I wasn’t denying the existence of people that ‘require’ surround or who find it pleasant – just pointing out the obvious pitfalls of drive-by statistics is all.

          My experience tells me surround sound in cans is a similar phenomenon to what 3D was to televisions and the transient nature of those hard to capture market demand numbers – that are highly sketch – a lot of the time.

  • Sheetal

    Nice Products Loved it http://www.gurgaonescortservice.com

  • Robin030

    Hey i have the Cloud Alpha II and im playing on PS4 is it worth upgrading to the alpha?

    • Sean Kumar Sinha

      I don’t personally think it’s going to be worth a $100 upgrade over the Cloud II. Wait until you need a replacement set to upgrade. The Cloud Alpha are an improvement, but it’s hard to justify spending $100 when you’ve already got a great headset in the Cloud II. You can use the 7.1 USB adapter that comes with the Cloud II with the Cloud Alpha, if you do choose to upgrade.

      • Robin030

        thx for the reply i will hold off on buying for the time being then πŸ™‚
        If i ever wanna upgrade which headset would you choose over the cloud II in a sub 150€ price range?

        • Sean Kumar Sinha

          That’s about $175 USD and in that range, you’ve got a lot of options to consider. I’d consider going with a set of Sennheiser or Audio Technica’s and rolling a ModMic onto them and getting into a true headphone + mic combo. The HyperX Cloud Alpha would be an upgrade over your Cloud II, but for your budget, do a true upgrade you can appreciate instead of sticking with gaming headsets. Here is what I’d do:

          The Audio Technica ATH-AD700X headphone is a low impedence headphone with amazingly balanced sound. $103.70 USD on Amazon in the USA. Not sure what your local price would be, but it should be similar, as Audio Technica has a pretty solid distribution in the European market.
          https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009S332TQ/ref=psdc_12097479011_t1_B004FEEY9A

          Then, I’d get an AntLion modmic, which is a great mic that you can use with any headphones you happen to purchase now or in the future.
          https://www.amazon.com/Antlion-Audio-Modular-Attachable-Microphone/dp/B01MCYRKY3/ref=pd_sim_23_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=D6Q7W4Q4QWK56BA1RQGX

          Hope this helps. There are a lot of options, but if I had your budget, this is what I would do. If you didn’t already have the Cloud II and were trying to only spend $100 USD, I’d tell you to get the Cloud Alpha. If you have more, do something like the kit I recommended.

        • Robin030

          thanks a lot for the input man i will think on this and decide what to treat myself to come christmas πŸ˜€

          Great review btw i’ll be looking out for future stuff from you!

        • Sean Kumar Sinha

          Do you plan on using the headset with PC at all or dabbling in PC gaming? When I made my recommendation, I totally slipped on that you’re going PS4. If you’re going PS4-only, the Astro stuff is really good. I’d stick with the Cloud II and get a Mixamp if you’re serious about your gaming sound and feel it’s lacking, right now. The Astro will add quite a bit of bass and clarity to the Cloud II vs. the PS4 controller.

        • Robin030

          Im on PS only.
          I will def check it out then and see if its worth the investment for me πŸ™‚

        • Sean Kumar Sinha

          Please let me know what you do and your feelings on whichever headset upgrade you go with. Thanks, again, for coming to LegitReviews to check out this review. I’m working on a few other reviews of some exciting Logitech gaming products right now, so stay tuned.

        • Sean Kumar Sinha

          Oh, If you didn’t know, the USB card that comes with the Cloud 2 will let you do 7.1 with any headset that has a 3.5MM jack, so you can still get virtualized surround if you upgrade to a non-HyperX headset.

        • Godly XO

          Headsets do matter, but they aren’t the same as they use to be. Years ago, there were MANY different options for gamers to look into when it came to headsets. Now adays, most headsets are for pc & console, & the PS4 controller runs the sound quality for most headsets, not the headset itself. Basically you will constantly find this problem going around for headsets. Your best bet is to get an astro mixamp or any good quality mixamp to pair for your headsets because I know the bass sound quality is awful for HyperX on console specifically. I have had quite the few pairs. If you don’t want to spend the extra cash for a mixamp, I’d say go to Skullcandy’s website & try to find the Skullcandy PLYR 2’s or the PLYR 1’s. Those have rich bass with rich high’s & low’s. They are very old and hard to find, but some of the best headsets you can find for console now adays & they are very cheap now. And wireless.

        • Robin030

          hey thx for joining in πŸ™‚

          Which Mixamp exactly would be best for me if i keep using the Cloud II for the time being?

          Astro MixAmp Pro TR?

        • Sean Kumar Sinha

          I personally prefer binaural audio, but the Astro Mixamps, even the entry ones, will improve your sound quality quite a bit vs. using the controller 3.5MM jack on consoles. I am more of a PC guy, but the Astro (now owned by Logitech) Mixamp stuff is highly rated by console users, for sure.

      • Godly XO

        The 7.1 USB sound card will not be good for him. He said he uses HyperX Cloud II’s for PS4. That sound card does not work on console. I would know because I have owned many different HyperX headsets. In fact the headsets itself sound better plugged into the controller than with the USB sound card, surprisingly. The best move here for console is to get an astro mixamp to pair with the headset.

        • Sean Kumar Sinha

          Yeah, at some point in replying, I totally forgot he was using console-only and was talking as if he’d be also using the headset on a PC, possibly. For PS4, I’d stick with Astro, or possibly even the PS4 wireless headset. Unfortunately, the Astro has a pretty high cost of entry for the mixamp, but he could use it with his existing headset to improve sound quality.

        • Radu

          Actually Kingston released a firmware update that makes the sound card compatible with PS4 as well, go check it out πŸ˜‰

    • Maurice Fortin

      since when is there a cloud alpha 2 ^.^
      there is cloud, cloud 2, cloud core, cloud revolver, cloudX..and now Cloud Alpha.

      • Sean Kumar Sinha

        It can definitely get confusing, but Robin030 has the Cloud II right now. He probably read the review and got the “Alpha” in his head, but we clarified that he has the Cloud II headset. Trust me, with every HyperX headset carrying the “Cloud” designation, it can get confusing.

      • Robin030

        fixed it

  • Nice review, I seen your reply to one of the YouTubers on the Tek Syndicate video, that’s what brought me here! πŸ™‚

    • Sean Kumar Sinha

      I am glad my Youtube comment reached you and that you got to read my thoughts on the HyperX Cloud Alpha. If you need any advice or have any questions on how this headset works that the review didn’t cover, feel free to message me. Thanks for the kind feedback, as well. πŸ™‚