HyperX puts out some of the best gaming headsets on the market, and has done so for years. With the HyperX Cloud Flight S, the company is looking to make a play for a more premium part of the market. It’s not as flashy as the Cloud Orbit S, or as cheap as the Cloud Alpha, but it’s got a lot going for it. The HyperX Cloud Flight S is a premium offering with restraint — it has a lot of features, but only ones people would actually find useful. Does it stick the landing?
Who is the HyperX Cloud Flight S for?
- Gamers who want something to easily move between their console and PC setups.
- At-home workers who don’t want to leave the conference call every time they need to make a new cup of coffee.
What is it like to use the HyperX Cloud Flight S?
If you could sum up the HyperX Cloud Flight S in one word, it would be versatile. This wireless gaming headset works just as well on the PC and Playstation 4, which is to say: very well. Even without the using HyperX’s optional software, the Cloud Flight S strikes a great balance of features and comfort.
It’s mainly made of plastic, with a single strip of metal running along the inside of the headband. Despite the affordable material, it doesn’t feel cheap at all — adjusting doesn’t cause any obnoxious creaking noises, and it doesn’t take much work to fit comfortably on your head. The headband also features a memory foam cushion, and clamps down with just the right amount of force to feel secure. Detachable earpads are made of leatherette-covered memory foam, which made it easy to achieve a decent fit. Velour would have been more accommodating to people with glasses, but the leatherette is soft, at least.
Getting the headset to work is simple — just plug it in. Most gaming headsets offer virtual surround sound by linking up with a custom app, like Razer Synapse or SteelSeries Engine, but the Cloud Flight S handles it on the hardware side. That means surround sound is available on both Playstation 4 and PC, which is rare.
The headset takes a little getting used to; it packs in a lot of controls and the space-saving design takes time to memorize. The controls for volume, surround sound, and power are easy to find, but the controls for game/chat mix and mic muting are subtle. Once you get the hang of where each button is, it’s not so bad, but more than a few times I was left scrambling when an in-game explosion totally blew out what my friend was saying on Discord. If it’s something that really ends up irritating you, the HyperX Ngenuity app allows you to remap the buttons.
Outside of that, my experience using the headset was largely positive. I never had issues with speech intelligibility chatting over Discord, Skype, or Zoom. The detachable boom mic sits on a sturdy wire arm and it was easy to position.
The HyperX Cloud Flight S uses a 2.4GHz wireless RF USB dongle instead of a Bluetooth connection, which is great for gaming. This means you won’t have to worry about audio lag, and this connection method can be kind to battery life — which is stellar, by the way. During SoundGuys HyperX Cloud Flight S review, the team recorded a playtime of 35 hours on a single charge. Another great feature: wireless charging. This is the first gaming headset to support wireless charging, so you can stick them on any Qi-compatible charging pad instead of hunting for a cord. HyperX makes a wireless charging pad, but it’s sold separately (and is expensive). Inistead, just pick up any old charging pad.
Is the HyperX Cloud Flight S good for gaming?
The HyperX Cloud Flight S is great for gaming. It remains comfortable throughout multi-hour sessions. Playing games like Dauntless and Halo: The Master Chief Collection multiplayer on PC was a breeze, and the built-in surround sound worked well. When I did some on-the-fly switching between listening modes, it was obvious just how effective the feature was when it came to immersive gameplay. In most other situations, the differences seemed, frankly, negligible, but it’s nice not needing to install yet another app just to try the feature.
My experience on Playstation 4 was similarly solid. Games like Fortnite and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order use surround sound very differently and both sounded great. The Cloud Flight S handled the ambient soundscapes and off screen blaster sounds of Fallen Order, as well as the various sound cues of Fortnite’s more tense moments without issue.
Sound quality is fine
The HyperX Cloud Flight S amplifies low notes, so bass explosions will sound louder than they’re meant to; this can be good as it makes for a more entertaining experience, but then you also run into the issue of auditory masking. This is when a loud sound makes it hard to hear a relatively quiet one. Ok, so what? Well, when it comes to gaming, it’s important to hear what your teammates are saying, and this makes it hard to do in firefight battles when teammates are simultaneously trying to communicate. In music, the headset doesn’t struggle much with any particular sounds or specific genres but, again, it won’t sound accurate. This isn’t the headset to get for analytical music listening; in fact, few gaming headsets should be used for music (hence why they’re called gaming headsets).
Low-frequency sounds are amplified, which can be fun.
The HyperX Cloud Flight S offers better isolation than most gaming headsets. There’s nothing here approaching the near silence of noise-cancelling headphones, but you shouldn’t run into any issues with the usual distractions of the home. Outside you’ll run into more issues, but the Cloud Flight S’ connection method limits its portability, so you probably won’t need to worry about that.
Is the microphone any good?
If there’s one thing that’s truly disappointing about the HyperX Cloud Flight S, it’s the microphone. Clarity isn’t much of an issue, but it just isn’t terribly accurate, with a significant de-emphasis in the bass and mid ranges. This means people with voices even a little on the deeper side will sound a little distorted. It’s good enough for Discord, just don’t expect to land any voice acting gigs using it. Have a listen for yourself:
Should you buy the HyperX Cloud Flight S?
If you’re looking for a solid wireless gaming headset with a good spread of features on console and PC, definitely the check out the HyperX Cloud Flight S. Gaming headsets that don’t need additional software for surround sound are pretty rare, and ones that can do it on console and PC basically don’t exist (present company excluded).
If you’re hopping between PC and Playstation 4, no other gaming headset offers the same core features on both platforms. However, if you only use one of those platforms, there are more viable options.
PC gamers who don’t care as much about a wireless headset might want to look to the Logitech G Pro X, which offers a far better mic experience through its software and costs less. The Corsair Void RGB Elite also offers a similar experience on PC to the Cloud Flight S for far less money.
Playstation gamers looking for something a little more console-specific might be satisfied with the Playstation Gold Wireless Headset, which brings wireless surround sound for $60 less, though its mic and battery life aren’t nearly as good.
However, even if you only game on one platform, it’s hard to imagine being disappointed with the HyperX Cloud Flight S. It’s comfortable, versatile, and wireless, with better battery life than just about everything else on the market. What’s not to like?