At PAX West ’17, Kingston has brought out the new HyperX Cloud Alpha headset and seeks to continue making a name for itself in the gaming world. Their HyperX branded gaming accessories have been growing in both quality and number since just about three years ago. I had a chance to chat with Mark Tekunoff, the Corporate PR Manager for HyperX and get some details on their latest headset. What is it? The New Cloud Alpha (Left) compared to the original Cloud (right) HyperX has now been creating headsets for 3 years, with their tried and true original Cloud 1 getting things started. The company started strong, there were many reviews that held it in high esteem, and according to Tekunoff, “over a dozen people have called it out as the Best Headset of 2017”. With all these accolades, the company’s main question became “How to make a good thing better?” In order to find the root solution, HyperX sought out all feedback possible. Instead of just looking at what they, personally, thought was good or bad. So they sought public feedback outlets such as forums, from top retailers, to get unbiased, honest feedback. Retailers such as Amazon and NewEgg provided some of their groundwork, however, those weren’t their only sources. Internet discussions weren’t enough for them. They went so far as bringing people into their office. High schoolers, college students, and even pro gamers were consulted and asked two very simple questions, with two very complex answers. “What did you like and dislike about HyperX Headsets?” Proving flexible and durable, you can see the versatility of the Cloud Alphas. Detachable mic and input/output cable Fit and Finish After getting the most optimal feedback available, changes were made and due to make the best headset possible. What were they? Well, a few updates include a modern matte black overall look and finish. Also, to add to a more modern style, laser cuts were introduced to the forks. These cuts are hard lines, but not too hard to cause issues. There is no place on these puppies for rough edges that might catch on hair, chairs, or even something that could scratch your desk or couch when laid down. However, this wasn’t the only thing changed. Updates to the ear foam and leatherette covering were changed to be even softer. Finally, to ensure that extra bit of long term use, they Cloud Alphas also reduce the pressure of the headset clamping down on the side of the head. Sounds Pretty Good! Dual chambers, housing both Bass (bottom) and High/Mid (highlighted in red) to offer better audio performance. By far the biggest change to the Cloud Alpha is the new large and innovative 50mm driver. Now, two different chambers are at work to resonate various sounds back into the user’s ears. This new driver has been uniquely designed for the Cloud Alpha headset. With the new driver, HyperX has brought forth a dual-chamber design on sound. The bottom chamber is “dedicated to tuning the bass sound, while the other chamber is tuning the mids and the high frequencies,” according to Tekunoff. These additional chambers help to create “better and more accurate sounds.” I had a chance to try them out at PAX West, and they certainly live up to HyperX’s hype. R&B, Rap, Rock, and all types of music sounded crisp, clear, and had just the right amount of highs, lows, and bass. Works for Everything Versatility is clearly a focus for the design team, as the Cloud Alpha now has inline volume control and mute. The means, as Tekunoff indicated, it “works on PC, mobile, and consoles”, and all of this comes in just a $99 headset package.