HyperX Cloud Alpha: not only redesign, but also rethinking the filling

Classic does not age, but it gets better over time. Especially if its competently upgrade. In our report from Igromir, we have already spoiled the announcement of our new headset: it is time to disassemble it to the smallest details.

So, HyperX Cloud Alpha: What's new and unique in you?

Design and construction

The concept common to the entire line of related Clouds has not gone away. At the base of the headband is a metal frame to which all load bearing elements are attached. The loudspeaker cups are adjustable on the flight and have some freedom along the vertical axis, while they are attached to the aluminum frames through secure and strong hinges. The flexibility of the metal allows the headphones to “adjust” to the head in the longitudinal plane, and the soft ear cushions and headband are filled with polyurethane foam with a memory effect and pulled into practical leatherette with a “breathing” structure.

The positive sides remain unchanged: the headset sits on the head perfectly, does not pinch the skull and at the same time holds on perfectly. Ears do not sweat (warm air along with water vapor perfectly passes through the material of soft elements), the head does not hurt, the neck does not ache: to compensate for some weighting of the structure, a different material of the brackets was used, and they themselves received milled grooves. This did not affect the strength, but restoring the balance helped.

Those who are lucky enough to be born with a large and intelligent brain (and the corresponding skull), and ordinary Cloud liked, but seemed close, can throw a party. New headband bends better, and half-arches are moved apart a good ten millimeters further. Now the headset will sit on anyone's head: from junior to alien.

As part of the design, everything is familiar: a proprietary combination of black and red in addition to the overall severity. This time the color accents were aluminum elements and the logos themselves, everything else is the most practical color in the world. The only noticeable change is the shape of the speaker cups: the usual rounded contours had to be abandoned in favor of less streamlined oval cylinders: the new filling requires a little more space than the old one. Well, the feature, which was asked for a long time - is a completely removable cable.

New cable - new remote

In the past Cloud, some users have noted the unsuccessful design of the volume control on the wire: the wheel clung to the clothes and ... well, you understand. As a result, the headset has gained a new control panel.

As you can see, this design eliminates random adjustment. Fingers - no problem, the wheel is easy to find by touch, it turns easily. The microphone can be turned on and off in one motion, and again, without random triggers.

Sound enhancements

HyperX Cloud has always been good headphones. Perhaps, not the most balanced in terms of sound, but very worthy for their money. Further improvement of certain characteristics in the field of audio playback led to unpleasant distortions: to make a popular move and add low frequencies in order for special effects in games to sound more voluminous? The rest of the range will suffer, you will have to actively intervene in the sound range with an equalizer. Make the sound more detailed? The volume will be lost - the headset will be inferior in subjective perception in comparison with competitors.

It is possible to achieve both at the same time, but at what cost? It will be necessary to install components of a higher class (with a completely different price tag, even in bulk), and this will affect the popularity of the model and the image. In addition, HyperX Cloud Revolver and its brother with virtual 7.1 - Revolver S. already exist in the premium segment. Why rock the boat and create internal competition?

At the same time, in expensive high-end headphones, there is a proven technology that allows “little blood” to achieve high-quality sound and combine opposing characteristics in a single product.

Instead of one speaker with one resonant camera, two different approaches are used: either several emitters with different characteristics, or one, but with different resonators to separate the low-frequency component from the mid and high frequencies. Last and applied to HyperX Cloud Alpha.

One speaker, two resonators

In theory, everything works simply: the pitch of the sound is directly dependent on the oscillation frequency. Oscillations are generated by the electromagnetic coil to which the membrane is attached.

Depending on the frequency, the waveform changes and which part of the membrane will do the main “work” on air oscillation. A good example of the difference in sound waves can be viewed on this video:

Knowing the distribution of “working areas” for certain frequencies, it is possible to choose the appropriate form resonant chambers that work most effectively in this particular range. What the engineers did.

In such headphones, the low-frequency component has almost no effect on the reproduction of medium and high frequencies: as a result, both the wolves are safe and the sheep are fed. All sorts of special effects (such as explosions and shots) have not suffered - the bass with a force hits the ears, a shot from a 125-mm tank gun no longer looks like a blow with a stick at an empty iron barrel. At the same time, the sound of the sleeves on the concrete is also heard clearly and clearly.

Work in games

Realistic special effects very often require from the headphones qualities that kill the entire value of the headset for eSports - the correct definition of the direction of sound. With sharpening eSports from HyperX, the Cloud Drone Limited Edition was released, and the entire Cloud lineup (Cloud, Cloud II, Cloud Core, Cloud Alpha, Cloud Silver, CloudX) is a kind of compromise between the authenticity of the sound panorama and immersion into the game world.

Explosions, shots and the roar of military equipment engines transmit headphones to a solid top five. The voices of characters in any GTA V sound convincingly and clearly. In autos, you can understand from which side the enemy is going to overtake (purely by the sound of the engine). In cooperative entertainment and all sorts of MMO voice communication for five plus. In general, despite the sharpening of high-quality music playback and various effects, the gaming headset did not lose what makes it gaming: the ability to focus on hearing and communicate with the team. However, it was difficult to expect something else here - the series has been produced not for the first year, the engineers have enough experience.


The microphone is the same as that of the other “Clouds” in the series: electret capacitor sensitive element with a narrowly targeted sensitivity chart and passive noise cancellation.

Flexible rod, pop filter, detachable connection, on / off switch on the complete four-wire cable. Classic.

The voice transmits purely, in a large range of loudness, it is possible to communicate in a half-voice and at night, and during the day, let the bundles work at a comfortable level for them. Audibility will be excellent in both cases, there is no distortion in timbre.

Listening to music

Perhaps the most interesting part of the test. As usual, everyone’s ears are different, and it’s difficult to argue with personal perception features, so everything below is a person’s personal sensation, who “dabbled” in various headphones in a very different price range: up to several thousand dollars.

We will test the same as usual: complex rock compositions, jazz and blues, classical music performed as one instrument, as well as whole orchestras. All these genres have in common complexity and diversity of sound. You can listen to music as a whole, or try to highlight the details, isolate parts of individual instruments, see how purely the speakers work out certain moments. So let's get started.

BB King's vocals: juicy baritone, full of characteristic overtones and gruff hoarseness, which has become the hallmark of Memphis blues, and indeed its composition is an excellent material for testing headphones. Rich vocals, sophisticated and resonant guitar parts, distinctive brass sound - everything merges in a single stream of stunningly harmonious combinations.

The headset with ease passes this test: the sound is holistic, there is no “blockage” in frequencies, all test compositions sound like a single whole. At the same time, it is worth listening a bit - and you can easily put the dominant on the music, vocals or individual parts. Listen to the work of the trumpet or saxophone, catch the work of the drums or the piano.

Queen's compositions can be described in a similar way: sonorous vocals, a wide variety of music and various playing techniques, and all this is heard not so much as usual, but the ease with which one can switch attention from one instrument to another. deserves respect. At the same time, the sound of music does not turn into a “simultaneous play of different musicians,” music remains music.

Rachmaninov's piano works cannot be described in words: it is very difficult music, even for one instrument. The work of the HyperX Cloud Alpha headset can be described as “trying with all its might”: in terms of the purity of the sound, the claims zero, volume and depth are present. But such music, nevertheless, must be listened to in a live performance.

In terms of orchestral music, this time the choice is somewhat unusual (although it is close to the target audience of the gaming headset). Video Games Live concerts at Gamescom are an opportunity to see how familiar to you, the "background" music looks live. Everything is simple: see how someone plays - try to hear this particular instrument. Impressions are beyond words.

The result of the work of Cloud Alpha you are already ready to predict yourself: yes, the sound is perfectly “divided” into components when necessary, but at the same time you can close your eyes and just drown in music.

Characteristics and scope of delivery

The package bundle is the same as the other “regular” headsets of the Cloud series. In the box, in addition to the headphones themselves, you can find:

Headphone specifications:

Type of ear cushions: Covering, closed
Speaker: Original Dynamic (50 mm) with Neodymium Magnets
Frequency response: 13 Hz –27 000 Hz
Resistance: 65 Ohm
Sound pressure level: 98 dB SPL / mW at 1 kHz
Non-linear distortion factor: <1%
Weight: 298 g
Weight with microphone and cable: 336 g
Cable length and type: Removable headset cable (1.3 m) + PC extension cable (2 m)
Connection: Removable headset cable - 3.5 mm plug (4-pole) + PC extension cable - 3.5 mm stereo and microphone plugs

Microphone specifications:

Element: Electret Condenser Microphone
Directivity pattern: Narrow beam, passive noise reduction
Frequency response: 50 Hz - 18 000 Hz
Sensitivity: -43 dBV (0 dB = 1 V / Pa, 1 kHz)

Where to buy and how much they ask

The headset is available in 4frag and DNS stores for 8990 rubles, and in 4frag you will find a nice bonus: a hard travel case as a gift. The offer is valid only for buyers from the Russian Federation, and the number of gifts is limited.

Another good news is that the junior headset in the Cloud line (comfortable and aimed at eSportser) in the DNS has become cheaper: now 4,499 rubles are being asked for it. The range of discounts and promotions is constantly changing, and before the New Year holidays there will be a whole avalanche of pleasant prices. Subscribe to our blog and do not miss a single tasty offer!

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/407661/

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