HyperX has debuted a slight upgrade to its wireless Cloud Flight gaming headset at CES 2020. It’s called the Cloud Flight S, and its big new feature is Qi wireless charging capability. Instead of plugging it in to recharge, you’ll be able to simply rest its left ear cup on a wireless charger (that you’ll have to provide, unfortunately) to fill it back up.
The Cloud Flight S isn’t necessarily the first headset to allow wireless charging, but it’s one of the few options targeted toward gamers to adopt the Qi standard in lieu of a proprietary wireless charger. That it costs $159 (the same price as last year’s model) makes this an appealing option for those who want a Qi-ready gaming headset. But if you were hoping for bigger changes to the Cloud Flight, like vastly expanded wireless compatibility with platforms beyond PS4 and PC, or the jump from Micro USB to USB-C, you might be disappointed.
Like the 2018 Cloud Flight, which my colleague Nick Statt enjoyed during his time with it, the Cloud Flight S claims to have 30 hours of battery life, and features a removable, bendable boom microphone. The headset connects to its included USB receiver wirelessly via the 2.4GHz frequency, and it works as intended with PS4, PS4 Pro, and PC, as they offer native support for third-party wireless headphones.
However, the same can’t be said for Xbox One. That console doesn’t work with wireless headsets that don’t use Microsoft’s direct connection tech. In the case of the Nintendo Switch, many headphones using receivers (such as this one) can work while plugged into the Switch’s dock, though we haven’t had a chance to test this one out to see if it works that way.
To solve this, the Cloud Flight S includes a 3.5mm cable, which you can use to plug into most Xbox One controllers, as well as the Switch console when you’re on the go. SteelSeries’ $100 Arctis 1 Wireless headset solves that wireless problem in a way I wish HyperX would have.
That model includes a USB-C 2.4GHz wireless adapter, which allows for lag-free wireless audio on the Switch and phones that use the port (as well as all other consoles with a USB-C to A adapter). The Cloud Flight S might have the edge with its new Qi charging feature, but it’s disappointing that it costs a premium without seeming to leap ahead in other ways.