HyperX Cloud Stinger Headset Review: Good Headphones, Great Price

NOTE: This article is a contribution and do not necessarily represent the views of Player One.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger is a great headset for the price
The HyperX Cloud Stinger is a great headset for the price Kingston

Kingston’s line of HyperX headsets, specifically the Cloud II, is my go-to recommendation for the best headset out there. With the Cloud Stinger, HyperX is looking to make a high-performance piece of hardware at a low cost. Does it work out? There are a few downsides to the Stinger, but the price more than makes up for it all.

If you were to ignore price comparison, then the Stinger doesn’t do much to stand out. There aren’t many flashy colors or extra doo-dads in play here, just a built-in microphone and a volume slider hidden on the bottom of the right ear cup. The simplicity is both refreshing compared to other headsets that try to jam too many features into itself, and disappointing to see so few customization and control options left.

The headset also feels a little cheap compared to the others I’ve tested. The construction is mostly plastic, save for some metal used on the slider to adjust for head size. Call me vain, but compared to the nice metal headsets I’ve reviewed in the past, this comes across feeling a little flimsy. I’m also a very sweaty guy, and the foam padding offered no help from stopping the waterworks.

Additionally, the fact that the microphone arm cannot be removed limits the appeal of these headphones. Other headsets, like the Cloud II, allows users to remove the microphone, leaving a great pair of headphones. With the Stinger, you can use them as a normal pair of headphones, but you’ll have that arm hanging off the left side of your head the entire time. It’s not a major concern, especially if you only want a gaming headset, but something to consider if you’re in the market.

However, performance-wise the Stinger headset is really great. Audio comes in crystal clear and offers a good balance between low-end and high-end audio. Thanks to its use of a 3.5mm jack, the Stinger can also be used on any gaming system, as well as pretty much any other device on the planet (looking at you iPhone 7…).

Another nice feature is the ability to mute the microphone by simply flipping the mic arm up. A few other headsets I’ve tried out also have this feature, but the Stinger has a satisfying click once you raise the arm up enough. This lets you know at what point the microphone is live or muted. The little feedback from the click makes me feel safe when I’m throwing chips into my mouth in between rounds of Rocket League, knowing my friends don’t have to listen to me chewing away.

As for chat, my friend said I generally sounded fine. He did mention that at times, the sound would get clipped when I started to get loud. While I expect this if I were to be shouting at the TV, my friend said it would be happening even if I was just talking a little more animated than normal.

One of the largest factors for buying a headset is the price, and the Stinger is the clear champ here. Retailing for $49.99, I’ve never used a better headset in that price range. Yes, I do prefer the Cloud II or even the Astro A50, but those both cost much more than the Stinger. If you are on a budget for a gaming headset, the Stinger should definitely be one to consider.

So what do you think? Are you in the market for a new headset? What headset are you using now? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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