Interested in purchasing a budget gaming headset, but have no idea where to begin looking? In this review we will present the HyperX Cloud Stinger, which is one of the best budget gaming headsets around. In terms of sound quality it even competes with gaming headsets that are priced 2-4 times the price of this one. However, from the build you don’t get a sense of a premium finish, its rather minimalist. This is certainly one of those cases where you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
However, in the competitive budget gaming headset category the HyperX Cloud Stinger is an impressive competitor. You’ll appreciate the quality of the surround sound and overall how well it improves the gaming experience. If you’ve never had a gaming headset before, then this is a worthy buy. Even if you’ve used gaming headsets for years you’ll appreciate the quality of this one.
By the end of this HyperX Cloud Stinger review you’ll get a sense of why you should pay attention to this gaming headset and what lack of features and functionality you need to keep in mind. After all, before pulling the trigger on a purchase you must have a balanced overview of the product in question. This prevents any nasty surprises down the line if you were to find a flaw that you cannot put up with without getting frustrated.
In this HyperX Cloud Stinger review we will also give you a sense of why you should invest in a gaming headset at all, and for some reference compare it to the Sades SA902 gaming headset. Before pulling the trigger on any electronics purchase you should make a habit of comparing it to other products. This enables you to figure out which one presents the best value for the asking price.
Related: HyperX Cloud Gaming Headset Review
Why choose a budget gaming headset like the HyperX Cloud Stinger
If you’ve never owned a budget gaming headset before then understanding the advantages of why you should own one is the first order of business. By understanding the reasons for doing so your confidence when pulling the trigger on the purchase will improve.
The trick to buying a budget gaming peripheral is locating one that has been under-priced. Across all categories of gaming peripherals you’ll find options that are competitive with higher priced items. Making a smart purchase feels good, and by the end of this review you’ll be better equipped to achieve that.
Take a look at the following advantages of buying a budget gaming headset like the HyperX Cloud Stinger to see why the value is there:
Save money on your gaming budget
We would all love to buy every impressive game that comes out, and the best gaming peripherals in each category. However, the reality is that a limited budget set aside of gaming has to be adhered to. Therefore purchasing a budget peripheral eases the pressure on the gaming budget giving you more freedom to spend in another category, or get an extra game for that month.
The great thing about buying budget products like the HyperX Cloud Stinger is that you get a high quality product at a cost that’s highly competitive. You might be giving up a few features to premium priced products, but for the most part it’s a smart purchase that will satisfy your gaming audio urge.
In addition to enjoying games with the gaming headset you’ll have the option to use it for other activities. Let’s say that you need to make a skype call to a family members and your PC doesn’t have a speaker. Then using the microphone of the headset allows you to get the task done.
You can also watch movies and TV series using the headset as the quality of the audio for budget gaming headset is more than capable of getting the job done. However, for this activity it’s ideal if you were to purchase an extension cord, or alternatively invested in a wireless headset. Furthermore, you should be aware of the disadvantages of wireless headsets, which we will go into later in this HyperX Cloud Stinger review.
Another function of gaming headsets is listening to music. For a lot of budget gaming headsets the quality of the audio might not be impressive enough to listen to music. The audio required for music should be of a much higher quality than other tasks. However, you’ll be pleased to know that the audio quality of the HyperX Cloud Stinger is impressive enough that you can enjoy a pleasant music listening experience.
Another aspect that’s greatly improved by investing in a budget headset is the quality of the gaming experience. The immersive aspect of the games you play will improve. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing a racing game like Forza, playing the latest open world game like Assassins Creed Origins or a casual indie game.
The level variety and depth of sounds you’ll hear is greatly improved via a headset when compared to just using speakers. If you’ve never played games with a headset before, then you’ll be in for a shock of just how much of an upgrade it is. You’ll feel as if it will be hard to go back to not using a headset.
Additionally, when a gaming headset is used to you communicate with other players online, which is priceless if you’re playing a team based game. Games like Dota 2 and CS:GO require teamwork in order to beat the enemy team effectively. By taking advantage of a headset you can communicate with other team members in the hopes of coordinating a successful strategy and sharing information that helps meet the end goal.
Finally, a gaming headset is just practical as it prevents you from annoying others around with the sounds of the games, and likewise you won’t be disturbed by others while gaming. You’ll be able to immerse yourself in the game and disconnect from the world around you – even if there is a lot of background noise.
Wired or wireless?
An important consideration to make when deciding what gaming headset to purchase is if it should be wired or wireless. A wireless one allows you to sit as far away from the screen as you’d like. This gives you more freedom, and you can also move around the room without the restrictions of a wire.
However, a drawback of a wireless headset is the latency of the audio. You might have heard that the gaming mice in the wireless format suffer from slower response rate and the same can be true of wireless gaming headsets. The result is a delay between when you hear the audio and when it occurs in-game.
Another disadvantage of a wireless gaming headset is the added cost. The buying price will usually be higher for the same number of features, but the only difference being that it is wireless. Also you might need to recharge the headset, which could require batteries that cost money. In the case of an included battery unit there could be the complication of it wearing out over just a few years of use.
How the HyperX Cloud Stinger compares to the Sades SA902
Related: Sades SA902 Gaming Headset Review
The HyperX Cloud Stinger and the Sades SA902 gaming headsets are both at the budget end of the scale. Both are great options, and with the low prices you cannot go wrong by investing in either one. However, to figure out which one is going to match your requirements and expectations the best you need to consider the differences between them.
Execution of the surround sound
The Sades headset has 7.1 surround sound, whereas the Stinger doesn’t execute to the same level. However, it does offer a less enhances surround sound experience so at least there is something there. One of the best things about gaming headsets is the fact that surround sound is offered. From an immersion standpoint is excellent that you can figure out the direction of sounds as they are happening around you. Therefore, the better surround sound of the Sades gaming headsets is a plus.
Better compatibility for the Stinger
The Stinger is compatible with all platforms, which includes the PS4, Xbox One, PC and even your phone. This is great as you only need to buy one gaming headset for all of your purposes. On the other hand, the Sades SA902 is a USB based PC gaming headset, only compatible with the Windows platforms. This is rather limiting if you wish to combine a gaming headset with a combination of consoles too. Consequently, you’ll need to buy more than one gaming headset if you also own consoles and that’s not ideal.
The visual design
The Sades headset is more “in your face” in terms of the visual design as there is plenty of orange to go along with the black, and there are LED lights too. If you’re a fan of lighting effects on your gaming peripherals then you’ll appreciate this. Whereas, the Stinger has a minimalist design where the entire headset is basically black apart from the HyperX logo on the ear cups.
Stinger has better audio quality
When it comes to audio quality at the budget end of the scale the Stinger is hard to beat and the Sades is lacking behind. The 50mm drivers do a superb job of recreating the digital sounds. Having said that the Sades also performs well for a budget option and is more than capable of providing a decent audio gaming experience.
Final comparison thoughts
After having gone over the main differences between the HyperX Cloud Sting and the Sades SA902 you can conclude that the Stinger is slightly better. However, the differences are very small, and due to the fact that the Sades is a less expensive product the value proposition is almost identical for both purchases.
HyperX Cloud Stinger Review
Anyone in the market for a gaming headset that’s on the budget end of the scale should strongly consider the HyperX Cloud Stinger. It’s cheaper than its old brother, the HyperX Cloud II and competes with the other budget option from the same company, the HyperX Cloud.
Here you’ll be presented with an overview of the features, and what advantages this gaming headset brings to the table. Likewise the drawbacks of this model will also be discussed so that you know exactly what shortcomings the product has before making the purchase.
Pay attention to the variety of features here as that’s the best way to differentiate it from the other products on the market. It’s evident that the HyperX Cloud series is trying to corner the budget gaming headset market with the release of the Stinger model.
- Lightweight headset
- 90-degree rotating ear cups
- 50mm directional drivers
- HyperX signature memory foam
- Adjustable steel slider
- Volume control on headset ear cup
- Swivel-to-mute noise-cancellation mic
- Multi-platform compatibility
From a visual standpoint the look of the Stinger is minimalist, and it looks as if there isn’t much going on. On the ear cups you’ll see a red HyperX logo that’s expected from all variants of the series. Furthermore, the ear cups can be rotated so that they are comfortable to wear around the neck. This is a great design idea, because the majority of us like to wear headphones around the neck, and making it comfortable is not something that the majority of gaming headset designs have considered.
The microphone is unique as it can be flexed in a number of different directions with a high degree of freedom. So you can move it close to your mouth when you want to make use of it, and then bend it out of the way. Also the microphone can be rotated up and down, and there is a clicking sound which indicates the microphone is turned off and on. This design is different from the other HyperX Cloud iterations, because in those you can detach the microphone when not needed.
One of the ear cups has an intuitive volume control, which comes in handy when you quickly want to change the volume. The ear cups are also lightweight, and the overall weight of the gaming headset is a mere 9.8 ounces. This is impressive and means you can be comfortable when gaming for many hours at a time.
There is an adjustable steel slider, which is effective at allowing you to re-size the headset so that it matches the size of your head. You don’t have to struggle to do this either, as it can be completed in just a few moments.
Another ergonomic feature is the signature HyperX memory foam, which allows you to feel very little pressure when playing with the headset for many hours at a time. The overall, package of gaming features and comfortable ergonomics means this headset has been designed with the end-user in mind. For the price the amount of value here is excellent and worthy of serious consideration.
Pros of HyperX Cloud Stinger
Here is a summary of the pros of the HyperX Cloud Stinger. It’s a list of reasons in favour of buying this headset, and how it will add to the gaming experience.
Microphone is well-crafted
From a physical design aspect the microphone is crafted in a way that gives you flexibility – literally. You can bend the microphone to your will to place it closer to your mouth and then away from your mouth. Also you can tilt the microphone upwards if you wish to move it out of the way. As you do so you’ll hear a clicking sound to indicate that the microphone has been turned off. However, you cannot detach the microphone as you can with the other gaming headsets in the HyperX series.
Another positive aspect of the microphone is the fact that there is noise cancellation. This means background noise will be reduced, or completely removed when you communicate with others. This is great if you wish to communicate with team members in a clear manner without the need for repetition. The quality of the microphone has been awarded the Teamspeak Certification. This award indicates it’s ideal for e-sports gaming, so for the average gamer is more than enough to get by.
Even though this is an entry level product in terms of pricing, the design is based on years of refinement. Firstly the ear cups have the signature HyperX memory foam which is comfortable on the head. You won’t feel high levels of pressure, which is ideal if you wish to increase the length of time you want to play video games without the need for a break.
Another ergonomic design feature is the easily adjustable headband. Via the adjustable steel slider mechanism you can quickly change the size of the headband accordingly with your head. Furthermore, the process of adjusting the volume can be done from the adjuster on one of the ear cups.
Do you like to wear headphones around your neck when not in use? Then you’ll appreciate the feature that has been added which allows you to rotate the ear cups sideways.
50mm impressive drivers
For the price the quality of the 50mm audio drivers cannot be outperformed. They even sound better than some other premium priced gaming headsets of other brands. One thing that you can rely on from the HyperX series is the quality of the audio.
Part of a modern audio gaming experience is having a sense of directionality. While this gaming headset doesn’t offer true 7.1 surround sound, the directionality is great. You’ll feel as if the direction of incoming bullets and enemies alike is accurate. Also you can get a feel for the depth of the elements around you.
So if you’re worried that the budget price of the HyperX Cloud Stinger is going to compromise the level of sound quality, then don’t be.
As with all versions of the HyperX series you can expect compatibility with the PC, consoles and even your smartphone. However, when combining this headset with the Xbox One you’ll need to invest in an adaptor. The high levels of compatibility means you do not need to buy separate audio hardware for using different gaming platforms.
Cons of the HyperX Cloud Stinger
Since this headset is at the budget end of the marketplace there are some drawbacks you should be aware of. If you can put up with them then the relatively low cost of this product is a bargain.
Lack of true 7.1 surround sound
Surround sound is an excellent feature of gaming headsets, but they are not all executed well. There is directionality here, but it’s not as good when compared with headsets that go all-in with this feature.
Therefore, the clarity with which you can assess the dangers in competitive play might be slightly compromised. However, this disadvantage needs to be experienced for yourself, because it might be the case that you’re perfectly happy with the quality that’s available here.
Materials lack quality
The physical build of the headset doesn’t have a sturdy feel to it. The materials used are not as good in comparison to products double the price of this one and upwards. Therefore, you can expect the lifetime of this product to be shorter. As long as you don’t become heavy handed with the gaming headset then you can preserve the lifetime.
No detachable option
If you’re a fan of the HyperX Cloud series and expected a detachable microphone then you might be disappointed here. In other iterations of the series the microphone is detachable allowing you remove it when not needed. However, as stated earlier a compromise has been made as you can swivel it upwards to turn it off and move it out of the way.
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