HyperX Cloud Combine Buds overview: good sound and battery life, awful match

HyperX Cloud Mix Buds review: good sound and battery life, lousy fit


HyperX has distilled a few of its gaming headset know-how into a way more transportable type issue: a set of wi-fi earbuds referred to as the Cloud Combine Buds. These $149.99 earbuds largely replicate the usual options of over-ear gaming headphones, not less than by way of connectivity. They embody a 2.4GHz USB-C transmitter that lets them pair to a PC, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Change, or an Android telephone. They may also be paired to your telephone or one other system through Bluetooth.

I’ve spent a few weeks testing out the Cloud Combine Buds, each as my main gaming headset and earbuds. Sound high quality and battery life are two issues that HyperX nailed with these. However even with these wins, there are key areas the place the corporate fumbled, like consolation, match (each of which HyperX normally will get proper), and glitchy contact controls. On this case, the comfort of getting one set of earbuds that works with all the pieces doesn’t outweigh the cons.

By way of options, HyperX leaned extra on the facet of competing instantly in opposition to different earbuds, not in opposition to headsets. As such, the Cloud Combine Buds provide a restricted set of capabilities in comparison with the corporate’s gaming headsets. Every bud helps contact controls. One faucet performs or pauses music, whereas double or triple tapping skips or reverses the observe, respectively. Tapping and holding will put the buds on mute. Every bud can be utilized independently, which is good if you wish to preserve an ear open to listen to exterior noises. And inside the companion app, which I’ve tried on iOS (it’s coming to Android inside a couple of days after launch, HyperX says), you may set one among its customizable instructions to set off a voice assistant.

Every earbud has a 12mm dynamic driver, which sounds nice with video games, Zoom calls, music, and extra. There’s greater than sufficient bass and energy to make me really feel like I’m not likely lacking out on a lot from an over-ear headset. These don’t provide energetic noise cancellation, however they provide better-than-average noise isolation even with out it. Again in 2020, I complained that the mics on EPOS’s GTW 270 (very comparable in execution to the Cloud Combine Buds) didn’t work when related to its USB-C transmitter, however that’s not an issue right here; the mics work over each USB-C and Bluetooth. Good job, HyperX.

HyperX Cloud Mix Buds

The Cloud Combine Buds cost through their stems, not on the buds themselves.

HyperX Cloud Mix Buds

The design has an AirPod-like stem design, however the buds themselves are cumbersome.

As for battery life, HyperX claims that its buds and the charging case provide as much as 33 hours of mixed use in Bluetooth mode, and I’ve used these buds on five-hour sprints with out having to recharge. The corporate says they can be utilized for as much as 10 hours on a single cost in Bluetooth mode or as much as six hours through the USB-C transmitter.

The tiny, intelligent transmitter has a button to toggle between the wi-fi modes (they’ll’t be used concurrently). Urgent it places the buds’ microphones on mute, however holding it swaps connections. There’s a USB-A extender included that makes it simpler to maintain the transmitter inside attain.

Even with these massive wins, a couple of negatives tanked my enthusiasm. These is likely to be apparent omissions to some, however in comparison with different gaming headsets, they don’t provide quantity controls, nor do they provide a method to regulate the sport and chat audio combine, which is essential for gaming and normal use alike. And if you wish to use them extra typically as on-the-go earbuds, it is best to know that these are a bit bulkier than your common set of earbuds.

Whereas I discovered a great match with one of many three included units of silicone ear suggestions, the Cloud Combine Buds nonetheless slipped out of my ears every time I’d discuss, smile, or eat one thing. This won’t occur to everybody, nevertheless it was a complete mood-killer for me throughout multiplayer chat or throughout a video name. Additionally, consolation was a difficulty after solely an hour of use. That is one other “your mileage could fluctuate” state of affairs, however they felt a little bit too massive to nest comfortably inside my outer ear space, leading to discomfort verging on gentle ache after a while.

HyperX Cloud Mix Buds

The USB-C transmitter has a button that may mute when pressed or disconnect from the buds, permitting Bluetooth when held.

HyperX Cloud Mix Buds

When not in use, the USB-C transmitter will be plugged into the case’s charging port for comfort.

One different massive subject with the buds was that music would sometimes play or pause routinely, seemingly as a result of a difficulty with their contact sensitivity. This occurs extra once I discuss or once I’m making actions that shift the buds’ seating in my ears. Even chewing on some gum was sufficient to set it off. HyperX advised me that it was conscious of this subject and that it will make the repair to their firmware earlier than launch. Connecting them to the corporate’s Ngenuity iOS app didn’t provoke a firmware replace, so plainly repair isn’t prepared but.

Like most earbuds, it’s higher when you can attempt these out earlier than committing to a purchase order. That’s rather less possible with earbuds like these versus bigger manufacturers, and I want that my advice of the Cloud Combine Buds wasn’t gated behind a warning that you simply would possibly encounter a few of the identical consolation and bug points that I did. Even when HyperX can repair the annoying glitch that routinely performs and pauses music, I don’t counsel that individuals spend $150 on earbuds that really feel this unrefined by way of consolation and match. Despite the fact that they aren’t as transportable, you may spend much less and get extra on your cash with one among these over-ear, wi-fi gaming headsets.

Pictures by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge


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