When it comes to gaming, may it be on a console or on a PC, a decent pair of headset is a must as most games now rely on excellent communication. Or maybe to simply enjoy the sound design of your favorite games. I’m very particular with how my games sound and today, we’ve gotten our hands on Kingston’s HyperX Cloud Stinger Core headset for the PS4 to test out. Will this be your audio weapon of choice for gaming? Let’s find out.
Overall look and feel
Out of the box, the headset comes in a sleek design, featuring a pair of soft cottony ear cups, and a headband support of the same material. The adjustable headband is supported by a steel strip to keep it flexible yet sturdy to conform to your head’s shape and size. It’s not too flashy and keeps a matte finish on its plastic exterior. It’s a wired set of headphones, with decent length, and comes with an in-line remote for volume control and mic mute switch.
Check out our unboxing video below:
Comfort and Sound Insulation
Comfort is its best suit as it sports soft cotton-like material with foam padding for its ear cups. I can play for hours on end on this pair vs. leather ear cups which causes a bit of discomfort after long sessions. The same ear cups also block out sound pretty well so you can focus on the sound of your games and never be distracted by outside noises when playing intense games, which are always great plus points on my book.
While packaged and marketed for the PS4, the Cloud Stinger Core plugs in via a 3.5mm jack to your Dualshock 4 controllers. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the audio quality on the Dualshock 4 regardless of device isn’t really up to par, as it’s only in stereo, and can sometimes be susceptible to interference, resulting to choppy audio. This can prove disadvantageous for shooters, as sound plays a crucial role in locating your enemies i.e. when listening for footsteps, gunshots, etc. However, for non-spatial audio dependent games like strategy games or MOBAs, this will be a fine pair to work with.
I’ve tried the headset on multiple devices, my PS4 (via dual shock), my laptop, and my phone, and in terms of audio quality, the Cloud Stinger Core can sound pretty bass-y, which is usually what gaming headphones are, but in my opinion, shouldn’t. While bass-y headphones deliver that oomph, and immersion (usually from big explosions), they’re not really beneficial in a competitive context. For games where sound plays a big role, in the case of shooters, I prefer sound to be much clearer and balanced so I can hone in on certain audio cues like footsteps, gunfire, so I can locate enemies.
To be fair though, the Cloud Stinger Core is not too bass-y at all so it’s still a good pair to use, but this isn’t something I can recommend for shooters. And as a basic stereo headset, these aren’t really meant for games that require a keen sense of spatial awareness. It doesn’t come with optimization software that comes with surround sound headsets like the PlayStation Gold Wireless headset where you can configure and tune your audio settings to your liking.
However, for games that require constant communication like MOBAs and other team-based games, the Cloud Stinger Core is a great pair. The microphone quality is great and crystal clear. I’m actually pleasantly surprised with how clear it sounded. Listen for yourself!
With all that talk about the Cloud Stinger Core as a gaming headset, how does it fair now as a pair of headset? Well in terms of audio quality for music, they aren’t that bad at all, however it tends to be a bit on the bassy side, so you might need to tweak your EQ settings to fine tune it.
And are these headphones something you’d sport outside on a regular day? For something that screams “gaming headset”, I don’t really recommend using it as a regular pair of headphones you’d wear on your way to work or school. The microphone, while foldable, isn’t removable, and the cables are fixed and aren’t removable as well. It still looks like a regular gaming headset, which will set perfectly on your home console or PC setup, but not something for regular listening on the go. (Unless of course you’re the type who lugs your gaming laptop on the go, and won’t mind judging looks from passers by.)
I could have given plus points for the Cloud Stinger Core if: 1. The mic is retractable or removable and 2. The wires are removable, so in case the wires break, you can easily replace them. and lastly, 3. The ear cups are replaceable and washable. It’s made of cotton cloth and foam, so expect it to get stinky and sweaty after a while especially here in humid Philippines.
For its price of P 2,399, they’re really not that bad at all. You get decent quality sound, especially its microphone. It’s a decent pair of headsets, I’d give it that, but it’s not suitable for certain kinds of games that demand higher sound precision. Plus, they’re really comfortable and I really don’t mind wearing this for long play sessions. And as long as your device has a 3.5mm jack *cough* iPhone *cough*, just plug, play and you’re ready to go. You can grab the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core for the PS4 at your nearest Datablitz branch.