HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless review: Battery champion
The Cloud Alpha Wireless is a gaming headset with an impressive lineage. HyperX may now be under the management of HP, but it started life as the gaming wing of memory expert Kingston – who in turn teamed up with boutique brand Qpad for the original model. . While it hasn’t changed much visually in all that time, the underlying technology has come a long way.
Example: These cordless phones should last 300 hours between charges. If you’ve ever sat down for a gaming session, only to find your gear has run out of juice, this could be a godsend.
However, it doesn’t offer the cross-platform smarts of rival headsets, and it commands a hefty price tag. Is there more here than longevity to entice gamers to sit up and notice?
Design and construction: better red than dead
The Cloud Alpha Wireless doesn’t mess around with a winning style formula, featuring an aluminum frame and a mix of metal and soft-touch plastic. The leatherette earcups and headband cushion are padded with memory foam, with contrasting red stitching giving a distinctive look.
There’s plenty of adjustability in the headband, and while the ear cups have the smallest amount of swivel, there’s plenty of tilt to find a comfortable fit that also isolates you from outside distractions. The clamping force is well rated and there is ample cushioning in all the places that come into contact with your bonce.
At over 300g, it’s not the lightest headset, but it won’t give you a headache after a long gaming session either.
Controls are spread across both earcups, with a volume dial on the right and power, mic mute and USB charging port on the left, plus the mic port for plugging in the detachable boom microphone . One button is concave while the other is convex, so it’s easy to tell the difference by touch alone.
Functions & autonomy: getting started
None of the buttons on the Cloud Alpha Wireless do double duty for things like music controls or input selection. This leaves HyperX’s NGenuity software to handle things like firmware updates, microphone volume and equalizer presets, as well as enabling DTS:X spatial audio. It’s a straightforward affair, with all the major tweaks on a single screen, but without the more extensive customization of rival headsets.
The software displays an exact battery percentage, while a voice plays in the headset each time you turn it on to remind you how much juice is left. According to our tests, you won’t have to worry about recharging it too often: that 300-hour rating seems very accurate, and above anything you’ll find for the price. We may not have managed full-day sessions, but after a few weeks of regular use, they weren’t yet dipped in the red.
A full charge takes about four and a half hours, which isn’t that fast, but a brief recharge seems to be enough for more than a few hours of gaming.
It’s a purely wireless headset, using a proprietary USB dongle that will work well with PCs and PlayStation consoles – but not Xbox or Nintendo Switch. The USB-C port is only good for charging, not listening, and there’s no Bluetooth on board. Certainly the gamer-centric styling means we’re improving that there won’t be too many owners looking to wear them away from their desks.
The 2.4GHz wireless connection is anything but instantaneous, with no syncing issues and is superbly stable through a few walls, which should mean you can grab a snack without the sound dropping out. Don’t forget to mute the mic if you’re taking a bathroom break…
Sound quality: not just for gamers
Most gaming headsets use bass, while boosting high-end frequencies to emphasize game audio like footsteps, broken glass, and gunfire. The Cloud Alpha Wireless is no different, but does so with impressive clarity thanks to the 50mm dual chamber drivers. Subtle detail isn’t lost among louder explosions or the rumble of engines, and there’s good stereo separation.
It performs well on movies and music as well as gaming, with excellent range and a frequency curve that can be overpowered if you get stuck in software EQ presets. The volume isn’t the best, but it becomes more than adequate for an absorbing gaming session and can drown out a good deal of background noise.
Spacial audio is pretty convincing on PC too, and it should work well with the PS5’s built-in mode (although we didn’t have access to a console to test it). You can clearly distinguish sounds around you in FPS games,
The boom mic isn’t as impressive, picking up sound well, but lacking the clarity of some rivals. Don’t think this will do for podcast voiceovers – it will do for in-game chat, but not much more. It doesn’t take too much adjustment to avoid at least picking up background audio. The LED on the end reminds you when you’re muted, which is a nice touch.
HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless Verdict
With well-balanced sound that avoids many of the typical pitfalls of gaming headsets, and easily one of the best battery lives you’ll find in the class, the Cloud Alpha Wireless is a dream choice for PC gamers who need it. enough to find their technology. ran out of juice between play sessions.
However, the USB Type-A dongle is limiting its appeal to anyone after a do-it-all headset for PC and console use, and some rivals are now managing to include Bluetooth for on-the-go listening too. You’re really paying a premium for longevity, with alternatives like the Steelseries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless taking a more versatile approach for similar money.
If you play exclusively on PC or PlayStation, it’s the undisputed king of battery life.
HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless Tech Specs
|Microphone||Boom arm, removable|
|Connectivity||2.4 GHz wireless, via USB|
|Battery life||300 hours|