When it comes to gaming headsets, few companies are as highly esteemed as HyperX. They’ve been on an absolute run over the last several years, releasing a number of critically acclaimed headset. Today, we have their latest entry, the HyperX Cloud MIX on the review bench. It wants to be your one-and-done headset, designed to fit your lifestyle and your gaming rig. Does it live up to the promise?
- Pricing and Availability: $199, Exclusively at Best Buy
- Driver: Custom dynamic, 40mm driver with neodymium magnets
- Type: Circumaural; Closed back
- Frequency Response: 10Hz – 40,000Hz
- Impedance: 40 Ohms
- Sound Pressure Level: 100dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
- T.H.D.: < 2%
- Cable Length: Detachable Headset Cable: 1.3m, PC Extension Cable: 2m, USB Charging Cable: 0.5m
- Connection Type: Detachable Headset Cable: 3.5mm plug (4 pole), PC Extension Cable: 3.5mm stereo and mic plugs
- Boom Microphone
- Element: Electret condenser microphone
- Polar Pattern: Noise-cancelling
- Frequency Response: 50Hz-18,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: -42dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
- Built-in Microphone
- Element: Electret condenser microphone
- Polar Pattern: Omni-directional
- Frequency Response: 50Hz-8,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: -33dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
- Battery Life: Bluetooth: 20 hours (Bluetooth Version: 4.2)
- Wireless Range: Up to 10 meters
- Weight: 260g (Weight with Mic: 275g)
- Warranty: Two-year
The Cloud MIX isn’t your average gaming headset. Even though one of our common discussion points in headset reviews is whether we’d feel comfortable wearing them out of the house, headsets actually designed to fill both roles are few and far between. The Cloud MIX is a different beast, made to deliver Hi-Res Certified audio when wired up to your PC or console and offering full wireless connectivity for when you’re on the go.
If you’ve used the HyperX Cloud Alphas, one of the best headsets you can buy for under a hundred dollars, then you have a good idea about what to expect here and understand why that’s very good comparison. Visually, they’re near identical with the MIX dropping the red stitching for black with gray logos. They’re larger headphones but there’s a reason for that and, frankly, it’s worth the extra size.
The big selling point here, and one of the reasons for the depth we see in the ear cups, is that the Cloud MIX marks the return of HyperX’s signature dual chamber drivers. In a traditional driver, mid, bass, and treble frequencies are all created within a single chamber. As is often the case with gaming headsets, bass can get too loud and overwhelm the other frequencies causing causing muddiness. The MIX, like the Cloud Alpha, creates a separate chamber for bass tuning, keeping the mids and highs intact. The result is a clean sound that allows every note and audio cue to come through clean, even when you’re inundated with sound like in the middle of a firefight.
To be blunt: I love the dual chamber driver system. Combined with the extended frequency response on the MIX, you have a gaming headset that punches up right into audiophile territory. When connected using the wire, the drivers are capable of a frequency range of 10Hz – 40000Hz. This is well outside the range of human hearing; however, since drivers tend to distort at the edges of their frequency spectrum, this ensures that everything you can hear will be pristine. The dual chamber system pushes that a step further by isolating bands of sound for pristine quality. I’ve used headphones across the price spectrum from $30 to $500. A wired Cloud MIX easily earns its asking price.
But, when you’re out and about, the last thing most of us want is to be tethered by a wire and so HyperX has also included bluetooth connectivity using the Bluetooth 4.2 codec. When used wirelessly, the frequency response range narrows to 20Hz – 20000Hz, which is a common standard in gaming and music headphones. Even still, thanks to the higher quality drivers and dual chamber design, you’re distortion free and able to enjoy tight, fun sound.
When it comes to tuning, HyperX has definitely given the MIX an emphasis on bass. For heavy rock, synth-heavy pop, and hip hop, they’re great. I tend to like my highs more pronounced, so gave them a boost in my phone’s EQ. Now, they’re about perfect for my taste.
With the Cloud MIX, we also see the return of HyperX’s signature build quality. Returning again is the flexible aluminum headband. It provides a nice amount of grip so seal around your ear without being uncomfortable. The driver housings are matte plastic but solid. The Alphas have been my favorite gaming headset since 2017 and have remarkably similar build quality. I’ve had zero issues, even with a few good drops, and I expect the same here. The common breakage points are either resolved, as with the aluminum headband, or accounted for in design, as with the frame’s attachment to the ear cups.
On right earcup, you’ll find your controls. Pairing with your smartphone is easy and only requires holding the power button and finding the device on your phone. Controlling your media is equally carefree using the + and – buttons. I do wish the charging cable were a bit longer, though. Why is it that headphone manufacturers insist on using the shortest charging cables possible? I would much rather have a slightly longer charge time if it meant being able to have a little leash from the outlet.
That said, I was pleasantly surprised at the battery life. HyperX quotes 20 hours at 50% volume. I tend to listen a little louder than that, so my own battery like was closer to 15 hours of use time. Thanks to Bluetooth 4.2’s low power mode, I was pleased to find that I only needed to charge once every few days.
Since you’re likely to be wearing the MIX for long stretches at a time, it’s important that it’s comfortable and avoids hurting your head. Thankfully, HyperX has made it remarkably lightweight for its size, coming in at only 260g (or 275g with the mic attached). They’ve also included lush padding on the headband and earcups, which not only makes the MIX comfortable over long stretches but also isolates sound very well. With a game running, it’s easy to lose yourself and block out your surroundings, so take care if someone else might need your attention. This benefit falls at the feet of the nice faux leather in use here, though it does trap heat so you’ll need to vent from time to time.
Finally, we have the mic. There are actually two microphones in use here: one built-in for when you’re going wireless and a second detachable boom microphone for when you’re gaming and streaming. They both work fine for their intended purpose but the boom mic has the definite edge here. Have a listen to the boom below.
The second mic is built into the earcup and invisible to the eye. For calls, it works perfectly fine but definitely lacks the level of clarity provided by the boom mic, so I wouldn’t recommend using it for more than that.
The Cloud MIX comes to market at $199 as a Best Buy exclusive. For that price, it comes against some steep competition. Thankfully, HyperX is up to the challenge delivering Hi-Res Certified sound and the return of the dual driver system. In this case, though, it’s best to think of it beyond the scope of a normal gaming headset. If that’s all you need, the $99 Cloud Alpha is very similar, minus the bluetooth and sleek colorway. If you’re like me, though, and would like one headset for everything, the HyperX Cloud MIX may just be it.
- Excellent sound – 10-40,000Hz expanded response means excellent clarity
- Slight bass push makes movies, music, and game audio “fun”
- Dual chamber drivers make their return (finally!)
- Durable, stylish build
- Earcups don’t rotate to rest on your chest
- Built in mic sounds muffled and a bit echoey
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.