Jamie Wootton tests out the HyperX Alloy FPS RGB keyboard and the Cloud MIX headset, while Esports News UK offers you the chance to win a brand new keyboard, QuadCast Mic and other goodies (UPDATE August 20th: the competition is now closed and winners have been announced).
Alloy FPS RGB keyboard review
Specifications and price
The Alloy FPS RGB is one of three keyboards that HyperX manufactures. Equipped with mechanical keys, but lacking the dedicated media buttons and radiant light bars seen on the Alloy Elite RGB, the Alloy FPS RGB is positioned in the middle of HyperX’s keyboard offerings.
The fact it’s not HyperX’s premier offering shouldn’t put gamers off the Alloy FPS RGB, however, as the keyboard does come with a number of impressive features such as a convenient USB charging port that is perfect for mobiles, Kailh Silver Speed mechanical key switches and a compact form factor that includes a full num-pad encapsulated within a solid steel frame.
It goes without saying that the keyboard features RGB keys with dynamic effects that are extra-bright and can be controlled by HyperX’s RGB software ‘NGenuity’. As well as providing customers with a solid product and a responsive technical support chat line, HyperX have also produced a series of video tutorials for their ‘NGenuity’ software that is used to change the RGB profiles on the Alloy FPS RGB.
On HyperX’s website, the Alloy FPS RGB is being sold for £109.99 however, at the time of writing this review, HyperX is currently retailing the Alloy FPS RGB for £86.99 on Amazon.
My experience: This keyboard oozes quality
The first thing I thought when I unboxed the Alloy FPS RGB was, genuinely, “wow, this thing feels quality” and, weeks later, I still can’t help but notice the keyboard’s build quality.
Despite being relatively slim and short, the keyboard’s steel body gives it a certain weight which reassured me that it wasn’t about to fall apart in my hands. Everything on the keyboard, from its braided cable to its steel body, oozed quality and felt durable.
Prior to the Alloy FPS RGB, I used a Corsair K65 RGB for years and so was somewhat apprehensive about using the HyperX keyboard and its Kailh Silver Speed mechanical key switches.
Although I was a huge fan of the clicky Cherry MX Red mechanical key switches on my K65 RGB, the Silver Speed keys quickly grew on me. I noticed myself making less unintended key presses with the Alloy FPS RGB and, due to having a low actuation point, the experience felt supreme.
Whilst the lack of a wrist-rest on the Alloy FPS RGB was disappointing, the ‘Game Mode’ F12 key was very useful. This key enables “100% anti-ghosting and N-key rollover features”, which effectively means that each key is scanned completely independently by the keyboard.
This allows each keypress to be correctly detected regardless of how many other keys are being pressed or held down at the time. This is obviously advantageous to gamers as, without such anti-ghosting technology, keystrokes could be misinterpreted due to the inability of the keyboard to process simultaneous keystrokes.
“Although I was a huge fan of the clicky Cherry MX Red mechanical key switches on my K65 RGB, the Silver Speed keys quickly grew on me. I noticed myself making less unintended key presses with the Alloy FPS RGB.”
The Alloy FPS RGB keyboard also comes with three FN keys that enable users to cycle through three RGB profiles. I found the RGB lights to be impressively bright on the Alloy, and considerably more vibrant than on my K65 RGB.
Once downloaded from HyperX’s website, the ‘NGenuity’ software used to control the RGB lights was relatively straightforward and allowed for great levels of customisation. I also felt comfortable when editing the RGB profiles as, not only has HyperX recorded a number of video tutorials, the software comes with a ‘?’ button which, once pressed, gives users a few pointers and tips on how to use the software.
These little touches make the software easier to use and therefore suited both for individuals who have lots of experience with gaming keyboards and their software, and those who are novices.
Overall, I was impressed with the Alloy FPS RGB. Whilst a few features, such as the light bar and dedicated macro keys were lacking, the keyboard compensated for these flaws and excelled in other areas. I’d recommend this product to anyone in the market for a new mechanical gaming keyboard.
Cloud MIX headset review
Specifications and price
The Cloud MIX is one of six headsets that HyperX currently produce. Costing £144.95 on Amazon at the time of writing this review, the MIX is HyperX’s most expensive headset and that is for a few reasons.
Unlike many of their other headsets, HyperX is marketing the MIX towards gamers and individuals who want the convenience of having a headset which is versatile, and can convert from a gaming headset to a lightweight portable Bluetooth headset. This has been done to give gamers the ability to, “Game and go”, as the slogan states on the product’s website.
To fit this description, the Cloud MIX has a number of useful features. These include a wireless battery life that can reach up to 20 hours, an impressive-sounding detachable boom-mic, a dual-chamber design that has helped the headset achieve its Hi-Res Audio certification, a range of on-board controls alongside an on-board microphone, in-line controls to mute and unmute the headset as well as a strong aluminium frame with soft memory foam cushioning pads.
My experience: It looks, feels and sounds amazing
The culmination of all the features listed above is a very solid headset. Although I had some troubleshooting issues at the start of my experience with the MIX, after contacting the technical support line I managed to get it working to its full capacity.
I found the headset and its leather to be extremely comfortable, which is a priority for many including myself, and I could wear the headset for hours without feeling any fatigue or discomfort.
Whilst the headset felt relatively light, its height was completely adjustable and so I was able to make it feel fitted and somewhat snug. The build-quality didn’t end there, however, as the aluminium frame felt sturdy and the cable was braided.
Prior to using the HyperX Cloud MIX headset, I predominantly used Astro A40s. In comparison, I was told by a number of friends that the MIX’s detachable boom-mic sounded superior and was of a higher quality. This is equally true of the audio quality which was largely better in every way. This could perhaps be the result of HyperX’s dual chamber technology and an example of how exceptional Hi-Res Audio is.
“I could wear the headset for hours without feeling any fatigue or discomfort. Whilst the headset felt relatively light, its height was completely adjustable and so I was able to make it feel fitted and somewhat snug.”
The same could be said for when I used the headset wirelessly with my phone – I didn’t notice any loss in quality. That said, due to the MIX coming without a dongle, I did have to resort to wirelessly connecting my PC to the headset through a cheap Bluetooth dongle which reduced its quality whilst connected to my PC.
I believe that this is the only oversight HyperX made with the MIX headset as I suspect that many gamers, such as myself, who built their own PCs may lack high-bandwidth, quality Bluetooth adapters.
Overall, I was impressed with the headset and think it deserves an 8/10 rating. I believe that the lack of a dongle or adapter let it down but aside from this, once I solved the troubleshooting issues, the MIX performed very well.
Win an Alloy keyboard and QuadCast Mic
UPDATE: This competition as of August 20th is now closed and winners have been announced.
We’ve got a HyperX Alloy FPS RGB Keyboard and QuadCast Mic up for grabs, along with some other goodies, worth a combined £250+.
Find out more about the competition and how to enter via the tweets below:
Note 1: The best captions will win. First place will win the keyboard, second will win the mic etc.
2: Special thanks to our new social media exec @MulgrewJosh for the idea!
3: Competition closes August 11th
4: Full Ts and Cs here https://t.co/WQhcUGLrDY
Good luck! ?
— Esports News UK (@Esports_News_UK) July 28, 2019
HyperX’s involvement in esports
HyperX is of course a global esports brand that manufacture a wide range of gaming peripherals including headsets, mice, keyboards and mousepads. HyperX has also developed their own range of computer hardware including RAM sticks, SSDs, USBs and even controller chargers.
In terms of esports, HyperX has a far-reaching role. As well as introducing non-endemic personalities like Dele Alli and Post Malone to the world of gaming with the “We’re all gamers” campaign, HyperX also sponsor a number of esports events and are partnered with a number of esports organisations and teams.
For instance, HyperX sponsored the Faceit Major in London in 2018, the biggest CSGO tournament ever in the UK. Over a number of years, HyperX has also partnered with some of the biggest organisations in esports including Team Liquid, Cloud9 and the UK’s very own Excel Esports.
Excel Welcomes @HyperX as its official peripherals supplier
— EXCEL (@EXCEL) June 20, 2019
HyperX sent the Alloy keyboard and Cloud MIX headset to Esports News UK for review, as well as a separate Alloy and QuadCast Mic for the competition
Jamie has been following competitive Counter-Strike for roughly four years and has fallen in love with esports ever since, slowly branching out into other titles and learning more about the industry. He has recently started an esports degree in London.
“I started playing CSGO when I first got my own PC and haven’t really stopped ever since," he said. "After playing more competitively I opened my eyes to esports and have been doing my best to learn as much as possible about both the competitive side within CSGO and the business side across the industry as a whole.
"Much of my work so far has consisted of interviews, however I hope to branch out in the future and write more content about Counter-Strike."