Headphone Showdown: HyperX Cloud II (Takstar Pro 80) VS Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 Ohm
It’s Wednesday, and it’s time for the headphone showdown!
Today, it’s the original versus the copy. The legend versus the upstart. The German-manufactured studio standard versus the Chinese-manufactured and American-redesigned gaming headset.
Let’s get into it
HyperX Cloud II($99)- Made by Kingston, and re-engineered from the Takstar Pro 80. The Pro 80, as you might imply from the name, is a clone of the other headphone in this showdown, but made and sold for less money. Most models in the base HyperX Cloud line, such as the Cloud Core, CloudX, and Cloud, are the same headphone as this model. I’ll get into that more below.
Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 Ohm (~$140)- Beyerdynamic has been in the headphone game for a long time, and is a trusted name in studio and pro gear. The DT770 has a multi-decade legacy, and for good reason. I’ll talk about the other models available in this same family below.
If you look at measurement charts for these, the Cloud II comes impressively close to the DT770. They have a similar general curve, with a similar dip in the upper mids.
But as always, measurements don’t tell the whole story.
The Cloud II/Takstar is a very good-sounding headphone, especially for the price. It has a shockingly-neutral midrange, decent bass especially when paired with the included leatherette pads, and sparkly, grainy highs. However, the mids have a bit of a hollow/”cupped hands” sound to them, and the grain in the upper range is not going to be to everyone’s liking.
The DT770 has neither of those issues, and has deeper, less distorted sub-bass extension. The highs are a little more precise, and effective for studio work.
Let’s talk soundstage. The Cloud II/Takstar has good soundstage, and the DT770 has the best soundstage I’ve heard in a closed headphone. Even better than the digitally-enhanced soundstage of the Bose QC35. And that’s saying something.
None of this is meant to imply that the Cloud II/Pro 80 is a bad headphone sound-wise. It’s not. Not at all. In fact, it’s a great headphone for its price. The DT770 is just better-sounding.
Both headphones have a similar design…not surprising since the Cloud II/Takstar is a clone of the DT770. The Cloud II has oval-shaped ear cups, and the DT770 has circular cups. Other than that, they look quite similar in terms of design.
Both are subtle enough to be worn in public. Which is great.
The build on both pairs is nigh-identical. Impressive, considering the Clouds are a clone. They both feature metal headbands. They both feature metal scoops that attach the plastic ear cups. They both feature a permanently attached cable. Lame!
The Cloud lineup usually comes with a braided cloth cable. The original Takstar Pro 80 features a more traditional cable with a tough metal connector. The Clouds have a shorter cord, at about 4 feet, instead of the 10 foot cable of the DT770.
Both models have easily-replaceable pads. The DT770 has a replaceable headband pad, attached with snaps.
I like the fact that the DT770 has a replaceable headband pad…but honestly, it’d be unfair of me to give the nod to it just for that, since the build quality is so close. I’d feel totally comfy throwing both of these in my backpack.
You’d think that the Cloud II/Takstar, with its oval-shaped pads and cups, would be more comfy…but it’s more complicated than that.
Every HyperX Cloud headset uses memory foam padding. Which is great. They love to talk about in on their boxes, and they should. It’s real-deal memory foam. That means that you’ll have to let it settle on your head for several minutes to achieve proper comfort, but once you do, it’s quite pleasant.
The Beyerdynamics use a more traditional foam, and a circular ear pad. I’ve had issues with circular ear pads in the past, but these are great. They fit perfectly around my ear and have plenty of depth, and instant comfort. The velour covering is nice and cozy, but without the sweat-inducing properties of traditional leatherette ear pads.
As if to mimic the DT770 even further, many HyperX Cloud bundles include a set of velour ear pads. They’re decent, but not as good as the DT770 pads.
If you’ve got a big head and/or wear glasses, like I do…quite simply, the DT770 is more comfy. I can barely wear the Cloud II with its cups fully extended. It is not a big headphone by any stretch of the imagination, and will work best on small to medium heads.
On the DT770, I have bit of extra adjustment room, as the cups extend further. I could also replace all the padding if I wanted to…but the included pads work great. Also, the circular nature of the ear cups means that you can place the headband anywhere you want on the top of your head, and still get a good fit with the cups. The oval-shaped cups on the Cloud II require the headphone to sit in one specific place for the best fit.
The Cloud II is still a comfy headphone, especially thanks to its memory foam. But it’s smaller, and not quite as stable on my head as the DT770. And nothing beats the trademark Beyerdynamic pads. They’re shockingly good at the next category, too…
Normally, leatherette pads isolate better than velour pads, because the leatherette seals better to your face skin. You can test this yourself with the Cloud II by comparing the isolation of the two included pairs of pads.
However. Something about the DT770 pads must be magical, because they isolate exceptionally well. Putting them on and then taking them off in my local cafe produces a “wow” sensation about 80 percent as good as my Bose QC35 noise-cancelling headphones.
I have no idea how Beyerdynamic’s velour pads that isolate so well. Maybe it’s the foam? Maybe it’s the type of velour? Maybe it’s the clamp?
The Cloud II’s still isolate well enough for loud-environments, but the DT770 takes it here.
The Cloud II is more portable thanks to its shorter cable. Its oval-shaped ear cups make it look a little more like a “standard” headphone design.
I’ve done just fine hauling the DT770 around with its long flexible cord. I just coil up the cord and plop it on the table behind my laptop. But some people might not like doing that.
Winner: Cloud II
The Cloud II is marketed as a gaming headset, and as such comes with some extra stuff. It has a second pair of velour pads. It has a detachable, really good microphone. It has a small USB sound card. It comes with a bag, or in the case of the CloudX, a hard case!
On the other hand, the DT770 comes with one of the most laughable bags I’ve ever seen. It’s a thin vinyl thing with a luggage tag on the front of it. It…works, and it’s hilarious, but it’s the only extra.
Winner: Cloud II
The Cloud II has a little bit lower impedance rating, and a higher sensitivity, in spite of being based on the “Takstar Pro 80.” It’s easier to drive to a good volume with a phone, a computer, or a game console controller.
The DT770 responds well to an amp, but will still work okay out of a computer or a phone. I tried running them off a PS4 controller jack and they’re a little quiet compared to other models, but the PS4 controller doesn’t put much juice out to headphones. Plus, the PS4 supports several USB amps.
Winner: Cloud II, because you don’t need an amp
Overall Winner: TIE
I contemplated adding another category so that the DT770’s could win this, because I personally like them a little bit more thanks to their improved sound quality and the way they fit on my head.
But there’s no denying the value present in the Cloud II. Speaking of which…let’s talk different models really quick:
Models of Cloud based on Pro 80:
Cloud Core: Includes the basic headset and mic, and it’s cheaper.
Cloud II: Focus of the showdown above. Includes a big bag and a sound card and a mic and extra pads. One of the best values on the market.
CloudX: Has Xbox branding. Includes a hard case. Yes! And no sound card. Understandable.
Models of the DT770:
The DT770 comes in 32 Ohm, 80 Ohm, and 250 Ohm versions. All have the same basic driver, but a different enclosure and cable. The 32 Ohm version has leatherette pads and a 4 foot cable, and is designed for mobile use. The 250 Ohm version has a coiled cable.
They all try to mimic the same sound signature, but there are apparently differences due to the way the drivers are damped. I haven’t heard the other two versions personally.
And there you have it! Thanks so much for reading this!