3D audio, at a price
Although this headset costs quite a few pennies, it’s premium price shouldn’t scare you away. At its core, it is an amazing, simple pair of gaming headphones, with the fantastic-sounding planar magnetic drivers running the show. And, yes, these are the same drivers as those in the Audeze Mobius headphones.
HyperX is no stranger to premium headphones, but with so many great mid-range gaming headsets in the market, should you even consider these?
Let’s find out in our in-depth HyperX Cloud Orbit S Review…
Unboxing is simple. The same can be said for the included accessories. There is a convenient carry bag, although a hard case would have been better. Additionally, there is a standard 3.5mm audio cable and a USB-A to USB-C cable.
The earpads are the same as most of HyperX’s mid-range and premium headphones. The pads use memory foam that gently hugs your ears. Furthermore, they only become more comfortable as the pads conform to the shape of your ears. Wrapped around the memory is leatherette, which does build up a bit of heat, but never at uncomfortable levels.
The earcups are a little narrow, which might be an issue if you have abnormally large ears. That being said, we never found them to be too small.
The headband is loose enough to offer more than enough comfort, even during long gaming sessions. During our weekend with Cyberpunk 2077, we spent six hours a day playing non-stop with no discomfort at all.
Simple controls and decent construction…
As with most premium headphones around its price, the build is mostly plastic. The matte-black does look great and lends to the premium aesthetic these are obviously going for.
The planar magnetic drivers are on the heavier side. But the earphones are well balanced and never felt heavy on our heads.
All the buttons can be found on the left earcup. It took us a while to get used to where each button was, especially with so much going on. There is an on/off switch, volume dial, microphone dial, and a 3D button. The dials can also be pressed to access other functions.
How does the HyperX Cloud Orbit S sound?
Let’s talk about the 3D audio first.
This headset includes the same amazing 3D audio features that are found on the Audeze Mobius headphones.
The headset uses Waves NX 3D technology. It not only creates a 7.1 surround sound effect that can be used in a bunch of video games but actually uses real-time head tracking to create a stunning 3D effect.
HyperX includes a version of the desktop app used by the Audeze Mobius headphones, which allows for custom EQ settings and saving your head tracking profiles.
The massive 100mm planar magnetic drivers are the best sounding drivers for less than $400. There are no better drivers for gaming than these at the price.
The bass is ever so slightly boosted in the upper, low-range frequencies. This creates some extra oomph when gaming. Explosions, gunfire, and rumbles sound more alive than ever. The slight boost does enough to emphasize these sounds without causing any sort of audio masking.
There is a slight dip around the 5kHz frequencies, but not enough to make a noticeable difference. Vocals and most instruments sit between 500Hz and 4kHz, which is mostly unaltered here.
Great for music…
The hi-hats and cymbals, which are found in the higher frequencies above 4kHz, sound great with no ear-piercing moments present, no matter which genre we tested. Arlo Parks “Black Dog” sounds better than ever on these. The guitar sounds present and as detailed as can be. The reverb piano in the background is lush, whilst the vocals sit beautifully center.
The drumbeat isn’t the star of this song but still sounds full. There is enough punch added with the bit of boosted bass so that the song never feels dull.
The headset comes with a removable 3.5mm condenser microphone. We love the fact that the microphone is removable; since these headphones sound so great, just listening to music is an absolute treat.
Rocking these on our daily commute and in the office meant we didn’t look like we were about to blast away at some zombies during work time.
Microphone performance is great. Although we did find that the typical de-emphasizing of the lower-range frequencies was noticeable. This is mostly to keep noise from air-conditioners and fans blowing in the room to a minimum. However, if you have an especially deep voice, you might come off sounding a bit robotic.
We spent some time on video calls with family members wearing these and received no complaints whatsoever. That said, quality is definitely not up to par for streaming but should suffice for the odd business call or in-game chat.
Gaming with the HyperX Cloud Orbit S
The headphone works with any modern gaming machine from PC’s, the Switch, PS4/5, or Xbox consoles. This is because there is no Bluetooth here. These are strictly wired headphones, for better or worse.
Our daily drivers are a pair of Sony WH-1000XM3’s, and even then, we find ourselves mostly plugged into our computers or laptops. The only time we use wireless connectivity is when we are on our mobile phones. Therefore, if you use these for gaming, you most likely won’t need wireless connectivity anyway.
There are two connection options here, a USB connection or 3.5mm. We found ourselves mostly using the USB for laptops and computers.
We used the 3.5mm connection on a PS4. That’s because the long USB cable plugged directly into the console looked and felt awkward hanging across the living room floor towards the sofa. Plugging it into the remote is a better option.
The headset only supports stereo sound on the consoles. That means if you want the full 3D experience, you will have to game on a computer. If you are a console gamer, these headphones and their price might not be worth your time.
Ideal for first-person gaming…
It’s also not as useful if you play sports games or MOBA’s where spatial recognition isn’t an integral part of the game. Playing games like COD Warzone or Fortnite, we did hear a recognizable difference between standard stereo, 5.1, and the 3D on these headphones.
Hearing exactly where footsteps were coming from gave us a slight advantage, although these won’t make you a better gamer overnight.
Who is the HyperX Cloud Orbit S for?
PC gamers! If you enjoy gaming on the PC and you are looking for a decent pair of headphones that support surround sound, there is nothing better on the market than these. They offer clear, crisp audio quality, with a feature-rich app that allows you full control over your 3D audio experience.
These headphones are also excellent for audiophiles who enjoy some casual gaming.
If you detach the microphone, these headphones blend in with the rest of the high-quality earphones in the market. The matte black design is reminiscent of Sony’s range of premium headphones. The drivers sound immaculate, and with a slight EQ tweak, you will find them to be perfectly neutral if that’s what you prefer.
HyperX Cloud Orbit S Review Pros and Cons
- Excellent sound quality.
- 3D audio sounds great.
- Works with all current consoles and PC.
- No wireless options.
Looking for Something Else?
To satisfy your gaming audio needs, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best PC Gaming Headsets, the Best Gaming Headset, the Best Wireless Gaming Headsets, and the Best Razer Gaming Headsets you can buy in 2021.
HyperX Cloud Orbit S Review Conclusion
If you want the ultimate 3D audio immersion, look no further. Yes, they come at a hefty price, but these are simply the best at what they do for the price. Excellent sounding drivers, HyperX’s excellent comfort, and 3D audio all coupled together in a durable, plastic design.
There are very few faults to be found here. If you don’t care for 3D audio, you might find some better options for less such as Sony’s WH-1000XM3, which has class-leading active noise canceling.
However, if you are on a budget, HyperX’s Cloud Stinger is the best, affordable gaming headset currently on the market.
Until next time, happy listening.