Should you’ve ever wished you may put on your gaming headset out and about with out wanting like a strolling, speaking RGB Christmas tree, you then would possibly wish to flip your consideration to the HyperX Cloud Combine. Indoors, it connects to your PC by way of its two-pronged three.5mm adapter; open air, its Bluetooth four.2 assist means you may as well hearken to stuff and take calls in your telephone or different such Bluetooth-enabled gadget. It’s additionally decidedly freed from any blinking lights or garish colors save two massive, however semi-tasteful silver HyperX logos on every ear cup, and its flexible microphone might be popped on or off at will, retaining issues good and streamlined for while you enterprise exterior. However is it price plonking down £180 / $170 on it? Right here’s wot I feel.
Design-wise, the Cloud Combine is definitely similar to HyperX’s Cloud Alpha. It doesn’t include the Alpha’s beautiful pink trim sadly, however its massive, 40mm audio drivers share the identical twin chamber development that’s meant to assist separate out the bass from the highs and mids. I used to be an enormous fan of this on the Alpha, and I hoped the Combine would produce the identical wealthy, detailed soundscape because of this.
Alas, the Combine clearly isn’t destined for best gaming headset greatness, because it was significantly muddier than the Alpha once I put it by my gaming check suite. In Doom, for example, Tremendous Shotgun pictures landed with a boring thud in most enemy skulls, and the scrumptious squishes and squelches of its juicy finisher strikes merely plopped quite than dripped with tinkling element. Its wider, heavy steel battle music sounded all proper, however on the entire every encounter felt distinctly unsatisfying to play, which is not what you need in a sport like Doom.
The opening sequence of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice fared somewhat higher, however even right here the voices inside Senua’s head sounded a bit bland. All of its 360-degree binaural audio labored completely effective, and there was a superb stability between the rumbling thunder and the splash of Senua’s oars on the river. However whereas some headsets have made my backbone tingle listening to the opening narration, the Combine left me chilly. It produced a good sufficient sound on the entire, however nothing significantly particular.
The identical went for Remaining Fantasy XV. For essentially the most half, the sport’s soundtrack was completely serviceable. The bass didn’t overwhelm the zips and zaps of Noctis’ teleport slashes and its orchestral backing music sounded beautiful and balanced. On additional listening, nevertheless, smaller feels like chocobo warks and water splashes usually acquired misplaced within the fray, coming throughout a lot quieter than all the pieces else. Once more, ‘effective’ might be the phrase I’d use to explain the Cloud Combine general, however I don’t assume ‘effective’ is actually adequate for a £180 / $170 headset.
It didn’t get significantly better once I tried utilizing the Cloud Combine as an atypical listening headset, both – each as a wired headset and over Bluetooth. Switching over to my Remaining Fantasy XV soundtrack in iTunes, the strings sounded very muddy and muted in comparison with different headsets I’ve tried prior to now, together with the Cloud Alpha, and quite a lot of the finer percussion element simply wasn’t as clear as I’d like.
Fortunately, rock and pop tracks weren’t fairly as dire, with the Combine producing a good quantity of bass to stability out the vocals in almost each check monitor. Similar to Hellblade, nevertheless, one thing was lacking. It’s exhausting to explain, however each little bit of music simply felt like one huge shoulder shrug. There was no depth to them, no toe-tapping element, nothing to immediately make me go, ‘oh yeah, that’s the stuff.’ Nadda.
It’s a disgrace, because the removable microphone was actually fairly wonderful. Every part was crystal clear once I recorded myself speaking in Audacity, with nary a touch of wind pop or hissing static.
It’s additionally probably the most comfy HyperX headsets I’ve worn to date, its delicate, plush reminiscence foam headband sitting very agreeably upon my tiny noggin for hours at a time. I’ve had combined outcomes with different HyperX headsets prior to now – the Cloud Alpha was nearly all proper for a few hours, however I didn’t actually get on with the Cloud Flight‘s headband in any respect – so it’s good to see issues are getting higher on this respect with every subsequent headset HyperX put out.
The Cloud Combine’s Bluetooth battery lifetime of as much as 20 hours can be fairly respectable as this stuff go, but it surely nonetheless can’t beat HyperX’s correct wi-fi headset, the aforementioned Cloud Flight, which lasts for as much as 30 hours with all of its LEDs turned off.
I actually wished to love the HyperX Cloud Combine, however when it prices a lot greater than virtually every other gaming headset on the market, its audio high quality merely isn’t adequate to suggest it over HyperX’s infinitely better-sounding Cloud Alpha or, certainly, Cloud Flight. Whereas the Bluetooth assist will little doubt be helpful to some, you’re paying an terrible huge premium for it over your conventional wi-fi headsets that use a USB dongle, which let’s not overlook are nonetheless totally appropriate along with your laptop computer while you’re on the go.
Should you’re actually useless set about having one thing to make use of along with your telephone in addition to your laptop computer then I’d need to suggest the £94 / $100 Steelseries Arctis three Bluetooth as an alternative, as that has the identical nice audio drivers as my present best gaming headset champ, the Steelseries Arctis 7, and has a superior 28 hour battery life in addition. In any other case, these merely after a wonderful wired headset ought to make their means over to the £85 / $80 Corsair Void Pro RGB.