Adoption of 2.4Ghz wireless tech is starting to show up in gaming headsets and all for good reason.
HyperX’s Cloud Stinger Core Wireless is the latest one on the block and it’s also launching right after the fantastic JBL Quantum 600 which we reviewed a month ago. In hindsight, the asking price of the Quantum 600 was ₹16,999 but now JBL has slashed the prices on their website and its selling for ₹12,999. The discounted pricing brings JBL’s gaming headsets close to these Cloud Stinger Core Wireless (₹9,990) and sparks a fierce competition to aid your virtual firefights.
Every time you hold the Cloud Stinger Core, you’re reminded of what a hollow plastic body feels like. We would say that HyperX skimped out on the build quality but that’s a conscious choice. The struggle to keep this lightweight and durable is evident albeit a job done well. We just don’t like touching it a lot. The hollow insides are unlike a ₹10K headset and these should definitely feel better.
It’s also truly wireless and lacks a 3.5mm audio jack. So, your only option for connection is the 2.4Ghz dongle. The headset sports a volume scroll wheel, a power button and a flip-up to mute boom mic.
It’s quite comfortable as well, more so than the heavy JBL. The breathable mesh on the earcups and headband cushion is very comfortable and easy on the ears. Even the clamping is spot on. Recommending the Cloud Stinger for a gaming marathon is easy.
However, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of audio quality. The 7.1 surround sound is not as sharp as we’d like it to be for competitive gaming. In competitive rounds of Valorant, we were unable to accurately pinpoint footsteps and their distance. The information is somewhat available but is not as accurate as on the JBLs. Especially in close proximity, the headsets lose a sense of direction.
The sound is harsh with a great deal of focus on highs. We played Brother by Matt Corby and the headsets make a mess of the percussion set. Many times hushing the drama in Corby’s voice while amping up the lower frequencies.
The full-body sound from the JBL is far superior. And even while gaming, the JBL’s QuantumEngine software does a far better job at applying pinpoint accuracy. HyperX’s NGenuity software is empty, to say the least. There’s no EQ setting or a battery percentage indicator. You have to figure out that for yourself from its vaguely described Low, Medium and High givings. The headsets themselves ain’t smart at describing battery life. A solid green LED dot is 90% to 100% whereas anything above 15% up until 90% is blinking green. To be fair to HyperX, these can charge while you’re playing, something the JBL cannot but JBLs make up for it with fast charge. These, however, lack fast charge.
HyperX’s pricing is a bit too steep for the number of features it brings to the table. Even if the build quality is forgiven for the lightweight and easy fit, the sound quality doesn’t match up to the standards. Even our three-year-old SteelSeries Arctis 5 has aged well in terms of audio.
Key features like fast charge and a clear battery indicator haven’t been addressed here. HyperX claims a battery life of 17hrs and we got somewhere around that count.