hyperx cloud stinger 2

HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Review – Competitive Sound And Comfort For Less

Big sound that won't sting your wallet!

As gaming headsets get flashier, and exponentially more expensive, it’s easy to forget that there’s also some serious competition in the budget and entry-level space. Chances are that if you’ve got less than $100 to spend on your first serious gaming headset or as a gift for a loved one, the sheer number of options on the market can be just as headache-inducing as deciding exactly how much RGB is enough to justify dropping a week’s pay. Allow me to make the choice that little bit easier, then, because the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 is the best headset I’ve used in its class.

The original Cloud Stinger was something of a hit for its incredibly affordable asking price and more-than-decent sound, essentially bringing one of gaming tech’s most revered headset brands to even more ears in the process. The Cloud Stinger 2 takes that success and runs with it, updating everything from the build to the speaker performance to wring every last bit of audio joy out of the deal. Much like its predecessor, initial unboxed impressions are that of a cheap headset. The all-plastic construction and barebones design might be initially off-putting but let me tell you a thing – this is a comfortable bloody headset.

hyperx cloud stinger 2

While plenty of budget-friendly gaming headsets try to stretch themselves thin and sacrifice comfort for flashier aesthetics or premium features, the Cloud Stinger 2 keeps things simple. The band? Just some chunky plastic with a little flex to it. The cups? Classic design with simple rotation. The pads? Chuck some memory foam and pleather on those bad boys and call it a day. It’s the headset equivalent of an IKEA couch – cheap and indistinguishable but just lovely to slip into for a few hours of gaming. The smooth-sliding steel band of the old Cloud Stinger has been ditched in favour of more plastic, but the notched size adjustment complete with etched measurements to get both sides just right is a great trade-off in my eyes.

On the headset itself you’ll find scant few flourishes.  There’s the 2m non-detachable 3.5mm audio cable, a boom mic on a swivel (with an automatic mute), a single volume dial and… well, that’s it. HyperX has opted to keep things as simple as humanly possible and for good reason – nearly every cent of the meagre amount you’ve paid to put the the Cloud Stinger 2 on your head has gone to its audio performance above all else.

In The Box: Along with the headset, HyperX provides a 15cm analogue splitter cable for those who can’t use the single, TRRS connection, an optional windsock for the headset’s boom mic and a code to activate 2 years worth of DTS Headphone:X spatial audio for use on a PC (though you can obviously use any other compatible virtual surround solution).

hyperx cloud stinger 2

There’s no denying that this isn’t a premium, $600+ headset pumping Dolby Atmos audio through highly-tuned audio where you’ll hear the sweat squelching between your enemies’ inner thighs as they approach, but for the gap in price they’re damned well close enough. HyperX has been giving consumers an auditory experience far better than what they paid for since the first Cloud headset and they haven’t given up on this notion even at the low end of the scale. It’s definitely less dynamic and experiential as what I’m used to but for the no-frills use and comfort I’ve genuinely chucked them on from time to time even with a better alternative sitting on the same desk.

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As far as the microphone and chat experience goes, it’s… good enough? In this category it’s hard to ask for too much, so your online friends will just have to accept that you’ll sound a touch muffled and with just a little persistent white noise, but again you could do far, far worse for similar money. This truly is a headset marketed at parents with younger kids or teens and gamers on a budget that just want some throw-around cans for the odd game of COD or FIFA, not pro players or streamers, and the chat experience reflects that.

hyperx cloud stinger 2

And that’s it, really. Being a headset with a single, 3.5mm audio connection there really isn’t much else here in the way of customisation or buzzword features but that suits the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 just fine. Barring some modern phones and tablets, you can slam this thing into whatever your heart desires and get a comfortable, decent-sounding experience out of the gate. There’s something simple and comforting about that, especially when the outlay is so small for the privilege.

I’m loath to keep suggesting that the Cloud Stinger 2 is great “for the price” but it’s the simple truth – you could pay the same for a competing headset and get less, or even pay more and still get less in some key areas. If you’re after flashy lighting effects, wireless connectivity, noise-cancelling microphones or built-in cup holders you won’t find any of that here, but if it’s simplicity, comfort and more-than-decent sound that you desire you’ll get all of that without breaking the bank.

The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 is out now with an RRP of $89. Head here to the official website to find out where to pick one up for yourself!

hyperx cloud stinger 2
Conclusion
I'm confident in suggesting that the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 is the best gaming headset for comfort and sound that you'll find in its price range. It continues the Cloud Stinger's legacy of no-frills hardware packing a better-than-average audio experience while improving on a couple of key areas. If you're looking for an affordable gaming headset that doesn't skimp on performance, look no further.
Positives
Lightweight and incredibly comfortable
Welcome improvements to band and cup design
Audio experience punches way above its weight
Simple 3.5mm connection
Negatives
Audio connection is fixed to the headset
The microphone is just okay