Tom's Guide Verdict
The HyperX Cloud II Wireless is a little light on features, but its exceptional comfort and solid performance make it a great choice for gamers looking to cut the cord.
Good all-around performance
Simple, intuitive controls
Long battery life
Few extra features
Bass could be a bit punchier
Why you can trust Tom's Guide
Compatibility: PS4, Switch, PC
Frequency Response: 2.4 GHz
Five years after releasing the HyperX Cloud II, Kingston has followed up its popular gaming headset with the HyperX Cloud II Wireless. As its name suggests, the new version's defining feature is its cord-free tech. Beyond losing the wire though, this $150 headset hasn't evolved much over the Cloud II, retaining many of the same features and adding a few new ones. That's not necessarily a knock against the Cloud II Wireless, however, as the original offered phenomenal comfort, sturdy design and solid performance.
With a couple of minor exceptions, Kingston's if-it-aint-broke-don't-fix-it approach pays off, refining and polishing what already worked, while also cutting the cord. There's currently plenty of competition in the wireless gaming headset space, but HyperX's reliable mix of comfort, quality and reasonable cost make it a solid contender for gamers looking to upgrade their PC or PS4 audio experiences. Read on for our full HyperX Cloud II Wireless review.
HyperX Cloud II Wireless review: Design
Sturdy, yet surprisingly lightweight, the HyperX Cloud II Wireless sports an adjustable aluminum headband that attaches to the earcups with a fork design. Stitched leatherette encases the headband, while the cups are covered in plush memory foam. The original, wired version also included a second, cushion-y set of covers, but they're unfortunately missing here.
Control layout is simple, straightforward and intuitive. The left cup hosts power and mic mute buttons, which feature concave and convex designs, respectively, making identifying each one a breeze. A power light sits above the two buttons, and USB-C charging and microphone ports rest below them. A volume wheel – featuring a pleasant textured feel and just-right resistance – sits on the right cup. The flexible mic is removable, and includes a mute indicator light at its tip: a helpful function that I found myself relying on more than I expected.
The headset's red-and-black design is pretty subdued. It won't make much of a splash next to flashier gaming setups, but it also won't draw any unwanted attention if you're using it with a laptop or Switch on the go. The option to detach the mic also complements its portability.
HyperX Cloud II Wireless review: Comfort
The HyperX Cloud II Wireless' wired predecessor hit it out of the park in terms of comfort, and this headset continues to deliver on that front. A near-perfect combo of weight, headband comfort and earcup fit make it easy to wear the HyperX Cloud II Wireless for hours on end.
Putting the headset through its paces for several days, over multiple long stretches of gaming, music consumption, and even a few work meetings, I never once experienced discomfort, or even mild irritation. In fact, after I hopped from work to help my kids with remote schooling — a common occurrence these days — my little ones would regularly need to remind me that I hadn't removed the headset when it was time to put my teacher hat on.
One minor gripe is that I’d prefer having a dedicated swivel point where the cups connect to the headband. There's enough leeway for minor adjustments, but anyone accustomed to having that extra wiggle room might miss this design feature. However, this omission never interrupted my comfort level, whether I was wearing glasses or going specs-less.
HyperX Cloud II Wireless review: Performance
Upon donning the headset and firing up Ghost of Tsushima, I was immediately impressed by the HyperX Cloud II Wireless’ ability to deliver consistently crisp, clear audio. The PlayStation 4 game packs a range of aural experiences, from subtle, ambient environmental effects and sword-clashing combat, to a cinematic score and lengthy stretches of dialogue. It all sounded great across the board, and, crucially, the varied audio elements never tripped over one another.
I had a similarly satisfying experience with Marvel's Avengers, although some of the game's more explosive moments could have benefited from a bit more low-end punch. While Ghost of Tsushima's battles seemed to hit all the right notes, including delivering adequate bass levels, some of the Avengers’ Hulk-smashing set pieces lacked the proper oomph to live up to the chaos unfolding onscreen.
In terms of music, I came away with no complaints after putting the headset through its paces with an extended '80s playlist. Heavy metal guitar solos packed the expected crunchiness, while synth-heavy pop songs and arena rock power ballads delivered the full gamut of highs – from soaring to glass-shattering – through the headset’s 53 mm drivers.
HyperX Cloud II Wireless review: Features
The HyperX Cloud II Wireless switches to virtual 7.1 surround sound with a quick press of the power button. While simple to activate, the extent to which it ups the audio immersion is negligible. I found surround sound most useful in Ghost of Tsushima, where ambient sounds seemed to get a small boost from the tech. It was a subtle change, which that never dropped my jaw to the floor. But it did make just enough difference to ensure I continued using it.
In terms of battery life, the headset never sent me scrambling for a recharge. It boasts 30 hours of life, and while I never pushed it to that limit, I used the Cloud II WIreless regularly, over the course of several days, without ever depleting its juice. Its 20-meter wireless range left me similarly impressed. Broadcasting at 2.4GHz, it never dropped or interrupted my connection when I strolled through rooms, separated by walls. The signal even remained strong when I crossed the house to grab the mail outside.
The headset's mic consistently delivered clear audio, and the ability to remove the mic is a welcome option. The mute light also adds both functionality and a cool little glow to your mic tip. The headset works with the HyperX NGENUITY peripheral software. While the feature makes for a nice back-of-the-box bullet point, though, it doesn't add much to the experience in its current beta state. Most of its functions, such as volume control and 7.1 activation, are easier to manage on the headset itself.
HyperX Cloud II Wireless review: Verdict
The HyperX Cloud II Wireless doesn't reinvent the wheel. Instead, it retains what made its predecessor a success – primarily, its phenomenal comfort and solid performance – but also makes it all wireless. In this regard, it absolutely nails what it sets out to do.
The headset is a little light on high-end features, and its software support isn't quite there yet. But it's a great option for anyone seeking a comfortable headset that delivers more-than-serviceable sound quality. The Cloud II Wireless' cordless connectivity, lightweight design and removable mic make it versatile, allowing it to pull triple-duty as a dedicated gaming peripheral, work-from-home companion and on-the-go accessory for your laptop or Switch.
My HyperX Cloud II Wireless review period is over, but as a work-from-home, remote-schooling gamer dad, I'll continue to use it – even if I do forget I'm wearing it sometimes.