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Reviewed on Jun 04, 2018 , Marc Henney, Yannick Khong

HyperX Cloud Alpha
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.7
Mixed Usage
What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.8
Critical Listening
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
6.1
Commute/Travel
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
6.2
Sports/Fitness
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
6.5
Office
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
6.1
Home Theater
Score components:
7.2
Gaming
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

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.

Test Results
Design 7.2
Sound 7.8
Isolation 6.0
Microphone 7.9
Active Features 0
Connectivity 5.5
Pros
  • Negligible latency.
  • Good audio reproduction and microphone.
  • Well-built and comfortable design.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Slightly bulky.

Check Price

7.2

Design

Score components:
HyperX Cloud Alpha Design Picture

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.

Style
HyperX Cloud Alpha Design Picture 2

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.

8.0 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
HyperX Cloud Alpha Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.7 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0.9 lbs

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.

6.2 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
HyperX Cloud Alpha Controls Picture
Ease of use : Above-average
Feedback : Average
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : Yes
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through : N/A
Additional Buttons : N/A

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.

6.3 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
HyperX Cloud Alpha Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 6.2 C

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.

5.8 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
HyperX Cloud Alpha Portability Picture
L : 7.3 "
W : 5.3 "
H : 3.2 "
Volume : 124 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

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.

5.5 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
HyperX Cloud Alpha Case Picture
Type : Pouch
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones come with a simple pouch that will shield the headphones from minor scratches while they're in your bag. Unfortunately, it won't protect them against impacts, drops or water damage.

8.0 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
HyperX Cloud Alpha Build Quality Picture

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.

6.5 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
HyperX Cloud Alpha Stability Picture

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.

Cable
HyperX Cloud Alpha Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.4 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS

These headphones come with a 1/8" TRRS audio cable and a headset adapter.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.8

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
HyperX Cloud Alpha Frequency Response

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.

9.1 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
HyperX Cloud Alpha Bass
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.32 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.76 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.63 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.2 dB

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.

8.9 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
HyperX Cloud Alpha Mid
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.45 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.75 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.47 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.68 dB

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.

6.8 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
HyperX Cloud Alpha Treble
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.45 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.0 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.12 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.32 dB

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.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
Score components:
5.8 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
HyperX Cloud Alpha Consistency L HyperX Cloud Alpha Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.03 dB

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.

8.9 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
HyperX Cloud Alpha Group Delay HyperX Cloud Alpha Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.18
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.33
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.18
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
6.72

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.

6.1 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
HyperX Cloud Alpha PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.09 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.79 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
12.45 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
4.9
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
2.5
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

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.

8.1 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
HyperX Cloud Alpha Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.652
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.106

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.

6.0

Isolation

Score components:

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.

5.0 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
HyperX Cloud Alpha Noise Isolation
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-11.06 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
0.56 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-5.15 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-28.86 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
0 dB

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.

7.8 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
HyperX Cloud Alpha Leakage
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
35.21 dB

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.

7.9

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
Yes

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.

7.4 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
HyperX Cloud Alpha Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
359.19 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
3.04 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
10388.94 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
0.46
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
30.13 dB

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.

8.3 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
HyperX Cloud Alpha SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
32.11 dB

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.

0

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

Like the Cloud II and the Cloud Revolver, the HyperX Cloud Alpha do not have any active features or app support.

N/A Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
N/A
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
N/A
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
N/A
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
N/A
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
N/A

These headphones are passive and have no battery life.

0 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
N/A
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
N/A
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

These headphones do not have any compatible software for added customization.

5.5

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 33% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

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.

0 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • <1% PS4 Compatible
  • <1% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that's allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example switching from your phone to your home or work PC.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
N/A
NFC
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A

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.

9.1 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : Not OS specific
Analog
What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
USB
What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone

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.

0 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 5% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 5% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

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.

0 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
N/A

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.

10 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A

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.

In the box

HyperX Cloud Alpha In the box Picture

  • Hyper X Cloud Alpha Headphones
  • Carrying pouch
  • 1/8" TRRS audio cable
  • Headset adapter
  • Manual

Compared to other Headphones

HyperX Cloud Alpha Compare Picture

 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.

HyperX Cloud II

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.  

Sony WH-CH700N

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.

SteelSeries Arctis 7

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.

HyperX Cloud Revolver

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.

Razer Kraken USB

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.

+ Show more

Conclusion

6.7Mixed Usage
What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
The HyperX Cloud Alpha are above-average gaming headsets that are versatile enough to use as casual headphones. Like the Cloud II, they have a simple but sturdy build quality with well-padded ear cups that make them comfortable to wear for long gaming sessions. They also have closed-back ear cups that don't leak as much as most gaming headsets and block a fair bit of noise, although, they won't be ideal for commuting or loud environments. On the upside, these headphones have a good sound quality that sounds slightly sharp and lacking in detail on some tracks but should good enough for most listeners. Also, since they're wired, they have very negligible latency which makes them suitable for gaming and watching videos.
7.8Critical Listening
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Good for critical listening. The HyperX Cloud Alpha have a slightly better sound quality than the similarly designed Cloud II. They deliver a good amount of bass and a balanced mid-range but a slightly inconsistent treble that lacks a bit of detail but still sounds sharp on some tracks. They don't have the most spacious soundstage since they're closed back headphones so they won't be the ideal choice for more critical listeners but on the upside, they're comfortable and sound good enough for most.
6.1Commute/Travel
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Mediocre-at-best for commuting. The HyperX Cloud Alpha have a more outdoor-friendly design than most gaming headsets with a detachable mic, a closed-back design and a good, comfortable build quality. However, they do not block enough noise to be ideal to use on public transit and their slightly bulky design won't be easy to carry around on your person without a bag.
6.2Sports/Fitness
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Mediocre for sports. Although they are a bit more compact than other gaming headsets, they're still too bulky and unstable for running or working out. They're also not the most breathable headphones so they will make your ears a little warm and sweaty after a couple of minutes exercising. They also don't have a mobile-friendly control scheme.
6.5Office
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Average for office use. They do not block a lot of noise so you will hear the ambient chatter in a busy office. However, since they do not leak as much, you can mask some of the ambient noise in your surroundings by playing your music a little louder. They're also comfortable enough to wear for long listening sessions although they will make your ears a little warm during longer listening sessions.
6.1Home Theater
Score components:
Mediocre for home theater. The headphones have a low latency, wired connection, and a well-balanced sound. They're also comfortable enough to wear throughout a long movie. They have decently long cable, however, it won't be long enough for most home theater setups unless you watch your movies on your PC or tablet.
7.2Gaming
Score components:
Above-average for gaming. The HyperX Cloud Alpha has a low latency, wired connection, a decently well-balanced audio reproduction, and a good mic that filters a lot of noise. They're comfortable enough to wear for long gaming sessions but, unfortunately, have no software support for added customization options, unlike some of the more feature-packed gaming headsets that we've tested. Their design is also not the most breathable so your ears may get a little warm after gaming for a while.

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