CM Storm Sirus - Gaming Headset with True 5.1 Surround Sound and Control Module
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- True 5.1 Surround Sound
- On-The-Fly Rear, Center and Front speaker control for maximum soundcustomization
- Interchangeable ear-cups for breathable audio and noise cancelation
- Microphone with LED mute indicator
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Built for gaming enthusiasts and audiophiles alike, the CM Storm Sirus 5.1 Surround Sound Headset creates an immersive experience with hi-fidelity soundscapes and intense bass. Sirus produces precise and crisp sound through its 8 discrete speaker channel pairs; consisting of front, rear, center, and sub. These deliver accurate and fully adjustable real-time 360 degree audio - made possible by its Tactical Mixing Console. In addition, Sirus is coupled with a Uni-directional microphone with background noise cancellation that enables crystal clear conversations with teammates and enemy combatants.
CM Storm Sirus 5.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
Built for gaming enthusiasts and audiophiles alike, the CM Storm Sirus 5.1 Surround Sound Headset creates an immersive experience with hi-fidelity soundscapes and deep bass. Sirus provides precise and crisp sound through its 8 discrete speaker channel pairs; consisting of dual fronts, dual rear, center, and subwoofer. This 5.1 setup delivers accurate and fully adjustable real-time 360 degree audio − full controllably by the included Tactical Mixing Console. In addition, Sirus is coupled with a uni-directional microphone with noise cancellation that ensures you are always crystal clear to your teammates in the heat of battle.
|5.1 CHANNEL SURROUND SOUND |
Hear your enemies before they strike! Eight embedded speakers (4 on each side) create powerful and immersive 5.1 surround sound.
|TACTICAL MIXING CONSOLE |
The Tactical Mixing Console ensures you get the best audio experience available. In conjunction with the Sirus software, you can control each independent channel and create profiles to immerse yourself when watching a movie or playing the latest games.
|UNI-DIRECTIONAL MICROPHONE |
The high quality microphone eliminates useless background noise and ensures that you stay crystal clear to your teammates in the heat of battle. The LED mute indicator at the tip lets you know when you're ready to command with clarity.
|CUSTOMIZABLE EAR CUPS FOR YOUR COMFORT |
The interchangeable ear cups are lined with breathable micro-weave to eliminate fatigue during long use or leatherette for improved noise insulation. Whatever you need, the Sirus has got you covered.
|Driver Diameter||F/R/C: 30mm - Sub: 40mm|
|Impedance||F/R/C: 32 Ohms - Sub: 16 Ohms|
|Distortion||Less than 1%|
|Transducer Principle||Dynamic closed|
|Frequency Range||10 - 20,000 Hz|
|Connector||Dual USB 2.0 / 3.5mm Adapter|
|Frequency Range||100-10,000 Hz|
|Sensitivities (@1kHz)||-46dB +- 3dB|
|Pick Up Pattern||Omni-Directional|
Top Customer Reviews
Wearing them was quite a treat as well, they fit nice and snug on your head. Some people complain about the slight vicegrip like feel, it might be my head size, but the vice grip feel is very minimal and the effects only set in after roughly 6+ hours of use. The cushioned headband sitting on top of your head is nice and rarely noticeable and makes for a comfortable fit. The headset comes equipped with 2 sets of ear cushions: a mesh and a leather version. The mesh cushion is AMAZING, it allows for alot of breathing room and thus reduces the heat inside that ear chamber which results in a longer more comfortable usage period. The leather version is nice and snug as well, but as we all know, continued usage leads to some discomfort as the ear chamber gets too hot. The ear cushions did not provide as much noise cancellation as I had originally hoped for. The leather cushion does not provide that much of a noise cancellation environment compared to the mesh one, so I would personally always stay with the mesh as the breathing room comfort is unmatched. The sound will be fairly loud coming out of the headset, so if there is another person inside the room, they might be susceptible to some noise.
The headset comes equipped with 2 types of connection. The more mobile connection consists of an USB along with 4 other audio connections (orange, pink, black, and green). This solution provides for a nice mobile connection if you want to use this headset with a MP3 player. The second connection connects to a master control station via 2 USB ports. The master control has options for rear, front, master, center, and bass controls. There are also mic and headset buttons that allow you to mute those options or not with a click of the button. The control dial however, feels a little flimsy and cheap which was disappointing. I chose to stick with the master control doohickey dongle because I mostly use this at my desktop. The mic is extremely clear and does not pick up any unnecessary noise . There is a red LED indicator on the mic (left ear) to let you know if it's on mute or not.
The included software just lets you further fine tune the sounds, but the master control dongle does the job just fine, install the software if you want to feel like you're in control.
Now for the performance aspect. The highs and mids are are extremely nice and crisp, watching movies and playing games and listening to music is very enjoyable. The one major downside to these headsets and probably the only downside is that bass is not very deep or booming making the lows seem a little weak. I based off my sound testing off of Red Hot Chili Peppers playing at Slane Castle which provide a wide array of sounds which I felt could nicely put the headsets to the test. Note I have the videos downloaded and not streamed from Youtube, so sound quality is even across the board. To make an overview, the bass is a little on the weak side, the control dial is pretty flimsy, and the noise cancellation is a little lacking. But overall these headsets were a very nice purchase and I am glad I bought them for $110. I give these headsets a booming score of 9/10. Hope you guys enjoyed my review and could leave some feedback on what I could improve on when writing these, so I can better understand what people look for. Thanks guys and gals.
Let me start by saying, I've been an avid PC gamer for as long as there have been sound cards and headsets to go with them. Within the last two years, I've tried out, no less than, 6 different headsets from manufacturers like Asus, Plantronics, Corsair, Turtle Beach, Sennheiser and Logitech. If you're anything like me, you do a lot of review reading to try and figure out what will work best for you. It's amazing how wide the discrepancies can be in headset reviews. In my experience, each headset always had strong weaknesses to go with any strengths. This time, it seems we may have finally broken the mold.
This is what I look for in a gaming headset, and how the Sirus performs (as well as some comparisons to others I've tried).
- Comfort. You're going to be wearing this thing for possibly hours on end--it's no fun to have to keep taking off your headset to rub your head or worse, have to quit because you just can't take it any more. For me this is one of the big highlights of the Sirus headset--it's a really comfortable fit. It doesn't put your head in a vice-grip like the Plantronics GameCom 377 I tried out. I *think* I have a large head, and it fits snug, but is adjustable height-wise, as well as having some free ear cup movement so it adjusts to the back of your head. When putting on a headset, I usually know very quickly if the fit is going to be a problem. After a few hours, these have done what they're supposed to do: let you forget that you're wearing something over your head. Are they the best I've ever worn? NO. They are a little heavy, and still seem a bit tight to me. The old Turtle Beach AK-R8's were the most comfortable because of the headstrap design that let the headset "rest" on your head to stay on instead of relying on "pinching." My comfort rating: 8/10.
- Audio capabilities. I don't keep a separate set of headphones at my computer to switch out when I decide to listen to music. I want to use my headset for gaming, listening to MP3s, and watching videos. As most headsets, the Sirus headset comes with software to adjust the audio settings. The software is very robust, and the sound responds well to the adjustments. There are a lot of advanced features to play with (including a 10-band equalizer), but you might not know it if you don't read the manual because they're hard to find. The equalizer really helps to bring out the best sound you're looking for. I've always thought the environment effects were a gimmick, but they're there if you so choose.
For games, I tried the set out in Call of Duty: World at War and Age of Conan. Each game utilized the headsets capabilities and provided a clear sense of direction of sound, though not always perfect: it can be hard to tell if someone is coming from the front or the back, but maybe that's just me or the limitations of the technology. It was certainly better than the Corsair 2000's simulated 7.1 surround.
For music, my tastes vary greatly, and I audited songs from Smashing Pumpkins, Rush, Metallica, and various 80's pop songs. The sound was good, but sometimes required tweaking if you wanted to hear certain highs or lows accented. Of course, this seems to be the nature of music in general; you emphasize highs on something like Rush's Moving Pictures album, but desire more bass on Metallica's ...And Justice For All. Either way, the Sirus can accommodate whatever sound you're trying to achieve. (Note: RIGHT click on the speaker icon!!). My audio capability rating: 9/10.
- Usability and features. One of the features I've really come to enjoy is the control dial that comes with the Sirus headset. The control dial has buttons to mute the mic, mute the headset, and switch between the various speakers of the headset while the dial itself adjusts the levels of each. The control dial is a weighted, circular device that goes between your headset and the computer. It's a really nice interface to control the volume as well, so you're not fumbling for some kind of in-line cable thing, and the weight of it keeps it from sliding off into your lap. I was also impressed by the fact that CM included analog connections if you didn't want to use the built-in USB audio card. Granted using the analog hookups would eliminate being able to use the control dial, but it's still good to have the option. Again, the software is great, however some of the features can require some searching to find. My usability and feature rating: 9/10.
- Bass. Yes, this might be included under "Audio capabilities," but I felt it was so important that bass needs it's own entry--whether it's for music or for games. Let me start by saying that "good bass" means a lot of different things to different people. Good news. In my opinion, this headset can make everybody "bass happy." I mean that by saying that the bass is so configurable that it will make everybody happy. Yes, that's a bold statement, but I think it's true. Let me give some background.
As a frugal consumer (and what my daughter calls a cheap-skate), I always try and research every semi-important investment I make, headsets are no exception. In the world of headsets, and specifically with bass, I've been misled to think that the size of the driver is everything (e.g., "50mm driver for awesome bass!!"). I've used the Turtle Beach X12 and the Corsair Vengeance 1500 which both have 50mm drivers, and my ears could never tell the difference. What seemed make more of a difference was the frequency response; all of the cans that didn't go any lower than 20Hz seemed to suffer when it came to good bass. I know there are limitations of what the human ear can hear, but cans that have a lower freq. response range always sound better. These are no exception, the range is 10Hz - 20Khz. The Sirus headset uses 40mm, not 50mm, drivers for it's sub sounds and I can't tell a difference.
Along with some of the aforementioned songs, I tried out simple bass lines by U2, Bush (Chemicals Between Us), and Ozzy Osbourne (Zombie Stomp). This headset follows right along with incredible reproduction and accuracy (from a consumer's point of view!).
My favorite bass feature of the Sirus headset has to be the "Flex Bass II" setup. Not only is the bass amplified through the built-in sound card, but you can adjust the "clean-ness" (for lack of a better term) of the bass. This is really cool as it allows you to adjust the bass level as well as the cut off frequency! Moving the frequency slider back and forth makes an incredible difference on how clean the bass is! It's by far the best feature I've seen on a headset. My bass rating: 10/10.
That being said here are some of the things I don't care about (which may or may not be important to you):
- Noise cancelling or sealing out all noise from the outside. The Asus Vulcan ANC set drove me absolutely nuts by completely sealing off my ears from the outside world. While that may sound cool, it felt like I had ear-plugs in and every touch of the headset vibrated in my head--kind of like putting your ear up against a door and listening in. Worse, the "Active Noise Cancelling" they had cuts out ALL bass! Really?! The noise-cancelling headphones I use at work (Sony MDR-NC40) actually improve the bass when noise-cancelling is activated!
- Quiet for others around me. Anytime this is brought up as a "feature", it always seems to compromise performance for the headset. Plus I don't care. :)
- Not being wireless. Of course having the exact headset in a wireless option would be awesome, but you can't get the exact headset. At least, not yet. :)
- Aesthetics. This headset is awesome looking--lighting on the sides, etc.. it's just I don't care.
I used to say, "oh, I'm not an audiophile, but..." Now I just say that I know what I like and I pay attention to statistics, details, and read up on anything I can regarding headset audio. I hope this review can at least steer you in a direction one way or another. I don't write a lot of reviews, but after a such a long and tiring search for a decent headset that fits my needs, I felt compelled to possibly help someone else in the same position.
As a side note: NO, I was not paid, nor given this headset. I bought it straight off the shelf like anybody else would.
I've found an issue with the headset that's apparently a "known issue" on Cooler Master's CM Storm website: the microphone (when in USB mode, i.e. using the control dial) is very weak and won't pick up any bass--almost giving you a chipmunk sound! I apologize for missing this when I originally wrote the review; I didn't notice a problem when I looped the audio back through the headset, but once I got on Ventrilo, the issue became very apparent. I verified the issue with my buddy who bought the same Sirus headset as I did and we joined up to tweak any setting we could. Needless to say, it was a frustrating experience as nothing could get it right.
Cooler Master's website gives the following in their FAQ:
"There is a known problem with the mic sensitivity of Sirus in USB mode being notably weaker than in 3.5mm mode."
Well, the problem goes way beyond just being weaker. They go on to say:
" A few early Sirus Headsets shipped with badly calibrated MICs resulting in poor MIC performance in USB mode."
I'll give them credit for recognizing the problem, but that's nothing without a good resolution. I've submitted a ticket to see what they will do to fix the problem, and I'll report back. Thanks, and again I apologize for missing this the first time.
I never got any kind of response despite multiple attempts at communication. This is a very disappointing conclusion to this review--and I've docked them two stars as this headset is only mediocre if you can't use it the way it was intended to be used.