Laptop Mag Verdict
The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 offers a quality soundscape packed into a $50 headset. If you can look past the coarse bass and occasionally uncomfortable design, you could save hundreds of bucks and come out satisfied.
Crisp audio quality
Can get quite loud
Design could be more comfortable
Microphone offers mixed results
Why you can trust Laptop Mag
The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 is a solid headset that prioritizes the safety of your wallet first, boasting a price point as low as $49.99. With its clear audio and decent gaming performance, the Stinger 2 is a great choice if you’re seeking something practical without breaking the bank, but also don’t want to forgo a quality soundscape.
But if you’re used to premium headsets, you will quickly register its less-than-excellent sound quality and flimsy plastic exterior. You get what you pay for, so as long as you understand this is a budget headset that won’t work any miracles, you won’t come out disappointed.
HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 price and availability
The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 costs $49.99 and offers a single style with a black exterior. No other variations are available, but the previous Stinger featured a pink color, so it’s possible this model will eventually add more color options.
HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 design
Few will fall in love with HyperX Cloud Stinger 2’s design. It’s primarily practical, offering little color (besides a red volume wheel) with no unique staples atop its simple, plastic make. There is a sleekness to the outside of its ear cups where the HyperX logo protrudes slightly among a pattern of diagonal lines, but beyond that, the design embodies the phrase “gaming headset” in the most generic way.
The first time I picked the Stinger 2 up, my initial reaction was that it felt hollow. The plastic exterior lacks a heftiness that would normally seem fitting for its size. In particular, the leatherette cups are a little too thin and could use more filling. The thin cushion at the bottom of the headband is similarly thin.
On the other hand, the benefit of this results in a lighter weight. Coming in at 10.3 ounces, the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 is slightly lighter than the Pulse 3D Wireless Headset (10.4 ounces) and SteelSeries Arctis 7P+ (10.7 ounces).
There are markings atop the headband, visible through an opening showcasing distances between 0 and 60. This makes it easy to readjust the headset to the position that’s most comfortable after a little bit of experimentation.
The Stinger 2 is not just simple in design, but also in functionality: there’s only one button in the form of a volume wheel at the bottom of the right cup. And because it’s a wired headset, the single port is the 3.5mm headphone jack. We’ve reviewed plenty of the best gaming headsets if you’re looking for something wireless.
HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 comfort
The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 is nowhere near as comfortable as my Razer BlackShark V2 Pro, and this mostly has to do with the thickness of the ear cups and headbands. The Stinger 2’s ear cups feel thin when squeezed, and as it’s wrapped over my ears, there’s a noticeable pressure that takes away from the comfort. Additionally, only half of the headband is cushioned, which is pretty annoying when it’s atop my head.
The shape of the headset doesn’t conform to my skull very well. It benefits from its lightweight, making the shape noticeable, but it’s not necessarily uncomfortable. You’re not going to feel like a cloud is cushioning you with something at this price, but at the very least, it’s not an overwhelming weight like some $300 headsets can be.
Manually adjusting the headset helps make things a little more comfortable. A tighter fit causes the uncushioned plastic bits of the headband to press against my head, but if I let it hang loose, only the cushioned portion rests on my head. However, this isn’t very comfortable either; having the headset supported in weight partially by my ears is a little awkward. I’ve had to readjust the headset and remove it multiple times to get the plastic part of the headband to no longer press against my head. And even when that’s not happening, it’s not super comfortable around the ears.
HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 gaming performance
The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 boasts 50mm drivers and is compatible with PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. By plugging the audio jack into the controller, you can both speak and listen while playing. It’s also compatible with PC and mobile phones, as long as either has an audio jack.
I booted up Disney Dreamlight Valley and as I stepped into my village, I was quickly struck by the pouring rain and thunder reverberating between the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2’s earcups. The blissfully melancholic soundtrack that accompanied this moment was presented beautifully through the speaker systems, and whenever I interacted with other villagers, I could hear them loud and clear. There is a slight scratchiness to the audio quality, especially in regards to more bassy sounds like rain, but it’s quite good for a budget headset.
I booted up my PS5 and was taken aback by how overwhelmingly bassy navigating the menu sounded. Nonetheless, I hopped on Ghost of Tsushima and rode my horse through an expansive forest of yellow trees, hearing his hooves clop against the mud as birds chirped graciously. It was pleasant enough to listen to, but as nature's symphony embraced my headphones, it was a little underwhelming. There's a flatness to every rustling bush, every buzzing bee, and every line of dialogue that clearly makes this a step down from premium headsets. It will sound decent enough for most consumers, but I would never use something like this long-term.
I returned to the dashboard and selected Deathloop; I once again felt a scratchiness when listening to the sounds of the Bethesda and Arkane logos screens. It's borderline headache-inducing. Deathloop features a soundscape with tons of radio-esque sounds, and while they normally come across fine, it's obnoxious after a while.
I jumped into the Karl's Bay area and listened closely to the dialogue between Colt and Julianna, which actually sounded great! Their voices were clear and easily distinguishable, while the casual background music was easy to hear and not overpowering. I decided to go guns blazing, pulling out my automatic pistol and pushing through waves and waves of enemies. Each bullet was weighty and impactful, although the fireworks were, once again, a little too bassy.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 offers solid audio quality for its price, but bassy sounds come across as coarse and when too many things are happening at once, the sound lacks depth.
HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 features
The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 comes with a two-year subscription of DTS, which allows compatible headphones to unlock the sound of immersive audio. Unfortunately, we were unable to get the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 to work with it at the time of writing, so we won’t be commenting further on its quality. We’ll update this section if we can get DTS working.
HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 music performance
The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2’s audio won’t make you jump up and down with joy, but it is sufficient enough for quality music listening sessions. Instruments don’t get lost against one another, melodies sound clear, and voices are crisp. However, I did find myself getting a headache after listening for too long, which never happens on my primary headset.
I began by listening to “Tek It” by Cafuné, and quickly got lost in its enchanting, poppy opening. Singer Sedona Schat’s vocals reverberated between the headphones clearly, while the accompanying drums and guitar came across with a satisfying crispness. I did, however, notice coarseness behind hi-hats that were most offensive when many instruments were layered over one another.
I then moved onto “Opheliac” by Emilie Autumn, and its extended harpsichord opening sounded great over the speakers. But as soon as Autumn began singing, her voice seemed a little vacant. Regardless, the track’s dense collection of chaotic instruments were pleasant to listen to, and when she began her raspy shouting, it all came together well.
I ended with “Buckingham Green” by Ween, a song that makes its presence clear with an overpowering yet staticy voice accompanied by repetitive guitar plucking. This opening section of the track sounded great, presenting both melodies clearly and powerfully. However, as soon as the electric guitar entered the song, it lacked heft. There’s a notable depth missing from when many instruments are playing at once; they don’t necessarily get lost against each other, but they do sound a little worse.
HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 microphone
The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 boasts a crisp and clear noise-canceling microphone, but that’s only if you can get it to register your voice at a decent audio level. I've had mixed results with the microphone's levels; sometimes it projects loud and clear, while other times it's a little low.
You might have better luck with this microphone, but regardless, you'll want to consider checking out the best microphones if you purchase the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2, although that would take away from the point of this being a primarily practical headset that is meant to save you money.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 is a solid headset that will find popularity in the budget audio market. You’re probably not going to fall in love with anything outside of its $50 price tag, but if you need quality over-the-ear gaming headphones and aren’t looking to spend an absolute ton, this is a great choice.
However, I can’t recommend the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 to anyone with expensive tastes. If you’re used to premium audio quality (on headphones that would go for $150+), don’t want a cheap plastic feel, and expect to be cushioned by a cloud, this is not going to satisfy you. You get what you pay for, but for $50, the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 is pretty damn good.
Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Momo finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Momo is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.