It’s been a hot minute since we last heard from HyperX after HP bought the brand’s gaming peripherals division from Kingston. Of particular importance is the supply of the gaming headset division and in this case the continuity of it through products like this Cloud Core Wireless.
To that end, there are a handful of questions we’ve been dying to ask, among which the main one is: despite a change in ownership, has HP managed to maintain the same standard with Cloud Core Wireless, or is it a completely different animal?
What is that?
Much like the Cloud II Wireless, the Core Wireless keeps both the gaming headset line and its design aesthetic alive, with its simplistic all-black look with the signature red accents. In all honesty, HP isn’t deviating or changing much from the headset’s outlook, which leads me to believe that HP could very well be a follower of the whole “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy. “.
However, one difference between the Cloud Core Wireless and its pre-Kingston wireless predecessors is the placement of the volume button and wheel. Instead of splitting them across both earcups, all of its functions and controls are now located on the back of the left earcup. Speaking of earpiece for a more comfortable experience.
Plus, you get the same detachable microphone, which is connected to Core Wireless via a 3.5mm port. Additionally, the headphones also support DTS:X Surround sound, which can only be activated via the DTS Sound Unbound app.
Is he good?
Compared to the Cloud II Wireless I reviewed, the Cloud Core Wireless’s yoke is noticeably tighter, but not to the point where I feel like a vise is gradually tightening over my head. Overall, it remains very comfortable, more so over long periods of use.
As for the overall sound quality of the Core Wireless, I’ll give it to you straight; They’re not the best headphones I’ve tested, but they’re certainly far from the worst pair to cross my ears. There’s a general ‘choking’ from the headphones, where everything sounds just a bit muffled, although the highs and mids are clear and distinguishable but tend to lacking on some tracks. Likewise, the bass from these headphones is present and, to my surprise, can be felt in the back of my head, although they do have a rather tepid “oomph” factor.
By the way, the Core Wireless has a fairly high volume ceiling and besides, there’s no sign of diaphragms breaking at higher volumes or distortion every time a bass-heavy track kicks in. .
The bad things. Tell me.
One downside of the Core Wireless that I notice is that there’s no visual cue to indicate if the microphone is muted. In fact, the only way to find out is to press the dedicated button behind the earpiece: one beep means you’re live and two beeps means you’re dead in Discord, Zoom and Microsoft Teams conferences.
Moving on, the battery life of the Core Wireless could be better. HyperX announces a battery life of 20 hours, 10 hours less than the Cloud II Wireless. While it seems to be a trend among headphone manufacturers to reduce the run-hour endurance of their products (I’m looking at you, Sony), it’s a practice I don’t care much about.
In terms of price, it’s not the cheapest pair of gaming headphones at RM479. In fact, it’s actually on par with Razer’s Barracuda X, if not slightly more expensive. Additionally, the DTS:X 7.1 surround sound feature is only accessible through the DTS Sound Unbound app and once enabled, there is no way to disable it.
Should I buy it?
At RM479, it’s not wrong to say that you get what you pay for in HyperX Cloud Core Wireless features, but if I’m being honest, it’s as if HP decided to cut said features and layouts in half. Again, the LED on the back of the earbud only seems to light up when you charge it, gradually changing from bright red to static green, indicating the battery is fully charged.
Because of that, the Core Wireless feels a bit double-edged: it’s a gaming headset that’s got all the chops, but at the same time it feels a bit like a rush job, almost as if HP has actively chosen not to spending too much time tweaking it further. That said, this is a brand with a lot of experience in audio products, not to mention gaming audio devices, so I’m willing to ignore the issue, at least for another year or so.
That being said, I have to repeat that the Cloud Core Wireless isn’t a terrible headset. Again, if you were a fan of the HyperX brand back when Kingston was still holding the ropes, you can expect more or less the same level of performance, comfort and experience from these headphones.
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