(Pocket-lint) - With battery life claims far exceeding anything we've ever seen in a gaming headset, HyperX's Cloud Alpha Wireless threatens to blow competitors out of the water.
This isn't your typical headset, and the whopping 300-hour battery life isn't the only selling point. With compatibility across PC and PlayStation consoles, it becomes an even more intriguing prospect to consider.
While it's one thing for a headset to be long-lasting or have support for different platforms, though, it's another thing entirely for it to ace sound performance and comfort.
So, we've been testing the Cloud Alpha Wireless out to see if it's the full package or a one-trick pony. Let's explore.
The 300-hour battery life is a great headline feature, and we're seriously impressed that the claim remains true in testing. After all, this is an area in which 50-hour battery life is usually a bit of a stretch.
It's even better, though, that this incredible battery life is just one of the ways the Cloud Alpha Wireless excels.
Sound quality is excellent, and it's as comfortable a wireless headset as we've tried, owing to a really lightweight build that can stay on your head for hours. It looks great, is well made, and has a solid microphone that you can remove when you don't need it.
Pretty much all the boxes are ticked here, and we even think the headset is priced fairly - particularly when you consider it redefines a crucial area.
It's a bit of a home run for HyperX, honestly. We just wish it featured Bluetooth or wired support and could extend to Xbox consoles.
HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless
- Unbelievable battery life
- Super comfortable
- Great sound
- No Bluetooth or wired connection
- NGenuity is glitchy
- Cross-compatibility is limited
- Available in black and red only
- Removeable microphone
HyperX's headsets have a pretty clear look to them - generally identifiable by the bright red arms used to hold the earcups in place. The Cloud Alpha Wireless doesn't upset that tradition, it revels in it.
You get a glossy black metallic set of earcups with those vivid red wings clamping them, and a leatherette headband with red stitching to underline the colour scheme even further. It's a pretty nice look - even if, admittedly, fashion isn't too important for gaming.
The key here, really, is the way the design feels when you wear it, and HyperX has excelled itself.
You'll struggle to find a wireless headset that feels lighter on your head, with a lovely, gentle grip on the sides of your, well, skull.
This means it's a joy to wear for long sessions, and we never noticed any discomfort, even with glasses on for the whole of that time.
There's a nice, flexible microphone arm that you can attach or detach as you need it, and it's easy to position it however you like, which is always appreciated for quick adjustments on the fly.
The end of the microphone also has a welcome LED indicator to let you know if you're muted - another handy bit of information while you game.
HyperX has stuck with what it knows for the Cloud Alpha Wireless, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that approach.
- DTS Headphone:X, Spatial Audio support
- Dual-chamber drivers
- Low-latency dongle
Things are also nice and impressive when you put the Cloud Alpha Wireless on to actually game. It's got excellent sound quality; enough to make immersive games truly shine.
We played some Returnal in it, and the spatial audio was in full swing, with directional cues and creepy sounds from all around us. And the same rang true in a range of other titles.
Playing a multiplayer game with a cleaner sound palette makes for successful gaming, too, with clear sounds and the ability to hear footsteps and shots nice and loudly in amongst other noise.
HyperX says this headset has a dual-chamber driver system that should make for even better sound. And while we can't say it's drastically better than, for example, the Cloud II wireless that we've used from HyperX before, that's no bad thing.
Connecting is nice and simple when using the included dongle, and that doodah is nice and compact, meaning you don't have a great big USB stick dangling out of a port waiting to be knocked out or jostled.
If you do need to connect with a cable to ensure the lowest possible latency, you can easily do so using the USB-C port, so every option is open to you apart from Bluetooth.
That boom microphone makes for a very solid vocal performance, as well, albeit one that was a little quiet until we turned up our pickup both on PC and PS5. Once you find the right level for your voice, you'll come through nice and clear.
- 300-hour battery life
- Works with PlayStation consoles
It might fade into the background when considering the sound quality and design, but a major reason to pick up the Cloud Alpha Wireless over other comparable headsets is that you'll rarely have to charge the thing.
The quoted battery life is an astonishing 300 hours, and we've found this claim holds up very well in our testing, with multi-hour sessions only ever docking the life by a percentage point or two at most.
HyperX has very cannily, and also very handily, capitalised on this by having the headset read out its battery percentage when you turn it on, which keeps you on top of whether it needs a charge. With a life this long, though, it mostly serves to remind you how long it's been since that was in any way urgent.
This is essentially the new bar for wireless headsets, and it's one that the vast majority of HyperX's competition is coming nowhere near. It frees you up to leave the headset out without a cable for weeks at a time without worrying that you'll get caught short.
And, as mentioned further up, we've tested the headset on both PC and PS5. It'll also work on PS4, making it relatively versatile, though it is locked out of Xbox consoles, and will only work on the Switch when Nintendo's console is docked. That isn't a huge deal right now, but there is now a decent chunk of headsets with full cross-platform compatibility, so it does at least give HyperX one thing to work on.
In terms of controls, there are some welcome ones on the earcups themselves with the Cloud Alpha Wireless. One side holds the USB-C charging port, a power button and a quick mute button, while the other has a wheel to turn your volume up and down. Again, some headsets offer more, but these are very much the ones we actually end up using, so nothing much is missed.
A final mention here is reserved for HyperX's customisation software on PC, called NGenuity - it's sadly not really up to the standards of the hardware in question.
You can adjust your EQ and a few other settings, but it doesn't set the world alight. Again, something for HyperX to work on.
HyperX has made a real stormer in the form of the Cloud Alpha Wireless - a headset that sounds wonderful and features battery life that shouldn't be possible. It's also fairly priced, in our view, making it one of the best headsets we've tested.