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HyperX Cloud III
May 28 2023
86 x 154 x 190 mm
The HyperX Cloud III is a wired gaming headset focused on the basics. It’s priced just right, neither ridiculously expensive nor so cheap that compromises are inevitable. It has some big wins when it comes to comfort, design, and compatibility with almost every gaming device you might want to use it with, but does it come up a bit short elsewhere?
Editor’s note: This review was updated on June 20th, 2023 with changes to the app section to address the Ngenuity software.
The HyperX Cloud III primarily aims at gamers needing a basic, wired headset. It’s compatible with a wide range of gaming devices but has extra features when used with a Windows PC. It’s also a decent choice for anyone needing a headset for long voice calls, either for work or fun.
What’s it like to use the HyperX Cloud III?
The HyperX Cloud III is a plastic and aluminum affair, which gives the headset a good high-quality feeling that appears consistent with its price tag. There’s a big focus on comfort, which is where it excels. It features memory foam padding and is lightweight, making it pleasant for several hours of gaming or video calls. The ear cups themselves have a good range of movement, allowing the headset to flex easily and accommodate a wide variety of head sizes. Unfortunately, the ear cups do not swivel to lie flat. It may be super basic in terms of features, but at least you won’t need to worry about battery life.
How do you control the HyperX Cloud III?
The controls for the HyperX Cloud III are straightforward. On the left ear cup is a button for muting and unmuting the microphone, which features a convenient red LED to indicate when it’s muted. On the right ear cup is a slider for adjusting the volume. Like all basic wired headsets, the volume slider works independently from the volume controls on the device it’s connected to. This makes managing it a little more complicated, as you have two different volume levels, one on the headset and one on your device.
Should you use the Ngenuity app for the HyperX Cloud III?
The HyperX Ngenuity software allows you to adjust the EQ of the headset, adjust volume levels, and enable microphone monitoring. It also allows you to enable the DTS Headphone:X feature, which simulates surround sound through the headphones. The app can seem a bit overcomplicated for what it does. You are also able to adjust RGB lighting for headsets that support it, though this doesn’t apply to the HyperX Cloud III. Since this software is only available on Microsoft Windows, if you’re on a macOS, Linux, Android, or iOS system you won’t able to use it.
How do you connect the HyperX Cloud III?
The HyperX Cloud III uses a 3.5mm TRRS jack connector. Also included in the box is a USB dongle that provides better support for consoles and surround sound support on PC. This uses USB-C, but there’s also a USB-A adapter included in the box. This means that the HyperX Cloud III offers support for PCs, smartphones with USB-C and 3.5mm connectors, the PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Steam Deck, Xbox Series S/X, and Xbox One.
How well does the HyperX Cloud III attenuate noise?
The HyperX Cloud III does an adequate job of blocking out outside noise. The headset will block conversations and quiet television shows in the same room, but if someone is listening to loud music, you might hear some of it. You likely won’t notice any issues in a quiet environment.
If noise in your surroundings is a big problem, look at active noise canceling headsets, which will allow you to game in peace no matter how noisy your neighborhood or housemates are.
How does the HyperX Cloud III sound?
The sound quality of the HyperX Cloud III is the area where it comes up the shortest. The frequency response we measured plugging the headset in directly using the 3.5mm headset connection deviates a lot from our headphone preference curve. There’s a noticeable lack of sub-bass, as well as a few peaks and troughs in the high end that negatively color the sound of the playback. This is not an ideal headset for listening to music. I found it just doesn’t sound quite right to my ears. For example, listening to the song “Radio Capital” by La Vida Bohème, I notice that the hi-hats, particularly, sound far more hissy than I’m used to.
For playing games, everything from the beats of Lumines to the gunfire of Halo 3 is still enjoyable, though. The included USB dongle applies some EQ to the sound, reducing the low mids and some of the high end by a few decibels, but it doesn’t do enough to drastically improve the sound. The USB dongle also enables the DTS Headphone:X surround sound feature. While I have yet to be impressed by headphone-based spatial audio solutions, it’s available here for people who want to try it.
How good is the HyperX Cloud III’s microphone?
The Hyper X Cloud III’s microphone is decent as far as gaming headsets go. The frequency response is relatively flat, meaning it can capture the full range of the voice quite well. The microphone can be easily adjusted in position and easily removed when it’s not being used. A red LED provides a visual indication of when the microphone is disabled. You can listen below to hear how the microphone sounds and judge it yourself. Be sure to vote in the poll below.
HyperX Cloud III microphone demo (Ideal conditions):
HyperX Cloud III microphone demo (Office conditions):
How does the microphone sound to you?
Should you buy the HyperX Cloud III?
The HyperX Cloud III is not wireless; it doesn’t have noise canceling or any other differentiating features. This mid-range headset is focused on getting the basics right, and it’s priced accordingly. Unfortunately, while it succeeds with comfort and design, it falls short in sound quality. I had trouble enjoying what the headset does right because parts of what I was listening to didn’t sound quite right to my ears. It’s still a decent, serviceable headset, and I’m sure it’ll be great for many hours of online games with friends. It’s not where it needs to be to get a great recommendation.
What should you get instead of the HyperX Cloud III?
At the same price point and with similar features, an ideal place to look for an alternative would be the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3. Another recommendation in this price range is the Razer Barracuda X (2022), which also features wireless connectivity. If you’re focused on the best sound quality you can get at this price point, consider the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro; although it’s not a gaming headset, you’ll need to get a microphone too.
Frequently asked questions about the HyperX Cloud III
The HyperX Cloud III is available in two color schemes. The first is black with a red accent, and the other is full black.