HyperX is one of the more affordable gaming accessory brands on the market.  Their Cloud II gaming headset was extremely successful, not just due to the ultra-comfortable ear cushions and headband, the detachable microphone with a flexible metal arm to help find the perfect mic position but also the noise cancelling, and noise isolation software built into the mic.  The affordable price was also a big selling point for a lot of folks.

The latest iteration of the Cloud range arrives eight years after the Cloud II was first released – I dare say the events of the last few years slowed down and delayed the release of the Cloud II successor.  Read on to see how HyperX built on an already impressive and successful headset with the Cloud III, eight years later.

Design and technology

The HyperX Cloud III is a wired over the ear headset with a detachable mic that sits on a flexible metal arm, just like the second version.  The new Cloud II does not look all too dissimilar to the previous version but to me looks more premium this time around, especially with the all-black version review unit we received.  

There is a version with some red accents but this time the headband is entirely black in both versions.  The headband is metallic and forks in a single piece to the earcups but fear not the metal that is in contact with your skull is well padded in a leatherette material.  The headband is extremely comfortable and combined with the clamping force of the earcups make for an extremely comfortable headset.

The band honestly did not hurt at all no matter how long I wore the headset for, so much so that I often forgot I was wearing it.  

The earcups house re-engineered 53mm angled drivers to deliver an immersive experience.  The drivers have been tuned by HyperX for optimal sound and precision – which is a relative term because optimal would be more of an open-backed audiophile multi-thousand dollar headset.  More on the sound below.

Each earcup is slightly angled to sit over the top of each ear comfortably.  This comfort is aided by the extra soft leatherette material on top of the memory foam earcup cushioning which not only sits comfortably around the ears but also isolates external noise from affecting the sound you hear.

Unfortunately, as will virtually all headphones with this noise isolation solution, can get a bit warm if worn for an extended period of time.  Part of the issue is that when I was first testing these out I was in a relatively warm room which of course made the heat issue worse.  In a cooler room though they were a lot more comfortable for a lot longer.  Unless your room is hot you shouldn’t have any issues with the comfort of these during a long gaming session.

The right earcup houses the volume wheel which is a solution I prefer for adjusting the volume on a gaming headset as it allows for quick adjustment without having to take your hands off the controls for very long.  It is more difficult to adjust the control if you want to just drop it a single increment though as the scroll is a continuous scroll and not a ratchet scroll.

The left earcup includes the non-removable connection cable – a 3.5mm connection – along with the slot for the boom mic to be attached.  Above this attachment location is the mute button.  I love this location as it allows you to easily find and mute the mic quickly.  When the mic is muted a red LED lights up on the end of the boom mic which pops up nicely into the corner of your vision — love this.

HyperX has obviously put a lot of thought into all these controls as they are easy to use, minimalist and unobtrusive.

Regarding the connection cable, although the 1.2m cable with the 3.5mm connection is non-removable, you can connect this wired only headset with devices that do not support a 3.5mm headphone jack.  This is done through the included 1.3 metre 3.5mm jack (female) to USB-C cable.  For those who want to connect to a USB-A connection there is a further USB-C to USB-A adapter.

Comfort and fit

The soft headband combined with the soft leatherette earcups and memory foam make for an extremely comfortable fit.  The ability to adjust the headband size and the angle of the earcups means you can easily adjust them to fit your noggin.  

The headband and earcups provide just enough clamping force so that they will not fall off your head even when you tilt your head all the way back.  The clamping force does not become uncomfortable after long periods of wearing either which is essential.

The Cloud III are also extremely lightweight, weighing in at just 320 grams which is not the lightest around but the Cloud III are one of the lighter sets around and feel extremely well balanced.

Overall, even during and after a long gaming session, the headset had a very nice, soft feeling on the head.

How do they sound?

Within a game the sound was clear and the different frequencies of various in-game sounds were easily distinguished from one another. It seemed that I was able to hear all sounds that were thrown out by the game.

The max volume of the headset seemed to be less than my other headsets by default — this is something I noticed when listening to music with them as well as in-game. This did not affect my experience while gaming though, just something I noticed.

You can turn the volume up in the NGENUITY software so I would suggest doing this first. By default it is set to 50% but when you turn the volume up you do lose some clarity when pumping the volume up to full power. I do prefer the sound quality at 50% max volume though. The max volume is still a bit less than other headsets but decent enough. Go for around 75% if you want decent quality along with decent loudness — that was my sweet spot anyway.

The Cloud III does support DTS surround sound but I was not able to discern much, if any, difference with it on or off. The sounds though were full of detail although for some reason the frequency range on the Cloud III is less than that on the Coud II. Bass was good without being muddied and unfocussed.

Overall, the sound was good, even for listening to music but it is not as good as a dedicated music headset from Bose or other dedicated headphone brands. As a headset that you use for gaming and occasionally play music on though it is a good choice.

Is the boom mic still good?

According to players on the other end I sounded the same as always — no better, no worse. A boom mic is really only noticeable when it is bad and from a company that has been in the gaming accessory game for a while the mic is as you’d expect — good.

HyperX NGENUITY Software

The NGENUITY software from HyperX recognises the headset you have plugged in, then giving you the options for that headset. With the Cloud III you can alter the volume levels — see above as it is definitely required — use mic monitoring which I don’t think you need due to the boom mic button. You can also change the equaliser for the headset sound profile but the equaliser settings seemed to be extremely subtle in what changing it did. It is nice to have the option though and the ability to create your own preset is probably more useful than their presets.

Should you buy them?

First things first — good, and I mean really good, gaming headsets cost a lot. You are looking at over $400 for a higher end headset but these Cloud III from HyperX come in at just AU$159. Sure, they don’t have Bluetooth, not an ultra-low latency 5GHz connectivity option but you can connect using the headphone jack, USB-C or USB-A which covers PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and mobile gaming.

Keeping that price in mind, the HyperX Cloud III gaming headset are a great choice for those who cannot extend to a more complete, higher end headset. At $159 they offer good sound, a comfort that is almost without parallel, and multi-connectivity options. The comfort itself is a reason to buy this gaming headset.

The sounds are decent and I didn’t feel as if I was missing out on anything during gaming. Sure, the sound isn’t as good as the higher end, but it is less than half the price.

If you are on a budget that does not extend to a higher end headset or have a very sensitive head that needs the most comfortable headset around, then you should definitely consider the HyperX Cloud III. I highly recommend them.

For more information head on over to the HyperX website. You can check them out and buy them from JB Hi-Fi, Amazon AU and the HP webstore for AU$159.