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