The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless offers phenomenal performance, but stumbles just shy of perfection
HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless: Two-minute review
The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless headset has staked its claim as the wireless headset to beat, performing incredibly well in every test we threw at it. With 2.4 GHz wireless capability, incredible audio fidelity and impressive battery life, the Cloud Alpha Wireless is simply one of the best headsets you can buy right now.
The Cloud Alpha features strong aluminum frame construction, comfortable leatherette padding for your head, and a detachable microphone. Wireless capability is achieved via the USB-A wireless adapter that is included with the headset, and the USB-A wireless adapter works very well with USB-C dongles that are commonly used with some of the best gaming laptops on the market.
In terms of performance, the audio quality produced by the 50mm neodymium dual-chambered drivers is absolutely stunning. When you combine the already fantastic audio quality with the EQ presets featured in HyperX’s Ngenuity software, the Cloud Alpha produces some of the clearest audio of any headset in recent memory.
The Ngenuity downloadable software from HyperX supports the DTS:X Spatial Audio surround sound format, and this software also gives you the ability to adjust EQ presets, create your own EQ presets, and adjust automatic power shut-off settings for the Cloud Alpha. Just be warned, HyperX’s Ngenuity software is available for PC only.
The microphone works incredibly well, from intense cooperative gaming to stuffy corporate video conferences. The bi-directional microphone has a frequency response of 50 Hz to 7.2 kHz, and this is tailored specifically to pick up the human voice, and also to reject background noise. You can rest assured that you’ll hear your friends and colleagues as if they were right next to you and they’ll hear you just fine.
HyperX makes the claim that the Cloud Alpha Wireless headset has 300 hours of battery life on a single charge, and they are not kidding. We have used this headset on a full charge for hours, with the headset still registering a 100% charge. The Cloud Alpha’s battery life is absolutely outstanding.
A big criticism of the Cloud Alpha is that the wireless USB adapter and detachable microphone can be misplaced, and this is an even bigger issue because there is NO Bluetooth or wired backup capability. If by some stroke of bad luck, you either break or lose the Cloud Alpha’s USB-A adapter, you’ve got yourself an expensive paperweight.
Barring that, however, the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless isn’t just among the best wireless gaming headsets, it’s shoving aside its wired competition as well, and absolutely belongs on the list of best PC gaming headsets ever.
HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless: Price and availability
- How much is it? $199 (about £179 / AU$280)
- When is it available? Available now
- Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia
The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless headset seems to be priced higher than average against comparable headsets; however, we’d argue that the Cloud Alpha has plenty of fantastic features to easily justify its price tag. Just make sure to check its compatibility. The Cloud Alpha does not play well with certain devices, like the XBox.
HyperX’s Ngenuity software for Windows is available for free from the Microsoft store and the Ngenuity software expands the Cloud Alpha’s capabilities to include DTS:X Spatial Audio Surround Sound functionality, EQ presets, and microphone monitoring.
Mac users can use the Cloud Alpha Wireless, but they won’t be able to download the Ngenuity software, which enables the DTS:X surround sound function, so they will lose out on some of its best features. The Cloud Alpha does work seamlessly with the PS4 and PS5, however.
For this price, it would be nice to have a backup wired or Bluetooth connectivity. There are competing headphones, such as the SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless, which offer both Wireless and Bluetooth connectivity for the same price as the Cloud Alpha. This is the biggest issue with the Cloud Alpha because if you lose the USB wireless adapter with no Bluetooth capability as another option, the Cloud Alpha won’t work.
- Value: 4 / 5
HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless: Design
- Solid construction
- Incredibly comfortable
The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless headset utilizes a sturdy aluminum frame, memory foam padding, and breathable leatherette coverings to provide plenty of comfort for hours of playing the best PC games.
The entire headset (with microphone connected) weighs about 335 grams, so a little less than a pound. The ear pads fit very snug around the user’s ears, helping to reject outside or ambient noise, and the 50mm neodymium magnetic drivers feature two audio chambers: one for mid and high frequencies and one for low frequencies. This results in incredible audio fidelity so you can hear every audio nuance of your favorite games and movies.
The adjustable mic is placed very well on the Cloud Alpha. The microphone is adjustable and stays in place when adjusted, and the microphone is also detachable. All of the onboard controls are easily accessible, even while gaming. On the left ear cup, you’ll find the detachable microphone, power button, microphone mute/monitoring button, status LED, and USB-C charging port. The microphone has a modest LED indicator that lights up red when the microphone is muted. On the right ear cup, you’ll find the volume wheel.
The USB-A adapter is rather large for USB receivers. It’s very possible to accidentally break it if you forget that it’s there. The tradeoff is that this receiver boasts a range of 20 meters. However, in our tests, we’ve gotten an even better performance, with an actual wireless range of 30 meters or 100 feet (more on this below).
- Design: 5 / 5
HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless: Performance
- Incredible range
- Fantastic audio fidelity
The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless headset produces some of the clearest audio we’ve heard out of any headset. Games, movies and music all sound amazing through the Cloud Alpha, and it sounds so good and feels so comfortable that you might not ever want to take it off.
The Cloud Alpha boasts a frequency response of 15 Hz to 21 kHz (which is dog whistle territory), and having tested the frequency response, we can confidently say that all sound frequencies in the human hearing spectrum are projected very clearly. The upper limit of the Cloud Alpha’s volume level is not the loudest we’ve heard from a wireless headset, however, it is still loud enough for any application and it does help to protect your hearing.
The Cloud Alpha’s microphone is also great. During our testing, the Cloud Alpha seemed to have no trouble transmitting a perfectly audible signal to participants in a video conference or to teammates during sessions of Counter Strike. We even tried recording into Audacity using the Cloud Alpha’s microphone and the microphone seemed to pick up the user’s voice very clearly with no noticeable attenuation.
The bi-directional microphone receives the user’s voice very well, though we’re a little puzzled about the use of a bi-directional microphone on a headset where a cardioid polar pattern would have made more sense. Nevertheless, the Cloud Alpha utilizes effective noise-canceling technology to transmit the user’s voice very clearly thanks to its frequency response of 50Hz to 7.2kHz, so voice capture is very clear despite a lot of background noise.
The range of the wireless adapter is also a standout feature. HyperX boasts a range of 20 meters (approx. 65 feet) before you lose wireless connection, but in our testing, we were able to walk outside and still get a clear reception (even through walls) for about 30 meters (approx. 100 feet) until we experienced a dropout.
- Performance: 5 / 5
HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless: Battery life
- Empty list
The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless headset has an absolute best-in-class battery life among its competitors. HyperX claims that the Cloud Alpha Wireless is capable of around 300 hours of battery life on a single charge, with a full recharge from 0% taking a little under five hours. In our experience, this claim definitely holds up.
Constant audio abuse from the music of Lorna Shore to gaming with Elden Ring should have diminished the charge from 100% to 90% within a single hour-long gaming session, but we were shocked that after playing almost four hours, we still had a 100% charge on the headset. We’ve been testing this headset for weeks on a single charge and have yet to get down to 50%. It’s going to be hard to top this battery life with any headset.
- Battery Life: 5 / 5
Should I buy a HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless?
Buy it if…
You’re looking for a Surround Sound headset
The DTS:X spatial audio works very well with movies and games.
You’re looking for a high-performance wireless headset
The Cloud Alpha has all the features you could want in a wireless gaming headset, from outstanding comfort to fantastic design on top of the stellar sound quality.
You’re sick of charging your headset
The battery life for the Cloud Alpha simply can’t be beat, especially at this price.
Don’t buy if…
You misplace things often
The USB adapter is easy to lose or even break, so if you lose it, the headset won’t work at all since there’s no Bluetooth or wired backup capability.
You want the cheapest wireless option
The Cloud Alpha Wireless falls slightly higher than average within the price range of wireless headset options. However, there are cheaper headsets, but you get what you pay for.
You have an XBox or Mac
The Cloud Alpha doesn’t work well with the XBox. Furthermore, the headset will work with a Mac but you won’t be able to download the Ngenuity software to enable DTS:X Spatial Audio.
XBox Wireless Headset
One of the best wireless headsets on the market, the Xbox Wireless Headset is a great bargain for XBox users. It’s cheaper than the Cloud Alpha Wireless — it has an $99 / £89 / AU$149 MSRP, respectively, but you can find good deals online — but it does have a plastic frame and thin-sounding microphone. However, it does have Bluetooth capability, which is awesome.
Read the full Xbox Wireless Headset review (opens in new tab)
Nacon RIG 800 Pro HX Wireless headset
A strong contender against the HyperX Cloud Alpha headset. It was designed to work with PCs and the XBox, but doesn’t play well with the PS4 or PS5. Testers feel this headset is very comfortable. However, the battery life doesn’t compare to the Cloud Alpha. The Nacon RIG 800 Pro HX retails for $149 / £199 / AU$299.
Read the full Nacon RIG 800 Pro HX Wireless headset review (opens in new tab)
SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless headset
The SteelSeries Arctis 9 wireless headset is priced at $199 /£179 / AU$280. Like the Cloud Alpha, it excels in audio quality. It also connects wirelessly or through Bluetooth. This is a big advantage over the HyperX Cloud Alpha. However, it only gets about 20-30 hours of performance on a single battery charge.
Read the full SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless headset review (opens in new tab)
HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless: Report Card
|Value||The Cloud Alpha Wireless isn’t cheap, but its not out of line with its class. The lack of alternative connectivity means that breaking the USB Wireless adapter that pairs the headset is a very expensive mistake though.||4 / 5|
|Design||From the build quality to the easily accessible controls, the Cloud Alpha Wireless is an exceptionally designed headset.||5 / 5|
|Features||The NGenuity software download unlocks a whole new feature set for the Cloud Alpha Wireless, including incredible virtual surround sound capability.||5 / 5|
|Performance||From the incredible sound quality to the crystal clear microphone to the absolutely supernatural battery life, the performance of the Cloud Alpha is best-in-class.||5 / 5|
- First reviewed August 2022
How We Test
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