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The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core resting on a computer monitor.

HyperX Cloud Stinger Core review

All the essentials on a budget.
By
June 16, 2022
6.9
HyperX Cloud Stinger Core
The bottom line
The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core is a great gaming headset for gamers on a budget who just want the essentials, without any bells and whistles. It does what it's supposed to do, and does it all within a reasonable price point.

HyperX Cloud Stinger Core

The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core is a great gaming headset for gamers on a budget who just want the essentials, without any bells and whistles. It does what it's supposed to do, and does it all within a reasonable price point.
Release date

March 21, 2018

Price

Original: $39 USD

June 2022: $19 USD

Dimensions

18.1 x 8.2 x 17.7 cm

Weight

213.2g

Model Number

HX-HSCSC-BK

Waterproof

No

What we like
Light and comfortable
Good sound quality
Good microphone
Easy and simple
Price
What we don't like
Ear cups don't swivel
Not great on glasses
Isolation
6.9
SoundGuys Rating
Rating Metric
Our Rating
User Rating
Sound Quality
8.8
8.8
9.0
Bass
8.6
8.6
9.0
Midrange
9.5
9.5
10.0
Highs
8.5
8.5
9.0
Isolation / Attenuation
2.7
2.7
3.0
Durability / Build Quality
6.5
6.5
7.0
Value
8.0
8.0
8.0
Design
7.0
7.0
7.0
Connectivity
6.5
6.5
7.0
Portability
6.0
6.0
6.0
Feature
5.0
5.0
5.0
Comfort
6.0
6.0
6.0

HyperX’s Cloud Stinger line of budget gaming headsets seeks to cover everyone’s gaming essentials, and the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core does just that. It’s a headset for the utilitarian gamer who doesn’t care for bells and whistles, extra software, or surround sound. Is this plug-and-play headset the one for you?

We spent a week with the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core to see how well it performs for its price.

  • Console and PC gamers looking for a sub-$100 USD gaming headset will find that this one ticks all the necessary boxes.
  • At-home workers who want a microphone for video calls will enjoy this microphone.

What’s the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core like?

The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core laying flat on a table.
The headset has a microphone and in-line mic and volume controls.

The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core is an over-ear gaming headset with a built-in microphone. While the body of the headphones is plastic, it feels sturdy and doesn’t creak or squeak anywhere. The microphone and cables are not removable, but you can flip the microphone into an upright position when you’re not using it. Unlike other headsets, flipping up the mic does not mute it.

The ear pads are made of foam covered in fabric, which is comfortable but doesn’t accommodate glasses very well—bespectacled gamers can expect worse isolation overall. However, the headset is still lightweight enough to wear for hours, and the headband has a foam cushion to keep it comfortable on your head. The ear cups don’t swivel, moving just enough to adjust to your ears.

The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core being worn.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core is great for gaming.

This headset is designed with PlayStation consoles in mind, but it also works on other consoles like Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. The headset connects through a 3.5mm TRRS cable, which means you’ll need your own splitter if your PC separates the mic and headphone jacks. There are no on-ear controls, but there is an in-line volume slider and a mic mute switch on the headphone cord, making it really easy to mute yourself during in-game chat.

Is the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core good for gaming?

This headset is great for gaming. Because there’s no extra software or setup needed, this is about as simple as plug-and-play headsets get. Playing CS:GO on my PC, sounds that can be really overwhelming in other, more bass-boosted gaming headsets come through at a reasonable volume. The under-emphasis in the sub-bass range actually makes the sound of bomb blasts a lot more tolerable, and all other sounds like gunshots and footsteps are clearly audible.

The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core resting against a Nintendo Switch.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core works on lots of consoles, including Nintendo Switch.

The headset also works great with Nintendo Switch. Sounds in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are great, with Link’s footsteps, his weapons moving as he runs, and environmental details never being masked by lower sounds in the background music. Lower pitched noises in the game like rumbles and blasts are present, which adds a nice element to the sound of the game, and doesn’t detract from it at all.

How well does the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core block out noise?

The isolation chart for the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core.
The isolation isn’t the best, but it’s something.

Isolation on this headset isn’t great, and external noise can definitely leak in during a gaming session. Sounds like a loud truck outside or the dishwasher running are noticeable, and I’m able to have a full conversation with a person beside me with this headset on. It’s not bad enough that I need to turn up the volume louder than usual to hear my game or music, but if you’re easily bothered by outside noise, the isolation here might not satisfy you.

How does the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core sound?

The frequency response chart for the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core depicts a notable under-emphasis from 1-2.5kHz.
The frequency response for this headset deviates from our consumer curve in multiple regions.

The frequency response chart for the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core varies wildly from our target curve in a few areas. The under-emphasis in the sub-bass range (below 50Hz) will make explosions underwhelming compared to other gaming headsets. The upper mids are under-emphasized between 1-4kHz, which will affect sounds like higher female vocals, and the higher end of most instruments, like violin or guitars. This frequency response shouldn’t be a big issue for gaming, but your music might not always sound like you want it to.

Lows, mids, highs

Faceshopping by SOPHIE has prominent bass sounds throughout, and this headset does that justice. The part that’s missing however are the sub-bass frequencies that you can usually feel as well as hear in the song. Some of the higher-end sounds like the twinkling synth around 2:18 sound a bit quieter than I’m used to, compared to other sounds like SOPHIE’s voice and the lower droning synth, but it’s hardly noticeable at all.

In Graceland Too by Phoebe Bridgers, the track overall sounds good, but the violin in the intro sounds a bit quieter than expected, especially compared to the lower bass and banjo parts. Phoebe Bridgers’ voice also sounds a bit subdued in comparison to the lower instruments in the track. At 1:50, the lower harmonizing vocals come in and Phoebe’s voice is less prominent than the harmony.

How is the microphone on the Cloud Stinger Core?

The microphone frequency response chart for the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core.
The microphone on this headset is great for in-game chat, Discord, or voice calls.

The microphone on the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core is perfectly good for in-game chat, Discord, and video calls. While not the most sensitive mic we’ve tested, voice quality is clear, and ambient noise is handled well. In our standardized microphone testing, simulated office noise barely makes its way in. Listen for yourself:

HyperX Cloud Stinger Core microphone demo (Ideal):

HyperX Cloud Stinger Core microphone demo (Office):

How does the microphone sound to you?

11 votes

Should you buy the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core?

The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core on a white desk.
The ear pads are comfortable and the headset is really light.

In the market for a really simple and affordable plug-and-play headset? This could be a good option for you. The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core is comfortable, lightweight, has perfectly good sound for gaming, and has a solid microphone for chatting with your friends. For only $40 USD, you’re getting all the gaming essentials you need, and that’s a great deal made even better by the fact that it often goes on sale for around $20 USD.

However, if you’re the kind of person who wants something that feels more premium with features like RGB lighting, comfy ear pads that accommodate glasses, and surround sound, you’re not going to find that here—not even close. For those who are on the fence about these features, there are a plethora of other headsets that do more but they will cost you.

The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core in black against a white background.
HyperX Cloud Stinger Core
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

What should you get instead of the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core?

Gamers who wish to stay within the HyperX family will get a lot of use out of the HyperX Cloud Alpha. This wired gaming headset connects via 3.5mm as well, has great sound quality and isolation, and is really durable. It’s a classic choice for gamers, and while it’s normally $100 USD, it’s frequently on sale for much less than that with the advent of the pricier HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless.

Another good option in that same price range as the wired Cloud Alpha is the SteelSeries Arctis Prime, which also connects through a 3.5mm jack. It sounds good, it’s sturdy, and doesn’t have additional software, so it works on any platform with a headphone jack.

The Razer Barracuda X gaming headset lays flat on a table connected to a Google Pixel 4a via USB-C dongle.
You can also use a 3.5mm connection with the Barracuda X if your smartphone still has a headphone jack.

There are also good sub-$100 USD wireless options if that’s more your speed. A good option is the Razer Barracuda X, which often goes on sale for less than its $99 USD price. The Barracuda X connects through a USB-C 2.4gHz dongle for low latency wireless, or through 3.5mm if you prefer that. It sounds great, it’s super lightweight, and it’s another plug-and-play headset that doesn’t rely on any software.

Frequently asked questions about the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core

The headset doesn’t have built-in surround sound or HyperX NGENUITY app support, but if the console you’re using has a surround sound feature, like the PlayStation 5’s 3D Audio, that will work.


The ear pads are removable, but HyperX doesn’t sell replacements for this model at this time. There may be third-party ear pad options out there, but you can also clean the ear pads if you need to.