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HyperX Cloud Core HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.5
Mixed Usage
7.5
Critical Listening
6.0
Commute/Travel
5.8
Sports/Fitness
6.4
Office
6.0
TV
6.8
Gaming
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The HyperX Cloud Core are decent, straightforward gaming headphones. They sound good and are quite similar in design to the HyperX Cloud II, but without any controls. These headphones are made for people who want a simple headset that can work with every console and don’t really care for customization options and controls. They have a great microphone for online games, and it is also detachable to make the headphones more outdoor-friendly. However, they don’t isolate much noise and won’t be ideal for commuting if you do decide to use them with your phone. On the upside, they have the same sturdy and comfortable build of the similar Cloud headsets.

Test Results
Design 6.7
Sound 7.4
Isolation 6.2
Microphone 8.5
Active Features 0
Connectivity 5.5
Pros
  • Well-built and comfortable design.
  • Good audio reproduction.
  • Great microphone for online gaming.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • No controls or customization options.
  • Bass delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.

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6.7

Design

The HyperX Cloud Core are pretty much identical to the HyperX Cloud II, but without in-line controls. These headphones have the same great build that of the Cloud II and HyperX Cloud Alpha models. Their padding and cup sizes are very comfortable for long gaming sessions, and their detachable microphone makes them slightly more outdoor-friendly than most gaming headphones we’ve reviewed so far. They won’t be the most portable headphones, but you can still use them with your phone easily. These are designed for gaming; their style demonstrates this, without being too flashy.

Style

The Cloud Core are nearly identical in style to the HyperX Cloud II. The design is simple and polished, but this model has black hinges instead of red ones. They look like high-end gaming headphones without being too flashy. Their microphone is also detachable, which makes them more outdoor-friendly than most gaming headsets.

8.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.69 lbs
Clamping Force
:
1.0 lbs

The Core are very comfortable, like the HyperX Cloud Alpha and HyperX Cloud II. The cups are big and well-padded, too. The headband is also quite comfortable and distributes the weight of the headset effectively. Some may find them a bit tight on the head, which can get fatiguing after long gaming sessions. Overall, they are still one of the most comfortable gaming headphones we’ve reviewed so far.

0 Controls
Ease of use : N/A
Feedback : N/A
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : N/A

This HyperX headset doesn’t have any controls, unlike the Cloud II.

6.1 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 6.7 C

Like most closed-back gaming headphones, these aren’t the most breathable. They trap a bit of heat inside the cups and won’t be suitable for intense workouts. They create a decent seal around your ears and will obstruct airflow. Some may feel a difference in temperature during very long gaming marathons, but this shouldn’t be an issue for most when casually gaming.

5.8 Portability
L : 7.1 "
W : 5.5 "
H : 3.2 "
Volume : 125 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

Like the rest of the HyperX Cloud lineup, the Core are not very portable. Their cups don’t rotate or swivel to lay flat for them to take less space. On the upside, they aren’t as bulky as some other gaming headphones.

0 Case
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones don’t come with a case or pouch.

8.0 Build Quality

The HyperX Cloud Core have a very similar build quality to the rest of the Cloud lineup. Their cups feel dense and should survive accidental drops without too much damage. The headband and hinges are made out of a metal frame, which is sturdy yet flexible. However, the shiny back plates with the HyperX logo could get scratched up over time, and the exposed audio cable linking the ear cups is a potential weak point.

6.5 Stability

The HyperX Cloud Core are tight enough to be stable and comfortable for gaming, but they won’t be an ideal option for physical activity. They sway a lot with head movement and will slip off your head quite easily when running. The cable is also not detachable, so it might yank the headphones off if it gets stuck or hooked on something.

Cable
Detachable : No
Length : 3.6 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS

The Cloud Core have a short 3.6-foot 1/8” TRRS cable, and they also come with a 6.5ft PC splitter.

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7.4

Sound

The HyperX Cloud Core are decent sounding closed-back over-ear headphones. They have a deep and punchy bass and a nearly flawless mid-range, but their treble is fairly uneven, resulting in slight lack of detail and overly sharp S and T sounds. Additionally, their bass is prone to inconsistencies and is also slightly boomy. Overall, these headphones will be fairly versatile for all music genres and will satisfy most gamers as well.

8.8 Bass
Std. Err.
:
1.85 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
14.56 Hz
Low-Bass
:
0.23 dB
Mid-Bass
:
1.87 dB
High-Bass
:
2.58 dB

The bass performance of the Cloud Core is very good. LFE (low-frequency extension) is down to 15Hz, which is very good. This and their accurate low-bass indicate that they will be able to create an adequate amount of thump and rumble. The response gets slightly elevated in the mid and high-bass, but only by about 2dB, which unfortunately adds a bit of boominess to the mix.

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.

9.0 Mid
Std. Err.
:
1.35 dB
Low-Mid
:
-0.82 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-1.06 dB
High-Mid
:
-1.41 dB

The Cloud Core have an amazing mid-range performance. The response throughout the range is virtually flawless and well-balanced. The response is flat, but there is a slight underemphasis which won’t be very noticeable for most. This results in an accurate reproduction of vocals and lead instruments.

6.7 Treble
Std. Err.
:
4.56 dB
Low-Treble
:
-2.98 dB
Mid-Treble
:
1.99 dB
High-Treble
:
0.36 dB

The HyperX Cloud Core have an okay treble range. The response is similar to that of the Cloud II, but slightly better. The big dip right after 4kHz will have a negative effect on the detail and presence of vocals and leads, but it won't be as bad as it looks since it's pretty narrow. There’s also a big jump around 9-10kHz, which results in sibilants (S and T sounds) sounding overly sharp and piercing, especially on already bright tracks. However, not everyone experiences the treble frequencies the same way, so your experience may vary.

5.5 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
1.18 dB

Like the Cloud II and Cloud Alpha, the Cloud Core have sub-par frequency response consistency. The bass is fairly consistent, but some people with glasses or lots of hair can experience a significant loss in bass with a break in the seal. The other human test subjects had decently consistent bass delivery. In the treble range, the delivery is decently consistent, with a few small variations around 4-5kHz, which won’t be too noticeable.

6.7 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.22
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
2.83
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
3.43
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
11.6

The imaging of the Cloud Core is okay. Their weighted group delay is 0.24, which is within a very good limit. The GD graph also shows that the entire group delay response is below our audibility threshold, suggesting a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Unfortunately, our unit showed a small mismatch in amplitude, frequency, and phase, which is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects and instruments (voices, footsteps) in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

5.9 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
1.49 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
4.06 dB
PRTF Distance
:
9.22 dB
Openness
:
4.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
3.6
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB

The soundstage of the Cloud Core is sub-par. The PRTF graph shows a decent amount of pinna interaction, which is also accurate. This results in a soundstage that sounds large and accurate, but their closed-back design and the fact that there is no 10kHz notch present will make it sound unnatural and positioned inside the listener’s head as opposed to in front.

7.4 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
0.766
Weighted THD @ 100
:
5.492

The harmonic distortion performance of the HyperX Cloud Core is decent. The amount of harmonic distortion in the bass and mid-range are within good limits, even at 100dB SPL. However, the large peak in THD at 4kHz could make the treble of these headsets harsh and impure, which could be fatiguing over a long listening session. On the upside, there is no big jump in THD under heavier loads, which could be due to the flexibility of the drivers under heavier loads, or could be because of the noise floor of our testing procedure.

6.2

Isolation

The HyperX Cloud Core are not noise cancelling headphones and their seal isn't enough to block out all noises, but it prevents some high-frequency noise from seeping into your audio. They won't be able to block some of the lower frequencies, like the rumbling sounds of a subway or bus engine, which means they won’t be ideal for commuting. Also, they don’t leak too much, but you won’t be able to blast your music without surrounding people hearing it a bit.

5.9 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-13.39 dB
Bass
:
0.93 dB
Mid
:
-9.99 dB
Treble
:
-32.02 dB
Self-Noise
:
0 dB

The isolation performance is sub-par. Since they are over-ears and don't have ANC (active noise cancelling), they don't isolate in the bass range. This means they will let in all the rumble of airplane and bus engines and won’t be great for commuting. In the mid-range, which is important for blocking out ambient speech, they achieved 10dB of isolation, which is okay. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds and the sound of A/C systems, they achieved 32dB of isolation, which is very good.

6.8 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
40.67 dB

The HyperX Cloud Core have a passable leakage performance. The significant portion of their leakage is between 300Hz and 7kHz, which is a relatively broad range. On the upside, the overall level of the leakage is not too high, making the sound leaking out of these headphones quiet and thin sounding. At 100dB SPL and at 1 foot away, the leakage averages 40db and peaks at 50dB.

8.5

Microphone

Integrated
:
No
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
Yes
Detachable Boom
:
Yes

The boom microphone is very good. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound full, detailed and natural. In noisy situations, the HyperX Cloud Core’s mic performs great and is capable of separating speech from noise in the most demanding environments, such as a subway station and gaming events.

8.5 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
96.52 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
2.62 dB
HFE
:
9665.27 Hz
Weighted THD
:
0.375
Gain
:
29.86 dB

The boom mic has an excellent recording quality. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 97dB, which is very good. The HFE of 9.7kHz is also very good, resulting in a speech that has good presence and detail, making it very clear and easy to understand. The speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound full, detailed, and natural.

8.6 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
36.33 dB

The boom microphone has very good noise handling. In our SpNR test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 36dB, which is outstanding. It indicates that this mic will be to isolate speech from noise even in the noisiest and demanding environments.

0

Active Features

The Cloud Core are wired and passive headphones that don't need a battery. Unfortunately, like the rest of HyperX gaming headphones, they don’t have a companion app or software for customization options and controls.

N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A

These headphones are passive and don’t have a battery.

0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

They don’t have a companion app that offers controls and customization options.

5.5

Connectivity

The HyperX Cloud Core are straightforward wired gaming headphones. Their 1/8” TRRS cable is compatible with all platforms and controllers that have the appropriate jack, and they offer negligible latency when playing games or watching video content.

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A

These headphones are not Bluetooth compatible. For a similar headset with Bluetooth compatibility, check out the HyperX Cloud Mix.

9.1 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
PC Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone

The Cloud Core have a 1/8” TRRS analog connection that is compatible with pretty much every platform. They are quite versatile as they offer audio and microphone support on all consoles and PC. However, on PCs, you'll have to use the Y-splitter to use both the mic and headphone ports.

0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
No
Line In
:
No
Line Out
:
No
USB Input
:
No
RCA Input
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A

These headphones do not have a dock. For a gaming headset with a dock, check out the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless or the Astro A50.

0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A

These headphones are wired-only and don’t have a wireless range. You’ll be limited by their very short cable length, but when playing on PC, you can add a 6.5ft long PC splitter. This shouldn’t be a problem if you play and plug the headset in your console controller.

10 Latency
Default Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

Thanks to their wired connection, they have minimal latency, which is great for watching video content or playing games.

In the box

  • Hyper X Cloud Core headphones
  • Detachable microphone
  • PC splitter cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

The HyperX Cloud Core are very straightforward gaming headphones that set themselves apart by their great build quality, comfort, and great sounding microphone. However, this model doesn’t have any controls, which some may feel is necessary on gaming headphones. If you’re looking for something more customizable or wireless, take a look at our suggestions for the best gaming headsets and the best wireless gaming headsets. See also our recommendations for the best gaming headsets under $100.

HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The HyperX Cloud II are better gaming headphones than the HyperX Cloud Core since they have controls. These two headsets are practically the same, but the Cloud II has an in-line remote that gives you access to a mic-mute, volume control, and channel mixing, while the Core model is simple and will be good for people who don’t care much for controls.

HyperX Cloud Alpha
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The HyperX Cloud Alpha are slightly better gaming headphones than the HyperX Cloud Core thanks to their controls. You can control the volume and mute your microphone easily on the Alpha, which you can’t do with the Core. Other than that, the two headsets are practically identical, but the Alpha has a slightly less uneven treble range performance. Both models are very versatile and will be suitable for all platforms.

HyperX Cloud Stinger
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The HyperX Cloud Stinger are better performing gaming headphones than the HyperX Cloud Core thanks to their controls and slightly better sound quality. However, the Cloud Core definitely feels more solid and more comfortable than the Stinger. If you think a mic-mute switch and volume controls are a necessity, go with the Stinger. If not, then the more straightforward Cloud Core may be a better option for your gaming needs.

Corsair HS50
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Corsair HS50 are better sounding gaming headphones than the HyperX Cloud Core. They have volume controls and a mic-mute switch which the Core is lacking. Their sound quality is also more accurate, especially in the treble range. On the other hand, the Cloud Core are more comfortable and have a better sounding microphone for online gaming.

Conclusion

6.5 Mixed Usage

Okay for mixed usage. They have a decent audio reproduction, and their style is more outdoor-friendly than most gaming headphones. However, even if you can use them with your phone when you’re on the go, they won’t be great for commuting since they barely isolate ambient noise. Their bulky over-ear design won’t be great for sports. They can be used in an office if you don’t listen at very high volumes, but won’t be ideal for moving around. Even if they are wired and don’t have any latency, their short cable won’t be great for watching TV. On the upside, they are decent gaming headphones but lack a control scheme like most gaming headphones have.

7.5 Critical Listening

Good for critical listening. The HyperX Cloud Core have a deep and punchy bass and a nearly flawless mid-range, but their treble is fairly uneven, resulting in slight lack of detail and overly sharp S and T sounds. Additionally, their bass is prone to inconsistencies and is also slightly boomy. Overall, these headphones will be fairly versatile for all music genres and will satisfy most gamers as well.

6.0 Commute/Travel

Mediocre for commuting. Their fit doesn’t isolate against ambient noise, especially not the low-end rumble of bus and plane engines. Their design is also bulky and won’t be the most portable. On the upside, you won’t have to worry about a battery life, but you won’t have the practicality of wireless headphones.

5.8 Sports/Fitness

Sub-par for sports. Over-ears won’t be great for sports as they trap heat inside the ear cups and will make you sweat more than usual. Additionally, they aren’t very portable due to their bulky design and they have a short cable, so working out these headphones won't be ideal for most people.

6.4 Office

Okay for the office. The HyperX Cloud Core don’t offer the freedom of a wireless design and their fit doesn’t isolate very well against ambient chatter too, which won’t be ideal in a crowded office. Also, you can’t play your audio content at high volumes, as they are a bit leaky and you may disturb surrounding colleagues. On the upside, you don’t have to manage a battery life and they’ll be comfortable to wear for hours without feeling ear fatigue.

6.0 TV

Mediocre for watching TV. While they’ll be comfortable for binge-watching shows and movies, their cable is very short and won’t be ideal for watching from your couch, even with the PC splitter that you can only plug in the headphone jack. They’ll be a good option if you watch video content on your phone or PC, thanks to the minimal latency of their wired connection.

6.8 Gaming

Suitable for gaming. These gaming headphones are for people who want a very straightforward headset. They don’t have any controls or customizable options with a software. They are compatible with every console and PCs and will offer both audio and mic support on everything. They’ll be comfortable for long gaming sessions and their microphone is great for online communication.

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