If you are looking for a headset that won’t break the bank but still offers you solid performance for any of your gaming or music listening needs, the HyperX Cloud Stinger has you covered. An entry-level model in Hyper X’s line of gaming headsets, the Stinger won’t give you extra or unique features, but for $50, it offers enough oomph that takes it a level above other headsets in this price range. We think you’ll be quite pleased with what you get.
Despite it being made entirely out of plastic (with the exception of its steel headband sliders), the Stinger doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy. It weighs in at 275 grams and features matte surfaces that won’t slip or get sweaty. The ear cups also rotate and give your ears a comfortable pocket when in use. We would say it hits the sweet spot for how it feels on your head—it’s not heavy enough to give you any problems if you wear it for long periods of time, but it also holds firmly on your head and is quite sturdy.
Its microphone piece is attached to a flexible arm that comes out of its left ear cup allowing you adjust it to whichever angle you like. There is no mute button so you simply need to swivel the microphone up to turn off any outgoing noise. If you need to turn down the incoming volume, simply lower the slider on the right ear cup.
The headset cable is comfortably 4.5 foot in length and ends in a 3.5 mm plug allowing you to connect it to PCs, mobile devices, and even your PlayStation 4 and Xbox One controllers. If you have an older computer that has separate audio and mic ports, a 3.5 foot extension cable is also included with the needed jacks.
To test its output, we played a few different games in different volumes and settings on both PC and PlayStation 4. We also then plugged in the headset into an iPhone 8 and played a few different songs to get a feel of its bass and frequency capabilities. Here’s what we found.
Overwatch was our PC game of choice for the headset and we found that it did a great job showing off the game’s frenetic nature. Gunshots sounded clear and crisp, and even small ambient noises like bird chirping in the distance or the subtle sound bites of a character’s abilities and footsteps were rather good. You can definitely hear sounds going from left to right like when someone is coming around a corner or running up right next to you, but don’t expect a high level of surround sound as it wasn’t very noticeable.
Chatting with teammates via the microphone is as easy as a flick of the mic piece too. We also recorded our voice using the mic, and it doesn’t sound bad but it does has a nasally tone to it on the other end. The closer you put it to your mouth, though, the clearer we found the sound to be. During matches, we had no issues communicating with our teammates so nothing was really lost. When you’re playing intense team-based game, one of your main priorities is communicating effectively and clearly with your teams. The good news is the Stinger makes sure you get your message across.
On PlayStation 4, we popped in Tekken 7 and really felt the headset give us robust sounds whenever we threw a punch or whenever someone crashed on the ground. The Stinger handles low frequencies better, so we had no issues hearing these explosive sounds at any point during our gameplay. Even the game’s various electronic and dubstep tracks played well.
You may not be getting a Stinger to use as another pair of music headphones, but if you do, you won’t be disappointed either. We played through various tracks from EDM, to rock, to country and we could definitely hear the bass and the distinction between the instrumental and the vocal tracks. One thing to note is that higher frequencies aren’t captured that well on this headset so certain higher pitched vocals or even sound effects when gaming won’t come out as clear.
Sturdy and dependable, the HyperX Cloud Stinger provides what you want in an affordable model without compromising too much on what other more expensive products offer. You may sacrifice certain design features and sound nuances here and there, but the Stinger definitely won’t let you down during your playthroughs.
HyperX provided us with a HyperX Cloud Stinger for the purposes of this review. Get yours here.