The Cloud line of gaming headsets from HyperX has been a go-to for many gamers. An emphasis on a simple design that is comfortable and has clear audio makes them a great choice. Now, there is a new option – the HyperX Cloud III. With new drivers, a slight redesign, and a new microphone, how does this universal wired headset perform for the $100 price point? Be sure to hit the video below to see all of the details.
HyperX Cloud III: Overview
Thanks to a wired connection, the Cloud III features great compatibility. A 3.5mm cable can be extended with a USB-C connection as well as an included USB-A adapter. That means it will work across all consoles, on PCs, laptops, and mobile devices.
A USB connection to a PC also means that EQ on the Cloud III can be tweaked from within the HyperX Ngenuity app.
HyperX Cloud III: Design
While the overall aesthetic of Cloud III is very similar to the older Cloud II, but there are some slight updates.
Where the yoke of the headband attaches to the earcups is slightly different with a smaller attachment point.
Across the headband, the Cloud III has ditched the red stitching.
Despite those small tweaks, HyperX Continues to hit the nail on the head when it comes to comfort. There’s nothing crazy or new here but simple memory foam ear cushions wrapped in a soft leatherette material. That material doesn’t allow much airflow and can eventually get warm when gaming in a hot room. If it’s too warm, picking up a pair of WC Freeze cooling gaming earpads (use code: NINE2FIVE) might be necessary.
I use Cloud Alpha Wireless on my sim rig for these exact reasons. It’s simple and extremely comfortable. The 300-hour battery life doesn’t hurt, either.
HyperX Cloud III: Video
How does it sound?
For the Cloud III, HyperX has new re-engineered 53mm angled drivers that deliver a frequency response of 10Hz-21kHz.
Well beyond the kind of industry standard of 20Hz-20kHz, that extended range lends itself to a massive broad sound.
Right out of the box, the sound is very neutral – not too heavy on bass, mids, or highs. It’s more catered to a detailed competitive gaming experience than a full and immersive sound profile with huge bass.
I could easily see someone who likes a lot of bass not enjoying the stock sound out of the Cloud III. That sound can be adjusted with EQ tweaks on a PC, but those changes are not persistent if the headset is plugged in via the 3.5mm cable.
On that clarity front, though, the Cloud III excels. Positioning is exceptional for gaming. Having a controlled low-end makes picking out audio cues in a cluttered game easy. I had a blast using this headset playing Rush XL on Battlefield 2042, which is one of the most chaotic game modes I’ve ever played.
It’s as clear as some of the flagships we’ve tried recently like the Nova Pro Wireless or the Logitech G X Pro 2 with its incredible graphene drivers, but it is impressive at the price point.
HyperX Cloud III: Audio adjustments
Within the HyperX NGenuity app, a few tweaks can be made to the sound of the Cloud III.
First, are EQ profiles. HyperX includes a few basic presets like bass boost and cut, clarity, and my personal favorite, optimizer.
There aren’t any indicators of how much each slider is able to boost and cut the 10 different bands, but I feel that there could be more headroom available to boost the low end. For bass heads, I’m not even sure that boosting the bass frequency sliders will be enough low-end. For my listening, there is plenty of bass, but there are more bass-focused headsets out there – even the Logitech G Pro X 2 has huge bass with the leatherette ear pads.
Another thing to keep in mind is that EQ presets do not transfer to the headset when plugged in via the 3.5mm connector. It’s great to have a 3.5mm port so that the headset can be used with more devices, but the audio tweaks won’t carry over to your Xbox for example.
The Cloud III also supports DTS:X spatial sound. Like most surround sound modes, I don’t find myself using this while gaming.
The Cloud III’s microphone is simple and sounds fine for this price point, but other gaming headsets like the Corsair HS80 and the new Blackshark V2 Pro ‘23 from Razer have been making huge improvements that make others, like the Cloud III, sound like they are falling behind. And without any further EQ tweaks available in the HyperX NGenuity app, you’re left to use third-party software to make mic adjustments if you need to.
While I believe most people will really enjoy the HyperX Cloud III, a slight price reduction would greatly benefit the new headset. It’s comfortable, sounds good, feels well built, and I appreciate the simple and universal design of it, but there are some great options right around that price point. The Epos H3 remains one of my favorite simple wired headsets for comfort and clarity when gaming. Or, snag the previous generation BlackShark V2 Pro wireless headset for just $30 more.
Granted, HyperX has the recent Stinger 2 Core as a solid budget option at just $39, but if the Cloud III came in at just $10 or $20 less it would be a highly recommended pick in my book.
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