Following a slew of high-end and feature-packed gaming headsets this year, the brand new HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 might be the best budget option I’ve tried in a long time. At just $50, a simple wired design with massive drivers and frequency response makes it a great choice. Be sure to hit the video below to see all of the details.
If you missed our live stream last week, check it out for a live unboxing and mic test of the new Cloud Stinger 2. And while you’re at it, make sure you’re subscribed so you can catch the next live stream – every Friday at 3:30 EST.
One of the only areas I docked another recent HyperX headset, the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless, was in design. It just looks dated with the earcup design and large red yokes. On the new Cloud Stinger 2, though, HyperX has updated the design and I am a big fan of it.
It has a little more shape with some nice texture on the outside of the earcups. As a budget headset, the majority of it is plastic. This may feel cheap, but it also keeps the cost down as well as makes them lightweight at just 275g.
As a wired headset, there isn’t much to the Stinger 2. On the left earcup is a flip-to-mute microphone that has an adjustable boom for great mic placement. It also comes with a pop filter.
On the right side is a single volume dial.
The headset comes with a four-pole connector as well as a splitter that works for separate microphone and headphone connections.
That lightweight design also plays well into comfort. The earcups aren’t the softest I’ve tried, but they are wrapped in leatherette. Unfortunately, they are a bit on the shallow side meaning that my ears press against the driver covers in use. Because of the lightweight design, though, it doesn’t have excessive clamping force so the pressure in the earcups wasn’t a huge issue for me like some other gaming headsets.
The headband has a nice and soft pad on top and once again thanks to the lightweight nature it feels comfortable for extended use.
I would love to see some more padding in the earcups or maybe look to pick up a pair of aftermarket ear cushions like those from Wicked Cushions. The earcups can also get a bit hot during sweatier gaming sessions but once again, these are just $50.
HyperX Cloud Stinger 2: Video
How does it sound?
The Stinger 2’s massive frequency response of 10-28kHz looks great on paper and also translates to a huge sound for both music and gaming. Bass notes on songs like “Solar Sailer” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack hit low without being overbearing or causing any muddiness.
Through both the mids and highs, the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 keeps things nice and clear but is on the darker side when compared to a more neutral-sounding pair of headphones like the Philips Fidelio X3. The Stinger 2 misses a bit of the high-end dazzle in cymbals when listening to “Mist” by Protest the Hero but it keeps plenty of mid-range clarity and detail in the guitars.
When it comes to positioning and imaging, the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 hits way above its price point. Once again when listening to complicated metal tracks like Mist by Protest the Hero, it’s easy to distinguish the different guitar riffs. This also translates well into positioning sounds when gaming.
Overall, when it comes to sound, the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 shines for the $50 price point.
DTS HeadphoneX Spatial Audio
The Cloud Stinger 2 also comes with a two-year activation of DTS HeadphoneX spatial audio. Spatial audio can be a mixed bag for gaming and I usually find myself preferring the standard modes. This was true with the Stinger 2 as well.
HyperX Cloud Stinger 2: Mic test
Another area that really impressed us and the viewers during our weekly live stream is the quality of the microphone. Typically, budget headsets have a very thin-sounding microphone. On the Stinger 2, though, there was some better clarity and body. Sure, it still doesn’t sound as good as a dedicated condenser or dynamic streaming microphone, but I was impressed by its sound once again for the $50 price tag.
As always, check out our guide on how to make your gaming headset microphone sound better for free if you’d like to improve the sound even more.
Thanks to its impressive sound quality, commendable microphone, and lightweight build, the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 will be my new recommendation for budget gaming headsets. I would love to see some deeper ear cushions and time will tell on the durability of the plastic design, but the Stinger 2 hits way above its $50 price tag.
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