HyperX Cloud MIX Rose Gold Edition Review
A new color, and a new perspective for 2019
NOTE: HyperX kindly sent me an evaluation unit of this headset to review or discuss as I saw fit, alongside marketing assets and information. No money changed hands. I have full editorial control over this review and any other articles I choose to write, and it was in no way reviewed by anyone but myself before publishing.
As per my reviews policy, this article will never be monetized, but other content I write in the future about this product, such as comparisons or additional analysis, might be.
When the HyperX Cloud MIX first launched last year, I was surprised at its new higher price point, but ultimately impressed with it as a product.
This is HyperX’s take on the “Lifestyle headset.”
On the outside it’s a small, portable Bluetooth headphone with an impressively light weight, but it also packs in all the features you’d expect of a premium wired gaming headset, with hi-res certification along for the ride for good measure.
It’s kind of like buying two discrete headphones engineered into one small body, which I imagine is what lead to the name.
This new Rose Gold color gives it a much cooler look than its original Black color scheme.
I was surprised to see HyperX launch their slick portable product last year without their trademark shock red color accents.
While gaming headsets have started to trend towards more muted designs, bright colors are still all the rage in the style headphone space.
As a fan of things that come in fun colors, I really like the look of this headset.
Fortunately it also has quality performance characteristics under the hood, even a year after its original launch.
The HyperX Cloud MIX Rose Gold Edition has an MSRP of $199, and comes with a healthy number of accessories.
In the box, you get the headset itself, a handful of manuals, and a new white accessories package. That’s right, every cord, the microphone, and the bag are now recolored to match the headset.
The only cord that’s a little lacking is the short 0.5m micro USB cable. Some will be disappointed at its length, others that it’s not using USB-C. I don’t mind this personally because I don’t waste a lot of time thinking about the USB ports companies decide to use, and I’ve already got a million ways to charge USB devices within a few feet of me at any one time.
Aside from the short charging cord, you get a 1.3m 3.5mm audio cable and a 2m PC extension cable, for use with sound cards that have dedicated microphone and headphone jacks. A flexible detachable boom mic and white cloth bag round out the package.
SOUND QUALITY AND BLUETOOTH PERFORMANCE
Impressively, in spite of the smaller overall size, smaller 40mm drivers, and Bluetooth support, the Cloud MIX largely replicates the sound signature of HyperX’s Cloud Alpha headset.
This means you’ll get a gently-boosted but wonderfully accurate bass, a mostly-flat midrange with the upper mids gently scooped to avoid fatigue, and highs that are present but never harsh. The result is a sound signature ever-so-slightly tilted towards the warm end of the spectrum, which is great for portable use and fun for single player games, but those that want a ton of bright treble energy might need to reach for their own EQ software.
I think these sound great overall, and as with the Alphas before them, the Cloud MIX’s sound highlight is their luscious bass response thanks to the dual chamber design of the ear cups.
The soundstage isn’t the widest in the world thanks in part to the closed design, but still has a good amount of an “out-of-the-head” feeling so you’ll be able to pick out directional cues in games just fine.
If you listen in Bluetooth mode, the sound quality takes a very slight hit, but it’s mostly due to the compression used. Unless you have the most golden ears or you start listening to isolated high frequency tones just as weirdos like me enjoy doing, you won’t notice a big change in the audio.
That’s great, and makes it clear that the Bluetooth mode wasn’t just a secondary afterthought. The headset uses a Bluetooth 4.3 receiver, and in addition to basic legacy SBC support it also features the better-sounding AAC and AptX codecs, and it will support AptX LL for low latency connections…though I don’t have any devices to test that last one with.
HyperX rates the battery at 20 hours tested at medium volume, and after using it for the last five days I can say that’s absolutely right. As long as you don’t go much past the halfway point for volume, you might even get a couple hours beyond that.
Unless you’re a fan of the loudest possible sound reproduction, you shouldn’t have to go much past that mark either, as the built-in amp gets impressively loud. They’re sensitive enough in wired mode that you shouldn’t have any trouble powering them without special equipment, either.
Overall then, this is a great-sounding headset and the slight warmth is perfect for both immersive gaming and portable music use.
In a word: Phenomenal.
Before this review, I hadn’t used a Cloud MIX in a few months. I enjoyed my original pair I purchased last year enough to make it my main headset for a while, but then as I often do, I sold it to make room for more headphones because the quest must go on.
On taking this pair out of the box, I shouted “THESE ARE LIGHT” to absolutely no one.
Weighing just 260g (a little over half a pound) without the boom mic attached, and a tiny bit more with it plugged in, these are aggressively light.
I wasn’t sure about the smaller design when I first took a look at these last year, but now it’s apparent to me: this headset is built for comfort and portability first.
Weight is just half of the comfort equation.
HyperX knows how to cover a headset with memory foam, and here they give you a ton of it. The headband is covered in a very dense, slow-rebound foam. The ear cushions are deep, and surprisingly large for the small size of the cups.
Even though the openings look like they’d be too small for my ears on first glance, the tapered edges and massive depth mean that they fit over my ears just fine and I can easily wear them for hours.
I have a larger head and yet I’ve still got two extra clicks of adjustment on the MIX’s sliders.
Unless you have the absolute biggest head and biggest ears, I’ll wager these will fit you a lot better than you think they will. They look a little small, but they pay dividends with their light weight and exceptional padding.
Isolation is good in spite of a gentler-than-average clamp, thanks probably to the thick foam of the ear pads. I had no trouble using these during my standard “sit in a loud coffee shop for three hours listening to music” test, and I had to be careful not to shout when one of the baristas asked me if I wanted some water.
These will “disappear” on most users’ heads and are well-suited to long listening sessions.
I think the Rose Gold color makes this the nicest-looking headset HyperX has released in a while.
Like the best Rose Golds, it strikes a good balance between pink and gold and the shade changes subtly depending on the way the light hits it. The white is also bright and satiny without being blinding.
The overall design is the classic HyperX frame. It has a metal headband core, metal forks holding on the ear cups, and metal-backed ear cups. The plastic around the sides of the cups and the headband adjustments has a soft-touch feel to it.
If you’re sensitive to creaking and squeaking, this headset exhibits neither. It’s a portable product you can be confident actually using, at least after my week of testing. If I have any personal issues in the future, I’ll update this review.
The ear pads are easily removable and replaceable. I pried one off and was delighted to discover that the driver appears to be coated in some type of metal. This is occasionally done to help lower the distortion of diaphragms, but it’s not something I’d usually expect to see on a gaming product.
The reflective look of the driver reminded me of the Titanium-coated drivers used on the old Sony MDR100-AAP, and those on an AKG model I’ll be reviewing later this week. I can’t say for sure what kind of metal was used, but it was neat to see it at all.
The detachable mic has a nice white and gray color scheme and features a good balance of vocal clarity and acoustic noise cancellation. When used wired, you’ll sound good enough for any type of voice application. When used over Bluetooth, the boom mic loses a good bit of quality due to the Bluetooth compression but retains its ability to cancel out the background.
The headset also has a built-in omnidirectional mic for taking phone calls without using the boom. It doesn’t sound as good but it gets the job done.
The HyperX Cloud MIX is a great-sounding, compact, well-designed Bluetooth headphone and wired gaming headset.
I can only level one reasonable complaint at it: It totally lacks the ability to mix together the Bluetooth and wired audio signals. That’s one specific use case, and if that’s what you’re looking to do, then this isn’t the right choice for you.
Otherwise, you’re getting a small, portable, comfortable headset with nice-sounding fully-implemented Bluetooth and wired modes, that’s also a full wired gaming headset compatible with all the major platforms. And it has hi-res support when wired if you’ve got the content and hardware to use it.
A year on from launch, that’s still a rather unique list of features. Depending on the codec used, it even competes well with the headphones on this list, and might perhaps make a future update.
This is clearly designed to be a “Buy-one-and-done” sort of product for those shopping for both a light Bluetooth headphone and a gaming headset, and for those not buying a million headphones to collect and review them like me.
It has the premium build, codec support, comfort, design, and feature set I’d expect from a style headphone, and it’s also a really great example of what HyperX’s gaming headsets are all about.
I hope that in the future HyperX releases this in more colors and makes a go of taking over a bigger chunk of the style headphone market. More color options are always better. And a Cloud MIX 2 with a dual-listening option and one of those surround dongles everyone always asks me about would be amazing.
I’ll be publishing a headphone showdown/mini round-up later this week to discuss how it compares to comparably-priced gaming headsets and Bluetooth headphones that I have experience with, and to talk more about how its place in the market has changed in the year since its initial launch.