CM Storm Sonuz Gaming Headset ReviewWaco - August 2, 2012
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Testing the CM Storm Sonuz headset required some serious music listening sessions, a movie or two, and some intense gaming sessions. Granted, there's no easy way to measure sound quality, but I will do my best to describe any flaws or drawbacks in the sound reproduction that these sound-quality oriented headphones can deliver.
- Processor: Intel i7 2600K @ 5.0 GHz
- Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4
- Memory: 16 GB (4x4 GB) G.Skill Sniper DDR3-1600
- Video Card: Sapphire 5970 @ 1000/1200
- PSU: PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mark II 950 Watt
- Hard Drives: Seagate Barracude 7200.10 750 GB w/ Corsair X128 using Intel Smart Response
- Optical Drive: N/A
- Case: Cooler Master HAF 932
- OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit SP1
Upon initial listening with the CM Storm Sonuz headset I found the sound to be a bit thin, however as I continued to use them they opened up quite a bit. Perhaps they needed breaking in? Regardless, after an hour or so of playtime they sounded much better and that sound is what I'll be basing my opinions on. First up in my gauntlet of tests was gaming because what's the use of a gaming headset that's no good at gaming? I started out playing around in the beautiful world of Skyrim, moved on to hunting zombies in Left 4 Dead 2, and finished out with a few games of Warhammer 40K: Retribution. I can honestly say I don't have any major complaints here! The bass response isn't quite as dramatic as other headsets I've used but is certainly no slouch in either volume or extension. They won't rattle your head if you crank them up but perhaps that's a good thing with the amount of bass being pumped through games these days. Midrange and treble response is spot-on, though I found the very highest registers to be a bit down in response from flat. The microphone performed admirably with my gaming companions reporting no difficulties or distortion in my voice.
Cooler Master probably didn't have movie playback in mind when it designed the Sonuz headset but many people do use their headsets while watching movies to avoid making a racket late at night. I fired up my favorite scenes from The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings, and Gone in 60 Seconds to put this headset through its paces. They didn't ever distort, even on huge bass drops, but I again found the bass response to be slightly thin in the lower registers despite the large 53mm drivers. Perhaps with a dedicated headphone amp you could tune the sound to be a bit closer to flat but as they ship and running off of the onboard sound of my motherboard they still don't disappoint. Dialog was easy to understand and loudness was no issue as you can easily give yourself a headache with these guys.
I love my music and whenever I have a pair of headphones on my computer they spend the majority of their time playing music while I'm working, browsing, and gaming (I tend to play music over my games). My usual mix of dubstep (yes, dubstep), classical, and rock music put the drivers in the CM Storm Sonuz to the test. The same notes I had about gaming and movie viewing hold true here – the bass response could be better down around the near-inaudible notes that impart impact more than play something to be heard. That said, the midbass and midrange response of this headset is spot-on. Impact is great, the midrange stays clear and un-muddied, and treble is bright and clean. While they aren’t the best sounding cans I've had on my head they certainly don't come anywhere near the worst. This headset is miles above any on-ear or in-ear headphone set…they sound big and that's a good thing.