review

HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless Review PS5 Gaming Headset with Swivel Mute

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The headphone cable on most wired gaming headsets is located on the left earcup. While this, in itself, is not an issue, it does become a problem when your computer tower is setup on the far right side of your desk, forcing the headphone cable to stretch across, getting in the way of your gaming! Luckily, you can easily solve this problem with dual sided cable headphones or with a wireless gaming headset like the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless is a stereo headset that does not support 7.1 surround sound because it doesn't integrate a 7.1 surround sound USB adapter. That being said, if you have a Windows 10 computer, you can use a feature called "Windows Sonic for Headphones" to recreate 7.1 surround sound. Windows Sonic works with analog, USB and wireless headsets and, basically turns stereo sound into 3D surround sound. Windows Sonic is also supported by Xbox but the Cloud Stinger Core Wireless headset does not support Xbox. It does support Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Playstation 5 (PS5).
Being a wireless-only gaming headset, the Cloud Stinger Core Wireless is not as versatile as a gaming headset that offers a wired mode option - either 3.5mm or USB connection - like the Cloud Flight version does. Some headsets even offer dual wired connectivity (3.5mm and USB), although these type of headsets are typically wired-only headsets. 
Having a 3.5mm analog input on a headset is always great for mobile gaming, especially if you still own a phone with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Some USB headsets can be connected to a phone via OTG, allowing you to connect a USB headset to an Android smartphone that supports USB OTG. 
The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless is not the type of USB headset that works via OTG connection and, it only works wirelessly via the included HyperX 2.4Ghz wireless dongle. Bluetooth gaming headsets, in the other hand, will work with any bluetooth-enabled phone and don't use a dongle for connection; hence no chance of losing anything. 
HyperX does sell a replacement dongle for the Cloud Stinger Core Wireless, which you will need (if you lose it or break it) since you won't be able to use a third-party 2.4Ghz dongle like you can do with some wireless headsets (i.e. the old PS3 wireless headset - model number CECHYA-0080). 
Most newer wireless headsets cannot be re-paired with a third-party dongle because of how they are configured. In order to pair a wireless headset to any dongle, both the wireless dongle and headset need to have a pinhole type reset button. The HyperX dongle does have a pinhole button located on top of the unit (near the status led), which you need to hold down for a few seconds to re-pair. The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless headset does not have a pinhole button. 
2.4Ghz wireless headsets like the Cloud Stinger Core Wireless do have an advantage over Bluetooth headsets though, and that is no connectivity drop outs, no pairing needed and no lag because of the dedicated 2.4Ghz connection created from the dongle to the headset. Bluetooth headsets do use the same 2.4Ghz wireless band but, it is shared with other bluetooth peripherals; hence not as stable and liable to interference from other bluetooth devices. In terms of range, the HyperX dongle provides similar range to a Bluetooth headset chip (up to 12 meters) and does also require direct line of sight.  
Closer in performance to a 2.4Ghz wireless headset is Bluetooth aptX low latency, which some bluetooth headsets support. While aptX (LL) low latency lowers lag considerably, the connection can still be liable to Bluetooth interference, potentially making latency go up, which does not happen with 2.4Ghz wireless headsets. Another drawback with Bluetooth aptX LL, it's that the connecting device has to also support Bluetooth aptX LL and not all computers or consoles support Bluetooth aptX LL natively; hence having to use an aptX LL dongle to get that ability.
The HyperX 2.4Ghz wireless dongle is not the nano type and it's rather large, measuring 5cm long, 2cm wide and 0.5cm thick. The dongle does stick out considerably from a USB port, which doesn't feel as practical at first but, it is actually not a bad thing on the long run because it is less likely to get misplaced like nano dongles do. Also, because of the size, the HyperX dongle can be wedged inside the earcup for secure storage. 
The Cloud Stinger Core Wireless microphone is attached to a flexible, non-detachable 15cm long boom arm, which integrates a swivel mute, which automatically disables the mic sound when rotating the boom arm all the way up. While the microphone arm cannot be detached and put away, it is more practical than having a fixed, non-rotating boom arm mic. The microphone on the Cloud Stinger Core Wireless rotates all the way up, allowing you to keep it out of sight too. 
The microphone type used in the Cloud Stinger Core Wireless is uni-directional with noise-cancellation, which is rather unique since most gaming headsets usually use omni-directional (some bi-directional) mics. It's surprising most gaming headsets don't use a unidirectional noise-canceling microphone when school headsets use them so, students don't disturb each other. The Cloud Stinger Core Wireless unidirectional noise-canceling microphone works great, picking your natural sounding voice, while noise from the sides, front and back gets suppressed, which is perfect when playing with others or sitting close to noise. 
Most volume knobs use a potentiometer with a single turn type to adjust volume. The Cloud Stinger Core Wireless though, uses an incremental encoder with infinite rotation like a scroll wheel so, it feels like scrolling with a mouse when spinning the volume wheel. Aside from feeling different, the performance seems the same, although there is one advantage with an infinite volume wheel and that is, it is less likely to become "scratchy". The loud Stinger Core Wireless volume wheel will make an audible beep when reaching max volume.
Next to the volume wheel, on either side, there is a power button and a USB-C charging port. You can listen to audio while charging them and it only takes 2.5 hours for a full charge. Runtime is up to 17 hours on 50% volume with a long standby. 
The earcups along with the headband are made of plastic and feature an inner steel band and a yoke that allows the earcups to tilt up and down. The earcups have a slight swivel give but they do not properly revolve since the yoke doesn't have a swivel mechanism. 
The Cloud Stinger Core Wireless has thick firm padding on the underside of the headband, which is also covered with mesh weave fabric. The headband measures 3cm wide and has a beveled edge on one side with a deep engraving of HyperX on top.
Artificial leather accents can be found along the outer perimeter of the earpad, as well as inside the earpad. A lot of headphones earpads use breathable mesh to line the inner hole of the earpad, while others use artificial leather. Breathable mesh does help minimize heat build up so, ears don't become as sweaty. 
The memory foam padding of the Cloud Stinger Core Wireless earpads is covered with soft mesh weave fabric and lined internally around the inner perimeter with artificial leather, which has been punctured strategically with small holes. While some ventilation is better than nothing, it doesn't appear to be as breathable as mesh fabric. These ventilation holes aren't actually visible and you wouldn't know they are there unless you press down on the foam. 
The Cloud Stinger Core Wireless has a battery notification light, which is always useful for telling how much charge there is left. That said, the battery range is not as practical as some battery notification lights, which break down battery status into four quadrants (0-25%, 26%-50%, 51%-75% and 76%-100%). 
The Cloud Stinger Core Wireless battery led does display three battery ranges (100% =solid green, 15%-99%=breathing green and <15%=breathing red) but, the battery range from 15% to 99%, essentially ranges from very low battery to almost full charge without a middle ground; hence it is not as practical. The battery status led is not manually activated either. It remains lit up automatically during audio playback.
The Cloud Stinger Core Wireless earpads have a vertical elliptic design, measuring 6.5cm high and 4cm wide (inner), while the outer measures 10cm high and 8cm wide. The inner hole has a 2cm depth to the driver, which is covered with a thin layer of fabric. Despite the lack of swivel, the Cloud Stinger Core Wireless headset is extremely comfortable on the head, mainly because of the low weight (244 grams) and low clamping force.
Since the Cloud Stinger Core Wireless headset connects via a USB dongle, it is technically a USB headset; hence you will have to manually make the Cloud Stinger Core Wireless headset the default audio device of your computer from the playback list of devices. 
With analog 3.5mm headsets, you don't have to do this since the audio manager of your computer automatically does it for you. Interestingly though, there is no microphone volume option showing for the Cloud Stinger Core Wireless, which usually shows with headsets, along with a headphone volume. This means, you cannot manually adjust the volume level of the Cloud Stinger Core Wireless microphone.
Being closed-back headphones, the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless retain the sound inside the earcup, while the earpads do a decent job of sealing the sound in and blocking out background noise, so much so that you can barely hear yourself talk while they're on. 
In terms of sound, the Cloud Stinger Core Wireless deliver good bass sound and loud volume via 40mm dynamic drivers with 95.5dB sensitivity and 16 ohm impedance. The treble and midrange is clean with clear stereo separation fo hearing direction of shots and footsteps, although not as detailed as the Cloud Flight S headset 7.1 sound.
Other accessories included are a HyperX branded USB-A to USB-C charging cable. The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless is available to buy from amazon and HyperX. There is also a similar HyperX headset called Cloud Stinger Wireless, which looks just like the Stinger Core Wireless but has a micro USB charging port, swivel earcups and larger 50mm drivers. 
Gadget Explained disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

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