If you’re looking for an affordable wireless headset that plays nice on all your systems, from your PS4 to your PS5, and even your PC, the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless gaming headset is the one for you.
For just $79, the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless offers solid gaming performance, comfortable earpads, seamless wireless connectivity and USB Type-C charging. However, given the price, you’ll have to deal with a cheap design, a bulky headband that makes it difficult to get a comfortable fit and a serious lack of EQ options.
Despite these flaws, the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless is one of the best gaming headsets around, making it a great option for those who want to save some money instead of buying new gear for next-gen systems.
HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless design
The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless’ white shell looks sleek from afar, but up close, its chunky plastic frame looks and feels cheap. The white plastic cups are accented by gray HyperX logos and a narrow strip of blue padding surrounding the ear pads' cushions. (The earpads themselves are blue as well.) The headset looks even thicker due to the way the earcups protrude out slightly on the top half.
Just above the cups is the thick band that feeds into the steel extenders, which can be adjusted incrementally. Atop the band lies an engraved HyperX logo, and just below it, there’s black fabric cushion. Overall, the headset is rigid, and the band doesn’t seem all that durable. When I picked up one side of the headset, it felt flimsy, as if the band could snap with just a bit of pressure.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless has an incredibly basic input/output board. Located on the left earcup, you'll find the power button, a volume rocker, a USB Type-C port for charging and a swivel-to-mute, noise cancelling microphone. Unfortunately, there’s no 3.5-millimeter audio jack.
In the box, you’ll find a USB Type-A 2.4GHz wireless receiver and a USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable for charging. I’ll accept that it doesn’t come with a wall plug-in, but I’m a little frustrated that the charging cable is less than two-feet long.
HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless comfort
The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless’s earpads are relatively comfortable albeit a bit stiff. I played for hours without feeling uncomfortable, but the cushions didn’t soften up, so they present at all times. Meanwhile, the cushion under the band felt fine.
For the price, your ears won't be swathed in pleathery comfort; it will have to endure the earpads' relatively cheap fabric cushion instead. I also encountered difficulties adjusting the headset to get a truly comfortable fit due to a finicky headband and bulky frame. The fit isn’t snug, but it’s not loose either. When I turn my head left or right, the headset stays put.
On the plus side, the headset is lightweight, coming in at 9.7 ounces, so it didn’t weigh my head down. It’s much lighter than the SteelSeries Arctis 9X, which weighs 13.1 ounces.
HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless gaming performance
HyperX outfitted 40mm drivers in the Cloud Stinger Core Wireless. And due to the price, I was expecting so-so audio, but I was impressed by the quality. It does lack some weight, but overall, it provided a solid sound.
In Marvel’s Avengers, a thunderous boom shook my eardrums as I crashed into the ground and shocked the enemies around me as the mighty Thor. It wasn’t harsh, but rather pleasantly thick. My precious Mjolnir emanated satisfying dong sounds with each head I bashed in. Additionally, the balance between sound effects, dialogue and music was balanced.
As I explored in Ghost of Tsushima, I came across a Mongol camp. The low drums and violins began to pick up as I dashed in, slicing and shooting my way through a mob of enemies. My katana swipes were sharp and my piercing arrows were thick. As I rode my way out of the camp, the rustling trees and leaves falling around me sounded atmospheric and natural.
In an attempt to get max level before World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, I hopped on WoW to go questing, wrapping up my work in Draenor. When hunting down some angry orcs, my Fireballs gave off a pleasing sound as they were released, and when they impacted, a soft blast came through the headset. If the bass was more present, it could have given off a thick, reverberating sound.
HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless music performance
Despite being tuned specifically for gaming, the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless presented music well, but the bass and highs overshadowed salient instruments like the vocals.
In Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “My Shot,” there was good separation between the percussion, vocals and keyboard, but the balance was a little off. The vocals were lower than the bassy instruments, but the bass itself lacked depth, so the overall sound wasn’t full. The keyboard was the most prominent instrument as the headset highlighted the highs over mids and lows.
However, when I played Marina's "End of the Earth," the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless excelled due to its efficient management of high sounds, including the vocals, synthetic beats and keyboard. In this song, the vocals were crisp, rising above the rest of the instruments while not overshadowing the bassy beats.
But when I listened to Willow’s “Wait a Minute!”, the vocals took a backseat to the percussion, which was relatively sharp and prominent throughout the entire song. Despite that, the vocals were full and clear. It’s unfortunate that the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless doesn’t have an audio-tuning app.
HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless microphone
HyperX outfitted the Cloud Stinger Core Wireless with a swivel-to-mute uni-directional, noise-cancelling microphone.
When I tested it, my voice sounded relatively clear, albeit a bit muddy. The noise cancelling isn’t perfect; I heard my dog's squeak toy in the background while I tested the headset. Additionally, when I played a video on my phone and placed it a few feet away from me, the microphone picked it up. It would’ve been nice to have a built-in playback feature so I could hear my own voice as well as what’s around me.
HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless features
The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless utilizes its wireless capabilities via a 2.4GHz USB wireless receiver, which you can connect to your PC or PS4. I tested the headset on both systems and I experienced no issues.
In terms of battery life, the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless will net you up to 17 hours, according to HyperX. I played Marvel's Avengers for several days, enjoying four-to-six hour play sessions, before I had to charge the headset, so HyperX's battery-life claim seems credible.
Unfortunately, the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless doesn’t have any EQ features, so you can’t customize the sound. You're unfortunately stuck with its factory-set sound, and while it doesn't sound bad, it could use some tuning.
If you’re on a tight budget, but want to untangle yourself from the burden on wires, the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless headset is a great option. It offers quality sound for gaming, great wireless performance and a pair of comfortable earpads. However, it’s frustrating to get a good fit and the lack of EQ options is a missed opportunity.
SteelSeries has its own cheap wireless headset called the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless, which costs $99. It comes with several adapters and an app EQ settings. However, its wireless receiver is a USB Type-C dongle designed specifically for phones and the Nintendo Switch. While it comes with an adapter for USB Type-A ports, it might be a bit of a hassle.
Overall, the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless is a great gaming headset to purchase if you need cheap wireless gaming in your life.