For gamers, finding the right headset is quite the timesink. However, it’s my belief that finding the best headset for the job rather than the best headset itself is the most productive approach. As such, for the price, the best all-purpose or gaming headset for first-timers would be HyperX’s Cloud Stinger.
From a comfort standpoint, the headset is like a cushion on your head. The 90-degree rotatable ear cups snugly fit on the sides, compensating for almost any angle humanly possible. The memory foam cup covers are ideal for long-term use.
A real concern is whether it would give your neck a crick from its weight. Thankfully, it weighs only 275 gram — slightly heavier than a typical smartphone — so your neck won’t feel a thing. There were times I’d look around for my headset only to realise I was wearing it!
With its 3.5mm jack, the HyperX Cloud Stinger works on virtually every gadget — from cutting-edge smartphones today to any dusty 10-year laptop tucked away in your attic. Some gadgets may treat mic and speaker inputs separately, so you may need an audio splitter.
I’m not a fan of flexible/detachable mics, out of fear of loose cables or lost mics, so the HyperX Cloud Stinger was perfect for me. Saying that, the audio output quality is as you’d expect from most headset mics. It is better than your average pair of earphones, but as flat as a high-quality walkie-talkie.
The annoyances get stronger with the foam padding and the connection cable. The padding’s layer can wear quickly, leaving flecks on the ground. So you’ll need a new pair to get the foam cups replaced. Also, the cable is so long; I don’t know why they don’t ship it with its own velcro band. I would recommend getting one lest you unintentionally run over your own headset’s cable with your computer chair.
Durability is the weakest aspect to the HyperX Cloud Stinger. While it can handle a few drops and falls, the cheap material can still give away and cause wear-and-tear, especially with the weak swivel mechanism in the mic. My headset’s mic often snaps down when I mute, even when moving my head ever so slightly. The final nail in the coffin was when the left speaker began to sputter white noise.
But the drawbacks all began to show by the time I hit the end of Year 3 with the headset. So if you can last that long with a single headset, it’s worth watching out for those inconveniences, and get the headset serviced at least once before considering getting a replacement.
VERDICT: The HyperX Cloud Stinger is the most economically accessible headset for gamers. It’s far from perfect, but it’s darn near to what every entry-level person is looking for. I give it a solid eight out of 10.