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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This wired gaming headset can't be used wirelessly.
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.
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.
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.
This HyperX headset doesn’t have any controls, unlike the Cloud II.
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.
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.
These headphones don’t come with a case or pouch.
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.
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.
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.
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 the fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response and your experience may vary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These headphones are passive and don’t have a battery.
They don’t have a companion app that offers controls and customization options.
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.
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.
The HyperX Cloud Core come in one color variant: 'Black'. However, keep in mind that there's an upgraded variant of this model called the HyperX Cloud Core (7.1), which supports 7.1 surround sound. We haven't tested this model, though.
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 for 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.
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 have a slightly less uneven treble range. Both models are very versatile and are suitable for all platforms.
The HyperX Cloud 2/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.
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.
The Corsair HS50 are better sounding gaming headphones than the HyperX Cloud Core. They have volume controls and a mic-mute switch which the HyperX is lacking. Their sound quality is also more accurate, especially in the treble range. On the other hand, the HyperX are more comfortable and have a better sounding microphone for online gaming.