The HyperX Cloud Flight S is the next evolution in the Cloud headset range by HyperX. It offers nifty features like Qi charging as well as superior battery life, and supports PCs as well as the PlayStation 4. Here’s what we thought of it.
I still remember when HyperX was being introduced as Kingston’s all new gaming-specific brand, with new memory modules that had excellent specs and a cool design. Since then, they’ve steadily expanded their portfolio, and now offer solid options for many product categories in almost every price range. Their keyboard and headset ranges in particular have really branched out over the years, with headsets now supporting a multitude of devices and features.
The Cloud Flight S continues this tradition, which started out with the original Cloud and went wireless with the Flight. The Flight S might appear like a minor revision in name, but it’s quite a different beast – first things first though.
Opening up the HyperX Cloud Flight S, I was surprised to find only a detachable mic, USB dongle and a charging cable inside – next to the headset itself, of course. My surprise was mainly due to the fact that there’s no Qi charger included, so the Qi charging feature of the headset is fairly useless unless you already have a charger unit or bought the new charger that HyperX has also released. In my case, I hooked up a cheap third party Qi charging pad I had already bought, and it worked right away.
The headset itself looks great, especially compared to earlier HyperX models. While it’s still a plastic frame (with metal in the band to help you adjust and clamp it), there’s a much more premium look to the design. Going with all black and a more subtle logo on the earcups, these definitely look better than the earlier models with red or white plastic accents covering the earcups. I still feel like the logo should be more much subtle than it is, but it’s a big step in the right direction.
The build quality is also good, with an easy to adjust headband (that had padding in the middle to give more support for your head) that clamps well and earcups that are lined with faux leather which helps to make it feel cool and comfortable even during longer sessions. What’s also worth pointing out is that they do a good job of isolating outside noise, just like the original Flight did.
Ease of use
Making use of the HyperX Cloud Flight S using a wireless function is incredibly easy on both a PC and a PS4. It uses a USB dongle that you can simply be inserted into a free slot, and you’re ready to go. There are customization options and they are easier to handle when using HyperX’s NGenuity software, but most users will be happy with the default options.
If you choose to tweak the experience, you can reprogram four buttons on the side of your left earcup. Coming from just one programmable button on the original Flight, this is a huge improvement in terms of versatility, as you can now have easy access to things like switching between music tracks or different audio profiles that make more (or less) use of a microphone.
The USB connectivity does mean that the Flight S doesn’t work as a regular wired headset on a phone or MP3 player, which is a shame. That also makes this a headset best geared towards home use as long as you’re not traveling with a laptop, which I’m sure will be a factor to some.
As with any wireless headset, battery life and range are going to be important factors, and the Cloud Flight S excels at both – especially in the battery department. Its range is about 20 meters, so for most setups this means that the headset will work even when you move up a floor. There was just too much concrete in the way when I moved up another floor, but for all general purposes this is a great range if you just want to keep listening to music or stay in that teleconference call while you take a walk inside the house.
The battery life is even more impressive though, with over 30 hours of playback time on a single charge. That’s for normal use by the way, and I imagine it’s even more if you play back sounds at a low volume. I’ve seen battery life like this before, but rarely on a gaming headset, so if battery life is important then HyperX’s latest should definitely be on your radar.
Also related to battery life are the charging options for the Flight S. On a wired connection I found that the headset charged fully in just under four hours, which is very reasonable when you consider its 30+ hour battery life. The Qi charging took a bit longer, but that might be down to my cheap pad or the port I had it hooked up to. Depending on what you’re using, you Qi results may vary.
Obviously, sound is important as well, and the Cloud Flight S feels optimized for gaming with a slight emphasis on bass-heavy sounds. This is no surprise considering its reliance on a USB connection with a PS4 or PC, but it’s worth highlighting if your main use is anything but gaming. For music that’s not terribly bass-heavy I found the Cloud Flight S less responsive than my go-to pair of headphones, though those are meant for hi-fi use. For shooters, action movies or dance music, the Flight S is absolutely fine.
Ironically, the included mic is a bit like the opposite of the speakers, emphasizing sharper (and higher) sounds. This makes for a good and dynamic mix during gaming, where speech and game audio are easy to distinguish. During a teleconference setting this can make voices sound a little “off”, but unless you have very specific requirements for a headset in the mic department it works just fine as a general purpose microphone.
The changes made to the Cloud Flight with the Cloud Flight S are great, but they’re also very specific. The already excellent battery life got even better, and the added controls are a welcome new change. The headset feels like a step back in terms of connectivity (not allowing for wired use), but the included surround sound features are great and even work without the need for an elaborate setup. You already have a good option if you don’t care about surround (or Qi charging) in the regular Flight, but if you enjoy a more feature-rich experience on a PS4 or PC then this is a step up to definitely consider.