Tech

HyperX Cloud Flight – Wireless, light and powerful? Surely not..

HyperX have dropped their first wireless gaming headset and it’s comfortably light, devastatingly powerful and has an impressive battery life… This can’t be right… Surely it’s too good to be true?

Well, if you can justify $229 AUD it certainly isn’t.

So what’s the catch you might be asking? No surround sound. Unlike the other high-end gaming headsets of late, the Flight lacks virtual 7.1 surround sound. But to be entirely honest – it took me a good ten minutes playing around before I even realised, and the only reason I did notice is because I’ve been rocking a surround sound headset for the last six months. The audio quality, comfortability and light-weight nature of the Flight have a serious attempt at making up the difference.

HyperX seem to be pushing the biggest selling point of the Flight as the incredible battery life. According to the testing by HyperX, they can operate for up to 30 hours at 50% volume before needing a recharge.

The issue with battery life being a primary selling point in these modern times, is that NOBODY is gaming for 30 hours straight. If you are, please seek professional help for your addiction. 8-12 hours is more than enough for the exceptionally vast majority of the population. Therefore if I was a consumer comparing the $229 headset with the unnecessary 30 hour battery life, against a $169 headset with surround sound and a cleaner design that’ll last me ~15 hours – I know where my money would go.

Beyond the question of whether the Flight is value for money, it is operationally a beautiful headset. I’ve found myself able to sit for hours on end without realizing I was wearing it, simply because it’s so light and gentle on the head. I understand how ridiculous that sounds, but for anyone that regularly wears headphones, you would acknowledge that a heavy set of cans can make for a really uncomfortable experience.

The design is somewhat slick but I’m of the opinion that if you’re throwing LEDs into a headset, at least make them RGB ones so I can customize the colour. The market for those of us that want bright lights popping out of our headsets is debatably about 80% of the total gaming population – and those of us that care enough for pretty lights are heavily invested in making sure that our “battlestation” has matching colours. That may sound insane to the average punter but would you want the hood and the side panel of your car to match? Or your belt and shoes? To us nerds, LED colours are much the same.

The sound quality in game (namely Counter-Strike and League of Legends) was crystal clear and balanced both the higher treble of gunshots and teammates abusing me with the deep sounds of grenade detonations and nexus explosions. HyperX have always been known to deliver a clean and crisp sound over presenting a “big” sound like some Razer or Logitech headsets are known to produce. With less emphasis on bass and simply getting the pure raw sound through, the treble and higher tones come out crystal clear and make everything from gaming to heavy rap music a pleasure to listen to.

Set-up was simple with the dongle and headset connecting immediately out of the box – and the removable microphone as easy as plug and play. I found the controls rather frustrating at first with the volume wheel awkwardly at the bottom of the right cup and the mic mute being the entirety of the left ear cup, but this is a personal preference issue.

A few interesting things to note;

As almost all wireless headsets do the HyperX Cloud Flight allows a wired mode, HOWEVER mic functionality is DISABLED when you plug it in.
The wireless functionality only works with PC and PS4. It can be used by Xbox in wired mode, however as stated above the mic will not work while in wired mode.

Ultimately, while the HyperX Cloud Flight is a powerful, light and battery efficient headset – personally I wouldn’t pick one up unless I had money to blow. If the battery life really does appeal to you, be my guest. However as far as aesthetic appeal and sound quality is concerned, there are cheaper alternatives on the market.

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