Like many who work here, I was a PC Gamer reader long before I saw my own words plastered on the site. Something that I would often be a bit taken back about was the love from this team for a specific headset. The HyperX Cloud range of cans is perhaps the most praised thing to exist on this site, and that makes me, for one, very jealous. But gosh, I now have to wonder, does HyperX vape? Cause damn do they make some serious Clouds. The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless is the newest device in this royal lineage, and it seems to be filling those huge shoes mightily. The biggest drawcard for this headset is the new huge battery. This is offering up to 300-hour battery life while in wireless mode while still keeping the headset relatively light and comfortable. It’s a pretty massive feat and I think HyperX has actually pulled it off.
What is the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless?
A large part of this review will be dedicated to reviewing the new and rather striking HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless range of cans. They have been on the market for a little over a month and already have a large following. What’s more, is that the first wave of demand is at an all-time high. It seems that any occasion for a VR or AR experience is met with a crowd of potential customers. The popularity of the range is very much tied up in the hype, but it’s also tied up in the fact that these aren’t your run-of-the-mill VR and AR headsets. These are built for technology, aiming to deliver the best possible experience.
The Cloud Alpha Wireless
The main difference between the original Alpha and the new Cloud range is the design. The original had a more traditional shape and design, while the newer model sports a more modern design. The main thing that set the original Alpha apart from the rest was its price. It cost more than most headsets on the market at the time and it was a very effective marketing tool. What makes the new Ark and Cloud models so special is that they have a built-in 2.4GHz hotspot that provides a better range of reception than the older model. The newer model doesn’t have this feature, but the older model does, and that’s what makes the newer model better for VR or AR projects. It also means that the newer model doesn’t require the internet connection that the original does. This means that the new model can be used in the home, office or anywhere where there are a lack funds for a regular internet connection.
The box that I will be using for this review is the ASUS ROG TUF Gaming X laptop. This is a full-blown VR/AR rig with a dedicated graphics card, a powerful CPU, and a dedicated GPU. So, yes, it’s not a normal monitor, but a VR/AR rig with a VR/AR headset attached. This is exactly the setup that I will be using for this review.
I have to start this review by saying that I love VR/AR, but I didn’t really know where to start. I was introduced to the concept of VR/AR in 2011 when Facebook released the Oculus Rift and its associated helmet. A few years later, we saw the release of the Samsung Gear VR, which allowed people to use their phones as a virtual eye helmets. Then, in 2018, we got the Google Cardboard, which allowed people to use their smartphones as a way to experience VR/AR. As I said, VR/AR is old, but it’s still very much a part of society. Google has even released a VR/AR browser, though it’s been a while.
The Remote App
The remote app for the Samsung Gear VR, the Samsung Galaxy app, is an example of what we’ve come to expect from remote control headsets. You can set up multiple cameras, set the quality of the images, choose from a large range of themes and have the remote focus the camera. It also comes with an auto HDR mode that pulls in lots of great photos and videos. It’s a very basic remote, but it works extremely well for VR/AR projects.
The warranty on the new Cloud range of headsets is a rather interesting thing to mention. It looks like they have kept the same warranty as to the original range, but extended it to 10 years. This is a rather unusual thing to do, but something that I must praise the company for. The best part is that the new range comes with a free 50-hour technical support service. The warranty on the old range is 10 years, but they are willing to extend it to 20 years.
All of the new models come with 3 interconnected USB 3.0 ports and a pair of HDMI 2.0 ports. This sets them apart from the rest in that they aren’t just connected to the remote app, they’re also connected to the host computer. This means that you can use them on the move, as opposed to just sitting at a desk and plugging them into a wall outlet. I love this feature, as it allows me to fit a lot of virtual things into my workflow without a lot of space being used. It also means that I don’t have to take any special care of my connections. Everything works well, really, really well.
VR/AR has been around for a long time, it has a long way to go before it can be deemed acceptable for home use. The next step in the evolution of VR/AR is to put it into a headset that is designed for multiple uses, rather than just one. If that’s the case, then VR/AR will be accepted as an affordable way to experience VR/AR. It’s a great look forward, and I will be buying some more of these headsets in the future. If you are looking for a VR/AR rig that is affordable and easy to set up, then the Google Cardboard is a great way to start. It doesn’t require any coding, requires only a smartphone, and while you are in the frame, it can track your every facial feature. Plus, you will get free worldwide shipping.