HyperX Cloud Mix review: The best of both worlds
- Comfortable ear cups
- Solid build quality
- Wired and wireless support
- Excellent audio quality
- Not exactly cheap
HyperX has come a long way in recent years. From its humble beginnings as the gaming-focused offshoot of PC components manufacturer Kingston, the brand has expanded to encompass a wide array of devices suitable not just for gamers, but for anyone who enjoys high-quality tech.
This broader appeal is especially apparent with the company's latest headset, the HyperX Cloud Mix. Despite falling under the "gaming headset" umbrella, the Cloud Mix serves a variety of needs, whether it be chatting with your teammates in Fortnite or rocking out to an adrenaline-pumping playlist during your daily workout. This versatility, combined with HyperX's commitment to producing premium-quality products, makes the Cloud Mix an excellent choice for folks wanting a headset capable of meeting all their audio and communication needs.
As a gaming headset (at least in part), the HyperX Cloud Mix opts for an over-ear design that blocks out background noise and makes it easier to hear the many audio cues that play such a critical role in both single-player and competitive gaming. Music lovers benefit here as well, with the sealed ear cups delivering higher clarity even in cacophonous environments like sidewalks and busy offices. At the same time, because the Cloud Mix isn't a full-blown noise-cancelling headset, you won't unwittingly ignore your phone going off, the doorbell ringing or a car honking as you cross the road.
Along with delivering an encompassing audio experience, the HyperX Cloud Mix is a tremendously comfortable headset that was clearly built to accommodate extended use. The padded ear cups sit softly yet firmly around the ear, with none of the tightness present in many cheaper headsets. The headset itself is relatively light, so you won't have to worry about neck strains after pulling an all-nighter with your clanmates in PUBG.
Speaking of competitive gaming, the Cloud Mix is equipped with a flexible boom mic equally well-suited for chatting with your teammates mid-match as it is for catching up with friends and family over Skype. Being able to reposition the mic arm is handy for when the heat of online play turns your vocal cords up to 11, as you can move the mic further away from your mouth to avoid blasting out your comrades' ears. From my testing, the arm itself is quite sturdy and seems resilient enough that mic drop shouldn't be an issue.
Boom mics are necessary if you want the clearest audio when gaming or streaming, but HyperX has outfitted the Cloud Mix with another option for folks who prefer convenience over quality. By detaching the boom mic, you can use the built-in microphone instead, turning the Cloud Mix into a more-portable headset for exercising or listening to music on the go.
Where the HyperX Cloud Mix really showcases its versatility is in its ability to function as both a wired and wireless headset. When audio quality is of the utmost importance, plugging in the lengthy and sturdy braided cable ensures you get the most reliable aural experience. Alternatively, switching to Bluetooth frees you from the frustration of tangled wires and lets you use the Cloud Mix with devices like the iPhone XS that don't include a traditional 3.5mm headphone jack.
Any headset that targets the enthusiast gaming audience needs to deliver top-notch audio, and here the Cloud Mix does not disappoint. When operating as a wired headset, the Cloud Mix supports Hi-Res Audio spanning the 10Hz to 40kHz audio bands. This translates to an impressive listening experience across the board, with powerful lows, crisp highs and solid bass whether you're playing a game, grooving to music or watching a movie.
After testing the Cloud Mix with everything from heavy metal to classic symphonies, I came away impressed by how rich and clear its audio capabilities were. Even cranking the volume up to near-deafening levels didn't faze the headset, and it was only by throwing the heaviest bass notes at it that I noticed any hints of peaking.
The boom mic proved similarly capable. When using the Cloud Mix for voice and video calls with my Finder colleagues, the quality of my audio received plenty of praise for its clarity. I heard this for myself after recording audio through the Cloud Mix, confirming that it handles well hushed whispers, excited shouts and everything in between.
With the HyperX Cloud Mix functioning as a wireless headset as well as a traditional wired one, assessing its battery life is key. HyperX touts up to 20 hours of use on a single charge, and that figure aligns with my testing. Listening to music, making voice calls and playing games for a few hours a day saw it last out a full week, though I will note that I had the volume set relatively low. Folks who prefer a more intense audio experience or those who spend more time listening to music each day will likely have to recharge more frequently.
Versatility is one of the Cloud Mix's greatest strengths. Being able to switch from wired to wireless modes by simply plugging or unplugging a cable greatly increases the headset's utility, allowing it to serve as your headset of choice for video conferencing, online gaming and exercising all at once.
Switching between these roles is pleasantly easy. Holding the power button on the Cloud Mix causes it to activate Bluetooth, a fact helpfully confirmed by a voice clip playing through the headset's speakers. Audio feedback isn't a revolutionary feature by any stretch, but it is one that I appreciate. Deciphering blinking light patterns to determine whether a device is ready for pairing or how much battery it has left is never fun, and by choosing to communicate this information using clear, unambiguous voice samples, HyperX has made operating the Cloud Mix delightfully straightforward.
Just as helpful as these voice messages are the playback controls built into the Cloud Mix headset. One ear cup features volume buttons for adjusting audio levels on the fly, while the other houses a multi-function button for pausing music, skipping tracks or answering phone calls. Again, such features are nothing new, but they further extend the Cloud Mix's versatility and reinforce its capability as an all-in-one headset.
The final feather in the Cloud Mix's feature-packed cap is its compatibility with virtually any modern audio device. By supporting both 3.5mm wired connections as well as wireless Bluetooth connectivity, you can use the Cloud Mix with everything from your smartphone or tablet to your PC, PS4 or Nintendo Switch. It even includes a 3.5mm splitter in the box for devices that have separate microphone and headphone jacks.
The HyperX Cloud Mix has a whole lot going for it. Not only is it a comfortable and attractive headset that delivers crisp and clear audio, its support for both wired and wireless modes broadens its appeal beyond the enthusiast gaming audience most "gaming headsets" target. By combining all the features of a general-use wireless headset with the audio and build quality of top-tier gaming peripherals, HyperX has crafted a tremendously capable device as suitable for office workers and music lovers as it is for up-and-coming professional gamers.
Pricing and availability
The HyperX Cloud Mix is available from JB Hi-Fi for an RRP of $299.
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