HyperX Cloud Mix Headset Review: Plug-and-Play Competence
HyperX’s Cloud Mix is one of the more expensive pairs of gaming headphones on the market right now, at an MSRP of $199.99. There are a lot of cheaper competing models, particularly if you’re just looking for something to use while playing games at home.
The reason to own a Cloud Mix, as far as I can tell, is due to its flexibility everywhere else. I’ve been reviewing a lot of gaming headphones this year for some reason, and the Cloud Mix is the only one I’ve used so far that’s also a useful everyday carry.
It’s surprisingly lightweight, durably made, and features easy-to-use, surprisingly long-range Bluetooth connectivity. If you’re looking for a high-end pair of multipurpose headphones for work or school, the gym, and gaming, the Cloud Mix is an expensive but worthwhile investment.
The key word there is “lightweight.” The Cloud Mix doesn’t weigh a full pound, even with the microphone attached, and the padding on the cups is thin but still effective. The headband is a solid length of aluminum with a strip of memory foam underneath its leather sheath, built tougher than most headphones I’ve ever owned, and the battery lasts a decent 20 hours or so between charges.
Its portability and durability are what strike me the most about it, before even getting into its audio.
The Cloud Mix is the first pair of gaming headphones that I’ve been able to comfortably wear to the gym without issue. They’re comfortable enough to wear on the go and are light enough that they don’t make me overheat on the elliptical machine. They also don’t feel like they’ll atomize the first time I drop them.
I’ve tested some headsets lately that really drown your ears in soft memory foam, but the Cloud Mix’s less-is-more approach is, if anything, just as effective for long-term comfort.
As far as sound quality goes, the Mix stands up to the competition. Its output tends to be a little softer than a few other recent products — the Elite Atlas Aero, in particular, is loud enough that you can just set it next to you and get almost all the sound you need.
However, everything from music to game audio to podcasts comes through loud and clear on the Mix. I was still listening to music on my phone without distortion or issue from 45 feet away, which is actually a longer range than it’s supposed to have. It’s also surprisingly good for phone calls, assuming you still do that from time to time.
While the Mix has a wide number of buttons and ports on its underside, it’s easier to use than it initially looks. The power switch doubles as its connection button, so all you have to do is hold it down to sync it to whatever other devices you like. Setting it up to pair with a couple of different phones and a PS4 was surprisingly easy, and after that, the process was automatic.
The Mix’s battery life goes for at least the solid 20 hours that HyperX says it will, although it’s got a weird quirk to it. When you turn the headphones on or connect them to a compatible device, it tracks their battery level, but seemingly only within certain percentages.
The Mix I tested was at 100% charge for a week, at which point it dropped to 80%. A couple of days later, it finally hit 60%. It felt like my headphones were bluffing. “Yeah, I’m at 100%. I’m always at 100%. Let’s go.”
The charging cable is only about 18 inches long, which is a pain if you want to keep using it while you top off the battery. It charges off a USB-B port, though, so you can use other compatible cords.
- Impressive sound quality.
- Surprisingly long-range Bluetooth.
- Lightweight enough to wear at the gym without overheating issues.
- Its ability to monitor its own charge only seems to work in increments of 20%.
- The volume’s a little softer at the same levels as other top-end headsets.
- The USB charging cable is short.
- It does cost $200. Steep for a gaming headset; cheap-ish for Bluetooth headphones. Still, $200.
- Also, pettily, for that price, it’d be nice if the headset wasn’t designed as a complex interlocking web of HyperX logos.
The $200 price tag does put the Cloud Mix on the steep end for gaming headsets, but in the world of Bluetooth-enabled headphones, it’s relatively cheap. It's $150 less than Sony’s current-model WH-1000XM3s and half the price of Sennheiser’s Momentum Wireless 3.0.
While $200 for headphones is always going to make me take a big step back, the Cloud Mix actually occupies a sensible middle ground between top-end wired headsets and midrange Bluetooth-enabled wireless.
If you’re looking for headphones just to wear in your living room, the Cloud Mix is way too expensive. But if you want some on-the-go wireless cans that can take some damage and are light enough to wear all day, the Mix will deliver. It’s an investment, but a potentially useful and long-lasting one.
|Driver||Custom dynamic, 40mm w/ neodymium magnets|
|Type||Circumaural, closed back|
|Sound Pressure Level||100dbBSPL/mW at 1kHz|
|Weight w/o mic||260g|
|Weight w/ mic||275g|
|Cable Length||Detachable headset cable: 4.2 feet
PC extension cable: 6.5 feet
Micro USB charging cable: 1.6 feet
|Connection Type||Detachable headset cable: 3.5mm (4-pole)
PC extension cable: 3.5mm stereo/mic plugs
|Battery Life||20 hours|
|Wireless Range||~32 feet|
[Note: HyperX provided the Cloud Mix used for this review.]