The Best Gaming Headset No One Asks Me About

I still use this light feature-packed flagship all the time

Photo taken by Alex Rowe.

very week, I receive numerous unsolicited questions about which gaming headset is “the best” from folks I’ve never met. I then have to try and suss out what their personal tastes are and guide them in the right direction, if I can. Since I’ve been doing this for a while, certain patterns have emerged, and today I’d like to share a big hole I’ve noticed.

Well over half the time, the HyperX Cloud Alpha comes up in these conversations. I’m not surprised. HyperX has done their job on the marketing side, establishing the Alpha as a current gold standard of gaming audio. It deserves that praise. It’s a well-tuned headset with a fair $99 price point, the current “sweet spot” for this type of consumer audio gear.

Some readers want to go bigger, and ask about about flagship products, those that reach beyond the average price point and pack in extra features or promises of high-end audio reproduction. In this tier, people usually ask about the Steelseries Arctis Pro, the Cloud Orbit, or sometimes even the Corsair Virtuoso. I understand why in all three cases, as they’re all headsets I personally enjoyed that indeed offer additional features to justify the extra cash.

However, no one ever asks me about the HyperX Cloud MIX. And I don’t understand why.

First launched in 2018, I was initially skeptical of the Cloud MIX (official product page). It was the first “flagship-level” product that HyperX ever released, and although it blended together the best aspects of their wired gaming headsets and modern Bluetooth headphones, it doesn’t actually allow users to “Mix” the two inputs together, making its name a little bit strange on the surface.

However, when I revisited the headset last year with additional perspective under my belt, it was eye-opening. What I found was a light, well-engineered headset with phenomenal sound quality and one of the most comfortable fits of any gaming product. The impossibly light weight and gentle clamp make the headset a pleasure to wear even in an all-day session, and although the sound doesn’t quite compete with the planar drivers in the more expensive Cloud Orbit, it still sounds lovely.

The Cloud MIX gets tremendous mileage out of its memory foam padding. They’re tremendously comfy and light. Photo taken by Alex Rowe.

None of that quality or clever design mattered to my audience. The updated review had some visitors for about a week, but it’s now a ghost town. When the headset first launched two years ago, people were more interested in my small gripes about the name and the price point than they were in reading my actual opinion of the product.

I’ve been wearing headphones a lot lately during the current work-from-home situation, and after a few days with a high-clamp studio pair in my collection, the cartilage of my left ear wasn’t happy. I pulled out my Cloud MIX, and the pillowy softness is still revelatory. It’s offering my ear and head a much- needed break without sacrificing my work tunes.

So yes, the HyperX Cloud MIX comes in at a $200 price point and doesn’t offer any kind of “mixing” feature. But it does offer an astounding blend of solid-feeling materials and lightweight soft comfort, excellent sound reproduction, and robust Bluetooth support with a long 20 hour battery. It also has hi-res certification for those of you looking for that. I’m still waiting for the first game to offer support for the hi-res audio format in a world where more and more gaming audio products are built to this spec, but so far no one has taken the plunge.

If you’re about to write and ask me which headset is best, and you’re looking for a gaming headset that offers excellent wired sound, full Bluetooth support, a robust build, all-day comfort, and hi-res audio, then the Cloud MIX deserves to be on your list. It stands proudly next to other higher-priced gaming audio products.

I find myself wondering if it would be more talked-about if HyperX changed the name to Alpha Wireless, Alpha Pro, or something similar. The Alpha shows up in my various inboxes every single week, but the MIX is strongly worth considering as an upgrade worth shelling out for.

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