Headsets aren’t for everyone. They can be cumbersome and some users might not like the feeling of having them clamped over their ears. That’s why gaming earbuds are becoming so popular. HyperX has just released a new gaming peripheral that they call Cirro Buds. These gaming earbuds can connect to PC, Nintendo Switch, or mobile devices via Bluetooth 5.2 and offer “precision noise canceling.” This can help players keep their minds on the game even when their surroundings might be a little more distracting than they’d like.
There aren’t a lot of gaming earbuds out there, but we liked the HyperX Cloud MIX Buds when we reviewed them, so we were eager to give these new ones a shot. Here’s what we found.
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2
- Compatibility: PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Mobile
- Built-in omnidirectional microphone
- Noise canceling and ambient sound modes
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
- 3 different sized ear tip sizes
- Battery life: Up to 35 hours total (Earbuds: 7 hours, Case: 28 hours)
- Price: $79.99
Inside the box, users will find a Quick Start Guide, a USB Type-A to USB Type-C charging cable, several different sizes of swappable ear tips, the charging case, and the Cirro Buds themselves. The carrying case is made of black, semi-transparent plastic and has a magnetic lid.
The earbuds come in three different colors: tan, black, and blue. We reviewed the black ones and found their design to be quite stylish. They don’t have arms coming off the bottom like the MIX Buds, instead employing a more minimalist design (except for some slight divots on the sides that make them slightly easier to grip). The outer surfaces also serve as touch sensors that can be used to control a variety of functions, such as Play/Pause, skipping tracks, and switching between audio modes.
I found them to be quite comfortable right out of the box, but the ability to swap out ear tips means that these will likely work for a variety of users with different-sized ears.
As I mentioned before, the Cirro Buds connect via Bluetooth 5.2. This is currently the fastest type of Bluetooth, but it isn’t the fastest wireless connection. Some users might notice a tiny amount of latency between the moment sounds occur in-game and when they actually hear them in their earbuds.
To compensate for this, HyperX has introduced a “Low Latency Gaming Mode” that promises to enable a sub-90 millisecond connection. I played a lot of Cyberpunk 2077 using these earbuds, but the difference in latency between the performance mode and the regular 5.2 connection was so minute that I honestly couldn’t feel much difference.
The signal itself was quite strong at close range. I found that it cut out at around 15–20 feet, though. This means that these earbuds are probably a good solution for gaming, but users probably shouldn’t expect to be able to wear them around the house while keeping in touch with their Discord channel.
The audio quality in the Cloud Cirro Buds is pretty decent right out of the box. They manage to walk a respectable line between deep base and clear audio. The sound stage is about as open as you can expect from a set of midrange earbuds, they produce a decent amount of volume, and there aren’t any issues with distortion or whining.
The noise canceling isn’t perfect. Users will still be able to hear a small amount of outside sound, but it does seem to diminish that sound significantly. My wife managed to sneak up on me and nearly give me a heart attack more than once while I was testing them. This makes them ideal for gamers who are trying to block out noisy surroundings. The Cirro Buds also have an Ambient Sound mode for users who prefer more awareness of their surroundings.
The only real downside when comparing them to the MIX Buds is that the Cirro Buds are not able to use HyperX’s NGENUITY software. This means those who buy them won’t be able to make use of the equalizer or the digital surround that software offers. This is likely one of the reasons the Cirro Buds are more affordable than their predecessors.
The microphone in the Cirro Buds is omnidirectional. That means it picks up sound from all directions rather than just the direction of the user’s voice. This is likely the only type of polar pattern that would work in a set of gaming earbuds with this form factor, but it does mean that your teammates will be able to hear ambient noise from the room you’re in. It also means that the audio pickup isn’t exactly content creation quality.
That said, the audio from the mic in the Cirro Buds is deceptively clear. Voices are fairly easy to understand, even when the user is speaking softly. It’s better than being on speakerphone, but not by a lot.
Are the Cirro Buds Worth the Money?
The HyperX Cirro Buds MSRP at $79.99. That’s significantly cheaper than the MIX Buds, but it’s roughly twice the price of the current going rate for the Razer Hammerhead earbuds, which have a similar feature set, though those have gone down in price significantly since they were first released.
The main reason someone might spend more for the Cirro Buds seems to be for their noise-canceling properties. There don’t seem to be any other gaming brands that offer noise-canceling earbuds, which makes the Cirro Buds a fairly unique product. Those who aren’t interested in noise-canceling may be able to find earbuds with a similar feature set for cheaper, however.
Zoom Out: Verdict
The HyperX Cirro Buds are a comfortable and minimalist set of gaming earbuds with a built-in omnidirectional microphone. Their noise-canceling features make them unique, though they’re a little on the pricey side.
- Comfortable and easy to use
- Noise canceling is a unique feature
- Good audio right out of the box
- Omnidirectional microphone doesn’t sound great
- No equalizer or digital surround sound options
- More expensive than similar gaming earbuds