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Cooler Master Storm Sirus 5.1 Headset Review

Author: AkG
Date: July 18, 2011
Product Name: Storm Sirus 5.1
Warranty: 2 Years
 
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Initial Impressions



Since this is a pre-release sample and thus came in nothing more a white cardboard box we cannot really comment on what the final packaging will look like nor how well it will protect the Sirius. With that being said, the picture above shows what the final version of the packaging should look like.


Upon first glance the Cooler Master Sirus headset looks much like Logitech’s G930 with a relatively boxy ear cup design which is backed up with a good amount of foam padding, an ultra wide headband and a thick black adjustable mic. The predominantly silver colour scheme with silver highlights gives it a much more distinctive look than the G930 though and the finishing texture has an almost rubberized feel to it which should significantly improve durability.

After slipping them on for the first time the differences between the Sirus and Logitech’s G930 become apparent. While the G930 is -in a utilitarian way- a good looking headset, it can’t really be deemed overly comfortable. Meanwhile, the Cooler Master Sirus gaming headset is extremely comfortable with padding in all the right places.


What makes this headset so comfortable is the fact that the default ear-cup covering is cloth instead of the cheap vinyl which most of the competition uses. If you prefer additional noise cancellation abilities, Cooler Master has thoughtfully included a pair of easily installed leatherette (aka vinyl) replacements which in testing noticeably decreased ambient noise levels.


Another reason why the Sirus headset is so darn comfortable is the ear cups themselves are large enough to easily cover nearly any ear size. As with cloth covering, we prefer cups which fully encompass the ear rather than laying flat on top of the ear’s cartilage. After 8 hours or more at a LAN event you too will thank Cooler Master’s engineers for this feature.

When plugged into your system's USB port, the logo on the sides of the ear-cup lights up in an nice – yet not overpowering – red glow.


With all that being said, these are not quite as comfortable as the Senneheiser HD595s for one simple reason: we feel the tensioning arm is a tad too aggressive. To be blunt, the Sirus does put more pressure on your skull than is needed to keep the ear cups in place. This is pretty common and simply over-expanding them for a while will reduce this pressure (be careful not to break them if you try this). We had to do the same thing with our HD555s and once we had done this with the Storm Sirus it became almost like wearing a second skin: cozy, comfortable and not noticeable in the least.


Once uncovered, Cooler Master’s 5.1 design comes into sharp focus. They have opted for three 30mm drivers in a triangular configuration with the front and back units forming the lower corners of the triangle and the center “speaker” being higher and centrally located. Below this triangle of 30mm drives lies and additional 40mm driver for lower range response.

The upside to using smaller 30 and 40mm drivers is their lower weight when compared to their larger counterparts but they have the potential to be less precise at higher decibel ratings. With all other factors being equal, the rule of thumb is that a 40mm driver will start to distort before a 50mm will, and a 30mm will start to distort the output before a 40mm. We’ll see if this is the case with the Cooler Master Sirus headset later in the review.


As mentioned previously, the Sirus has a large adjustable mic arm which strongly reminds us of the one Logitech uses on the G930. As far as mics go it is fairly typical of modern headsets as some ambient noise will leak in and over the channel but for the most part it does a very reasonable job of things.

In our experience this mic just isn’t as good as the one found on SteelSeries’ Siberia V2 and while it is adjustable it doesn’t retract into the headset for easy storage when not in use. On the positive side, the arm has a built in red LED which glows when the microphone is muted which is a great feature as it can help keep you from embarrassing yourself.
 
 
 

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