HyperX Cloud III review: best mic on a gaming headset

And a budget one at that

HyperX Cloud III on a white table
(Image: © Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

TechRadar Verdict

The HyperX Cloud III not only does everything better than its already popular predecessor, but it drops the price considerably as well. If you're looking for a great gaming headset that has an amazing mic and is super lightweight, you really can't go wrong with this.

Pros

  • +

    Amazing mic

  • +

    Great sound quality

  • +

    Sleeker and more comfortable design

  • +

    Very affordable

Cons

  • -

    Soundstage is good but nothing special

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HyperX Cloud III: Two-minute review

I am honestly loving this trend of gaming headset manufacturers competing against themselves rather than against each other. Brands like SteelSeries, Razer, Logitech, and now HyperX seem to be making it less about how they can beat the competition and more about how they can top their already impressive and well-beloved products.

SteelSeries literally overhauled its amazing Arctis line with the Arctis Nova, cementing its status as the best premium gaming headset brand. Razer made up for the great but flaw-riddled Razer BlackShark V2 Pro by fixing its issues and giving its ‘predecessor’ the same name, just to make it clear that our grievances didn’t go unnoticed. And Logitech took its best wireless gaming headset and made it even more superior by creating a whole new driver.

And now, we’ve got HyperX, tugging on our economizing heartstrings with an overhaul of the crowd-favorite HyperX Cloud II Wireless and even made it cheaper for good measure. With the release of the HyperX Cloud III, the Cloud is finally the best gaming headset it could be and really earning all that loyal fandom behind it.

HyperX Cloud III on a white table

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

If you don’t know already, the HyperX Cloud III’s predecessor had gathered quite a following due to its affordable price tag and good sound quality. So much so that if you look up what the best gaming headset is on Reddit, a number of people are likely to mention it alongside pricier options. 

My thing about that headset though is that I honestly didn’t get the hype. To me, it was a decent option at best, one that’s only good if you were on a tight budget. But then, you could also say that about a couple of offerings from Corsair and Turtle Beach. 

With the HyperX Cloud III, however, it’s clear that HyperX has upped its game since. It’s superior to its predecessor in every way with its better audio, more robust build quality, improved comfort, more connectivity options, a more modern look, and an elevated mic. 

I mention the mic last here specifically because it’s also the headset’s best feature. It’s one of the best mic on a gaming headset I’ve ever used, and the fact that it’s on a sub-$100/£100 one is even more astounding.

Editor’s Note: When I tested this headset, I did so alongside the Logitech Pro X 2 Lightspeed and made an error, conflating the two headsets because I was comparing the mic quality on both. I’ve gone through the article and corrected accordingly.

HyperX Cloud III on a white table

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

First, let’s have a chat about the improved design. HyperX has updated the look so that the HyperX Cloud III keeps up with the trends. Not that I do not love the look of the last one – I did appreciate the stitched edges of the headband, but this design is sleeker, more elegant, and has beautiful curves, even on the yokes. It’s what the gaming headset would look like if it miraculously melded together with a pair of Sony headphones.

HyperX Cloud III on a white table

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

The headband boasts a slightly plushier foam and a softer-to-the-touch leatherette finish, and it’s extremely bendable as well, making it more pliable that adds to its comfort. Adding to that comfort are the thicker ear cups, which are also very plush. 

HyperX Cloud III on a white table

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Thick memory foam in ear pads and headband certainly make for a very cushy experience. This is billed as “signature comfort” for good reason. The leatherette feels premium, even if it doesn’t feel like the most breathable material. If you tend to run hot, especially when gaming, you might want to give this a try first before committing.

HyperX Cloud III on a white table

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

HyperX says that the headset is more robust as well. And besides the 3.5mm and USB connectivity, you’re also getting USB-C, which makes it all the more versatile in terms of the platforms it’s compatible with. 

One of the best things about this gaming headset is that it’s incredibly lightweight, which really does add to your gaming experience. It might not be something you’ll notice in the beginning, but it’ll definitely help if you’re playing for hours at a time.

As with HyperX’s gaming peripherals, this has app support via the Ngenuity App, which is straightforward and easy to use, if not incredibly feature-rich. You can set volume, mic volume, mic monitoring, toggle surround sound, and use EQ, but that’s about it really. You do have access to multiple profiles and create more though. You can either choose a preset or create a new one yourself, and all of them are customizable via the 10-band EQ.

If you’re an EQ newbie, don’t worry about it. The HyperX Cloud III is a brighter-sounding headphone, but not painfully so. Besides, there’s a lot of people that prefer that. I personally do not mind it myself. It does have that “smile” frequency curve, which means it’s giving boosted lows and highs but less mids.

That means that the high end is crisp and detailed, and the low end has a lot of oomph – just what people look for in their gaming headset. In Kena: Bridge of Spirits, I could clearly hear all the twinkling sounds in the game, especially when I’m sending out a pulse while the low end gives the soundgrack gravitas.

Hip-hop music like Kedrick Lamar’s Humble also sounds pretty good on these headphones. However, the mids are somewhat recessed so rock music sounds anemic.

The soundstage is good but not anything special – about on par with most decent gaming headsets - but the sound imaging is more than adequate to clearly hear where everything is, including far-off enemies in games likes CS:GO. There is DTS:X Spatial Sound, but you can only turn it on and off without further adjustments. It makes everything a little wider and a little more immersive, but it is subtle compared to other surround sound tech.

Finally, let’s chat about that mic. The detachable microphone on this headset delivers improved clarity, and it sounds incredibly good – much better, in fact, than the mics on pricier headsets. It is clear and seems to reject background noise like keyboard presses though it does pick up voices from across the room. It’s somewhat susceptible to plosives but not too bad, and it does a great job minimizing sibilance.

HyperX Cloud III: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? $99.99 (about £99.99, AU$150)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

Another great thing that HyperX is doing for fans of its products is drop the price. Apparently, giving one of its most popular products a massive overhaul and making it better in every aspect isn't enough. It made it affordable as well, which I'm sure is much appreciated in this economy.

The HyperX Cloud III is just $99.99 (about £99.99, AU$150), making it $50 cheaper than its predecessor. If the other one couldn't count as a budget gaming headset before, this one certainly is.

  • Value: 5 / 5

HyperX Cloud III: Specs

HyperX Cloud III on a white table

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Interface:3.5mm, USB-C, USB-A
Platforms: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mac, and Mobile
Mic: Detachable 10mm mic
Surround sound: DTS Headphone:X Spatial Audio
Weight: TBD

Should you buy the HyperX Cloud III?

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ValueIt's even cheaper than its predecessor, making it one of the best budget gaming headsets right now.5 / 5
DesignIt has a sleeker, more modern design, as well as a much more comfortable fit.5 / 5
PerformanceGreat sound quality that lends well to gaming, good soundstage and sound imaging, and an incredible mic make this an excellent proposition.4.5 / 5
Avarage ratingThe HyperX Cloud III is one of the best gaming headsets out there.4.8 / 5

Buy it if...

You don't want to spend a lot
Despite this being a fantastic gaming headset, it's also surprisingly affordable. It's a great option for budget-minded gamers.

You need a really great mic
The detachable mic on this sounds fantastic and better than the mic on pricier rivals. If mic pickup is a priority, this is the one to get.

You want a lightweight pair of cans
I think one of the most underrated features of this line is their lightweight nature. This is extremely comfortable to wear for hours.

Don't buy it if...

You want audiophile sound
Its sound quality lends itself well to gaming, but the mids are somewhat recessed so you're not really getting a more balanced audio experience.

You want a much more immersive soundstage
It delivers good soundstage and great sound imaging, as well as good spatial audio. However, it's not as immersive as I would have liked.

HyperX Cloud III: Also consider

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1XCorsair HS65 Surround
Interface:3.5mm3.5mm, USB
Platforms:PC / Mac / XBox / Playstation / Switch / MobilePC / Mac / XBox / Playstation / Mobile
Mic: ClearCast Gen 2 noise-cancelling micOmni-directional mic
Surround sound:Microsoft Spatial Sound / Tempest 3D AudioDolby Audio 7.1 Surround Sound
Weight:236 grams / 8.32oz282 grams (9.95 oz)

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1x might come with some limitations, especially in its build quality, but it's cheap and sounds better than it has any right to.

Read our full SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X review

Corsair HS65 Surround
You don't have to break the bank to get surround sound for your gaming sessions thanks to the Corsair HS65 Surround though you'll need to use USB to take advantage.
Read our full Corsair HS65 Surround Review

How I tested the HyperX Cloud III

  • Tested the headset for a week
  • Used it for gaming, listening to music, and streaming shows
  • Used it with games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

I used the HyperX Cloud III as my main headset for gaming, listening to music, and watching my favorite shows for about a week. I used it to play titles like CS: GO, Cyberpunk 2077 and Kena: Bridge of Spirits, paying close attention to not just its audio quality but its mic performance as well. 

As I always do, I also used to to jump on video calls with colleagues, listen to music, and streaming some of my favorite shows like Wednesday.

I’ve been testing, reviewing, and using gaming headsets for years as a freelance tech journalist and now as one of the Computing editors at TechRadar. My years of experience along with my discerning audio tastes make me more than qualified to test and vet these devices for you.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed May 2023

Michelle Rae Uy
Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor

Michelle Rae Uy is the Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor here at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.