HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless review: an inexhaustible, but not flawless, gaming headset

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The almost perfect visual resemblance between Cloud Alpha Wireless and its wired sibling is not misleading: both headsets use the perfectly identical build. So we found here a perfectly good design, based on an aluminum frame that is both very flexible and very durable.

The plastic covering the ear cups is also good quality. The only reservation we could make was the wires left between the ear cups and the headband, the only potential point of weakness of the helmet that was immediately visible.

The ear pillows are dressed with a very classic imitation leather. One would dare to fear that they may undergo small cracks after several years of use. If that happens, they’re completely detachable – but HyperX, alas, didn’t directly sell them as components at the time of this trial. A conversation with the brand’s after sales service is therefore no doubt necessary.

In terms of accessories, the Cloud Alpha Wireless has only the minimum: a USB-A to USB-C charging cable, and a windshield for the microphone. We would have liked to add at least one storage pocket.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Audio

If wired Cloud Alpha is able to remain our unparalleled safe bet in the headset market for many years play, this type of product that we do not hesitate to recommend to almost everyone, it is mainly thanks to its super solid sound performance, both rugged and noticeably neutral and versatile. So we will be very happy to find them identical to the Wireless version of the machine. But this unfortunately is not exactly what is offered to us.

Default frequency response

Default frequency response

Yet the essence of Alpha is still there. It feels great with great retrieval dynamics -not accompanied by a gram of audible distortion -, and with great stereophony produced with impressive stage width and separation of sound planes. But Cloud Alpha Wireless, on the other hand, is constrained with less rigidity than its predecessor in the spectral balance of retrieval. The exemplary transparency of the wired variant gives way to a very striking V-shaped signature, with slightly piercing highs, but largely clear hypertrophied bass on the other hand.

From such a profile, in absolute terms, we can say that he has nothing to criticize of himself, and that we may even, according to everyone’s sensitivity, find him a little more engaging and pleasant than a perfectly neutral rendering – even if it doesn’t have to be accompanied by the low -frequency lack of control that Cloud Alpha Wireless suffers from. The lack of stability of the membranes, both at attacks and at stationary speeds, results in a lack of impact, with a sound base that is somewhat clogged, heavy. Is this the consequence of a stage of amplification that lacks peak power, in other words the equivalent of helmet camel autonomy? The hypothesis in any case is convincing.

The solution to these faults can come from the equalizer offered in the HyperX Ngenuity application, which effectively makes it possible to greatly “flatten” the frequency response, and to greatly reduce the slightly evolving portion of the sound; we still can’t find the accuracy of the wired Cloud Alpha, but we see little in its balance.

Equalization profile used for labeled curves

Equalization profile used for curves labeled “manual equalization” below

Frequency response as equalization function: default (black), preset

Frequency response as an EQ function: default (black), “Bass cut” preset (dotted blue), “Balanced” preset (dotted orange), manual EQ (dotted green)

50 Hz square wave response as a function of EQ: default (black), preset

50 Hz square wave response as a function of EQ: default (black), “Bass cut” preset (dotted blue), manual EQ (dotted green)

Only then, the use of the equalizer is accompanied by an inconvenience for the less unexpected: it explodes with the diffusion latency of the helmet, which passes from a few milliseconds to almost 150 ms! For video games in particular, the sound/image change resulting from such a delay, which is unacceptable, is very clearly visible. Therefore, the parity is instead reserved for listening to music … and it is only accessible on a Windows PC, as the headphones do not store it in memory when it is connected to another device.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

microphone

The microphone is mounted on a detachable flexible boom, and in this case offers performance equivalent to that of the wired Cloud Alpha. By doing so, it should be understood that it ensures a very accurate, perfectly understandable voice capture – despite a color of the stamps being slightly inclined towards the nose. Very well worth noting for a wireless headset, the sound picked up by the microphone is transmitted to the USB transmitter/receiver via a 16-bit/46 kHz signal (“CD quality”); this distinguishes it from many other models that are content with sampling at 16 or even 8 kHz, resulting in a less pleasant “telephone” voice.

The bezel on the base of the microphone glows red when the microphone is closed.

The bezel on the base of the microphone glows red when the microphone is closed.

On the other hand, we can always criticize the microphone because of its relatively low sensitivity, which can sometimes force us to push our voice to be heard by our gaming partners. It may be tempting, to overcome this, to stick the microphone in its mouth. , but this is another problem that can occur, especially a strong tendency to “pops” (temporary saturations with consonants “p” or “b”) even with a windscreen installed. Therefore, it is important to take care to position the microphone in the perfect way to get a good compromise between these two excesses.

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