The HyperX Cloud Alpha S Blackout Edition gaming headset is the latest addition from the gaming peripheral manufacturer to the Cloud Alpha family. The new model features virtual 7.1 surround sound, Dual Chambers technology (Dual Chamber), bass adjustment directly into the earphones, memory foam for better comfort and more. Is it worth investing R $ 949.90 (suggested price) in the accessory? See below.
Video review of HyperX Cloud Alpha S Blackout Edition
THE Tecnoblog is a technology-independent journalistic vehicle that helps people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our product reviews are opinionated and have no advertising intent. For this reason, we always transparently highlight the positive and negative points of each product.
No company, manufacturer or store has paid the Tecnoblog to produce this content. Our reviews are not reviewed or approved by external agents. HyperX Cloud Alpha S Blackout Edition was provided by HyperX by donation. The product will be used in future content and will not be returned to the company.
Design, comfort and accessories
I made a point of bringing this review only after almost two months using the Cloud Alpha S, as my main headset for everything (computer, games and mobile devices), precisely to be able to talk more safely about aspects such as finish and comfort.
At first glance, the Blackout Edition is not so structurally different from previous models of the Cloud Alpha family, having a minimalist design, but now entirely in black. This is great for people (like me) who prefer a headset in a more discreet tone, that is, without looking like a carnival of colors and lights on the head.
At the top, the gamer headset has a shaft covered in synthetic leather (where the HyperX logo is also) with a thin layer of memory foam inside this lining. This fabric is sewn into the accessory. The bow is also extremely malleable, both when stretched and twisted sideways. I believe that only a very clumsy user will be able to break this structure.
As of the time of this review, there has been no noticeable damage to either the fabric covering the stem or the earphones. Although it does not have an active noise reducer, the Cloud Alpha S material itself helps to isolate much of the external sound so that it does not disturb the game.
The height adjustment is made by dragging the shells up and down, using the aluminum support on the sides. The structure of these supports is rigid and prevents the shell from slipping and leaving the defined position.
Speaking of Cloud Alpha S’s over-ear (over-ear) shells, both are made of rigid plastic (with the HyperX logo on each one) and have high density memory foam pads, which do not hurt the head even with extensive use . In my case, I wear glasses, I have earrings and ear piercings. At no time did I feel the headset tighten to the point of annoyance. It also doesn’t overheat to the point where you can feel your ears cooking (this is sometimes a problem with bluetooth headsets).
It is also in the ear cups that are the sliders for adjusting the bass. There are three different ways to configure these switches: by leaving the controls in the uppermost position, you get a stronger bass sound. In the middle, the audio is more balanced while the controls on the lower setting make the bass lighter. In practice, there is not a very marked difference in either position and, by convention, I left both keys in the uppermost position.
I only noticed a bigger difference when I completely lowered one of the controls in relation to the other. As they adjust the air intake on the shells, I felt a slightly muffled sound on the side that I closed the key completely (to use a softer bass) instead of the side with the key open for air intake.
On the left side of the headset there are also two inputs: the front one to plug the removable microphone and the front one to use the 3.5 mm cable (4 poles). Inside the box, you also find another cable with the USB audio control mixer, a carrying case, an extra pair of padded ear pads to change and manuals.
Controls and sound quality
As mentioned before, one of the accessories that comes with the Cloud Alpha S Blackout Edition is the USB audio control mixer, a dongle that adds some extra features to the product, but limited to use on computers only. Through the control box, it is possible to adjust the standard audio volume in the earphones, add more gain to the sound of the game or your speech, silence the microphone and activate or deactivate 7.1 surround sound.
But let’s get to practice. Virtual 7.1 surround is interesting to use, only it is more noticeable in games. Listening to music on the PC with the 7.1 of the HyperX headset on, for example, I noticed only a gain in volume accompanied by slight hisses and the feeling that all the audio was in the same tone, without much difference between bass and treble.
With 7.1 activated in a game, the experience is different and features such as the sound stage have been further improved. You could clearly see where enemies and other moving objects were located in the scenes.
It is worth mentioning that the Cloud Alpha S Blackout Edition is compatible with both computers, consoles (PS4, Xbox One and Switch) and mobile devices (with 3.5 mm input).
There are some extra functions in the USB dongle, such as the possibility of giving more gain in the game’s audio or conversations. This can help, for example, when you are playing with someone, you want to hear the sound of the game, but prefer that the person hears you better and vice versa.
For that, you need to give more gain in the chat button (represented by a little balloon). To give more gain to the sound of the game, just press the button with a mini control design. On the side of the dongle there is also a button to turn the microphone on and off.
In addition to the general volume adjustments and audio priorities, the dongle comes with a clip (on the back) to attach it to the shirt, for example. I found the addition of the clip excellent, especially to prevent the box from falling on the floor all the time and ending up breaking. The cable is also long (3 meters with both connected) and reducing the chance of running over the wire with the chair is a good thing.
The microphone on / off button on the side of the audio mixer can also be used to test the feedback of how your voice is doing. When you press it for five seconds, you will hear two beeps. From there, all sound picked up by the microphone will be heard directly in the ear cups. To deactivate this mode and return to normal, just press the same button for five minutes again.
Still talking about the microphone, although he is not the big star of this product (I will talk about the audio quality of the earphones right away), he plays a good role in conversations during gameplays or even online meetings. If you need to record more clearly for podcasts or stream, it is recommended to use a separate microphone.
The audio from the Cloud Alpha S mic does not give that feeling of talking with a bucket on the head, like that of the Sony Gold Series, but the audio is a bit blown up and can present some noise when capturing higher sounds. The detachable mic, however, is directional and captures your voice much more than any other sound around it, thanks to the built-in noise reduction.
But talking about the use of the HyperX gaming headset, which is the main focus of this product, the medium, high and low sounds are very good and the spatial feeling that you have with the sound stage works well. Even without the dongle to activate 7.1 surround, when using the headset plugged directly into the PS4 or Xbox One controller, I did not notice any significant quality loss.
In fact, it was heavily tested throughout the reviews of The Last of Us – Part II and Ghost of Tsushima and the sound immersion in both games was total. I was able to easily find out the spatial location of the enemies, just listening to the direction of the sound of footsteps, conversations and grunts (in the case of those infected in TLoU2).
Nowadays, and with the prices of electronics at the height, it is more natural than ever to look for multitasking accessories, that is, that can be used on different platforms.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha S Blackout Edition gaming headset has, in addition to a huge name, the qualities of a great product with a focus especially on games, but which can also be used on your computer or mobile devices smoothly, if you are not the audiophile type and don’t care so much for impeccable quality when listening to music.
For the suggested price of R $ 949.90, but it is possible to find a little cheaper depending on the store, the Blackout Edition may not be the cheapest option for a gamer headset. But being a premium product from HyperX (the manufacturer also has entry-level headsets), the cost-benefit of the accessory is valid, as it delivers what it purports to be: a great gaming headset.
- Driver: Customized and dynamic, 50 mm with neodymium magnets
- Type: Circumaural, closed
- Frequency response: 13Hz – 27kHz
- Impedance: 65 Ω
- Sound pressure level: 99dBSPL / mW at 1kHz
- T.H.D .: ≤ 1%
- Weight: 310 g
- Weight with microphone: 321 g
- Cable length: 1 m
- Connection type: 3.5 mm plug (4 poles)
USB Audio Mixer Control
- Weight: 57 g
- Cable length: 2 m
- Element: Electret condenser microphone
- Polar pattern: Bidirectional, noise canceling
- Frequency response: 50Hz – 18kHz
- Sensitivity: -38dBV (0dB = 1V / Pa at 1kHz)