HyperX Cloud Flight Wireless Gaming Headset
HyperX is a California-based manufacturer of computer peripherals and components designed to meet the needs of PC enthusiasts. Legit Reviews has been reviewing HyperX products for over fifteen years and the company has earned a reputation for producing quality products at competitive prices. HyperX are perhaps best known for producing what many consumers consider to be the best gaming headsets on the market, The Cloud and Cloud Alpha. While HyperX was earning accolades for their wired gaming headsets for years, many wondered when the company would release a wireless headset to compete with other manufacturers. Today I am looking at the Cloud Flight ($159.99 shipped
), the very first wireless gaming headset from HyperX. HyperX developed the Cloud Flight after listening to consumer feedback on their wired gaming headsets and determining what would make the perfect wireless headset for gamers. Since HyperX produces my current favorite overall gaming headset in the Cloud Alpha, I had been anticipating arrival the HyperX Cloud Flight for quite some time.
Wireless gaming headsets give a freedom of movement and convenience factor that can't be afforded by wired units. Unfortunately, many wireless gaming headsets traditionally suffer from bad sound quality when compared to wired headsets, thanks to lackluster wireless technology paired with inferior drivers. Even the best wireless gaming headset I'd previously tested, the SteelSeries Arctis 7, while sounding good compared to other wireless headsets, can't compare to the sound quality I get from my wired HyperX Cloud Alpha over a decent sound card. With the HyperX Cloud Flight, rather than placing an emphasis on surround sound, software EQ, RGB lighting or other gimmicks, HyperX placed a lot of the emphasis on comfort and sound quality, something I've come to expect out of HyperX based on my experience with their previous headsets.
||Dynamic, 50mm with neodymium magnets
||Circumaural, Closed back
|Sound pressure level:
||106dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
|Weight with mic:
|Cable length and type:
||USB charge cable (1m) + Detachable 3.5mm headphone cable (1.3m)
||Electret condenser microphone
|30 hours -
|18 hours -
|13 hours -
||Up to 20 meters
The HyperX Cloud Flight are a closed back around-ear headset capable of a frequency response of 15Hz-23,000Hz when in analog mode, but this range is reduced to 20Hz-20,000Hz when in wireless mode over the included USB receiver. It it interesting to see HyperX produce and spec the Cloud Flight headset for better frequency response when in analog mode and it points to the limitations of the wireless technology being used, though a 20Hz-20,000Hz range is totally acceptable and the exact same frequency range of competing wireless gaming headsets like the Corsair Void Pro and SteelSeries Arctis 7. Like competing wireless headsets, HyperX is using a proprietary low latency 2.4GHZ wireless connection for communication with the Cloud Flight headset.
The lack of microphone support over a 3.5 mm connection is a let down, as this means that the HyperX Cloud Flight microphone can't be used through a DAC or sound card in wired mode, which can come in handy when the batteries die and you want to keep gaming before you have a chance to charge the headset, or if you just want the improved sound output and recording quality provided by a DAC. Since most users buying gaming headsets don't use dedicated DAC's or intend on using the headsets in wired mode often, the inability to use the microphone in wired mode probably won't be a deal breaker for many users.
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HyperX packages the Cloud Flight in packaging similar to their other headsets, with a black box featuring white and red text throughout. HyperX notes PS4/PS4 Pro and PC compatibility on the top banner of the box so that customers searching for a headset on store shelves will know immediately if the Cloud Flight is for them. Currently, the Cloud Flight isn't compatible with the XBOX One except for over the 3.5 mm input on the controller, which will eliminate microphone support.
The HyperX Cloud Flight come packaged securely in a custom black clamshell within the box, which also is used to hold the removable microphone and USB receiver in place. Everything is laid out very well in the clamshell and HyperX made sure to ensure proper cutouts were around each device for easy removal.
The HyperX Cloud Flight USB receiver is proprietary and comes paired with the Cloud Flight out of the box. The receiver included with the Cloud Flight is pretty small and unobtrusive, with a HyperX logo stamped into the base. A single red LED is on the USB receiver of the Cloud Flight and this LED blinks when the Cloud Flight is turned off and turns solid when the headset is turned on and actively communicating with the receiver. HyperX did a good job of making this receiver stand out less than the ones included with the Corsair Void Pro and SteelSeries Arctis 7, sporting a low profile and non-flashy black exterior.
A three foot long HyperX-branded Micro USB charging cable is included with the Cloud Flight for charging purposes and the headset can be used in either wireless or analog mode while it is being charged. I do wish that HyperX had opted for a USB-C connector and associated cable to charge the Cloud Flight, as this connector is reversible and less likely to break over multiple uses. Also included with the HyperX Cloud Flight is a four foot long 3.5 mm cable for analog connections, which disable the microphone while allowing for greater frequency range.
Besides the necessary accessories, HyperX includes a user guide and pamphlet in the box. The users guide is useful and has detailed instructions on how to install the Cloud Flight and how to do things like turn on and off the microphone, toggle the LED and more. I would have liked to see some additional accessories included with the HyperX Cloud Flight, like a carrying case or a set of velour ear pads, especially given the $159 price point, but the accessories and included literature were sufficient and indicative of a quality product. The HyperX pamphlet that is included is showing off some of the older HyperX products, so perhaps they should update it with their current lineup.
Let's take a closer look at the HyperX Cloud Flight wireless gaming headset on the next page.
HyperX Cloud Flight Wireless Gaming Headset - A Closer Look
The HyperX Cloud Flight are lightweight and have a very stylish, streamlined black and red design that is similar to previously released HyperX headsets like the Cloud Stinger. Coming in at just 300 grams and featuring design elements geared towards comfort, the Cloud Flight are designed to be worn for hours on end. Each outer ear cup on the Cloud Flight is outfitted with an LED HyperX logo that can be toggled between solid, fade and off by quickly pressing the power button while the headset is powered on. There is a stiff red cable that comes out from the earcup, extending across the headband. The aluminum top band of the HyperX Cloud Flight is very sturdy and everything on the headset fits together well and feels high quality, though there is quite a bit of plastic being used.
The HyperX Cloud Flight feature swivels on each ear cup and are capable of being turned 90 degrees so that the headset can be worn around the neck. This design is really clever and can also help save space when storing the Cloud Flight in a carrying bag. Both the upper headband and ear cups have ample material, though the head band could have just been slightly more padded.
Height adjustment is done in tactile increments and the HyperX Cloud Flight are able to be adjusted quite a bit, to suit even the largest of heads. The plastic adjustment mechanism feels very smooth, while locking into each adjustment and staying there until you want to adjust the headphone. There was no swivel noise or other issues apparent from any of the joints on the HyperX Cloud Flight, but I would have liked to see more metal used here, especially at the adjustment mechanism area like HyperX did with the Cloud Alpha.
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HyperX has outfitted the bottom of each ear cup on the Cloud Flight with ports, buttons and controls, with a mic mute button cleverly integrated into the left ear cup. The power button, 3.5 mm input jack, mic input and charging port are all on the bottom of the left side ear cup, while a volume rocker is on the right side. The power button turns on and off the Cloud Flight by being pressed in for three seconds and has a tactile feedback with no looseness or QC issues to note. The volume rocker is easy to find and offers a satisfying tactile response while remaining free of any looseness or other issues that could cause concerns over quality.
The ear cups on the HyperX Cloud Flight are covered with a leatherette material that is pretty comfortable and while the material breathes fairly well, the ear cups definitely can get a little warm over time. These are thoughtfully designed ear cups that fit perfectly around my ears and are on par with the ones that came with the HyperX Cloud Alpha in terms of comfort and fit.
HyperX has outfitted the Cloud Flight with custom 50mm drivers, which look very capable at first glimpse. You can see the outer part of the driver by simply pulling back the ear pad. The driver isn't covered with plastic and sits fairly close to the ear, which should lend to a more direct, less muddy sound.
The removable microphone included with the HyperX Cloud Flight offers noise cancellation properties, while being very flexible to allow for perfect positioning for voice pick up. I do like to see flip-up microphones that are integrated into the gaming headset, but this solution is fine and lets the Cloud Flight easily turn into a regular pair of wired headphones.
HyperX Cloud Flight - Subjective Testing Results
While not quite possessing the audio separation and punchy bass that the HyperX Cloud Alpha are capable of, the HyperX Cloud Flight have a very nice, dynamic sound and the soundstage is excellent, especially given the closed back properties of the headset. When playing my current rotation of PC games like Escape From Tarkov, Overwatch and PUBG, the low latency wireless connection of the Cloud Flight sounded clear and had no perceivable delay in audio transfer. The lack of virtual surround sound wasn't missed at all, since I have never found surround mode to be beneficial to my gaming. For movie watching and music listening, the HyperX Cloud Flight are top notch as they offer a very nice, balanced sound quality and their lightweight, wireless nature lets them be worn while barely noticing they are on.
While the lack of surround sound and EQ mode weren't something I missed on the Cloud Flight, I did miss the ability to monitor my battery life through software. The on-ear LED lighting isn't necessary and you have no way of seeing if it is turned on or off unless you look to a mirror or take off the headset. With the LED lighting cutting battery life down to 13 hours, it makes little sense to run with the LED lighting on, unless you're really trying to garner attention or are a true devotee to HyperX. I understand that gaming headset manufacturers are trying to give gamers all the features possible, but if given the choice, I'd take the Cloud Flight in a cheaper option minus the LED lighting and I am sure that a lot of HyperX customers would, as well.
None of the other wireless gaming headsets I've tested have the wireless range of the Cloud Flight, as I could literally walk through my apartment, even up stairs to the furthest room from my office, yet still never lose reception.
HyperX Cloud Flight - Microphone Recording Quality
I tested the microphone on the HyperX Cloud Flight by doing a recording on my office PC with minimal background noise present using the recording program Audacity . Recording was done at the maximum 16-Bit, 48,000 Hz sample rate over the USB receiver included with the HyperX Cloud Flight. Testing the microphone over a wired connection is not possible with the HyperX Cloud Flight, because the microphone doesn't work when the headphones are disabled.
The HyperX Cloud Flight come with a noise-cancelling microphone that picks up voice pretty nicely. While the dynamic range of the microphone is compressed sounding and my voice is somewhat flat, the microphone does a great job of clearly picking up everything I say while reducing background noise. While there are wired gaming headsets available with better microphones, such as the Sennheiser GSP300 or Game Series, the HyperX Cloud Flight have really solid recording quality over wireless. While this microphone isn't on par with a decent desktop microphone, it sounds better than any other wireless gaming headset microphone I've tried. With one of the primary purposes of a gaming headset being to provide solid communication between teammates, the HyperX Cloud Flight definitely are hitting the mark.
To get an idea of how the HyperX Cloud Flight compare with a quality wired gaming headset, here is a recording of the microphone on the HyperX Cloud Alpha over a Sound Blaster X Katana external DAC.
The HyperX Cloud Flight headset is incredibly comfortable and offers excellent sound quality paired with decent microphone quality. HyperX did a great job of covering the essentials with the Cloud Flight, but I can't help but feel like the headset could have been rounded out just a bit more, as missing features like the ability to tell battery life, adjust sidetone and EQ were all things that I missed from my other gaming headsets. Thankfully, the sound quality and comfort of the Cloud Flight put them ahead of the pack, as HyperX can't compete with Corsair and Logitech when it comes to software-controlled features, since there is no software available for the Cloud Flight.
HyperX Cloud Flight Wireless Gaming Headset - Conclusion
The HyperX Cloud Flight produce the best sound quality, comfort and wireless performance of any gaming headset I have tested to date. HyperX took their years of experience in manufacturing gaming headsets and focused on sound quality and comfort, leaving surround sound and other marketable-but-questionable features alone. I've never had a wireless gaming headset that could pull double-duty as a music listening portable beast for my cell phone in wired mode, even the best ones on the market just don't offer the dynamic range and sound signature I like. With the HyperX Cloud Flight, I finally have a gaming headset that I can easily use for movie watching or music listening without worrying about the sound quality not being up to par. HyperX got the out of the box clamping force perfect on the Cloud Flight and the lightweight headset stays in place perfectly during activity while never getting uncomfortable, even after hours of use. The HyperX Cloud Flight have decent build quality and despite their use of a lot of plastic, there was no creaking or areas that caused any concern over their long term durability.
While the HyperX Cloud Flight are the best wireless gaming headset on the market in terms of comfort and sound quality, the two most important considerations in my opinion, they might not be for everybody. Customers who want 7.1 virtual surround sound and software adjustable settings with the ability to check battery life will want to look at headsets like the Logitech G933 and SteelSeries Arctis 7, as they are more complete in this regard. The Cloud Flight suffer from the inability to check battery life manually and having customers rely on a series of automated beeps to tell them their headset battery is getting low just seems so basic and inexcusable. There should be a user-prompted voice that tells the remaining battery life on the HyperX Cloud Flight, even rounded to the closest 10%, when the power button is double tapped. There is nothing more annoying than being in the middle of a gaming session or jamming to some music and discovering you need to charge your wireless headset. Beyond my gripe with not being able to check battery life, the Cloud Flight could stand to be just a bit louder when in wireless mode, as they are able to output quite a bit more volume in wired mode without coming close to distortion. I almost feel like HyperX played it safe with how loud the Cloud Flight get over wireless, perhaps to save battery life. Finally, the inability to the Cloud Flight mic when the headset is in wired mode was a let down. It would be nice if HyperX offers a dual connection for wireless in the future, with Bluetooth available for cell phone compatibility and low latency wireless still available over USB. This would allow the Cloud Flight to be quickly toggled for use between a cell phone and PC, something I would be really interested in.
I am really glad that HyperX finally came out with a wireless gaming headset and I am even happier that it lived up to the lofty expectations I had. When it comes to sound quality, mic quality and comfort, no other wireless gaming headset currently on the market can touch the HyperX Cloud Flight. With that said, it's almost as if HyperX have given their competition a pass by not making a software suite for the Cloud Flight, as the ability to turn on virtual surround sound, check battery life, adjust mic side tone and do fine tuning on the EQ are all unavailable. Competing wireless gaming headsets like the SteelSeries Arctis 7 ($149.99 shipped
) and Corsair Void Pro ($99.95 shipped
) remain viable for their ability to do things the Cloud Flight can't via software suites and they both cost less than the Cloud Flight. If you need options like surround sound or mic sidetone, those headsets are likely your best options. For customers who want the most comfortable, best sounding wireless gaming headset on the market and who can do without surround sound and software, the $159.99 HyperX Cloud Flight
are the absolute best choice possible.
Legit Bottom Line: Due to their comfortable nature, low latency wireless and amazing sound quality, the HyperX Cloud Flight have replaced the SteelSeries Arctis 7 as my favorite wireless gaming headset.