Is the HyperX Cloud II Still Worth It in 2022?
The HyperX Cloud II is the gaming headset that simply will not die — and one that I’ve covered more than almost any other tech product aside from the M50X headphones. It first launched in 2015, itself a revision of the original Cloud headset, which was itself a revision of a QPad product called the QH90. The QH90 was itself a Takstar Pro 80 OEM headphone with a mic stuck to it.
The Cloud II just keeps selling and selling, in spite of the wider market and HyperX themselves both offering better options for the same unmoving $99 price point. That’s right, this thing still goes for its $99 launch price even though it’s over seven years old.
Now, the Cloud II did get a stealth revision in the last couple of years; the model you can buy right now isn’t exactly the one that launched in 2015. The soft touch material on the ear cups was replaced with a basic matte plastic. The headband ornamentation and design are simpler. The slope of the ear cups and the port for the mic were tweaked, making the older mic incompatible with the newer headset. And finally, the current model no longer includes a carrying bag or a little rubber plug to cover the mic jack when it’s not in use.
If you’ve ever journeyed down into the nightmare rabbit hole of tech enthusiast boards or reddit, you might discover people who are convinced that this newer revision sounds worse than the old one, but I can tell you — they’re absolutely wrong. The current pairs sound identical to the launch models, with identical mic performance as well. I’m guessing that anyone noticing sound differences compared their new one to a well-used pair with older, crushed, worn out pads. Padding quality makes big changes to sound.
In spite of solid sound performance and comfort, I don’t think the Cloud II is worth anywhere close to the $99 it still commands in the market today. It’s disappointing that the lackluster dongle never saw any improvements over the years, and it’s a bummer that the carrying bag is no longer included for gamers on the go. Its tinny microphone (I recorded a new sample here for some reason) also isn’t that great in today’s market. And detachable cables are the norm at this price.