5.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
Up today for a testing is the Storm Sirus from Cooler Master. Storm is Cooler Master’s range of eSport products, designed for the extreme gamers.
The Sirus features True 5.1 Surround Sound, Tactical Mixing Console, Interchangeable Ear Cups and Microphone. The headphone specs are quite respectable for gamers and by the looks of the unit, it should perform relatively well.
The packaging was a bit of work to get it all open. It is cable tied down to the plastic moulding and wiring is threaded through small holes in the mould to a cardboard box behind the mould. I really can’t see many people having the patience not to tear it apart.
Once I carefully took it apart, I found to have in my hands, a heavy and bulky headset, a very heavy control panel with the ability to control volume levels for different surround channels, an analogue plug converter and a pair of interchangeable pleather cups.
The headset itself is fitted with the velour pads by default which I think is the better option of the two. It helps in keeping sweat to a minimum while providing all-day long comfort. The headphone comes with its own s-plug type connector to the volume control unit. From the volume unit you have a dual USB plugs to connect to your computer. So write off two ports off your PC if you intend on getting this.
The volume control unit lets you control the volume of the headset and volume for the surround channels and bass levels as well as mute for the headphones and microphone. The unit is very heavy and will set solid on any surface. The build quality is very good and the knob is large and easily usable. The unit comes with a software CD, though the software doesn’t really have many options to play with. To enable the surround sound on the headphones you need to ensure you configure the output device to 5.1, or else you’ll only get the stereo. You can check this by looking at the Storm software, if it’s in stereo, you will only see a master volume control and Front volume otherwise there will be 4 different volume settings for the different channels.
Music on the headphones did not fare so well. I personally did not enjoy the quality of the sound of these headphones. The sound was similar to a cheap set of PC speakers you’d get from the Sunday markets. The bass wasn’t very good at all, even when turned up and it wasn’t very loud even at maximum. I also noticed the right headphone was a bit louder and more dominant than thee left, so it produced a bit of an uneven sound.
Movies were slightly better than music but still lacked a nice clean sound and didn’t really excite me while watching action scenes. It sounded almost like it is a bit too dull. The surround on it is probably one of the best I’ve heard on a headset, but the dullness of the sound overwhelms it.
Games on the headset are unbelievable. I was expecting the same dullness but where this headset lacks in general audio, while gaming it absolutely blew me away, especially the bass. Distant bombs in MW3 were almost punching me in the ear. The 5.1 surround worked like no other headset I’ve tested before, it really has stood out from the crowd.
If you’re in the market for a dedicated gaming headset, I’m surprised to say this is definitely a decent candidate. Even though it doesn’t do so well with general listening it packs a double punch with games and I think a lot of gamers out there will find this to be an attractive quality.
By Sahin Selvi
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