The HyperX Cloud Alpha is an above-average wired gaming headset, with a good sound and a sturdy, durable build quality. They look very similar to the Cloud II, and they're just as comfortable with well-padded ear cups and a flexible headband that isn't as tight on the head. They also have a detachable mic so you can use them outdoors as casual headphones, although they won't be ideal for loud environments, commuting, and sports.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha look fairly similar to the Cloud II but have slightly different yokes and ear cups. This is a comfortable gaming headset that is well-padded and not too tight on the head. These headphones also come with a detachable mic so you can use them as casual headphones outdoors. They have the same sturdy build quality of the Cloud II that's decently lightweight and fairly compact for a gaming headset, but still a bit too cumbersome and unstable to carry around on your person or to use for sports. Unfortunately, they only come with a soft carrying pouch that won't protect the headphones that well when they are in your bag.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha have a simple and polished design that looks almost identical to the Cloud II but with slightly different ear cups and yokes. The arching hinges are perforated for style and to make the headphones a little lighter, although overall they're about the same weight as the Cloud II. The mic is also detachable, making them more appealing for casual use. However, they're still a bit bulky, and the bright logos on the ear cups may not be for everyone. On the upside, the pure two-tone black and red color scheme looks good and stands out without being too flashy.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha are comfortable, well-padded headphones. They are slightly less tight on the head than the Cloud II but have the same overall fit with big, decently spacious ear cups and an amply padded headband. They do not clamp your head like some of the other gaming headphones we've reviewed and should be comfortable enough to wear for long gaming sessions.
These headphones have a very straightforward gaming control scheme. They have an in-line remote with a potentiometer for volume control and a simple switch to enable or disable the microphone. It's very basic and lacks any control for mobile which is slightly disappointing since these headphones can also be used casually outdoors when you remove the detachable mic. Also, feedback for the volume controls is not great and doesn't have distinct notches to set your preferred volume level, but on the upside, the switch is fairly responsive and easy-to-use.
Like the Cloud II, the Cloud Alpha create a fairly good seal around your ears which blocks a good amount of airflow so they won't be the most breathable headphones for long listening sessions. They will make your ears reasonably warm after a 1 hour of continuous listening and would not be suitable for intense workouts. They have a closed-back, and unfortunately, they do not come with more breathable pads like the Logitech G433 or the Astro A50 so they won't be ideal if you often have long uninterrupted gaming sessions, but should be fine if you take breaks from time to time.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha, like most gaming headsets, are not very portable. They're on the smaller side for gaming headsets and have a decently compact frame. However, they do not fold or lay flat to make them easier to carry around in a bag, and they come with a fairly simple pouch, that doesn't offer much protection, which is a bit disappointing.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha are well-built and durable headphones. They have a sturdy yet flexible aluminum frame and fairly dense ear cups that won't break if you accidentally drop the headphones once or twice. Unlike the Cloud II, the Alpha do not have shiny backplates on their ear cups that may get scratched up by regular wear and tear. Overall, it's a good build quality that may not look as premium as some of the other gaming headphones or wireless headsets, but feels durable and should last you a while.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha are decently stable headphones but they won't be ideal for sports. They sway a lot under physical activity and will slip off your ears if you use them while running or working out. On the upside, unlike the Cloud II, the audio cable is detachable, so it won't yank the headphones off your head if it gets hooked on something. They should be stable enough for more casual uses and for gaming but won't be a good option for running and working out.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha is a good sounding pair of closed-back over-ear gaming headsets. These headphones have a deep, punchy, and well-balanced bass, an even and neutral mid-range, and great imaging. This makes them a good and versatile option for a wide variety of music genres, including bass-heavy music, as well as movies and video games. However, their bass delivery is prone to inconsistencies across multiple users, and their treble lacks a bit of detail while sounding a bit sharp on S and Ts.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha have an excellent bass. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is great. Low-bass, responsible for the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy music and video games, is within 1dB of our target. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and the punch of kick drums, is also within 1dB of our neutral target. However, high-bass, responsible for warmth, is overemphasized by more than 2dB, which adds a bit of muddiness to the sound. Also, their bass delivery varies significantly across users, and is sensitive to the quality of fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response and your experience may vary.
The mid-range is great. The response is very even and flat throughout the range, this results in a well-balanced reproduction of vocals and lead instruments. However, low-bass is overemphasized by about 2dB, which adds a bit of thickness to the vocals and a bit of clutter to the overall mix.
The treble performance of the HyperX Cloud Alpha is decent. The overall response is quite even, but not very balanced. The 10dB dip around 5KHz negatively affects the detail and articulation of vocals and lead instruments. The 10dB peak around 10KHz could make these headphones a bit sibilant (sharp and piercing on S and Ts), which will be mostly noticeable on vocals and cymbals.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha has a sub-par frequency response consistency. In the bass range, they show more than 6dB of variance across our human subjects, which is quite significant. However, in the treble range, their delivery is a lot more consistent across multiple positions/re-seats.
The imaging is great. Weighted group delay is at 0.18, which is very good. The GD graph also shows that their entire group delay response is within the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were exceptionally well-matched. This is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo field.
The soundstage of the HyperX Cloud Alpha is mediocre. The PRTF graph shows a good amount of pinna activation and interaction, but the accuracy of the activation is low, and the 10KHz notch is not very deep either. This and the closed-back design result in a soundstage that will be perceived inside the listener's head as opposed to in-front.
The harmonic distortion performance of the Cloud Alpha is great. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is quite low, but the sharp peak in THD around 4KHz could make the sound of that region a bit harsh and brittle.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha block noise passively with the seal they create around your ears. Unfortunately, although the seal does prevent some high-frequency noise from seeping into your audio, since they only isolate passively, they won't be able to block enough rumbling and low-frequency noise to be suitable for commuting. On the upside, they do not leak much so they're a decent option to use in quieter settings, like at an office and you can mask some of the ambient noise by playing your music a little louder without distracting the people around you.
The isolation of the HyperX Cloud Alpha is inadequate. In the bass range, where the rumble of airplane and bus engines sit, they don't achieve any isolation. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieve 5dB of isolation, which is sub-par. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they isolate by about 29dB, which is above-average.
The leakage performance is good. The significant portion of the leakage is between 1KHz and 5KHz, so the leakage will sound quite thin. The overall level of the leakage is not loud either. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away, averages at about 35dB SPL and peaks at 49dB SPL, which is just below the noise floor of most offices.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha have a great boom microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound relatively full, clear and detailed, but it may lack a little bit of airiness. In noisy situations, they do a great job at separating speech from background noise, even in loud places like a game competition or a subway station.
The recording quality of the microphone is good. The bass response is extended and flat, but a little underemphasized. This means speech recorded/transmitted with this mic will sound relatively full-bodied. The HFE (high-frequency extension) is at 10KHz, indicating a clear and detailed speech. But it will lack a bit of airiness.
The boom microphone of the Cloud Alpha is great at noise handling. It achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 32dB in our SpNR test, indicating they are able to separate speech from ambient noise even in the most demanding situations.
These headphones are passive and have no battery life.
These headphones do not have any compatible software for added customization.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha only have a wired 1/8" TRRS connection. On the upside, their in-line remote and microphone is compatible with the PS4 and Xbox One controller. They also have negligible latency since they're wired, which is good for gaming and watching movies. Unfortunately, they won't have the range and convenience of wireless gaming headsets.
These headphones are wired and do not have a Bluetooth connection. If you want a gaming headset that supports Bluetooth, check out the Turtle Beach Stealth 700.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha have a wired connection that provides volume control and microphone compatibility support for consoles as long as you plug them into the Xbox One or PS4 controllers. They also come with Y-splitter headset adapter for PCs.
This gaming headset does not have a dock. If you need a headset with a dock that also has a wired connection for gaming or watching movies, then consider the SteelSeries Arctis 7.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha do not have a wireless range since they're wired. If you want a good wireless gaming headset, check out the Astro A20.
These headphones have negligible latency thanks to their wired connection. This makes them suitable for gaming and watching movies but they are limited by the range of their relatively short cable.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha are well-built and easy-to-use gaming headphones with a low latency wired connection. They have the same sturdy build quality of the Cloud II, and although they have slightly different ear cups, they are just as comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Unfortunately, they aren't the most breathable headphones so they will make your ears a little warm and they're not as customizable as some of the other gaming headsets compared below. On the upside, they have a casual design that you can use with your phone outdoors, although they won't be the best option to use in loud, noisy environments or for sports. See our recommendations for the best Xbox One gaming headsets.
The HyperX Cloud II are very close in performance to the HyperX Cloud Alpha. The Cloud II and the cloud alpha have a very similar design, weight and build quality. They also both have excellent boom mics that are removable so you can use them casually outdoors. The Cloud II come with a slightly more versatile USB Dac with additional microphone control but it doesn't add much since they do not come with a good support software. On the other hand, the Cloud Alpha are have a slightly better sound altough not by much. The yokes and earcups of the Alpha also look a little different which some may prefer.
If you want a gaming headset, then the wired HyperX Cloud Alpha are the better option but for mixed usage, the wireless Sony WH-CH700N are more convenient. The Cloud Alpha have no latency, they're a bit more comfortable and they're better built than the Sonys. However, the WH-CH700N have a much better range since they are wireless and they're a bit more practical for outdoors since they are noise canceling headphones.
The Steelseries Arctis 7 are better, more feature-packed gaming headphones than the HyperX Cloud Alpha. They do better for most use cases thanks to their multiple connection options and semi-casual design that you can use outdoors. They have a better sound quality and more customization options thanks to the Steel Series engine that offers a great equalizer and multiple settings for the mic. However, the HyperX are lighter, easier to use and slightly more durable. But overall, the Arctis 7 are the better headsets and should be your first choice if you have the budget.
The HyperX Cloud Revolver are also wired gaming headsets with a casual design that you can use outdoors. They're not as well built as the Cloud Alpha and they're a bit less comfortable. On the upside, they're a bit more lightweight and they have a better-balanced treble range. The better overall sound quality of the Revolver makes them a bit more suitable for critical listening and gaming but the Cloud Alpha are a lot more durable.
The Kraken USB are a decent gaming headset with low latency but poor design. They have a great mic and do not leak much, but they're not as comfortable as the Cloud Alpha. Also, they're not versatile for everyday casual use like the Alphas, since they only have a USB connector which will not be compatible with your phone. They sound considerably less balanced and their build quality, though sturdier than most, does not feel as polished or as durable as that of the HyperX. Overall the Cloud Alpha are the better headset, but if you primarily game on PC, and need a gaming headset with customization options and a good app, then the Kraken could be a decent alternative.