February 11, 2015

Unboxing & Review: Kingston HyperX Cloud II Pro Gaming Headset

By: Clement Thien

We've seen a lot of gaming headsets coming out from companies that were not audio experts to begin with, such as Corsair, BitFenix and Thermaltake. Kingston did the same with the HyperX Cloud gaming headset and it was a smashing success. Now comes another chapter in that with an updated HyperX Cloud II.

Thanks to Kingston for the provision of the HyperX Cloud II which retails for RM399 (SRP) in the Malaysian market. Let's have a look at what they have in store for us.


  • Transducer type: dynamic Ø 53mm with neodymium magnets 
  • Operating principle: closed 
  • Frequency response: 15Hz–25,000 Hz 
  • Nominal impedance: 60 Ω per system 
  • Nominal SPL: 98±3dB > THD: < 2% 
  • Power handling capacity: 150mW 
  • Sound coupling to the ear: circumaural 
  • Ambient noise attenuation: approx. 20 dBa 
  • Headband pressure: 5N 
  • Weight with microphone and cable: 320g 
  • Cable length and type: 1m + 2m extension 
  • Connection: single mini stereo jack plug (3.5 mm) 
  • Transducer type: condenser (back electret) 
  • Operating principle: pressure gradient 
  • Polar pattern: cardioid 
  • Power supply: AB powering 
  • Supply voltage: 2V 
  • Current consumption: max 0.5 mA 
  • Nominal impedance: ≤2.2 kΩ 
  • Open circuit voltage: at f = 1 kHz: 20 mV / Pa 
  • Frequency response: 50–18,000 Hz 
  • THD: 2% at f = 1 kHz 
  • Max. SPL: 105dB SPL (THD≤1.0% at 1 KHz) 
  • Microphone output: -39±3dB 
  • Length mic boom: 150mm (include gooseneck) 
  • Capsule diameter: Ø6*5 mm 
  • Connection: single mini stereo jack plug (3.5mm)


The Cloud II comes in a red and black themed box with the actual headset displayed at the front along with some features and branding. Right at the top right corner, Kingston indicated that the Cloud II comes with a USB control box and that it is compatible with the PC, PS4, Mac and mobile devices, great start so far.

Behind the box, Kingston has all the features in multiple languages.

Some product writeup and a compatibility table with a warning notice are written on the right side of the box.

Left side has a pictorial guide of more features.

And at the top is some branding with mentions of the teams sponsored by Kingston. (It looks like a movie banner so I edited it to simulate just that).

A handsome red box is found inside! Very classy indeed.

And a note from HyperX's general manager! nice touch. I wonder how many of us would just pause to read this?

At the very top are documentations which consist of a Quick Start Guide, a Headset Information Guide and a Table of Hazardous Substances name and Concentration.

The Cloud II headset, microphone, USB control box and the splitter-adaptor are all tucked snugly in thick, soft foam. Oh and the replacement velour cushions (Thank You Kingston!!) is here as well.

The compartment below doesn't just hide the cables. You'll find a soft travel pouch with dual compartments that will fit the Cloud II and all the aforementioned accessories.

Speaking of accessories, here they are out of the box.

The Headset

If you've owned the original HyperX Cloud, you'll notice that nothing's much is different right off the bat except for the anodized-red support bracket around the earcups.

Made identical on both sides, you'll get the brushed-metal finish with the HyperX emblem in the middle with the earcups themselves in a rubber-like coating.

This is a rather compact headset and while both earcups do extend out to accomodate larger head sizes, I find that I have to use the Cloud II with both earcups extended to the max.

Here is the Cloud II with the microphone plugged in, which is fantastic given that the boom is super flexible that will let place it close to your mouth.

The thing I don't like though is that little rubber flap that closes the microphone port. It is just too small and easy to remove so I'm afraid that this will go missing soon enough. Earcups are very soft and comfortable. The Cloud II by default has the leatherette cushions on but knowing that some of us will be using this in a non-air conditioned room, it is advisable to switch to the supplied (Thank You Again!!) velour cushions.

The cushions are easilly taken off for cleaning or replacements. Glad to see some extra foam on the inside, more comfort just in case your ear touches the inner side.

The top is also heavily padded, given that the Cloud II is fairly lightweight, I feel that this is a little excessive but I guess no one will complain it being "too comfortable" I guess.

Closer to the earcups you'll find some subtle branding and the product ID number.

At the top of the headband, a stitching of the HyperX logo did very well to add to the aesthetics; which is accompanied by more stitching along the rim.

The headset is permanently attached to a 1m braided cable that terminates to a 4-pole 3.5mm audio jack. Yes, you could use the microphone attachment with your smartphone if you wanted to.

The USB Controller / Soundcard


The USB controller / soundcard has separate volume controls for the headset and microphone. The 7.1 button is smack right in the middle and have a slight indent allowing users to differentiate the buttons without looking. If you really have to look, at least finding it is easy as the controller lights up where the HyperX logo is and the 7.1 will be illuminated as well if it's turned on.

I like how the cables are braided but this feels a little stiffer compared to the cable found on the Cloud II headset. It is also a little too long in my opinion at 2 meters; I would have preferred it to be at about a meter for the dongle and 1.5 meters for the headset. This terminates to a gold-plated USB plug, no complaints there.

There is a small mic mute switch at the side of the unit as well and finally, a clip at the back so that it doesn't flail about everywhere.


Wearing the headset with the default pleather cushions gave me good noise isolation and I could detect almost no sound leaks. The velour cushions lets me hear my surroundings but it's still muffled at best and given that this is more airy than the pleather ones, this would be the cushion of choice for most Malaysians due to the hot and humid weather. Still, they both are comfortable and the headband didn't place any pressure to the top of my head as well thanks to the equally soft padding and light-weight construction of the Cloud II.

I tested the Cloud II plugged into the Asus Xonar DGX sound card on my system with my collection of random songs, movies and of course some gaming sessions. The Cloud II has a balanced sound, not leaning towards a particular characteristic and I find it rather refreshing given that most gaming oriented headsets are bass-heavy. This made it easy to tweak the equalizer and get to a setting that you like. In a nutshell, the Cloud II performed great with smooth bass, clear mids and good separation that befits the reputation.

Plugging in the USB Controller / Soundcard boosts the output of the Cloud II, which enhances the audio experience as though you have a dedicated soundcard, even though you can't tweak the settings so much here. Activating the 7.1 surround, I was amazed that it actually works very well. This is not apparent in movies and songs but for gaming, you would want to actually have it on. For instance, in Battlefield 4, there is much more details from the surrounding crowd, gunfire and explosions while sword clashes sounds closer in a fight scene in Final Fantasy XIII. This, plus with great audio positioning made the whole gaming experience immersive, a great inclusion for any gaming setup especially if you're gaming on a console or laptop.


Kingston did a great job on the follow up to the original HyperX Cloud, not so much of an improvement but as an option for a different headset really. Kingston didn't change much of the original design aside from the dual 3-pole 3.5mm jacks is now integrated to a 4-pole connector and a USB Controller/Soundcard instead of just a in-line controller. It is indeed a great gaming headset but I do have some gripes on some (not so important) features.


  • Good sounding headphones
  • Braided cables
  • Sturdy and Comfortable 
  • Included replacement velour cushions and carrying pouch
  • Detachable microphone
  • Excellent USB controller/soundcard that works


  • Cable on USB controller/soundcard is too long 
  • Cable on headset could be longer
  • Rubber cover on microphone port can be easily
The Kingston HyperX Cloud II Pro Gaming Headset deserves the Tech Critter Gold and Recommended badge in our books.