I’m not exactly what you’d call an audiophile. My criteria for a set of headphones has generally been “does it cost $15 or less”, “will it play music or game audio”, “will it not break on day one?”. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate good audio, just that when it comes to day to day use I’m not as picky about the sound quality as I am ease of use. However, this new headset that I received has changed that.
With the release of Switch, Kingston Technology reached out to us to see if we’d be interested in taking a look at some of their products and test them out with the system. We agreed and they sent along a very nice, budget friendly pair of headphones for us to test out.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger is a very nice looking pair of headphones. The jet-black finish of the plastic, with the bold red outline of the logo really makes for a pair of headphones that just look visually appealing. They are made out of a durable plastic that will stand up easily to day to day use. Toss them in your bag as you go out or on the couch once you’re done with a play session and they’re not going to get much wear and tear. I haven’t run into any issues with them getting scuffed up or the padding coming apart, and I have two children under five years old in the house who will play around with anything left on the ground.
As far as the feel of the headphones you’ll find no complaints from me. They’re very solid. I generally use a pair of ear buds for most every day use as I don’t like the bulk of many over the ear headsets. The foam padding around the earpieces feels comfortable. It fits solidly around my whole ear, blocking out most, but not all of the background noise around me. They don’t press too firmly against my head or my glasses, meaning that extended use shouldn’t result in any headaches. To this point, after more than two weeks with them I haven’t experienced any of that. They’re incredibly comfortable headphones.
As I had not yet received my Switch when they arrived I still wanted to get some testing done with them and tried them out with what I thought would be the ultimate test of just how well they sounded, Project Diva Future Tone. I booted up the game, plugged the headphones into my PS4 controller and got to playing. After just a couple songs I was immediately sold on them and will no longer be playing that game without them. They completely changed the way the game and the songs sounded to me. The bass tones are deeper. The divide between the highs and the lows more defined. The songs sounded exponentially better than they did just with the sound coming out of my TV or the inexpensive earbuds I’d been using before. They actually made songs sound so different that some of the audio cues I normally used when playing sounded differently to me and I had to adjust to the better sound quality. I was immediately sold on them as a pair of gaming headphones.
I also tried them out during recording sessions of the podcast. At first they took a bit of getting used to because my voice sounded muffled. My wife told me later I was talking louder than I usually did, but I got used to that feeling and my volume eventually went back to normal. I have now been using them with the Switch since its launch and love how well games like Breath of the Wild sound coming through them.
They come with two different cord options. The standard 3.5mm jack that plugs straight into the audio port of any device was able to power the microphone and the headphones allowing me to control my PS4 with my voice. They also come with an extended that also doubles as a dual jack set up for people who need the microphone and speaker outputs on different lines. There is also a volume control slide on the headphones themselves allowing you even more precision in just what volume level you want the sound at. The microphone has a nice click to let you know that it’s been activated. When you lift it back up and hear it click the device has been muted.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger headset is not the most expensive set of headphones on the market, but if you’re looking for something in the $50 range they’re easily the best set of headphones I’ve used at that price.
Headphones provided to us by Kingston Technology