As much praise as I’m heaping upon the mixer, I do have to mention it was a bit troublesome to set up. When the headset is plugged into a computer, the computer is treating it as two separate devices: “HyperX Cloud Alpha S Chat” and “HyperX Cloud Alpha S Game.” The instruction manual walks users through setting the Default Communications Device to the Chat device and the Default Device to the Game device, which I did with no problem. The issue I ran into, however, was that my games and voice chat programs had some trouble locating these devices. After updating the firmware, contacting HyperX support, and a lot of trial and error, I finally got it sorted out. For future users, I recommend downloading the firmware, unplugging the headset, setting up the devices as indicated, restarting the computer, making sure your computer has set up the drivers correctly, and THEN setting the correct device in your games and chat programs. It was a bit frustrating, though the end result was worth it.
Sound mixer quality-of-life improvements aside, the sound quality of the Alpha S is stellar. The bass, mid, and high tones sound crisp and distinct from each other, and the 7.1 surround sound option is immersive. Since the headset is a USB headset when plugged into the mixer, note that it does have that USB sound “flavor” as opposed to analog sound. While I personally have no strong preference between the two, those who do will want to take note of that.
The microphone also displays the high quality I’ve come to expect from HyperX headset microphones. Once I got the device functioning, I didn’t need to do any tweaking of the volume whatsoever. I switched from the Cloud MIX headset, and my friends found the Alpha S’s microphone to be slightly clearer and closer to my in-person voice. I didn’t have any issues with ambient noise or overly quiet mic (which Nick did in his HyperX Cloud Alpha impressions), which makes me think that the Alpha S improved vastly upon the Alpha’s mic.
HyperX has another hit on its hands with the Cloud Alpha S. It ticks all the usual boxes of comfort, audio quality, and microphone quality while offering something innovative and functional in the chat/audio mixer. At $129.99, it ends up being in the middle of the HyperX headset price range, which feels fair for what you get. For non-wireless PC gaming, this is the headset I’d recommend if it’s in your budget. That recommendation used to go to the Revolver S, but the Alpha S flat-out replaces it for me. PC gamers on a tighter budget might want to consider the Stinger instead ($49.99), whereas console gamers (and PC gamers who want a wireless option) should check out the Cloud Flight ($139.99).