HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Core Review: Not Quite Ac-Core-ding to Expectations

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Hyper X Cloud Stinger 2 Core Review 01

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HyperX has offered quite a good variety of gaming headsets throughout the years from its sturdy and reliable Cloud series now led by the Cloud III to the more affordable Stinger line. Last year, the company unveiled its latest affordable headset with the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Core. 

Has the Cloud Stinger 2 Core stepped up its game from its predecessor, the Cloud Stinger Core from 2016? 

Before we check the headset out, I’d like to mention that we did all our testing on the base headset features only just so we get it on its raw performance. We didn’t get into the DTS Headphone: X software throughout this testing. 

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Core Gaming Headset Specs

Sensitivity95 dBSPL/mW at 1 kHz
Driver40mm, Dynamic with neodymium magnets
Impedance32 Ω
Frequency Response10 Hz – 25 kHz
Microphone ElementElectret condenser microphone
Microphone Sensitivity-40.5 dBV (1 V/Pa at 1 kHz)
Microphone TypeBi-directional, noise-cancelling
Cable Length2 mm with 15cm PC splitter cable

HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Core – Design and Unboxing Experience

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Unboxing the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Core is pretty much as bare bones as you get. It comes in a pretty simple glossy box predominantly red with hints of white and black. 

Opening the box itself, you’re greeted by a clear plastic that keeps the headset safe along with the accessories and documentation. This isn’t too exciting nor did it surprise me though as it is an affordable headset after all. 

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The headset comes with a DTS Headphone: X 2 year activation code, a Quick Start Guide, and a warranty card. Along with these is a 15cm PC splitter cable and a foam filter for the microphone. 

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Yes, the headset comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack that should be compatible with pretty much any device with a 3.5mm combo jack. The splitter though is pretty much essential for when you want to use the microphone and the headset while on your PC. 

HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Core Review 20

One thing I liked about the design of the Cloud Stinger 2 Core though is that the volume control has been moved to the back earcup rather than having an inline volume control along the 2mm cord. This is definitely convenient for me because I just dislike having to worry about the bit of the cord that is heavier than the rest. 

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The headset itself though, like its predecessor, is built from plastic. Although, it seems like the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Core has a bit more plastic, with the headphone adjustment arm being plastic as well. This was previously metal. Because of this unusual decision, the second-generation headset feels flimsy with a lot of flex. Although, it is pretty lightweight, which could be what the company was going for. 

That said though, I appreciate the matte black finish with a modern textured finish to the padded headband and earcups. The branding is as expected with a glossy HyperX logo on the top and metallic ones on each earcup. 

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The adjustment arm locks into place with notches and it gives you 8 levels of adjustment per side. Despite being notches in the plastic arm, it generally feels pretty secure when you have the headset on your head. 

The earcups are pretty average-sized, I say this because it fits pretty comfortably on my average-sized ears. Because of its build and weight, it doesn’t have a very firm clamp on your head which also is good for me because I wear eyeglasses but affects the bass the headset delivers. 

The microphone of the Cloud Stinger 2 Core now has a swivel-to-mute feature which I honestly appreciate. In order to mute it, you simply need to flip it upwards and if you need to use it, pull it down. Again, another convenient feature. However, I would prefer even a little tactile bump when you’ve fully deployed the microphone.

HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Core – Microphone Quality

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As someone that hasn’t been a huge fan of headset microphones, I was just as skeptical as of the microphone of the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Core. 

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Unusually, upon listening to our recording of the microphone, it was unusually quiet. You can listen to the sample below which was using the pre-installed Voice Recorder App on Windows using the .m4a format and recording level at 100. 

What I found unusual about it was that on Discord while playing Valorant with friends, I assumed they heard me fine. 

But I double-checked by recording a bit of audio on Audacity with default settings, and it was just roughly as soft as our soundcloud recordings. 

HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Core – User Experience and Conclusion

Audio Quality

The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Core, as far as audio quality goes, is pretty decent. It has decent mids with punchy and airy bass. I wouldn’t mind a bit more of the latter albeit, with a little bit more clamp force, you get these. 

It could use a bit more volume though so you get to appreciate the impressive sound separation while playing games like Valorant. Speaking of Valorant, after playing a couple of games, I noticed there’s a good balance of sound with gunshots and positional sound being pretty good. 

However, I think it could use a bit more volume so you can appreciate the sound separation mode. 

Microphone Quality

It’s pretty handy that you get a foam filter to help with the popping sound and to help filter out some wind. However, based on our recording, the microphone quality could definitely use more improvement. 

Does it work in the real world, as in on Discord with friends? Sure, I suppose. But Discord also has software-side tweaks like volume adjustment. So the recordings you heard above could be just where it’s at, which makes it an actually bigger issue than it seems. 

Comfort

Because it is a lightweight headset with just enough clamp force to stay secure, it makes for an easy recommendation for those looking for a headset you can use for long gaming sessions. 

On one hand, I appreciate that it doesn’t clamp down on my head too much because I use my eyeglasses while using the PC. But on the other hand, you forego a good amount of bass, as I previously mentioned as well as have audio leaking out the earcups. 

I think it ultimately falls down to your preference. Do you value comfort while wearing eyeglasses over better bass and audio quality, or do you prefer audio quality? I personally, prefer the former. 

Price 

The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Core is listed at PHP 2,390 on the official HyperX Shopee store

Overall, it’s a pretty decent contender in the entry-level gaming headset market. The company obviously had to make some trade-offs to get to this point, whether in build quality or audio quality, it somehow felt like the company took one step forward but two steps back. 

I think the point of contention though is the microphone, which while it has convenient features like the flip-to-mute, also sounded very faint in a recording. 

If you’re looking for a gaming headset, while on a tight budget, this could be an option. However, if you’re looking for a headset that you will use for streaming or even for online meetings, I’d say check it out as an option but look also look at other headsets, maybe like the Panther Pulsar V2 gaming headset. We reviewed that headset here. Meanwhile, if you want to check out what we thought of the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless, read our review here.

7.4Expert Score
HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Core Review: Not Quite Ac-Core-ding to Expectations

If you’re looking for a gaming headset, while on a tight budget, this could be a viable option with a good lightweight build and good audio quality. However, if you’re looking for a headset that you will use for streaming or even for online meetings, I’d say you can check out the Cloud Stinger 2 Core but the entry-level headset market is pretty wide. You can check out other headsets maybe like the Panther Pulsar V2 gaming headset.

Audio Quality
8
Mic Quality
5
Build Quality
7
Features
8
Price
8.8
Positive
  • Good audio quality
  • Lightweight
  • Design looks pretty modern
  • Glasses-friendly because clamp force isn't too hard
Negative
  • Purely plastic design
  • Flimsy build
  • Weak clamp force lessens bass
  • Weak microphone

Ram found his love and appreciation for writing in 2015 having started in the gaming and esports sphere for GG Network. He would then transition to focus more on the world of tech which has also began his journey into learning more about this world. That said though, he still has the mentality of "as long as it works" for his personal gadgets.

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