Best PC gaming accessories at CES 2022: Consoles and more

CES 2022 brought a variety of terminal ads from brands such as Corsair, HyperX, and Asus. While some new keyboards, mice, and headphones keep designs from years past, others have advanced with innovative features — and these products are center stage in this roundup of the best PC gaming peripherals at CES 2022.

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless headset between mouse and keyboard.

The HyperX Cloud Alpha is one of the best gaming headsets out there, except for one minor issue: there wasn’t a wireless version yet. The Cloud Alpha Wireless not only cuts the cord on one of the most comfortable gaming headsets you can buy, but it also comes with the highest battery life of any headset we’ve seen.

It has a massive battery life of up to 300 hours – a first in the world of wireless gaming headsets. This turns the chore of charging into a minor inconvenience, bypassing even many a gaming mouse. Anyone who has used wireless headphones for gaming knows the feeling of a dead headset all too well.

Battery life is one thing, but Cloud Alpha Wireless goes beyond that. I’ve used the wired version for hours on end without even feeling tired, and the wireless version looks better. It has a slimmer and lighter design overall, but it keeps the same comfortable ear cups and cushions that make the wired version sing.

The sound quality is also great. HyperX uses a unique speaker design that virtually separates the highs and mids from the bass. The result is an open sound that never gets bogged down in the high frequencies and isn’t too soft on the low frequencies. The 300-hour battery life may be the standout feature, but the Cloud Alpha Wireless offers so much more.

Animation Asus ROG Strix Flare II

Asus ROG Strix Flare keyboards are in the rocks.

Mechanical keyboards are a strange place by 2021. Big-name brands rested on their laurels, while smaller brands like Akko and Keychon moved forward with more innovative key designs and better features. The Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate is a dream come true. It’s a big brand keyboard, but it’s far from content to let the little ones get the upper hand.

It’s my wishlist keyboard. It has a full layout with dedicated media keys and volume wheel, comes with hot-swappable keys, and includes USB pass-through. Amidst keyboards as cool but not as exciting as the Corsair K70 RGB Pro at CES 2022, the ROG Strix Flare II Animate is exactly what I need to get consoles excited in the new year.

Outside of the features, Asus has made a note of the looks. Strix Flare II Animate includes Asus’ AniMe Matrix, a grid of 320 animated lights that you can use to display system vitals, photos, notifications, or whatever you really want. In addition, it includes an RGB light diffuser on the front, which you can detach and place on the foam wrist rest.

Asus is not on the same level as Logitechs and Corsairs in the world, but Strix Flare II Animate may be the product that propels the company to the upper echelons of peripheral makers.

Alienware Tri-Mode AW920H

Alienware AW920H Gaming Headset.

Outside of obvious choices like the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless, it’s hard for me to get excited about a gaming headset. There’s a mostly unchanged list of the best gaming headphones, and then there’s everything else, but the Alienware Tri-Mode AW920H got me excited again.

Alienware is no stranger to gaming headsets, but this design brings together the best of previous models. Alienware’s still no doubt, but the subdued earmuffs and thin headband don’t immediately scream “the gamer.” You can use this speaker to listen to music or watch a movie, and since it supports wired, bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless, this is possible.

Battery life seems slim next to the Cloud Alpha Wireless – up to 55 hours with Bluetooth – but the AW920H offers a fast charge that can give you an additional six hours in just 15 minutes. The limited battery life comes on the back of active noise cancellation, a surprisingly rare feature in gaming headsets.

Sound quality is the obvious question mark. We didn’t get a chance to showcase the AW920H thanks to the limited physical presence at CES, but Alienware has a solid track record when it comes to audio quality, so the AW920H shouldn’t be any different.

Asus Rouge Chakram X

Asus ROG Chakram X mouse on a blue background.

The Asus Chakram is one of the most premium gaming mouse on the market, and the Chakram X is based on this design. The standout feature is the joystick, which Asus has redesigned for the Chakram X. Now, you can use it in analog mode to move around your screen or in digital mode to activate keys or macros.

I don’t include it for joystick changes, though. The new 36000 DPI sensor is above anything we’ve seen from the best gaming mouse, and in wired mode, the mouse supports an 8000Hz polling rate. Like the previous version, you can unscrew the cap and insert your keys as well.

You need to run the mouse wired at an 8000Hz polling rate, but the Chakram X also supports 2.4GHz wireless or Bluetooth 5.2 (with up to three paired devices). The mouse is almost perfect, although I suspect Asus will get a pretty penny, just as it did with the original.

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