Sometimes it feels like gaming headsets have just gotten a bit too extra recently, with everything from superfluous RGB lighting to built-in rumble motors. When I’m trying to pick out an excellent wireless gaming headset, I’m not asking for much. I’m looking for comfort, solid audio, strong battery life and connectivity, and a straightforward design. That’s pretty much it. And by updating its classic wired Cloud headset with new wireless support, the HyperX Cloud II Wireless is a great example of a simple wireless gaming headset done right.
Starting with its design, the Cloud II Wireless is practically a carbon copy of the standard wired Cloud headset, which definitely isn’t a bad thing. A couple years ago when I rounded up the best gaming headsets under $100, the original HyperX Cloud finished in second, barely falling short of SteelSeries’ Arctis 5, mostly because during long gaming sessions of three hours or more, I found the Arctis 5 was more breathable and just a tad more comfortable. But it was really close.
With the Cloud II Wireless, you get more of the same, including a sturdy aluminum headband with ample padding and soft memory foam earcups. HyperX also includes a handy on/off button, mute button, and volume wheel right on the headset, which may seem a bit spartan, but covers all of the most important functions. Adding a game/chat balance dial like you get on some other wireless headsets would have been nice, though.
Like its predecessor, the Cloud II Wireless features a closed-back design that offers good passive noise cancellation. Just be careful you don’t start talking louder when you put them on because it’s harder to hear yourself, which is something I did (much to my wife’s dismay) when I switched away from my regular semi-open-backed cans. Throughout their audio range, the Cloud II Wireless sounded tight and crisp, without any of the muddy lows that I sometimes encounter on other brands. In fact, while you can use the free HyperX app to tweak various audio settings or turn on the HyperX’s virtual 7.1 surround sound feature, the Cloud II Wireless were actually set up so well out of the box that I used them for several days before ever connecting them to the app. I just plugged in the wireless dongle to my PC, turned on the headset, and started gaming. There was essentially no setup required, how simple is that?
As for mic performance, as on the standard Cloud headset, the Cloud II Wireless features a detachable microphone that sits at the end of a bendy boom, which sounded bright and clear. HyperX includes some built-in noise-cancelling tech to help cut down on ambient background noise, which I found generally effective but not terribly profound. That said, I have to admit that in a side-by-side test with a Blue Yeti stand mic, the HyperX didn’t capture as many of the finer details in my voice, with many of my friends on Discord saying my speech sounded a bit flat. But honestly, that’s OK, because those two mics are built for different purposes. When I’m gaming, I ‘m more concerned with being easily understood than anything else, because in the middle of a raid or a big firefight, I don’t really care about a mic capturing the all the nasal sounds in my speech.
But to me, the most impressive thing about the Cloud II Wireless is how good its battery life and wireless connection are. HyperX claims the Cloud II Wireless should last about 30 hours on a charge, and in my experience that’s pretty spot on, as I only needed to charge it once every two weeks, though obviously that may vary depending on how much you game every day.
As for its wireless connection, HyperX says the Cloud II Wireless range is up to 20 meters (around 65 feet). In my testing, I couldn’t even find a place in my 1,000-square-foot apartment where the audio cut out, so I had to physically leave my home and walk down to the elevator on my floor before sound began to drop.
My only complaints about the HyperX Cloud II Wireless boil down to a few minor quibbles. The first is that the USB-A to USB-C charging cable that comes included is only about two feet long, which means it’s not really long enough to use if you want to use the headset while it’s charging. The other is that unlike SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless, which comes with a USB-C dongle, the Cloud II Wireless uses a USB-A wireless dongle, which doesn’t really work with the Nintendo Switch in handheld mode, though you can plug the dongle into the Switch’s dock, which does have a USB-A port.
This means the Cloud II Wireless is mainly a headset for PC or PS4 gamers. And while it doesn’t say so on the box, the Cloud II Wireless also worked just fine when I plugged it into a PS5. Unfortunately, because Microsoft uses a proprietary signal for wireless audio, the Cloud II Wireless (like a lot of wireless headsets) doesn’t play nice with Xboxes.
Finally, with a price tag of $150, the Cloud II Wireless is also slightly more expensive than some of its budget wireless competitors. But to me, that’s not really a big deal, because everything the Cloud II Wireless does, it does well. It’s got a clean, sturdy design, good audio, a crisp-sounding detachable mic, and better battery life and a stronger audio connection than I could ask for. If you just want a simple, well-made wireless gaming headset, the Cloud II Wireless is it.
- The Cloud II Wireless has around 30 hours of battery and wireless range of up to 20 meters.
- Because the Cloud II Wireless relies on a USB-A dongle for its connection, it’s not a great pick to pair with a phone.
- The Cloud II Wireless is compatible with PCs, the Nintendo Switch (when docked), the PS4, and even though it’s not listed on the box, the PS5 too. But not Xbox.
- The included USB-A to USB-C charging cable is only two feet long, which means it’s a bit short if you want to keep using the headset while it’s charging.