HyperX has made some of the most popular mid-range gaming headsets on the market for years. Now, they’ve just released the Cloud III headset which is the newest iteration in the company’s best-selling line-up. Is this new iteration a step or leap forward? Let’s find out.
The Cloud II has been one of the might highly recommended gaming headsets on Amazon for a long time. It has frequently been hailed for its price-to-performance as a sub $100 headset, so we were definitely interested in seeing what kind of improvements HyperX has managed to make with this new model. Here’s what we found.
Zoom In: Specs
- Connection: Wired (3.5mm, USB Type-A, and USB Type-C)
- 53mm drivers
- Frequency response: 10Hz-21,000Hz
- Impedance: 64 Ohms
- Removable 10mm cardioid condenser microphone
- DTS Headphone X Spatial Audio
- Memory foam and leatherette earcups
- Compatibility: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, mobile
- Price: $99.99
Unboxing and Build Quality
Inside the box, you will find a quick start guide, a 3.5mm to USB adapter, the removable microphone, and the headset itself. There is a second attachment for the adapter that allows it plug into either a USB Type-C or Type-A port.
The Cloud III comes in either all-black or the company’s signature black and red. We received the all-black version. It has a sleek, minimal design that is attractive without calling too much attention to itself.
It’s a closed back headset with memory foam ear cups upholstered in a soft leatherette. Its adjustable metal headband is likewise padded in the same materials. The earcups rotate vertically, though they don’t rotate horizontally. There is a microphone mute button on the back of the left earcup and a plastic volume dial on the back of the right one.
The headset is extremely lightweight and has a very mild clamping pressure. This is nice for long gaming sessions where you don’t want to feel too much of that pressure build up.
The one negative seems to be that the USB adaptor no longer has built-in virtual audio enhancement. This was a major selling point on the Cloud II that is only available for the Cloud III on PC via the NGENUITY software.
Audio played through the Cloud IIIs sounds very good.
They have a nice, open- feeling sound stage that gives the audio an airy quality so it doesn’t sound like it’s playing right in your ear. High, mid and low tones feel fairly balanced right out of the box, but PC users can use the software to boost bass a respectable amount if they want to.
The audio directionality in this headset is also pretty impressive. This can be important in gaming headsets since players often need to know what direction footsteps or gunshots are coming from. Though once again, this is enhanced further by the DTS Headphone: X digital surround sound which is only available to those who use the headset to game on PC.
The microphone that comes with the Cloud III is exceptional as well. To start, it’s removable and the arm holds its position with minimal effort.
Then, there’s the fact that is has an internal pop-filter and built in noise-canceling. This allows it to minimize plosives and reduce the amount of ambient sound. This is further aided by the cardioid polar pattern which isolates pickup to the direction of the user’s mouth.
In our testing, we found that the audio did have a slight tinny quality that’s common in gaming headsets, but that it was incredibly clear.
It didn’t drop audio when speaking softly and loud voices didn’t cause it to peak or crackle. This makes it an exceptional choice for team chat since your comrades will easily be able to understand your call outs.
PC users will be able to take advantage of the NGENUITY software, though it honestly doesn’t offer a lot of extra functionality. Users can adjust the speaker and microphone volume, turn on mic monitoring, turn on the DTS Headphone X spatial sound, and they will have access to an equalizer.
These are all perfectly good features, but there are plenty of examples of headphone software out there that do a lot more. It’s one of the headset’s few weak points. It’s also disappointing that none of these features are available to console gamers.
Is the Cloud III Worth the Money?
The HyperX Cloud III MSRPs at $99.99, once again proving that the company knows how to deliver a quality headset at a reasonable price.
Users looking for a budget mid-range headset will certainly be able to find plenty of last-gen models that have been significantly marked down, including the Cloud II which is currently going for only $69. Patient shoppers may also be able to find several headsets that offer more features and software control if they are willing to wait for a deal.
That said, the Cloud III is lighter, offers better audio and a better microphone than its predecessor. It seems like a solid step forward in quality for HyperX. We think that it’s a solid choice for users looking for a sub $100 headset who favor comfort and performance over bells and whistles.
Zoom Out: Verdict
The HyperX Cloud III is a wired headset that makes several improvements over its predecessors. It’s lightweight, comfortable and has excellent mic and audio quality. It doesn’t have an abundance of features, but it’s one of the better headsets available under $100.
- Clear sounding microphone with good noise isolation
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Multiple analog and digital connectivity options
- Digital surround sound and equalizer are only available on PC
- NGENUITY software has limited functionality
- No wireless option