HyperX Cloud Stinger 2: A Great Value for Gamers on a Budget
The gaming headset market is saturated and competitive, yet HyperX has consistently distinguished itself by offering quality performance, comfort, and durability in its mid to high-end models. The recently released Cloud Stinger 2, an update to the company’s budget-oriented Cloud Stinger, aims to replicate this success while maintaining a cost-effective price point.
Upon unboxing the Cloud Stinger 2, the lower price point becomes evident with its plastic construction as opposed to the aluminum frames utilized in higher-end models. The solid mold and matte finish provide a visually pleasing aesthetic, however, those accustomed to sturdier builds may find the flimsiness of the Cloud Stinger 2 unsatisfying.
The loose swivel function of the ear-cups also detracts from the overall feel of the headset. While the convenience and comfort of rotating cups is appreciated, the excessive play in the Stinger 2’s design results in a subpar, unstable experience.
The cost-effective design of the Cloud Stinger 2 is compensated by the brand’s renowned comfort features. The lightweight build, combined with leatherette and memory foam coverings, results in a ergonomic fit that is featherlight and comfortable for extended use. During the testing period of several weeks, wearing the headset for prolonged periods of work and play, as well as for bedtime TV streaming, discomfort was never encountered, even with eyeglass arms tucked beneath the ear cups.
The only minor drawback is the ease of movement of the headband adjustment slider, which like the loose swivel of the ear cups, would benefit from more rigidity. As it is, it feels unstable and can result in unwanted adjustments when positioning or removing the headset. The addition of numbered notches is helpful as it allows for precise adjustments and memorization of the perfect fit; however, the user may have to frequently re-adjust the fit as it may slip out of place.
Audiophiles may find some areas for improvement in the audio performance of the Cloud Stinger 2, as it does not match the quality of more premium headphones. There may be instances where mid-ranges are lost in the highs and the bass does not reach deep lows. However, these shortcomings may not be noticeable to most listeners. During testing, the Cloud Stinger 2 was compared to more expensive models, the Cloud Alpha and Cloud II and only occasional and minimal differences were observed.
Functional and provides clear communication
The attached microphone of the headset is functional and provides clear communication during even the most intense multiplayer games. Some teammates reported a distant sound of my voice on a few occasions, but this did not affect the clarity of the audio. The mic mute function, which is activated by flipping the mic up, also worked as intended.
HyperX’s Cloud Stinger 2 is an economical gaming headset that emphasizes simplicity and ease of use. It may lack advanced features, but its plug-and-play design is attractive and versatile. Despite its budget-friendly price point, the headset delivers a rich and layered soundstage that exceeds expectations. However, the build quality is not as robust as higher-end models, reflecting the cost-saving measures implemented in its design.
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