The HyperX Cloud Alpha isn't exactly a newcomer to the gaming scene. They're even a seasoned veteran among the finest gaming headphones, having been introduced in 2017. These intriguing mid-range cups have been renowned as the unofficial gold-standard for no-nonsense, quality at a fair price point, retailing at $100 / £80 (about). So, what keeps this, dare I say, 'classic' headset alive and well on many a gamer's desk? And, perhaps more crucially, would they be able to stay up in a 2020 market flooded with amazing options?

HyperX Cloud Alpha Gaming Headset
The HyperX Cloud Alpha has a simple aviation-style design that looks more like studio headphones than a gaming headset. It's elegant, especially given the price, and the photos don't do the headset's overall appearance credit.

Instead of RGB, there are a few subdued strokes of red on an otherwise matte black appearance. The HyperX logo printed on the exterior of the cups and the pretty attractive embroidered logo on the upper band, which also contains some wonderful stitching - a really elegant touch indeed - are the only flashy elements.

Unlike other gaming headsets, which are made almost entirely of plastic, the HyperX Cloud Alpha's cups and main band are made entirely of aluminium. Overall, this contributes to a fantastically strong sensation in the hand, which, while maybe psychosomatic, gives you the impression that you're holding something that'll go the distance.

Even greater is the degree of comfort provided by the Cloud Alpha's velvety leatherette memory foam cushioning. You'd assume that the use of metal pieces would increase weight, but that's not the case; they are extremely light headphones that can be worn for extended periods of time.


Inside the cups are what HyperX refers to as 'Dual Chamber Drivers,' which are said to reduce sound distortion and let you achieve that crystal clear sound. To be honest, I didn't detect much of a difference between them and standard designs, although they do sound fairly well - more on that later.

The detachable cord, which is an often desired feature, is one small detail that is sometimes missed in headphones but is always welcome. It means you'll be covered for replacements in the future, and it also demonstrates HyperX's willingness to listen to what players want. If you don't want to use the attached boom mic, it's also totally removable.

Apart from that, you're essentially getting a headset with a 3.5mm port for all compatible devices, including PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One, to name a few. It's a step away from the USB arrangement seen on most current headsets, which allows for software and customisation, but there's something to be said about 3.5mm's universality. For starters, it means that all gamers get the same basic package, whereas many headsets keep console gamers out of their greatest features.

One might criticise HyperX for not having a slew of software, knobs, and other frills on the Alpha Cloud, but it's clear that build quality took precedence over features. After that, you can put the Alpha Clouds in and enjoy amazing sound right away. There isn't any more, and there isn't any less.


Then there's the performance, which is where this headset actually excels for the money it'll cost you. As previously stated, they sound fantastic right out of the box, with a well-balanced tone. There's a lot of low-end thud here, but it's not overpowering. The highs are nicely tapered out, so there's no shrillness to tyre you out over extended sessions. That, together with the extremely comfortable fit, puts you in the ideal position for relaxing periods with your favourite RPG or strategy game - in my case, Imperator: Rome.

But don't forget that HyperX is an esports brand, as seen by the Cloud Alpha's no-nonsense specifications list. As you'd expect, this headset shines in this area, and I had no trouble keeping up with the action in CS:GO, my favourite competitive shooter.

Despite the lack of complex software or spatial sound, all noises were simply placed utilising simple stereo in a closed-back arrangement. Furthermore, the cups provide excellent sound isolation, so you'll have no trouble hearing footsteps or delighting in the thunder of a particularly well-placed shot.

The detachable boom mic is of excellent quality, producing a signal that is pretty clear and uncompressed. Although the marketing for this headset claims that the mic is approved for both Teamspeak and Discord, my group couldn't detect the difference between it and other high-quality headset mics.

Should you buy it in the end?

The HyperX Cloud Alpha gaming headset gets a big thumbs up from us. Why? They just provide incredible value for money. Sure, you won't get flashy RGB lighting, spatial sound profiles, or even any software, but you will receive a headset that simply works and provides one thing that cheaper headsets typically lack: quality.

If I had to find flaws, what would they be? You won't be able to travel them in a compact case because they aren't collapsible. That is all there is to it. Aside from that, this is a no-nonsense mid-range option for gamers searching for the best PS4 headsets, best Xbox One headsets, or even the best PC gaming headset.