The HyperX Cloud Stinger advertises itself as a headset for gamers, touting itself as comfortable with good sound quality and compatible with multiple platforms. Is it a good choice for Nintendo Switch owners looking for a headset? Let’s take an in-depth look and find out!
The headset has some plush padding around each ear and along the top of the band. I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable this made the experience. I’ve used headsets for extended periods during online calls in the past, and I’m used to my ears getting sore from the headphones after a few hours. Typically I would need to avoid using them for hours or even overnight for the soreness to go away. I noticed a similar feeling after wearing this headset for a while, but it went away simply by taking them off for 5 to 10 minutes (sometimes even just 2 minutes!). The headphones also swivel 90 degrees, making it easy to fit no matter what position feels best to you. The headphones can also be adjusted from the band, making it easy to adjust the size of the set to your needs.
I also appreciate the design of the cord running down from the left ear. (Yes, this is a wired headset—no batteries to charge, but limited range to your device.) I’m used to headsets with a wire running to each ear, but with only the left one having a cord coming down from it, I frequently found myself throwing the cord over my shoulder to get it out of my way and not noticing it for the rest of my work or play session. The cord does feel a little on the short side, measuring at about 4.5 feet, so you’ll want to stay close to the device you’re listening to.
The microphone on the left side stays nicely out of the way—there is no position you can set it where it will bump you while wearing the headset. It isn’t flexible however—the microphone is on a plastic arm that can only swivel up and down. You won’t be able to bring it closer or farther from your face, but you can move it all the way up to mute it if you won’t be using it.
The first thing I noticed when I plugged the headset in is that it had no feedback the moment it connects. I’m used to some headsets that I need to plug in first and then turn on because of an unpleasant click of static when it connects, but this headset avoided it nicely. This may not be a common issue or might simply be a sign of an aging headset, but if anyone is specifically worried about this, it’s good to know!
I was advised by an audio enthusiast to listen to songs I’m very familiar with and see if I could hear anything I didn’t hear normally—instruments, high notes, bass sounds, tracks, anything my standard grade speakers weren’t getting across to me. It worked! The audio coming from these speakers has a very professional feel to it, and the same files I’d been listening to felt like they were exploding with new life I hadn’t been able to hear before!
The right side has a volume slider which can be used in tandem with your device’s volume to get just the right balance, or it can be used to adjust volume without messing up your setting for any other headset you might use for any reason. It only takes one look at the slider to see which way is louder and which way is softer, and it’s as intuitive as advertised to adjust it from there.
The headphones are pretty good at muffling the sound around you as long as you have something playing through them. I used them while my parents went through the comedy routine that is their day to day conversation, and I couldn’t make out a word they were saying back and forth—probably ideal for some users’ situations! On the other hand, while using them in an online call and playing my Switch in handheld mode, I had no problem making out the sounds and music coming from my game (though I did move one side to hear voice clips when they came up).
The microphone on the other hand is just okay. Currently, I typically do recordings and make online calls using a basic studio-grade microphone. During my test call with this headset, my boon companion noticed the difference in quality immediately. Considering the headset was intended for gaming purposes, the microphone is probably just meant to be good enough for team chat, and it passes in that regard. Just don’t plan on using this for all your recording needs unless you don’t already have anything better!
I also noticed that when I plugged the headset in with the microphone upright in the mute position, my computer didn’t even detect that the microphone was there, even after bringing it down to unmute it. To use it, I had to keep it down when plugged in, and then I could mute and unmute it freely. This isn’t strictly negative, just something to keep in mind if you decide to pick it up. Additionally, the microphone makes an audible click sound when you move it to or from the mute position, but it didn’t seem to get picked up when recording. If that’s consistent across systems, that’s a good detail they paid attention to!
The headset uses a standard 3.5mm audio jack which works with most devices. I made sure to specifically test it with the Switch, and I’m happy to say it works just like you’d expect. That said, I can only recommend using the headset while the Switch is in handheld mode because of the short cord. The headset technically works while the Switch is docked, but you probably will want your sound coming from the same TV or monitor the game is displayed on. Additionally, keeping the headset in while the system is docked or in tabletop mode risks turning your head suddenly and knocking the system down or scratching it. Handheld mode is much more likely to avoid issues like this.
At the time of this review, we cannot officially confirm how the headset or its microphone work with voice chat when it’s conducted through the system. When the feature is added later, we may be able to revisit this to confirm its quality.
Even though the headphones and microphone can fold in to make the headset nice and slim, it is a bit bulky. You could keep the box it comes in and pack it away to take from place to place, but this only makes it safe to move around, not more convenient. It’s not the sort of thing I’d want to throw in a bag and carry around, so you’ll want to have a bag or compartment set aside for it, or simply wear the set around your neck when you’re walking from place to place.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger headset is made for gamers, and it’s well made at that! Comfort seems to be one of the top priorities, letting you play for hours with only the occasional short break needed. The audio quality is fantastic, letting you pick up on everything you’re looking to hear from the game or from your crew in chat. The microphone doesn’t quite live up to the speakers, but it will suit your needs for team chat. It’s not the best headset to pack in a bag and will require you to stay close to your device. All of that said, the quality matches up nicely to more expensive headsets, so if you’re willing to compromise on a few features and are just looking for comfort and good quality audio, this is a very good headset for its price.