Kingston’s gaming-focused brand HyperX has been slowly moving into the consumer space with a range of products like keyboards, mice and even headphones. In my personal experience, their products have never failed to impress. Probably one of the most unexpected products that the company sells is a pair of gaming earphones. That’s right, earphones dedicated just for the gaming audience. While it is a niche category, it certainly targets the right audience, especially in India where mobile gaming has gone to the next level thanks to the arrival of games like PUBG Mobile, Fortnite and the lot.
So I gave them a shot to see if they make any sense.
Starting off with the design, the earbuds stick to the red and black theme that is seen on most HyperX devices. It doesn’t grab attention or scream-out like a gaming accessory, in fact, it seems subtle and just like any other earphones on the market. This is great as one can easily blend among the crowd especially if you don’t want to grab a lot of attention in public. It comes with unique flat silicone eartips in three different sizes. There is also a small carrying case, which is really handy especially if you lose your earphones inside a backpack like me.
I specifically want to talk about the eartips. They sort of have a conical shape which surprisingly fits well inside your ears. Rather than stuffing inside your ear-canal, they offer a comfortable snug fit, making it great for long gameplay sessions. However, because of that, they don’t completely block-out all of the outside noise. I personally think is great because I don’t like to cut away from the world. Of course, most of you might prefer complete sound isolation while gaming, so that is something you should keep in mind. The eartips are also easy to swap and I hardly saw them pop-off on their own.
The wire has a flat finish which reduces tangling and there is an in-line mic with a single control button, which can be used to control your music or attend calls. I really wish it doubled as a mute button and had dedicated volume controls. The right angled 3.5mm mini-plug comes with a gold plating and supports all mobile devices. Now most smartphones are slowly killing the 3.5mm audio jack, but thankfully I use a OnePlus 6 for my PUBG gaming sessions. That is also one of the reasons why HyperX has emphasised on the fact that these earphones are also a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch. It can even be used with a PS4 or the XBox One by plugging it right into the controller.
Coming down to the performance, the HyperX Cloud Earbuds are surprisingly great for mobile gaming. The volume on the earbuds is great and full, and even at the highest volumes, you don’t hear any distortion or cracking. These are not music oriented earphones hence, the bass is a little more contained. This means that large explosions and gunshots don’t rumble all that much in your ears. The mids are surprisingly warm and quite clear allowing you to hear the slightest footsteps. In fact, the earbuds seem to be more focused on the mids to provide a fuller sound experience. I was personally quite satisfied with the performance as I usually need a good pair of earphones or headphones when I am playing PUBG Mobile. Even on my Nintendo Switch, I failed to find any issues with the earphones. The ambient background sounds on Hollow Knight felt mesmerising and the sharp punches and ki-attacks on Dragon Ball FighterZ were impactful. The microphone on the earphones is also really good as my team-mates could hear me loud and clear.
As I mentioned before, the Cloud Earbuds aren’t designed for listening to music, and there’s a chance they might fall short to impress you. Of course, I am nitpicking here as the sound quality isn’t all that dull, and can get quite immersive compared to most earphones on the market. If you like to catch up on some occasional tracks, the performance is perfectly good, but don’t expect it to handle every single genre of music with perfection.
Should you buy these? Well, I have no complaints around the sound quality and even the build and finish are great if not super premium. It is also quite comfortable even after a 2-3 hours long gaming session.
But there are a bunch of factors to consider here. With a price tag of Rs 5,999, these are definitely an expensive pair of earphones. If you are going to use these with your smartphone, you need to make sure you have a 3.5mm audio jack or maybe a dongle which is always an inconvenience. Other things that you should consider include above average sound isolation, and the sound signature which isn’t completely suited for listening to music. Lastly, I really wish it offered more controls apart from just the single control key.