The HyperX Cloud III is hotly anticipated among gamers, as the sequel to arguably the most revered gaming headset released in the past decade. The new version aims to strike a balance between quality and affordability, targeting gamers who value comfort, sound quality, and durability. Here’s how it has fared after two weeks of dedicated testing during both work (listening to music and watching Netflix) and play.
Return of the Cloud
The Cloud III inherits its predecessor’s focus on comfort, featuring the HyperX signature memory foam in both the headband and ear cushions. Wrapped in soft, premium leatherette, these components ensure a plush and comfortable fit, which is a significant factor for gamers involved in long gaming sessions. The headset’s lightweight nature further contributes to its comfort, making it easy to wear for extended periods without fatigue.
HyperX has apparently retuned the 53mm drivers in the Cloud III to provide an “optimal listening experience” that “accentuates the dynamic sounds of gaming.” However, I found the bass a little lacking. Additionally, the headset’s closed-back design doesn’t create a very wide or natural-sounding passive soundstage, which might be a drawback for users seeking a more immersive audio experience. However, this is a common limitation of the closed-back form, which naturally keeps audio closed in.
The upgraded microphone is a standout feature of the Cloud III. It captures high-quality audio, ensuring clear voice chat and calls. The noise-cancelling feature and built-in mesh filter effectively reduce disruptive sounds. Moreover, the LED mic mute indicator is a practical addition, offering visual feedback on the mic’s status. Users report that the microphone’s performance is surprisingly crisp and better than many pricier rivals.
Durability is another strong point for the Cloud III. Its flexible design and full metal frame provide resilience against the usual wear and tear associated with regular use and travel. The headset’s sleek and premium-looking design also adds to its appeal, giving it a look and feel that suggests a higher price point. There are no obvious pain points that I feel will fail over the next few years of use.
One for all
The headset’s compatibility is extensive, supporting various platforms like PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mac, and mobile devices. The inclusion of 3.5mm, USB-A, and USB-C connectors ensures maximum compatibility. However, the headset lacks wireless functionality and noise cancellation, which are becoming increasingly common in this price range. While there is a wireless version, it comes at a premium.
At its price point of $99.99, the Cloud III faces stiff competition from both within HyperX’s lineup and from other brands. Models like the HyperX Cloud Alpha offer better bass response at a similar price, while options like the Razer BlackShark V2 provide a more immersive sound experience. The Cloud III is a modest upgrade over its predecessor, but it finds itself in a challenging position, competing against other headsets that offer more features or better audio performance for a similar cost.
The HyperX Cloud III is a solid choice for gamers who prioritize comfort and microphone quality. Its durable build and sleek design are also commendable. However, its audio performance, while good, does not stand out in a crowded market where some competitors offer more features or superior sound quality at a similar price point. It is best suited for users who value the HyperX brand’s reliability and are looking for a comfortable, no-frills gaming headset.
Disclosure: Cloud III review sample provided by HyperX.
Positives and Negatives
That Cloud comfort returns.
Lightweight yet durable.
Supports a wide-range of consoles and PC.
Bass is a little lacking.
Struggles against the competition in this price range.