It’s funny to realise it, but I spend most of my day wearing headphones. Whether I’m taking calls at work or at home playing video games, I’m attached to my computer and a pair of headphones. Because of that, it’s vital that my equipment is comfortable, works effortlessly, and has good sound. For the past month, I have been using the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Wireless Gaming Headset, and I have to say I am pretty pleased. I’m a newcomer to the brand, and if this is their standard, I’m not sure I’ll need anything else.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 is a mid-range offering, meaning its price point is not going to break the bank. The Wireless model, the one I’ve been testing out, looks to retail for around $150 AUD, while the wired model is around $80 AUD. Reasonable prices to be sure, but the trouble with shopping for this range is that you’re taking a real gamble on the sound quality, especially when it comes to the bass. But I am surprised and pleased to say the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 exceeds expectations in this regard, which puts it ahead of other competing mid-range USB headsets.
This headset is for PS5 and PC via a USB connection. It’s a bit of a shame that it doesn’t come with a Bluetooth option, but if you’re after a dedicated headset, that might not bother you. The setup was completely painless on the PS5 — just plug it in and it’ll work instantly. Setting it up on my PC required me to update my sound drivers, but this appears to be a specific issue that only affects Realtek sound drivers: one trip to HyperX’s support page told me exactly what to do, and the headphones worked perfectly after that.
The sound is better than I was expecting. I had thought my previous set of headphones was pretty good, but the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 revealed how much bass and spatial detail I had been missing.
My litmus test for checking the depth of sound quality in any new sound device is video game soundtracks from the 2000s and earlier. Maybe that sounds a little strange, but these soundtracks, despite being composed for games played through in-built CRT speakers that were never going to do the tracks justice, are just as complex as some of the stuff being composed today. If the new headphones can crank up the bass of those old OSTs, then it’s a win in my book. And the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 passes with flying colours. The bass has some real depth, the sound is crisp and clear, and the 3D spatial sound is precise. There’s no noise-cancelling function, but the snug fit of the earpieces means that there’s a nice amount of natural muffling of surrounding noises. While music is playing, it pretty much drowns out everything, leaving you to jam out in peace.
This headset is really comfortable. The earpieces are light, flexible, and encompass the ear firmly yet softly, meaning that it’s easy to forget they’re on your head once they’re in a comfortable position. Unlike other earphones I’ve experienced in this range, they don’t become uncomfortable even after a full day of wear. The microphone is able to be adjusted firmly in a convenient position via a flexible wire and can be muted by pushing it up against the left earpiece. After using them for over a month, there is no sign of the material fading or becoming rough, which tells me it’s made of decent stuff.
The headset doesn’t look particularly luxurious, which is no doubt in part what keeps the price low. But I would much rather have a pair of headphones that sound better than they look, compared to a pair that looks better than it sounds, which is what you’re likely to get if you spend more than $400.
My only gripe with the design of the headset is the volume wheel on the left earpiece, which you have to really crank to markedly change the volume. It’s ever so slightly stiff, too. That must be to prevent the volume from accidentally changing if you happen to brush past it, but both features combined make it slightly difficult to quickly change the volume.
The headset’s microphone quality is standard; it works perfectly fine, but it’s nothing to write home about. It’s easy to mute by lifting the mic into the upright position, which is good because it seems to be able to pick up background chatter around me. The headset comes with a pop filter you can fit onto the mic if you want, but nobody reported noticing a difference in the mic quality and it’s a little bulky, so I ended up removing it. The battery life is likewise fine, at approximately 20 hours. It’s all you’re going to need for a dedicated USB device, and will probably last you at least two days of hardcore usage. It’ll turn itself off after 15 minutes of silence, so it won’t drain its battery should you forget to switch it off. Even still, I wish the provided charging cable was long enough that I could wear it while charging.
The range of the wireless USB is stable enough to stand strong until I stood about two rooms away, at which point it quickly cuts out. I imagine that your experience will depend on the material and thickness of your walls, so your mileage may vary. That being said, I have experienced just one or two blips in the connection. Each one lasted less than a second, but I wasn’t away from my desk at the time, so I’ve no idea what could have reasonably caused it. The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 also comes with a 2-year warranty should you need to repair or replace.
I’m really pleased with the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Wireless Gaming Headset. Its sound features pack more of a punch than its price tag might imply, and its earpieces are an extremely comfortable fit. It gets my full recommendation to anyone who needs a dedicated USB headset without any fancy bells or whistles.