CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Gaming Headset Review

gotdamojo06 - 2011-06-27 16:10:58 in Speakers/Headphones
Category: Speakers/Headphones
Reviewed by: gotdamojo06   
Reviewed on: October 19, 2011
Price: $119.95

Introduction:

Have you been playing your favorite game and keep getting fragged when you least expect it? Maybe you're using speakers that are not giving the noise detail you wish to have or maybe you have an older headset that is only 2.1 channels or less! Well it's time to look at getting into a new headset that is going to give you every advantage that your opponents are using. If you have ever looked into getting a 5.1 channel headset, but have been turned away by needing to have a dedicated sound card in your system and just don't want to fork out the cash for it, or maybe your motherboard just doesn't support 5.1 channels. Then you are in luck, since the CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Gaming Headset is powered by USB instead of your typical 3.5mm audio jacks. Let's take a closer look and see what CoolerMaster has to offer with it's latest headset.

 

 

Closer Look:

The CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Gaming Headset that I received was not packaged in the retail packaging, so I am unable to take a look at what the actual packaging will look like if you were to purchase one. However the package that they did send the headset in does look like what they will be using for the inner packaging, with a different retail outer shell around it. Once you get the main package opened up, you are going to find a clear molded plastic casing inside that houses the headset, along with all of the cables that are nice and neatly arranged to ensure that they are going to stay in place during the shipping process.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you start to getting the contents out of the clear plastic packaging, you will see everything that comes with the CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Gaming Headset. Included is obviously the headset itself with the attached cables, the additional 5.1 3.5mm audio jacks, the replacement leather ear pads, and the control module.

 

 

 

When you are looking at the connections that are on the CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Gaming Headset, you are going to see that the cable attached to the headset itself has a single large 40mm connector that looks very similar to a PS2 connector. This cable is either going to plug into the adapter that allows you to plug the headset right into an audio card, or into the control pod. If you are going to use the 3.5mm cables, then you get a total of four cables and a USB connection. Looking at the control pod you will see three buttons on the front of it, they are the headphone mute, the microphone mute, and the select button. By pressing the select button, you are going to be able to scroll through all five of the different audio settings  (Rear, Front, Master, Center, Bass) that can be adjusted. There is a large knob on the top of the pod, which has a little divot that makes turning it with a single finger quite easy. Flipping it over, you will notice that a majority of the bottom has rubber padding on it that helps in preventing your desk from getting scratched and it does a great job of keeping the module in place.

 

 

 

When you look at the Cooler Master Storm Sirus 5.1 from afar, you are going to see that the entire headset is a nice silverish/gun metal color with black accents all over it. On the band that goes over the top, you find a nice pad that rests on your head, which is not only going to give you support and increase the comfort of the headset, but keep it at an appropriate level on your head as well. The ear pads you find already installed on the headset are a cloth type material that give support all around your ear, which increases comfort and aids in noise cancellation as well.

 

 

Looking at the side of the headset where the microphone is located, CoolerMaster has the CM Storm logo printed on it, that will glow in a nice red accent color when the headset is plugged into your computer. CoolerMaster has given the microphone arm a total of about 90° of adjustment from straight forward to straight up (parallel with the headset band). On the opposite side of the headset is another CoolerMaster CM Storm logo printed, that will glow with a red LED when plugged in also.

 

 

Now that we have taken a look at the CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Gaming Headset, it is time to take a look at the specification and features it has. Then onto the testing. 

Specifications:

 

Model
SGH-6000-KKSR1
Channels
True 5.1
Driver
F/R/C: 30mm
Sub: 40mm
Imedance
F/R/C: 32 Ohms
Sub: 16 Ohms
Transducer Principle
Dynamic Closed
Ear Coupling
Circumaural
Ear Cushions
Detachable micro fiber
Sensitivity
> 105dB
Frequency Response
10Hz – 20,000Hz
Distortion
Less than 1%
Mic Pick-up Pattern
Uni-directional
Mic Frequency Response
100Hz – 10,000Hz
Mic Impedance
2.2k Ohms
Mic Sensitivity
-46 dB (±3dB)

 

Features:

 

All information courtesy of CoolerMaster available at http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?product_id=3048

Configuration:

When it comes down to configuring the CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Gaming Headset, this task is going to be done just like you would do with any new speaker and microphone that you get and install in your system. Unlike some other types of gaming headsets, the CoolerMaster Storm Sirus does not come with any device drivers for the headset to perform properly. All you have to do is plug the headset into two empty USB ports in your system and Windows will automatically detect what the device is and ensure that it is ready to be enabled. You may or may not be prompted to restart your system, but once the headset is ready to be used, you can open up the Windows Sound dialog box that is located in the notification area of your traskbar. Due to the fact that the headset does have both microphone and speakers, there are two sections that are going to interest us, the Playback tab and the Recording tab. By selecting the Playback tab, you are able to view the different playback devices that are currently installed and select which one you want to be active, the same is true under the Recording tab.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the Playback tab, you can click the Properties button with the Storm Sirus headset selected and another dialog box will pop up. In this screen, you are able to make adjustments to the audio playback features of the headset. In the General tab, which is the first one that shows under the Properties options, you can change the icon and the name that displays in the system to make it easier to figure out which device is which. Under the Supported Formats, is where you can enable/disable the different Encoded Formats that the playback device can support and test each of them. You are also going to be able to adjust the Sample Rates, however 48.0 KHz is the only supported rate by the Storm Sirus. In the Levels tab, you can adjust the playback volume that goes to the Storm Sirus. Finally under the Advanced tab, you are able to select the sample rate and bit depth that is allowed when the device is in shared mode. When the device is in exclusive mode, you can allow applications to take exclusive control of the device.

 

 

 

Under the Recording tab when you click into the Properties screen, you are going to get a very similar looking dialog box that pops up. Here you can change the icon and name that displays for the microphone portion of the CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Gaming Headset. Under the Listen tab, you will have the option to enable the listen feature of a microphone which allows you to listen to a portable music player or other device through the microphone jack. Under the levels tab, you are able to adjust the recording volume that the headset sends back to Windows. Finally under the Advanced tab, you are able to choose the settings you want when the device is in either shared or exclusive mode.

 

 

 

Now that the CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Gaming Headset is configured properly for my system, let's get into the testing to see how well it performs.

Testing:

To properly test the CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Gaming Headset, I am going to be testing it's gaming capabilities, as well as it's ability to play music and movies all in surround sound. Please keep in mind that testing of a Gaming Headset is very subjective to the user, however this review is intended to be as objective as possible.

Testing Setup:

 

5.1 Surround Sound Music:

While playing music and wearing the CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Gaming headset, you are going to be able to put yourself into your music with the surround sound that you have in each ear. With the select button on the control pod, you can manipulate the different speakers such as the Front, Rear, Center, and Bass, separately from each other for the best mix depending on which type of music you are listening to. I listen to just about every genre of music and having the controls right here while I am working on something sitting at the computer does make it nice and easy if I choose to adjust the amount of bass.

5.1 Surround Sound Movies:

Watching movies while wearing a headset is not my prefered way to watch a movie, however it does have a few benefits such as not waking people up who may be sleeping. So what I ended up doing was grabbing one of my favorite DVDs off the shelf, National Treasure, to see exactly how well the headset sounded while watching a movie. Like I had mentioned, I would much rather lay down on a couch and watch a movie, however sitting in front of the computer and watching a movie does have its benefits. During some of the scenes where there was a lot going on, it did almost seem like I was right there while it was happening and many of the little detailed noises sounded like they were happening on the correct sides of me.

5.1 Surround Sound Games:

Generally speaking, when you are using a better audio setup with your gaming system, you will be able to perform better throughout the game. Well this is still true even using a headset, probably even more so with a headset than a speaker setup. While using a headset, depending on the type of headset of course, you can be projected right into the game. The CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Gaming Headset does just that, puts you right into the game. Most games will support a 5.1 surround sound audio setup. I have used the Storm Sirus in multiple games such as Left4Dead, Left4Dead 2, and Battlefield Bad Company 2 and in all of the games I have seen an improvement in my gaming experience and abilities. I have found that during the gameplay across different titles I was able to hear things in the game such as people or things coming up to me much quicker than when I use a surround sound speaker system.

Conclusion:

What is there to say about the CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Gaming Headset other than WOW. I was quite impressed with the headset as soon as I pulled it out of the packaging. Not only does the headset look really nice from the get-go, but the accessories that come with the headset does give it a nice added value. CoolerMaster included two different ear pads with the Storm Sirus headset, one made of a leather-type material while the other is a cloth material. Both of the headset ear pads are very comfortable, as well as block out background noise that is happening in the room around you. CoolerMaster has also supplied two different ways to connect the headset to your computer in the package, one is through two USB connectors while the other is through a single USB connector and your sound card. This only expands the usability of the headset from a desktop environment to being portable while on the road with your laptop.

The fact that there are no drivers needed for the headset to function properly is also an added bonus, since the headset can easily be used on multiple computers without the need to install any software/drivers. This feature is nice for gamers that use many different computers or go to competitions where you are not allowed to supply your own computer setup, but wish to still have a nice surround sound headset available to you. CoolerMasters Control Pod that is on the headset cable does make adjusting the volume inside of a game much easier than having to either minimize the game or use the buttons on your keyboard. Above that it also gives you the freedom to change all aspects of the audio you are hearing (Rear, Front, Center, and Bass). When it comes down to the sound quality that the Storm Sirus headset provides, I was quite pleased. Not only was it able to perform well during games where it is marketed, but watching movies and playing music sounded wonderful through the headset as well. I am actually listening to music right now on the headset.

If you are looking for a new headset that is going to give you a nice advantage in your favorite game, then you should add the Cooler Master Storm Sirus 5.1 Gaming Headset to your list of possible candidates. I would highly suggest this headset to someone who is shopping for a new one. Especially if they do not have a high powered sound card installed in their system and wish to use a USB headset that can go on the road with them. I know I will be personally using this headset while I game.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: