Choosing the right headset can be difficult, especially when so many new releases seem to be getting more and more expensive. Some gamers are just looking to get some decent audio and a solid microphone without breaking the bank. HyperX has just released the new Cloud Stinger 2 gaming headset, and it seems like they’re aiming to do just that.
High Ground Gaming already has the original Cloud Stinger on our list of the best gaming headsets under $100, so we were thrilled when HyperX decided to send us one of the freshly-redesigned Stinger 2s for a fair and unbiased review. Here’s what we found.
Zoom In: Specs
- Connection: Wired; 3.5mm
- 50mm drivers
- Frequency response: 10 Hz-28 kHz
- Impedance: 32 Ohm
- DTS: Headphone X (spatial audio)
- Leatherette coated memory foam earcups
- Noise cancelling bi-directional microphone
- Price: $49.99
Unboxing and Build Quality
Inside the box, users will find the headset, a pop filter for the microphone, and a 3.5mm splitter that can be used to connect to the headphone output and microphone input on PC.
The headset is very light and feels somewhat flimsy. It has a black plastic design with mirrored HyperX logos and a bright red volume dial on the right side. The earcups are padded with memory foam that is coated in soft leatherette, which is comfortable to wear over long periods of time. This same padding is on the center of the arch.
The rubberized cable does pick up some vibrations, but is fairly well insulated. I didn’t find it rubbing against my shirt to be terribly distracting like I have with some other headsets.
The Stinger 2 also has several adjustability features. The earcups rotate (a feature that fans have been asking HyperX to implement for a while now), and the size of the arch is also adjustable. These adjustment points are very weak, however, and do not hold their positions very well.
The most important thing most people are looking for in a headset is good audio. Not much else matters if it doesn’t sound good. I tested the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2s by playing some Metal Helsinger, since the heavy metal soundtrack and fast-paced action seemed ideal for testing sound quality.
The Stinger 2s sound is decent, if not overly impressive. The sound dampening isn’t bad, though you can certainly hear people talking outside your headset. The high, mid, and low tones are all fairly well-balanced, and the audio generally has an open, airy feeling to it.
The upside is that the sound is clean and bright. The downside is that none of the tones are particularly strong, giving it a slightly hollow feel. Still, it definitely sounds better overall than many headsets in this price category.
It’s worth noting that this headset comes with a two-year activation code for DTS: Headphone X, which adds virtual spatial audio for those using the headset on PC. This is useful for competitive FPS gamers who want to know what direction their enemies are coming from. Those who are using the headset on console will not be able to take advantage of this.
The microphone is better than you might expect on a headset at this price point. It isn’t detachable, but it has a flip-to-mute function and is at the end of a bendable arm that holds its shape exceptionally well, making it easy to position exactly where you want it.
The audio from the microphone isn’t bad either. It’s a little tinny and weak in the low-end, like most headset mics, but there is very little feedback and I never had any issues with it cutting out. You probably wouldn’t want to do any content creation with it, but voices are clear and easy to understand.
Connecting it using the splitter is a little bit more of a hassle for PC users than a USB input. You may have to do some tinkering with the audio software on their PC, but it works well once it is set up properly.
Is the Stinger 2 Worth the Money?
The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 MSRPs at $49.99, this puts them right in the same price range as the Logitech G335s and the Astro A10s, which are both exceptional microphones in their own right. What’s more, they are $20 more than the original Cloud Stinger and just $17 cheaper than the going rate for HyperX’s own Cloud IIs, which have a noticeably better build and audio quality.
This puts the Stinger 2s in an incredibly competitive place in the market. It’s a perfectly good headset, but it’s surrounded on all sides by other excellent options. Its main stand-out points are that it’s light, comfortable, and offers clear sound.
Zoom Out: Verdict
The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 delivers a much-needed redesign to its budget headset option. It has several new adjustability features and offers good sound quality and a decent microphone at a low price, though its flimsy build quality leaves something to be desired.
- Light and comfortable during prolonged use
- Clean audio
- Redesign is much sleeker than the original Cloud Stinger
- Frequencies are little weak
- Adjustability points are much too loose
- Microphone isn’t removable