The HyperX Cloud II headphone is the second generation of headphones from the manufacturer HyperX. Completely revised copy to obtain a mature product that presents the best quality-price ratio in this range. Let’s find out what makes this headphone one of the best companions in Sim Racing!
II. Design and construction
The Cloud II is rather classic in its construction: red anodized aluminum headband covered with foam, and plastic rotating shells. The microphone is retractable.
A one meter jack cable runs from the headphone to the control box. This one is not removable on the headphone side. This is a criticism that comes up regularly, even though I personally prefer it: it is often the connectors that get loose and cause false contacts.
The control box, which we will come back to, is very compact while offering a good grip. It is connected to the PC by a two meter USB cable. Yes! there are three meters between the headset and the PC! Ideal when the latter is far from the simulator.
The quality of manufacture is irreproachable and one deals with materials of quality. The design is rather sober, each one will appreciate it according to its tastes.
The comfort is excellent with 350g. The adjustable headband distributes the weight well on the head, provided that the shells are raised enough (I always tend to wear them too low). The weight is contained but it will be necessary to correctly manage its cable under penalty of seeing three meters of cable pulling on the left shell.
In addition, the headphones are supplied with two types of ear pads:
- Leather-like memory foam (recommended for audio quality)
These foams of oval forms make it possible to include perfectly ears until 7cm of height, and 4cm wide, and thus to propose a very good passive insulation of the external noises. One will be able to thus use this helmet of long hours. For more comfort, we will turn to a system of speakers like the Logitech 5.1 Z906.
The microphone is at the end of a 9cm articulated rod, so the adjustment is very practical, especially when you also have a VR headset on your head.
III. Audio and in-game quality
The HyperX Cloud II offers a very satisfying audio quality thanks to its 53mm diameter speakers. Deep bass, clear vocals and good balance. You’ll probably have to double the budget to get significantly better sound. The Cloud II doesn’t make the mistake of overloading with bass, although we might have appreciated more detail.
The headphones do just as well in gaming as in music listening. Be careful though: if you go out with this headphones on your head to listen to your favorite music, everyone will know at first glance who you really are!
One of the features highlighted on Cloud II is the ability to enable 7.1 spacialization. Let’s briefly recall the basics: spacializing the sound means allowing the listener to determine whether the sound is coming from the front, the back, the left, the right, etc… This is usually done by placing several speakers around the listener. 7.1 means therefore 7 speakers (1 in front, 4 in the four corners, 2 on the sides and a subwoofer).
Immediately one wonders how a headphone, equipped with only two speakers can offer a 7.1 sound? Basically: by playing with phases, reverberation and other subtle sound characteristics.
Is it efficient ? Not really… we are very far from a “true” 5.1 or 7.1 system that allows us to determine with our eyes closed if an opponent is positioned on our right wing. It’s obviously hard to describe the sound rendering in words, but basically you get a sound that does have a bit more depth, but that’s it. I’m going to be a bit harsh, but it feels like it adds echo… That said, even if the name is misleading, I must say that it brings a little extra, and that in general, I like to turn it on. Finally, this virtual spatialization is fully managed by the USB control box and therefore does not require any software settings, it’s always a win!
The Cloud II’s microphone is within the industry standard. It’s the one I use when I record videos on my PC like this arduino tutorial.
The headphones are plugged into a jack and can therefore be connected to any sound source with a jack output. It is said that the sound can be greatly improved with a good quality amp. I did not test it because the control box on which we come back afterwards is too practical! (then I don’t have a good headphone amp, so it’s fixed).
The control box behaves like an external sound card. The list of compatible sources for the Hyper Cloud II is long: PC, Xbox One, Xbox One S, PS4, PS4 Pro, Mac, Mobile and VR.
The Cloud II’s control box is probably the “plus” that makes this headset a must-have: It allows you to adjust the sound of the headset and the microphone independently, activate the 7.1 surround sound, and there’s even a button on the side that allows you to mute the microphone… A button that is a bit too discrete, since many users thought their microphones were defective before realizing that this button had been inadvertently activated.
To top it all off, there is a pin on the back that allows you to attach the control box wherever it suits you.
Personally I always have this box wedged between my leg and the bucket seat. It’s the best thing ever!
HyperX has scored big with the Cloud II. So many qualities in an affordable headphone, no wonder it is the most popular headset in gaming or Sim Racing, far ahead of its competitor the Logitech G Pro X.
- Very good sound quality
- Many features
- Cable almost too long
- Impossible to choose on which side the cable and the microphone are plugged
- I’ve searched and I can’t find any more!