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HyperX Cloud Orbit S Gaming Headset Review

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 1 1.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 25 24.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 72 69.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 6 5.8%

  • Total voters
    104

amirm

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This is a review, listening tests, EQ and detailed measurements of the HyperX Cloud Orbit S Gaming, noise cancelling Headset. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $185.
HyperX Cloud Orbit S gaming headset with 3-d audio microphone review.jpg

The feel is good for the price. As you can almost read, the driver is supplied by Audeze. The headset has both digital and analog inputs. Digital worked (as a DAC in the OS) but I could not get my measurements to sync with it due to latency it introduces. So testing was done using analog, 3.5mm input. All effects were turned off for testing.

The cups are barely large enough for my ears and after 15 minutes of listening, the top of my ear felt pinched. The headband also goes stiff quick so it is not going to fit everyone well.

Fitment on my GRAS 45CA fixture was a bit tricky. What you are about to see is the best I could get.

HyperX Cloud Orbit S Gaming Headset Measurements
Let's start with our usual frequency response measurement:
HyperX Cloud Orbit S Frequency Response Measurement.png

Compliance with the target is good. There is an extra boost in upper bass which given the target customer, is probably OK. There is some shortfall around 6 kHz so the sound is going to be a bit dull. Deviation from target makes exact EQ development hard:
HyperX Cloud Orbit S relative Frequency Response Measurement.png


I was pleasantly surprised at the low distortion at 94 and 104 dBSPL:
HyperX Cloud Orbit S relative THD Distortion Measurement.png

It, like many active headphones, clips the front-end and distortion goes through the roof at 114 dBSPL. Fortunately we already have plenty of bass so what you see is what we are going to get.

Absolute distortion shows third harmonic dominant at higher frequencies:
HyperX Cloud Orbit S THD Distortion Measurement.png


Group delay is uneventful other than showing nearly 27 milliseconds of delay:
HyperX Cloud Orbit S  Group Delay Measurement.png


HyperX Cloud Orbit S Gaming Headset Listening Tests
Out of box experience was pleasant as the measurements would predict. Let's eq and see if we can improve:
HyperX Cloud Orbit S gaming headset equalization.png

I first took out the upper bass energy and the result was less pleasant. So I dialed in the sub-bass and that helped get some of the warmth back in. The measurements are ambiguous for the 6.5 kHz due to channel differential so I fine tuned that by ear. With just these three filters, the sound became quite nice, rendering my reference tracks in surprising fidelity. Even my sub-bass heavy (shown in the display above) was reproduced with impressive bass response. This was at medium to medium loud. Go a bit higher and you start to hear clicking with progressively more distortion.

Conclusions
I went in with low expectations but left with good impression of the Cloud Orbit S. If you can't eq, which likely many source's can't in gaming situation, you still have good response with plenty of bass. If you can EQ, you wind up with a nice hi-fi experience that you don't have to apologize for.

I am going to recommend the HyperX Cloud Orbit S Gaming Headset.
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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

Attachments

  • HyperX Cloud Orbit S.zip
    34 KB · Views: 32
Reserved for @AdamG to kindly post the specs.

The Hyper X Cloud Orbit S is a complicated device and has a plethora of features, capabilities and specifications. Therefore including a link to the Website offers direct access to all the details whilist minimzig adding pages of text that can be more efficiently accessed by our readers using a link. This in no way is indicative of any commercial connections with Hyper X brand. As none exist.

 
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Here are some thoughts about the EQ.
Please report your findings, positive or negative!

Notes about the EQ design:
  • The average L/R is used to calculate the score.
  • The resolution is 12 points per octave interpolated from the raw data (provided by @amirm)
  • A Genetic Algorithm is used to optimize the EQ.
  • The EQ Score is designed to MAXIMIZE the Score WHILE fitting the Harman target curve (and other constrains) with a fixed complexity.
    This will avoid weird results if one only optimizes for the Score, start your journey here or there.
    There is a presentation by S. Olive here.
    It will probably flatten the Error regression doing so, the tonal balance should be therefore more neutral.
  • The EQs are starting point and may require tuning (certainly at LF and maybe at HF).
  • The range around and above 10kHz is usually not EQed unless smooth enough to do so.
  • I am using PEQ (PK) as from my experience the definition is more consistent across different DSP/platform implementations than shelves.
  • With some HP/amp combo, the boosts and preamp gain (loss of Dynamic range) need to be carefully considered to avoid issues with, amongst other things, too low a Max SPL or damaging your device. You have beed warned.
  • Not all units of the same product are made equal. The EQ is based on the measurements of a single unit. YMMV with regard to the very unit you are trying this EQ on.
  • I sometimes use variations of the Harman curve for some reasons. See rational here and here
  • NOTE: the score then calculated is not comparable to the scores derived from the default Harman target curve if not otherwise noted.
Good L/R match.


I have generated one EQ, the APO config file is attached.


Score no EQ: 48.7
Score Amirm: 69.5
Score with EQ: 93.6

Code:
HyperX Cloud Orbit S APO EQ Flat@HF 96000Hz
June152024-154608

Preamp: -6.30 dB

Filter 1: ON PK Fc 287.6 Hz Gain -6.40 dB Q 0.27
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 496.6 Hz Gain 5.88 dB Q 0.99
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 3156.4 Hz Gain -3.95 dB Q 1.79
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 5094.7 Hz Gain -7.41 dB Q 5.89
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 5355.2 Hz Gain 9.63 dB Q 1.22
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 8648.9 Hz Gain -5.53 dB Q 5.99

HyperX Cloud Orbit S APO EQ Flat@HF 96000Hz.png
 

Attachments

  • HyperX Cloud Orbit S APO EQ Flat@HF 96000Hz.txt
    377 bytes · Views: 23
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Thanks for the review, Amir.

I had these before and liked them for the unique head tracking feature, but ended up selling them because I couldn't stand much more hiss noise than ANC headphones.
 
Look very similar to the Audeze Penrose and the other one of that era. Presumably shared drivers and construction elements or perhaps one is just a simple re-badge of the other?
 
I read "Hypex Cloud Orbit" three times and was super confused for the first minute. "Hypex making headphones now? Whaaaaa...?"
 
Although I understand the latency makes this difficult I'd be interested in the basic FR measurements through the digital input. The analog in very well could be going through an ADC but sometimes they don't, and the digital-in response can be modified by onboard EQ. I wonder if there might be tuning not shown in this measurement?

I realized based on the next comment that there is 25ms of delay even on the analog input, indicating a ADC-DAC path and probably some DSP. In that case this is not a very impressive response if you're looking for Harman. And I tend to agree gamers would not want that much delay, although I'd be surprised if it really made a difference, it's borderline IMO.
 
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Thanks for the review Amir. :)

Interesting, because a month ago I found a pair of HyperX Cloud in a recycling room where we in the condominium association can place stuff and take what is there for free. Better to put stuff in there, so others can be happy, than to throw the stuff in the bin. :)

Pictures of the headphones:
(poor quality of the photos)
IMG_20240511_123132.jpgIMG_20240511_123116.jpgIMG_20240511_121956.jpgIMG_20240511_121858.jpg
IMG_20240615_101726.jpgimages.png
The cups. At the limit of being too small. I experience exactly what Amir does:
The cups are barely large enough for my ears and after 15 minutes of listening, the top of my ear felt pinched. The headband also goes stiff quick so it is not going to fit everyone well.

My tip is to test if they fit your ears before you buy them. If you have larger than normal ears, they are not for you. By the way. If you are interested in a pair of HyperX Cloud, and think you have ears that fit and live in Sweden, contact me and we will solve it. :)

Sound-wise, they are okay, I must say. :)
 
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I realized based on the next comment that there is 25ms of delay even on the analog input, indicating a ADC-DAC path and probably some DSP. In that case this is not a very impressive response if you're looking for Harman.
The Orbit S has eight different EQ presets which you can cycle though using the buttons on the headset. It's possible that some of these will perform better, or may even match Harman.

Having them in Amir's hands would've been a prime chance to find out, but oh well.

And I tend to agree gamers would not want that much delay, although I'd be surprised if it really made a difference, it's borderline IMO.
25ms latency for a "gaming" headset is somewhat significant. Unfortunate that turning off the effects does not remove that competitive disadvantage.
Using the USB input would likely cut down on latency some.

Also, audio latency is not nearly as crucial as video latency for competitive gaming.
 
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The Orbit S has eight different EQ presets which you can cycle though using the buttons on the headset. It's possible that some of these will perform better, or may even match Harman.

Having them in Amir's hands would've been a prime chance to find out, but oh well.



Using the USB input would likely cut down on lately some.

Also, audio latency is not nearly as crucial as video latency for competitive gaming.
Fair points all around!
 
High distorsion at 114 dB is not such a terrible issue, I laways wonder why Amir OK focuses so much on such high level for headphones (see for example his test of the Beyer 1990 Pro, not perfect but much better model than the very severe Amir's test tends to suggest) ?

Of course, theorically we all would prefer lower distorsion at any frequency or SPL, but remeber : at 114 dB, our hearing is stressed in any case, with or without distorsion coming from the headphones (or speakers).

I don't recommend you to listen at such output levels, except for a very short time and not often, just look at these charts and graphs :
 
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High distorsion at 114 dB is not such a terrible issue, I laways wonder why Amir OK focuses so much on such high level for headphones (see for example his test of the Beyer 1990 Pro, not perfect but much better model than the very severe Amir's test tends to suggest) ?

Of course, theorically we all would prefer lower distorsion at any frequency or SPL, but remeber : at 114 dB, our hearing is stressed in any case, with or without distorsion coming from the headphones (or speakers).

I don't recommend you to listen at such output levels, except for a very short time and not often, just look at these charts and graphs :
He's testing to the limits- also helpful to know if you plan on applying heavy EQ and still listening loud if you might experience distortion in a particular area of the FR. He isnt suggesting anyone will or should listen at 114.
 
High distorsion at 114 dB is not such a terrible issue, I laways wonder why Amir OK focuses so much on such high level for headphones (see for example his test of the Beyer 1990 Pro, not perfect but much better model than the very severe Amir's test tends to suggest) ?

Of course, theorically we all would prefer lower distorsion at any frequency or SPL, but remeber : at 114 dB, our hearing is stressed in any case, with or without distorsion coming from the headphones (or speakers).

I don't recommend you to listen at such output levels, except for a very short time and not often, just look at these charts and graphs :
Human ear does not perceive low frequencies as loud as higher frequencies. It's why SPL measurements are using dBA units.

For example 114 dB unweighted SPL at 40 Hz and at 4kHz:
40 Hz 114 dB SPL is perceived as 79.5 dBA SPL
4 kHz 114 dB SPL is perceived as 115 dBA SPL

Therefore if you have boosted bass EQ, you might hit 114 dB (unweighted) SPL in low frequencies, but overall (even peak) SPL might be well under 100 dBA. This is why it's important to test higher SPL distortion.

A-weighting is applied to instrument-measured sound levels in an effort to account for the relative loudness perceived by the human ear, as the ear is less sensitive to low audio frequencies.
 
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Look very similar to the Audeze Penrose and the other one of that era. Presumably shared drivers and construction elements or perhaps one is just a simple re-badge of the other?
Actually, seems like this is a wired only Audeze Mobius (that has BT)
 
Human ear does not perceive low frequencies as loud as higher frequencies. It's why SPL measurements are using dBA units.

For example 114 dB unweighted SPL at 40 Hz and at 4kHz:
40 Hz 114 dB SPL is perceived as 79.5 dBA SPL
4 kHz 114 dB SPL is perceived as 115 dBA SPL

Therefore if you have boosted bass EQ, you might hit 114 dB (unweighted) SPL in low frequencies, but overall (even peak) SPL might be well under 100 dBA. This is why it's important to test higher SPL distortion.


Of course I know this, I've studied professionnaly the dangers of high SPL in industry or other noisy environment, and i Know the Fletcher and Munson curve and the difference between dB (unweighted) and dBa (weighted)

Yuu're right to precise that a 114 dBoutput at 40 Hz is perceived at a much lower SPL (dBa), but on the contrary, and though you wrote it too, well 114 dB unweighted at 1khz, that's 114 dBa perceived and even very slightly more between 1Khz and 4Khz, so that's quite a very high hearing level, rapididly dangerous, at frequencies were human hearing is particularly sensitive and rapidly stressed.
So I don't understand your point.

Moreover, as you perceive sounds at a lower level at low frequencies, you also perceive less the distorsion at those low frequencies, though the distorsion rate is in general higher in the bass region than in the midrange region on speakers and on the little driver of an headphone.

So, as well I understand that for a full lab report, Amir measures the distorsion at any level and frequency, that's quite professionnal and complete from him, but he should relativise in his comments the audible effect, for a better understanding. That's not a critic of his good work in ASR, just a useful recommandation.
 
I recently bought the HyperX Cloud III following NYT Wirecutter recommendation. Very pleased with confort and low distortion (which translates into low fatigue). They aim for a neutral presentation which I think is the best approach for long term satisfaction. I only use it for gaming…
 
I have the Penrose, which according to Scan has a very similar response. They also have built-in DSP and EQ, so can be corrected universally. I can also use them wireless when necessary with very low latency, useful for recording. They are IME more transparent and dynamic than my K702s even when those are corrected... I usually use the Penrose on a wired connection though.
 
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