The HyperX Cloud II has been a classic in HyperX’s stable for a long time now, and it’s still a decent option, but it’s showing its age a bit. The HyperX Cloud II Wireless is the answer to that problem. This new wireless gaming headset brings slight refinements to the Cloud II’s design for an additional $50.
Is that steep of a markup justified?
Editor’s note: this HyperX Cloud II Wireless review was updated on October 7, 2021 to include the Razer Barracuda X in the alternatives section, as well as links to our Best Wireless PlayStation 5 gaming headsets list, and our guides on the PS5 3D audio and gaming headset companion apps.
Who is the HyperX Cloud II Wireless for?
- Gamers looking for something that sounds good and works easily on multiple platforms.
- At-home workers who need a headset with a microphone that’s comfortable enough to wear all day.
What is the HyperX Cloud II Wireless like?
If you’ve ever worn a HyperX Cloud II or even a HyperX Cloud Alpha, you know what to expect when putting the HyperX Cloud II Wireless on: something comfortable as heck. This wireless gaming headset is made mainly of aluminum, with a flexible headband and ear cups that feature thick memory foam cushions covered in soft leatherette. The headphones are made of hard, matte-textured plastic and feature black metal panels on the side.
Basically, this is a sturdy, super comfortable gaming headset. The aluminum keeps things light, and the band offers just the right amount of tension to feel secure, but not too tight. If you’re looking for a headset you won’t mind wearing while you spend all day in a Zoom call, this is it. People with glasses might not find it quite so comfortable, but the softness of the ear pads makes establishing a decent seal pretty easy.
Actually using the HyperX Cloud II Wireless is pretty easy too. This is pretty much a plug-and-play affair, with a minimal hardware interface. The headset connects to your platform of choice using a 2.4GHz USB wireless RF dongle. There’s no 3.5mm connection option, so you’re basically limited to using the headset with the PlayStation 4, PC, and the Nintendo Switch when it’s docked.
The headset sports a pretty minimal suite of onboard controls, with a volume dial on the edge of the right headphone, and a power button and mic mute button on the edge of the left. For everything else, you’ll need to install HyperX’s Ngenuity app, which lets you adjust mic volume, sidetone, power saver functions, and turn on virtual surround sound. Ngenuity is a pretty standard gaming accessory app—so, not terribly exciting—but it works, and it’s laid out well enough.
How is the battery?
Battery life among gaming headsets has improved pretty much across the board for a year or two now. Not too long ago, the best you could expect was around 16 hours of playback time. These days, headsets routinely stretch past 24 hours. However, the HyperX Cloud II Wireless joins an even smaller group of gaming headsets by cracking the 30 hour mark. At a consistent volume of ~75dB, the headset can last 32 hours, 3 minutes. It also charges using USB-C, so topping it up only takes an hour or two.
Gaming with the HyperX Cloud II Wireless
The HyperX Cloud II Wireless offers a great, straightforward gaming experience. It’s comfortable enough to wear for multi-hour sessions, and its battery life means you can fit more than a few in before needing to charge.
Playing games with the headset was similarly great. It handled the surround sound demands of Overwatch, as well as the stereo experiences in games like Hades and Dauntless on PC, all while in a Discord call. There aren’t separate game and chat channels, like in some gaming headsets, but it’s not hard to keep everything clear using the HyperX Cloud II Wireless.
On console, things like virtual surround sound aren’t available, but the headset nonetheless handles games very well. I never ran into any issue playing Genshin Impact on PlayStation 4 or Pokemon Sword on Nintendo Switch. However, Microsoft’s compatibility limits and the lack of a 3.5mm option mean you can’t use this headset with the Xbox One. If you’re gaming on PlayStation 5, this won’t have any issues with the console’s built-in 3D audio feature will work well too (it works with any headset the console can connect to).
How does the HyperX Cloud II Wireless sound?
The HyperX Cloud II Wireless offers very accurate audio for a gaming headset, accurately outputting audio up to around 4000Hz. The dip in the highs isn’t all that worrying, either—it’s a fairly common trait in headphones and meant to avoid natural resonances in the ear.
This headset should be great for pretty much any kind of music. The neutral-leaning frequency response may mean that bass in genres like EDM lack the impact that some expect, but you definitely won’t run into any issues with distorted sound or auditory masking with the Cloud II Wireless. In Strange Timez off the new Gorillaz album, everything from the piercing echoed notes at the beginning of the song to subtler bleeps and bloops running throughout, to Damon Albarn’s affected backing vocals comes through very clearly.
In game, frequency response like this means you shouldn’t have any issues in just about any kind of game. Avoiding the typical boosted bass means you shouldn’t even have much trouble picking the sounds of footsteps out from the din of gunfire in games like Fortnite or Valorant.
The HyperX Cloud II Wireless offers isolation on par with most gaming headsets, which means it’s attenuation is generally not great. You won’t run into any issues with the typical sounds of home, but you’re probably als0 not in danger of missing any doorbells anytime soon (depending on how loud you have the volume). Outside, this headset won’t fare as well, but the USB dongle means it’s portability is pretty limited anyway.
How is the microphone?
The HyperX Cloud II Wireless offers a pretty average microphone for a gaming headset. The bass response is especially typical, and no doubt tuned to combat the proximity effect, where the bass in someone’s voice will blow out a microphone when too close to it. It’s not as steep a drop-off as many gaming headsets have, but the bottom line is still the same: people with deep voices may find they sound a little tinny and a little quiet when speaking into this microphone. Listen for yourself:
Should you buy the HyperX Cloud II Wireless?
If you’re looking for a gaming headset that’s comfortable, simple, and reliable, you should probably buy the HyperX Cloud II Wireless.
The HyperX Cloud II Wireless is a great example of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” logic at work. Physically, the headset features very few changes compared to its wired counterpart, and that’s a good thing. When it came out in 2015, the HyperX Cloud II was one of the most comfortable gaming headsets on the market, and it still is. The addition of wireless capabilities, paired with a decent enough microphone and audio on par with the HyperX Cloud Alpha makes this a pretty sweet deal for under $150 USD. Plenty of far more expensive gaming headsets aren’t nearly as pleasant to use.
The HyperX Cloud II Wireless doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it doesn’t need to. This headset nails the fundamentals and offers just enough features to fit right in to almost anyone’s gaming setup.
What should you get instead of the HyperX Cloud II Wireless?
That said, this isn’t necessarily the best gaming headset for everyone. If you’re only interested in PC gaming, headsets like the Logitech G Pro X and Razer BlackShark V2 both offer more expansive software features, and comparable audio—there’s even a wireless G Pro X and wireless BlackShark V2, if you don’t mind spending more.
If you’re a ride-or-die console gamer, something like HyperX Cloud Flight S checks all the same boxes, but also includes 7.1 virtual surround sound on PlayStation 4. To read on, check out our in-depth versus article where we pit the HyperX Cloud Flight S against the Cloud II Wireless.
If you’re a Nintendo die-hard, the Cloud II also doesn’t offer a ton for you, offerings from SteelSeries like Arctis 1 Wireless and Arctis 7P will probably do more for you, with their USB-C dongles and excellent battery life. The recent Razer Barracuda X is also great USB-C wireless option, with its ultralight build and solid audio. If you’re an Xbox One gamer, the Cloud II Wireless really doesn’t have anything for you, gaming headsets like the Razer Kaira Pro and Corsair HS75 XB both offer Xbox Wireless support, and don’t even need dongles to connect (though they’re only worth using with an Xbox)—the Kaira Pro even supports Bluetooth.