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HyperX Cloud Core Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Apr 30, 2019 at 10:57 am
HyperX Cloud Core Picture
Test Methodology v1.4
5.6
Mixed Usage
7.1
Neutral Sound
4.9
Commute/Travel
5.3
Sports/Fitness
5.5
Office
5.3
Wireless Gaming
7.3
Wired Gaming
7.4
Phone Calls
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.

Our Verdict

5.6 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.

7.1 Neutral Sound

Good for neutral 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.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
4.9 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.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
5.3 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.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
5.5 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.

See our Office recommendations
5.3 Wireless 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.

See our Wireless Gaming recommendations
7.3 Wired Gaming
7.4 Phone Calls
  • 5.6 Mixed Usage
  • 7.1 Neutral Sound
  • 4.9 Commute/Travel
  • 5.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.5 Office
  • 5.3 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.3 Wired Gaming
  • 7.4 Phone Calls
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.
  1. Update 3/26/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  2. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  3. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

Check Price

Test Results

Design
Design
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
Design
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
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
No Controls
Ease Of Use No Controls
Feedback No Controls
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No

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

6.1
Design
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
Design
Portability
L 7.1 "
W 5.5 "
H 3.2 "
Volume 125 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

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
Design
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
Design
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
Design
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.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

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

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
0.69 db
Treble Amount
-0.83 db
5.5
Sound
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.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.6
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.34 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
14.77 Hz
Low-Bass
0.6 dB
Mid-Bass
3.38 dB
High-Bass
4.92 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.

9.5
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
0.7 dB
Low-Mid
0.63 dB
Mid-Mid
0.24 dB
High-Mid
0.1 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.

6.3
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.88 dB
Low-Treble
-1.94 dB
Mid-Treble
3.68 dB
High-Treble
-2.62 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.

7.1
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.69 db
Dips
2.08 db
6.7
Sound
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.

5.7
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
1.49 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
4.06 dB
PRTF Distance
9.22 dB
Openness
4.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.7

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.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
8.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.154
WHD @ 100
0.080
Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
No Firmware
Power
Passive
Connection
Wired
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Boom
Isolation
5.3
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-13.39 dB
Bass
0.93 dB
Mid
-9.99 dB
Treble
-32.02 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
Isolation
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.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
Yes
Detachable Boom
Yes
8.4
Microphone
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
Microphone
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.

Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
No Battery
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Passive Headphone
Charging Port None

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

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

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

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
PC Latency (SBC)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
N/A
Android Latency
N/A

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

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

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length 3.6 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

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.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

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.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

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 Alpha
Unavailable
B&H

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
Newegg.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.

HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II
SEE PRICE
Newegg.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.

Corsair HS50
Unavailable
B&H

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.

HyperX Cloud Core Price

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