HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless review: an inexhaustible, but not perfect, gaming headset

Manufacturing

The near-perfect visual similarity between Cloud Alpha Wireless and its wired sibling is not misleading: the two headsets use a completely identical construction. So we found here a perfectly efficient design, based on an aluminum frame that is both very flexible and very strong.

The plastic covering the ear cups is also good quality. The only reservation we could make was the wires left bare between the ear cups and the headband, the only potential point of weakness in the helmet to be immediately visible.

The ear pillows are dressed in a classic imitation leather. One dares to fear that they may be subjected to small cracks after a few years of use. If that happens, they will be completely removed – but HyperX, alas, did not directly sell them as parts during this trial. A service conversation after the sale of the brand is therefore undoubtedly necessary.

In terms of accessories, the Cloud Alpha Wireless only comes with the smallest: a USB-A to USB-C charging cable, and a windshield for the microphone. We would have liked to have just added a storage pocket.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Audio

If wired Cloud Alpha is able to remain our unbeatable safe bet in the headset market for many years to come play, this kind of product we do not hesitate to recommend to almost everyone, it is especially thanks to the more robust sound performance, both punchy and uniquely neutral and versatile. We would have been happy to find them similar to the Wireless version of the machine. But sadly this is not exactly what we are offered.

Default frequency response

Default frequency response

Yet the essence of Alpha is still there. It feels like the very good dynamics of the return -not accompanied by a gram of audible distortion -, and the very good stereophony done with an admirable stage width and separation of sound planes. But Cloud Alpha Wireless, on the other hand, has been forced to be less strict than its predecessor with outstanding balance of returns. The exemplary transparency of the wired variant gives way to a unique V-shaped signature, with slight piercing highs, but above all clearly hypertrophied bass on the other.

From such a profile, in absolute terms, we could say that he had nothing to criticize himself for, and that we could still, according to the sensitivity of all, find him more attractive and pleasing than a completely neutral interpretation – even if it doesn’t have to be accompanied by the lack of low frequency control that Cloud Alpha Wireless suffers from. The lack of strength of the membranes, both at attacks and at stopping speed, results in a lack of impact, with a sound base that is a little stuffy, heavy. Is this the result of a period of augmentation that lacks peak power, i.e. the equivalent of helmet camel autonomy? The hypothesis in any case is plausible.

The solution to these cracks can be from the equalizer offered in the HyperX Ngenuity application, which effectively enables the frequency response to be “skimmed”, and to significantly reduce the small amplification portion of the sound; we still haven’t found the accuracy of the wired Cloud Alpha, but we’ve found a bit of a balance to it.

The equalization profile is used for the marked curves

The equalization profile is used for the curves marked “manual equalization” below

Frequency response as an equalization function: default (black), preset

Frequency response as a function of EQ: default (black), “Bass cut” preset (dotted blue), “Balanced” preset (dotted orange), manual EQ (dotted green)

50 Hz square wave response as an EQ function: default (black), preset

50 Hz square wave response as an EQ function: default (black), “Bass cut” preset (dotted blue), manual EQ (dotted green)

Then, the use of the equalizer was accompanied by an inconvenience for the less unexpected: it exploded at the helmet’s scattering latency, which would go from a few milliseconds to almost 150 ms! In particular video games, the sound/image change resulting from such a delay, which is unacceptable, is very similarly understandable. So the equalization is reserved for listening to music… and it can only be accessed on a Windows PC, because the headphones do not store it in memory when it is connected to another device.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

MICROPHONE

The microphone is fitted with a detachable flexible boom, and this time offers performance equivalent to that of the wired Cloud Alpha. By this, it should be understood that it ensures a correct, fully intelligible capture of the sound – even with a color of the stamps leaning slightly towards the nose. Very good point to note for a wireless headset, the sound picked up by the microphone is transmitted to the USB transmitter/receiver via a 16-bit/46 kHz signal (“CD quality”); this distinguishes it from many other models that are content with sampling at 16 or even 8 kHz, resulting in a less pleasant “telephone” sound.

The bezel on the base of the microphone will turn red when the microphone is closed.

The bezel on the base of the microphone will turn red when the microphone is closed.

On the other hand, we often criticize the microphone for its relatively low sensitivity, which can sometimes force us to push our voice to be heard by our playmates.It can be tempting, to overcome it, to stick the microphone to his mouth. , but this is then another problem that can occur, which is a strong tendency to “pops” (temporary saturations of consonants “p” or “b”) despite the windscreen-installed. It is therefore important to be careful to position the microphone in the ideal way to get a good compromise between these two extras.

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