Tech review: HyperX Cloud Orbit S is probably the best gaming headset right now

Gamers donning the Cloud Orbit S can expect to be awed by its amazing audio output.
Gamers donning the Cloud Orbit S can expect to be awed by its amazing audio output.PHOTO: KINGSTON TECHNOLOGIES

The HyperX Cloud Orbit S is a pair of premium gaming headset. It uses high-end audio company Audeze's 100mm planar transducer drivers and comes with the Waves Nx 3D audio technology for accurate sound positioning.

Plus, it uses the Waves Nx head-tracking technology that can track the tiniest head movements at nearly 1,000 times a second to deliver pinpoint sound localisation for highly realistic in-game audio.

As you might expect, you need the software to have all these bells and whistles. And instead of the HyperX's usual NGenuity Windows software, you need to download a separate HyperX Orbit software in order to fully utilise this gaming headset.

The Orbit software calibrates the headset to your head size and room ambient noise. You can also turn the 3D audio on or off, or set it to automatic, with the software.

There are also built-in sound profiles in the software that you can set for use in different games or scenarios. For instance, setting the sound profile to Ballistic provides more bass, which is useful in first-person shooters as you can hear where all the explosions are coming from.

In addition, the Orbit software allows for the head gestures control feature. For instance, you can set turning your head left to a certain degree as the trigger to activate the key A, which is used for moving left in many first-person shooters. This is a great feature for gamers with limited mobility. But I find it to be too sensitive at times, when it activates unwanted movements.

Gamers donning the Cloud Orbit S can expect to be awed by its amazing audio output, which has plenty of bass oomph as well as details in the mids and highs.

The 3D audio allows you to tell which direction the bullet is coming from and where the explosion is, which helps you better respond to incoming dangers.

  • FOR

    - Immersive 3D audio

    - Amazing sound quality

    - Comfortable fit

    - Detachable microphone, which picks up voice clearly

    - Comes with all the detachable cables you need

    AGAINST

    - Expensive

    - Plain design

    - 3D audio only works for PC

    - No Bluetooth connectivity

    TECH SPECS

    Price: $485

    Drivers: Audeze 100mm planar magnetic

    Frequency response: 10Hz to 50,000Hz

    Connectivity: USB-C, 3.5mm

    Weight: 380g (with detachable microphone)

    RATING

    Features: 5/5

    Design: 4/5

    Performance: 5/5

    Battery life 3.5/5

    Value for money: 4/5

    Overall: 4.5/5 [ST Tech Editor's Choice]

Unfortunately, this exhilarating experience is only available for PC gamers. The Orbit software do not support other platforms. While the Cloud Orbit S still works with the PlayStation 4, XBox One and Nintendo Switch consoles via a 3.5mm audio jack, it only offers stereo sound output.

Plus, design wise, the Cloud Orbit S looks pretty plain and simple with its black/grey matte finish, with only the HyperX logo splashed on the ear cups' and headband's exterior.

The headset has memory cushions on its ear cups and headband for a nice and comfortable fit. You will not get headaches wearing the headset on your gaming marathons though your ears might feel a tad warm after a while. The detachable microphone is easily adjustable and picks up my voice clearly.

All the controls, buttons and ports (USB-C, microphone and 3.5mm audio) are found at the bottom of the left ear cup. Only complaint here is sometimes I struggle to find the volume control as it is sited beside the microphone volume control.

The biggest bugbear is probably its price. At $485, the Cloud Orbit S is more expensive than similar surround-sound gaming headsets such as the Logitech G933S ($299) and the Razer Tiamat 7.1 V2 ($359.90). But none will be able to give you the kind of authentic 3D sound that the Cloud Orbit S can.

However, at this price point, one would expect Bluetooth connectivity. But it only has wired connection and comes with three cables - a 3.5mm audio cable, a USB-C-to-USB-C cable and a USB-A-to-USB-C cable - that let you connect this headset to any device.

Battery life is around 10 hours if using the audio jack connection.

Despite its flaws, the HyperX Cloud Orbit S is one of the best gaming headsets - if not the best one - that money can buy.