Gaming has picked up quite a bit lately, with more and more people taking up gaming as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to stay indoors more than usual. Not just to pass time, many people have also taken up gaming as a profession in the past year or so. This has led to a massive rise in demand for gaming gear. Thankfully, we already have brands that make gaming-centric equipment like Kingston’s sub-brand HyperX. HyperX has come with its latest set of gaming headphones, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. Priced at Rs 5,990, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S comes with 7.1 surround sound and is compatible with PCs, Xbox, PlayStation 4, and smartphones. For our review, we tested the new gaming headphones with smartphone, PC, and PlayStation 4. Let us take a look if these are worth your Rs 5,990.
In terms of design, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S looks like your conventional gaming headphones. They come with a matte black finish and are made out of plastic, with leatherette padding on ear cups and headband. There is a microphone on the left earcup that comes with swivel-to-mute functionality - the mic will switch on when you bring it down to speak. On the right earcup, there is a volume control on the bottom of the earcup. The design overall is nice and the HyperX Cloud Stinger S look like gaming-centric headphones from the looks of it. The finish and the quality of material is nice and can withstand rough usage. The overall size of the headphones, however, is a little too big and was slightly loose on my head even at its tightest - basically moving your head swiftly while playing games will misplace the headphones. Even resting them on your neck gets too bulky, given the huge size.
The headphones also have a nice long wire, but it’s a little too thin and can snap easily if it comes in your chair’s wheels or something like that. The padding on both the earcups and headband is nice and soft and wearing the headphones is quite comfortable, even in longer gaming sessions. In terms of weight also, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S are light and don’t feel heavy at all, even after hours of usage.
Now the audio quality on the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is decent, but not consistent in terms of the device you are using it for. For example, the headphones were much louder while using with a PC and a smartphone. However, on a PlayStation 4, the headphones’ max audio isn’t as loud. Make no mistakes, this is not the quality of the audio, just how loud it can get, and on a PlayStation 4, it isn’t as loud as it is on a smartphone or a PC.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger S comes with 7.1 surround sound and comes with Synaptics AudiSmart. The headphones also come with Teamspeak certification. Teamspeak is a VoIP communication system for Online Gaming. The headset has 50mm drivers with neodymium magnets and offers a frequency range of 18Hz-23kHz. The audio performance on the headphones is good. The highs and lows are absolutely clear and the audio is not bass-heavy. In games, the sound is clear and does a good job in identifying what side the sound is coming from, in case of games like Call of Duty, PUBG, and the likes. The volume control also gives users the ability to adjust volume without having to fiddle with the device they’re connected on. The slider, however, feels a little loose. Gamers like a little feedback, so a slightly tighter slider would have sat well with gamers. This, however, is not a big deal as this is easy to get used to.
The headphones do not provide any sort of noise cancellation, but the padding does a good job of keeping outside noises at bay. However, given that the headphones are too big, the earcups don’t always seal off outside noise. The sound from the headphones, however, is well-isolated in all cases. Placing them on the neck gives users an idea as to just how loud the HyperX Cloud Stinger S can get (on PCs and smartphones, according to our testing).
The microphone on the HyperX Cloud Stinger S comes with noise cancellation. The mic picks up noise as low as -40dBV and does a good job of removing disturbances sending your voice across during online gaming sessions. In some cases, however, I experienced a little bit of disturbance during voice chats while gaming. Overall, it’s a good mic and offers a certain level of clarity. There are certain instances when it catches disturbances, but does a good job of isolating noise in general.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger S are a set of conventional mid-range gaming headphones that do not offer anything quirky like active noise cancellation or smart features like 3D sound. But here’s the thing - they’re not made for stuff like that. They are made for gaming and such quirky features are mostly deemed useless for gamers. What gamers demand is a good, comfortable fit, a nice mic, a long wire, and good audio that helps them catch on the minutest details while playing games. The HyperX Cloud Stinger S does that pretty well. Not the best in the market in the range, right up there with some of the best options. Is the headphone worth Rs 5,990? Yes, but given the bulky design, and the lack of fancy features, many would prefer looking elsewhere. Our suggestion is Asus’s TUF H3 Gun Metal Gaming Headsets that are priced at Rs 3,850 on Amazon and offer more features like fast-cooling ear cushions, built-in software for easy customization of EQ and more. These are also made with more premium materials like 100% protein leather ear cups with memory foam and stainless-steel headband. Another option to look at in the same category is the Logitech G431 that offers similar features to the HyperX Cloud Stinger S and is priced at Rs 4,995.