Since its inception, Kingston Technology's HyperX brand has become a staple of great headsets for affordable prices. Their CLOUD series, which can range between $90-$150, delivers a level of comfort and mic clarity that is usually saved for the $300 headsets others charge for. Because of this, they've become this reviewer's go-to headset for both gaming and Podcast needs.

So if their $150 headset brings forth such top-leveled performance, what can HyperX deliver for casual gamers looking for a cheaper alternative? With their CLOUD Stinger, HyperX brings to the table the most high-end of budgeted headsets one can imagine.

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The CLOUD Stinger comes with the headset and a longer PC adapter for the separate headphone/mic jacks. Its earbuds rotate, which allows for easier storage when not in use, as well as a more comfortable fit around your neck. Its right earbud contains the volume slider, making it far simpler to adjust the loudness of the game/movie/song you are listening to at the moment. Unlike its other CLOUD models, the headset's microphone cannot be removed, but swiveling it up all the way will mute it when you don't want to use it.

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Upon placing the Stinger on my head, I instantly recognized HyperX's trademark level of comfort. Using memory foam for both the earbuds and headband, it avoids pressing too hard on your head and ears while in use. You can wear these for long periods of time without feeling any discomfort, with only a mere adjustment or two if you deal with some minor perspiration. Thanks to its light weight, you won't find the Stinger pressing your head down into your neck like some of the more expensive headsets usually do.

The memory foam makes it seem like they can cancel out the background noise, but it depends on what it is you're playing. If you are playing something loud like Hard Reset Redux or the recent Attack on Titan game, then you'll find yourself not distracted by what's happening outside your gaming peripheral. However, a more quieter game like Journey or ABZU won't have the means of blocking out some of the more louder sounds that may occur in the real world. In laymen's terms:: if the game's loud, you'll be good to play without distractions; if it's more quiet or serene, then prepare to have some real-life interruptions.

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Testing out the sound quality itself with the recent Outlast II demo on Xbox One, I instantly got chills rolling up and down my spine from the tiniest of door creaks and hollowed winds. While it's not a full surround sound experience like what the Cloud II can deliver, its stereo output does give off a good sense of immersion as you play. You might even find your brain tricking you into turning towards the direction of the creepiest of sounds, thanks to how clear the audio quality is.

As for its microphone, the design is a lot similar to the CLOUD Revolver, which isn't quite my favorite out of the HyperX models. However, for a cheaper headset, it's a bit better than one can expect to be paying for. Your voice will come in clear enough, although its sound quality does seem to be comparative to the two main Modulations in radio. Basically, if the CLOUD X or CLOUD II's mic quality is FM, then the Stinger's is AM. Still, for its price, what you get is certainly more than what you pay for.

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Compatibility-wise, the HyperX CLOUD Stinger is the most friendly headset to use. With it being usable for the Xbox One, Wii U, PS4, PC, Mac, and even mobile devices, there's no worrying about having to buy multiple headsets for multiple consoles. However, Xbox One users without an Elite controller will need to own the Stereo Headset Adapter in order to use the Stinger.

PROS:

  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Powerful stereo sound
  • Compatible with basically all devices

CONS:

  • Mic quality not as strong
  • Stereo Adapter required for Xbox One users

FINAL THOUGHTS:

For $50, the HyperX CLOUD Stinger is a fantastic headset for both casual and beginner gamers. With its high comfort levels and solid stereo sound, the Stinger is an easy choice for those looking for some rare private gaming time. Once again, HyperX shows that great quality and affordability can go hand-in-hand with one another.

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Promotional consideration made by Kingston Technology and Rebecca Gorham of Reverb

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