HyperX has a long history of developing high-quality yet very affordable gaming headsets. We reviewed the original HyperX Cloud Stinger headset back in 2017, and found that it offered great value for money. Now, however, HyperX is back with a refresh — the HyperX Cloud Stinger wireless headset.
The headset may not be quite as cheap as the wired version of the HyperX Cloud Stinger — but it’s still very affordable. Does it compromise too much to meet that price point? We put the 2019 HyperX Cloud Stinger to the test to find out
The HyperX Cloud Stinger wireless headset looks like a gaming headset, but it’s very subtle. Unlike previous versions of the headset, the Cloud Stinger does away with any red accents in favor of an all-black design — and it’s not a bad look. Sure, it’s not all that interesting — but it’s still not a bad look in general.
On the left ear cup, you’ll get a power button, a MicroUSB port for charging, and the microphone. We’re a little frustrated that HyperX went for a MicroUSB port here — in 2019, it’s time to adopt USB-C. On the right ear cup, there’s a volume wheel, and it’s very quick and easy to access, which is a nice touch. There’s one thing missing, and that’s an aux port. In other words, this headset is exclusively for wireless use — you can’t plug this headset in to use in wired mode.
The build quality of the headset is pretty nice too. The headset is largely built from plastic, but there’s metal where it counts — like in the frame. We never felt like the headset was on the brink of breaking, and while you could certainly break it yourself if you wanted, in general the headset should be able to withstand most day-to-day abuse.
Apart from the headset itself, in the box you’ll get a MicroUSB charging cable and a wireless dongle to use the headset with your computer, Switch, or PS4 — so you can’t just use the headset with Bluetooth on your phone.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger is very comfortable — and that’s good news for those that plan on using their headset for multiple hours at a time. That’s not to say that it’s perfect — but there is plenty of padding in the ear cups and under the headband, and that helps make for a generally comfortable experience.
That said, the clamp of the headset is a little tight, and while you will get used to it, the padding isn’t quite as comfortable as what you’ll find, for example, on the SteelSeries Arctis series of headsets.
In the end, the most important thing to consider is how the HyperX Cloud Stinger sounds — and thankfully, it sounds great. It’s not perfect, but the wireless Cloud Stinger is one of the better-sounding gaming headsets in this price range.
The low-end, for starters, is relatively tight. It doesn’t go over the top, which headphones often do these days, instead offering a controlled bass that reacts when it needs to. We would have liked a bit more low-end extension, but the bass is still heavy enough for most use.
The mid range has a slightly different tuning to it, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The low mids are warm and present, while there seems to be a slight cut in the high mids. In general, we like the moves made.
The high end is pretty good, but not incredible. A little more detail and presence in the high end would have been appreciated. Still, you’ll get a good amount of clarity when needed, and that’s good news for gamers who like to enjoy the finer details.
The soundstage on the headset is fine for something in this price range, but nothing special.
The microphone on the HyperX Cloud Stinger will be fine for most in-game use, but it’s probably not high-quality enough for things like podcasts or Let’s Play videos. Sound is ultimately compressed quite a bit, however the fact is that your teammates should hear you perfectly fine.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger doesn’t simply use Bluetooth for connectivity, instead connecting through the included dongle. Because of that, the headset isn’t necessarily able to connect to your phone or other Bluetooth devices, but it does retain a pretty good connection throughout gameplay. That’s always helpful — there’s nothing worse than lag while you’re playing a game, and it’s important to have a good connection. We never experienced any major skips or jumps during gameplay or while listening.
The 2019 HyperX Cloud Stinger is a worthy successor to the original Cloud Stinger, offering pretty good sound quality and good wireless performance at an affordable price.
But is the headset really the best wireless gaming headset under $100? Well, not exactly. The fact is that we live in a world with SteelSeries, and the SteelSeries Arctis 3 Bluetooth is currently available for under $100. Alternatively, if you don’t need wireless connectivity, you could go for the even-better SteelSeries Arctis 5.
That said, while you’re probably better off going for a SteelSeries headset, the 2019 HyperX Cloud Stinger is still a great offering — and as such we’re awarding it the Headphone Review Bronze Medal.