HyperX Cloud Flight review: Near wireless gaming headset perfection

HyperX Cloud Flight

It’s been barely a week since the annual CES tech bonanza shut up shop for another year, but HyperX has wasted no time getting in its very first wireless gaming headset out into the wild. Dubbed the Cloud Flight, this 2.4GHz headset boasts the longest battery life of any of its wireless competitors – up to a whopping 30 hours to be precise.

That’s enough time to play a complete run through of AC Oranges or that same cathedral at the start of Dark Souls III over and over again because god damn Vordt of the Boreal Valley is just too damn hard. The question is, is it actually any good?

First impressions are certainly high. While the Cloud Flight’s exterior is largely made of plastic – a touch disappointing considering it will set you back £140/$160 – it still feels reassuringly robust to the touch and its soft, plush ear cups sit very snugly against your face. The bendy microphone’s detachable, too, so you can even wear them outside while you’re travelling without looking too silly – provided you turn off the LEDs with a quick tap of the power button, of course.

To play audio wirelessly, all you need to do is plug its USB dongle into your PC and the Cloud Flight pairs with it in seconds. Easy. Just in case you do want to want to use it as a wired headset, though, it also comes with a 3.5mm analogue cable in the box. This slots in to the left ear cup just next to the micro USB charge port and the mic jack. The only downside is that the mic and ear cup controls won’t actually work in wired mode, so you’ll have to go through the laborious process of manually adjusting the volume yourself on whatever device you’re using and make do without any chat. Other than that, everything started off very peachy indeed.

HyperX Cloud Flight controls

But oh, that headband. As comfy as the earcups were, that gnawing, pinching sensation on top of my head started to creep in around the one hour mark. That’s better than the Roccat Khan Pro, but still a far cry from the weightless, cloud-like sensation of the Steelseries Arctis 7 and Corsair Void Pro RGB. The second tightest setting got me a little further (any more and it would have slipped clean off my face), but I still had to take a break after roughly 90 minutes or so.

During that hour and a half, though, the Cloud Flight was absolutely stunning, and its depth, clarity and overall balance were so immersive that it felt like I’d sunk into the musical equivalent of a hot bath. It’s easily the equal of both the Arctis 7 and Void Pro RGB, and I’d be hard-pressed to say which one was better in my suite of test games.

The whispering voices in Hellblade, for instance, had a haunting intensity to them that significantly enhanced its depiction of Senua’s mental illness, and at no point did they feel like they are being smothered by the world’s raging winds and low, ominous soundtrack.

HyperX Cloud Flight headband

The same goes for the screams of The Evil Within‘s creepy hair monster, which have never sounded so piercing against the industrial thrum of the game’s backing music. Doom, likewise, sounded suitably bassy without overwhelming the drivers inside each ear cup, and unlike the Roccat Khan Pro, provided near pin-point accuracy when it came to tracking down those last few baddies.

The Cloud Flight’s great for ordinary music, too. It handled busy orchestral tracks with ease when I set my Final Fantasy XV soundtrack going, its warm, rich bass sounding perfectly balanced against its more delicate piano sections, and it took everything from pop to gothic rock completely in its stride, making me wish the headset was just a fraction more comfortable so I could carry on listening for longer.

The Cloud Flight’s battery life is also excellent, pulling far ahead of the Arctis 7 even when its LEDs are set to ‘breathing mode’. Whereas the LED-less Arctis 7 is rated for just 15 hours use, the Cloud Flight can manage 30 hours with them turned off, 18 in breathing mode and a still respectable 13 hours with them on full-time, according to HyperX. Not bad considering both headsets currently cost the same in the UK.

HyperX Cloud Flight microphone and adaptor

The microphone put in a pretty good performance, too. There was a bit of pop and a few audible wind effects when I had it positioned too close to my mouth, but this was quickly rectified by bending it further away – around 9-10cm seemed to be the sweetspot, but it’s very easy to adjust depending on your individual preferences. The only slightly annoying thing about it is that there’s no LED on the end to let you know if the mic’s muted or not. Instead, you have to press the left ear cup and just remember if it beeped once (off) or twice (on).

Otherwise, I have few complaints about the HyperX Cloud Flight. Personally, I’d probably still go with Steelseries’ Arctis 7 just because I can wear it for longer without getting a headache, but the Cloud Flight’s superior battery life certainly casts a bit of shade over the Arctis 7’s previous brilliance.

Then again, I do quite like the Arctis 7’s chat-mix slider, which lets you filter out multiplayer chat or turn down the game’s overall soundtrack, and the small LED on its mic is another nice touch that just makes it a fraction easier to use. The HyperX Cloud Flight definitely doesn’t disappoint when it comes to overall audio quality, but sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference.

14 Comments

  1. PopeRatzo says:

    How does Hawkwind sound on these babies? I play a lot of racing games and like to blast Hawkwind on Spotify in the background.

  2. Nolenthar says:

    I couldn’t support the Arctis 7. It’s weird “ski material” headband got me disappointed.
    So far, the Astro A50 have been the most comfortable and best sounding wireless gaming headset I could find. They don’t boast 30 hours battery, but the base recharging them easily means that unless you play for 15 hours non stop, you won’t notice.
    I’d love to see them compared there.

  3. MrUnimport says:

    I bought a HyperX Cloud II last month and have been rather horribly disappointed by the amount of interference picked up by the USB dongle. Works fine when plugged into the 3.5mm jack but there’s a lot of buzzing and the odd radio broadcast picked up when connected via USB. Company rep told me to consider buying some ferrite chokes for the cable — has anyone had experience with these? Are they worth the money?

    • LewdPenguin says:

      Ferrite chokes can indeed reduce noise on cabling, and cost next to nothing.
      When your problem relates to wireless functionality however, I fail to see the use attempting to fix it with a solution to wire problems…

      • Cpt. Obvious says:

        If it truly is the USB interface that induces the noise it can help trying other USB ports. In a stationary PC the front USB ports are connected to the motherboard using long cables, and usually these are not shielded. While USB in itself is a digital interface standard and shouldn’t be sensitive to a bit of noise induced in the cables the USB dongle might not be as well behaved. Plugging the dongle into a port on the back of the computer might be enough to reduce the problem, or not. But it’s cheap as in free, and takes only seconds to test.

        If you’ve got a stationary compute you MIGHT be able to open it and put ferrit cores on the cables for the front USB, and this MIGHT clean up any noise that MIGHT be induced into the cables.
        Note that there is no guarantee that this will make any difference what so ever, and may void your warranty depending on how old the computer is, or even damage the cable or something else if you would happen to drop your hammer, bolt cutters and that bowling ball on any components in there. So be careful if you decide to open the computer…

        If you are gaming on a laptop this is probably not your problem so feel free to put down that hammer. Opening a modern notebook often requires some special tools, or at least a set of Torx drivers. That or a dab of TNT…
        But even then there’s not much you can do inside a portable computer unless you’re a confirmed computer whiz, or a technician, we’re often mistaken for the former. And if that’s the case then you are probably backing away slowly from this post.

        • MrUnimport says:

          Beg your pardon, what I meant by USB dongle was the USB adapter. It’s wired, and it’s still picking up all sorts of awful interference. And I have in fact tried several USB ports to no avail: it’s the USB widget itself which seems to be attracting interference, because the noise modulates based on the orientation and position of the device itself. I probably won’t buy another HyperX product, but I will try the ferrite chokes and see what happens.

    • Tomo says:

      Sounds like a dodgy pair. My Hyper X Cloud II were absolutely fine. The USB connection is a god-send – so much less faffing in Windows to make sure it’s working compared to 3.5mm connections.

      That said, I didn’t think the sound quality was all that great. I mean, it was fine, but my friends could hear footsteps in PUBG closer than I could, which was a shame.

      I’ve since switched to a Modmic 5 which is attached to my Beyer 770s. They sound amazing and they’re super comfortable. And don’t have gaudy RGB colours all over them.

      • Obi-Sean says:

        I did the same with some Massdrop/AKG K7XX and a Modmic. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the “all-in-one” solution again.

    • Nihilexistentialist says:

      This review is missing something vital and basic that needs to be in any wireless review: is it using 2.4 GHz? If so it’s a no go for many due to the interference and issues with USB 3.0

  4. Nihilexistentialist says:

    This review is missing something vital and basic that needs to be in any wireless review: is it using 2.4 GHz? If so it’s a no go for many due to the interference and issues with USB 3.0

  5. CronoRay says:

    Sounds like a decent headset but even though it is newer i doubt it can truly compare in most ways to the Steel Series H Wireless now knowing as Siberia 800/840, simply a re-branding but the 840 has Bluetooth (not overly useful for gaming). I managed to snag a pair of them when they were regular $300 CAD now they go for $430 CAD reg. They get about close to 20 hours of battery life and it has 2 batteries that are hot swappable. Of course the price gap between the two headsets is fairly big though, i could not afford a new pair even if i wanted too :(.

    It is really hard to take a review on headsets based on words and opinion, one person may have a good experience with it where as another may not regardless if they do not get a faulty set. I have had my H Wireless set for almost 3 years now with absolutely no issues so I am happy I have not had to buy a new headset for so long.

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