HyperX Cloud Stinger Review: Best budget headset under $50?

The HyperX Cloud Stinger is an entry-level headset in the lower price range. Many sites often call the “best budget gaming headset,” so we wanted to see it ourselves. That’s why we took a closer look at the HyperX Cloud Stinger review.

The HyperX Cloud Stinger is an excellent entry-level headset that is surprisingly comfortable. Large ear cups with sufficient padding, but not quite as comfortable as some other headsets we tested. Furthermore, the insulation is only mediocre. The build quality is respectable, but there are deductions for the spartan control functions, a sensitive cable, and the somewhat cheap-looking plastic parts.

7.7Expert Score
HyperX Cloud Stinger Rating

Overall perform good, comfortable to use, price also reachable.

Design & comfort
Features & Performance
Headphone sound
Microphone sound
Price performance

The Stinger is slightly lacking in high mids and inconsistent bass, and a limited soundstage in terms of sound. There is nothing to complain about the microphone for the price except the lack of clarity in the trebles. You cannot complain of a price starting at $50; you get a comfortable and solid headset here.

Good Points
  • Cheap price
  • Comfortable
  • Good microphone
  • Good performance
  • Insanely good sound
Bad Points
  • Lots of plastic
  • Cable a bit vulnerable
  • Insulation only mediocre
  • Weaknesses in bass and treble

Features & Performance

The Cloud Stinger is HyperX’s entry-level gaming headset. The HyperX Cloud series (such as the HyperX Cloud 2) is an upgrade to this, which offers additional features like an aluminum frame, larger drivers, and a detachable microphone. Priced at under $50 in some cases, the Cloud Stinger is HyperX’s most affordable headset.

HyperX Cloud Stinger Gaming Headset: Important features at a glance

  • Type:  Wired, Closed, Over-Ear
  • Speaker driver: 50 mm
  • Frequency range headphones:  18 Hz – 23 KHz
  • Impedance: 30 ohms
  • Microphone polar pattern: electret condenser, unidirectional
  • Media control: volume, flip-to-mute microphone
  • Connections: 3.5mm jack
  • Sound pressure level: 102 ± 3 dB SPL / mW
  • Cable length: 1.3m
  • Total weight: 275g

The biggest clue that the HyperX Cloud Stinger is a budget headset is the plastic materials used in its design. You won’t find any aluminum or steel here (except for the inner metal piece in the headband). Despite this reliance on plastic, the Cloud Stinger doesn’t feel cheap. It has a nice weight, and the plastic materials have a matte coating that adds some value.

HyperX Cloud Stinger

We’d say the build quality of the HyperX Cloud Stinger is above average. You get a decently wide and flexible headband that is reinforced with a thin metal frame. In addition, the earcups are pretty well made and won’t get damaged right away if you drop the headset.

Nevertheless, the plastic used here feels a bit cheap and thin – you just notice that we have a $50 headset on the table. Unfortunately, the cable is not replaceable, and the hinges are a bit weak, which means that both elements can be damaged by regular wear and tear over time.

So if you’re not up for a lot of plastic and are looking for something that feels sturdier, look more at the Cloud 2 or Cloud Core.

The microphone and headset cables are permanently attached to the left ear cup. The microphone is at the end of a flexible rubber arm that you can swing up to mute the microphone. The 1.3-meter cable lets you connect the headset via a 3.5-mm plug, making it suitable for PCs, PS4, Xbox One, and mobile devices. HyperX also gives us a 1-meter extension cable with two 3.5 mm plugs for PCs.

HyperX Cloud Stinger design

There are, unfortunately, no inline controls to be found on the cable. Instead, you’ll have to get familiar with the volume control at the bottom of the right ear cup to change the volume (this can prove to be quite annoying, as the control is quite sensitive. There is also no mute button for the headphones or microphone.

Especially since we’re not dealing with a USB headset here, any software for customization options is also missing.

Design and Comfort

At 275 grams, the HyperX Cloud Stinger is noticeably heavier than some competing headsets in the same price range, but it’s still significantly lighter than, say, a chunky Astro A10. However, some weight also makes it feel sturdy enough that it won’t break right away without feeling too heavy on your head.

HyperX Cloud Stinger comfort

The Cloud Stinger features padded leatherette ear cups and headband pads. The headband padding is very comfortable for a budget headset, and the memory foam in the ear cups ensures a comfortable fit during long gaming sessions.

For its size, the HyperX Cloud Stinger is a comfortable and relatively lightweight headset. The ear cups are also large enough for most ear sizes. The padding on both the headband and ear cups is decent, though not as soft and fluffy as more expensive headsets we’ve tested (but totally fine for $50). In addition, the pads are not too tight on the head, resulting in an overall comfortable headset that you can wear for hours.

HyperX Cloud Stinger ear cups

Also top: The ear cups can be rotated and turned, which results in a comfortable fit on the head (also for eyeglass wearers). This makes the headphones less annoying when you take them off and wear the headset around your neck. This feature, in particular, is relatively rare in this price range, and it’s what the Cloud Stinger scores with.

The noise attenuation of external sounds is only mediocre. Especially low sounds like airplanes, passing buses, or cars cannot be shielded, but voices and higher tones are blocked relatively reliably.

Due to the closed design and the synthetic leather, your ears will get a bit warmer, but it is not as extreme as the Razer Kraken X. In addition, some noise from the sound also leaks out, which means you can hear your games a bit when you turn it up.

HyperX Cloud Stinger Microphone

Right off the bat, the Cloud Stinger’s microphone is surprisingly good for the price. For a listen, check out our video above.

The microphone of the HyperX Cloud Stinger is excellent. In a quiet environment, speech recorded or transmitted with this unidirectional microphone sounds full and fairly neutral but lacks a bit of clarity, pep, and brilliance. You notice that it does not sound completely clean for certain sounds in the listening test. But, it is still perfectly sufficient for gaming.

HyperX Cloud microphone

In terms of noise cancellation, it can separate speech from ambient noise, even in noisy environments. We are pleasantly surprised by the microphone.

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HyperX Cloud Stinger Review: Sound Image

Inside the ear cups, 50 mm drivers provide audio output. HyperX has to be patted on the back for this, as almost all other headsets in this price range contain inferior 40 mm drivers. The difference in size and performance is obvious: the Cloud Stinger offers better sound than their many competitors in this price segment.

Despite the praise, you also have to make a few concessions when it comes to sound. You’ll find out where that is in the following paragraphs.

Gaming performance

We played a lot of different games (from Anno, CSGO, Starcraft to Diablo and Witcher) to get a good impression of the different genres.

It has to be said: Games like CSGO with more bass tones have the lead here. In addition, more dialogue-heavy games like Witcher are not quite as top due to the somewhat spongy mids, but everything is still perfectly fine. Music tracks and soundtracks also come across well, but the trebles lack a bit of clarity.

HyperX Cloud Stinger Gaming performance

Clearly, the sound also does not seem as “big” and spacious as in more expensive models. With a budget stereo headset like the Cloud Stinger, you can pick up the direction of sounds from left to right, but not as well when they are in front and behind you (as is the case with surround headsets).

And the bang of a gun and smaller weapons lacks some clarity. The Cloud Stinger handles low frequencies better and offers a good bass response that shows up in games where everything around you explodes. All in all, though, it’s a solid gaming performance for the price.

Movies & Music

After that, we listened to a few movies and some music tracks spread across all genres.

Again, the Stinger does bass better than mids and treble. As a result, voices sometimes seem a bit boring and pale. Instruments don’t come through to you quite as cleanly. The Cloud Stinger also does not like higher volumes, which can sometimes lead to slight distortions.

That leaves us with the following: For bass-heavy genres like rap, hip hop, or rock, the Stinger fits the bill, but for vocal-dominated tracks or classical music, you should instead choose something else. But, we are still talking about a $50 gaming headset. Ergo: Everything is completely justifiable.

The Cloud Stinger is definitely suitable for watching movies, but the voices are sometimes a bit unclear. However, it is still sufficient for a few episodes of your current Netflix series.

Conclusion of the HyperX Cloud Stinger

If you’re looking for a good, solid gaming headset for up to $50, you should grab this one. High comfort, clean microphone, pleasing sound for games – everything you need. Of course, it is less suitable for those who expect sonic revelations.

HyperX delivers an affordable and high-quality headset with the Cloud Stinger, which we can only recommend. The HyperX Cloud Stinger is undoubtedly one of the most comfortable and best sounding budget headsets on the market.

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