CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Review – CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 is their first gaming headset in the product pipeline, which completes the whole range of gaming peripherals they have in their arsenal: Gaming PC Case, Keyboard, Mouse, Mouse pad, and other accessories. Check out Craving Tech’s Sentinel ZERO-G mouse and Quick Fire Rapid keyboard’s review.
Though it is the first gaming headset product, Sirus 5.1 has a good quality build and also a “UFO” shaped “tactical mixing console”, where you can adjust different channels to your preference on the fly (more on this later).
CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Review – Unboxing
CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Review – Packaging
CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Review – Design
The build quality is good, making the headset a sturdy one. The overall theme is chrome black with red lighting that marks the CoolerMaster Storm logo. Overall, it looks really nice especially when the headset is plugged and turned on.
The headband can be adjusted to different heights (for different head sizes and shapes) and the ear cups are easily replaceable too – as you can choose whether you prefer leather cushions or cloths’. The size of the headset overall is quite large, in my opinion, but it can definitely cover everyone from a small to a larger head size.
I pick the cloth cushion pads as the leather ones tend to make my ears warm rather quickly. Sirus 5.1 ear cups design covers the whole ear (full ear cups).
On the top of the headset, there is also a soft pad which makes the Sirus 5.1 even more comfortable to wear, serving as a cushion to the top of your head.
The microphone is located on the left side of the headset and a non-retractable one. You push it up when you are not using the microphone and pull it down to use it. You can also adjust the tip of the microphone boom by bending it closer towards your mouth or further.
The CM Storm Sirus 5.1 includes 2 types of connections: analog or via USB. You can plug the analog cables straight into your sound card which will give you a better audio output if you have a really good sound card. Or alternatively, use the dual gold-plated USB connectors and plug them into your USB slots.
The manual recommends plugging both USB cables in, in case your motherboard does not provide enough power to the headset. I found that if I only plugged one of them, I could get everything to run but there was no Bass coming out of it at all. Only when I plugged them both I could hear the Bass and adjust it with the Tactical Mixing Console.
Speaking of the Tactical Mixing Console, I really like how you can adjust different channels easily with it: Rear, Front, Center, Bass, and also the Master volume with a single button and the dial.
On the console, there are also 2 handy buttons to quickly mute the headset and/or the microphone.
CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Review – Impressions
Overall, the audio quality is great – as I tested this while listening to my music, watching movies, and also playing different kind of games. I can hear all sort of environment sound in Skyrim clearly (and got goose bumps when exploring the poorly-lit caverns :() and even get my adrenaline pumping when I’m under cover with all the bullets and RPG rockets flying above me in Battlefield 3.
The Bass department is a bit lacking unfortunately. I was expecting some awesome “Booms” and “Oomphs” with all the explosions going around in Battlefield 3 so I cranked up the Bass level. I was disappointed because the Bass feel is kind of different. The power is there (I had to lower it down a few levels from the maximum) but it sounds flat and as if the Bass is being muffled through a thin wall. Bass lovers who like to listen to the Bass from their music won’t be getting much out of this.
The inclusion of the Tactical Mixing Console is a plus as it certainly adds a high value to the CM Storm Sirus 5.1. The experience of setting the channels up is smooth and since you can adjust them on the fly, you can use different settings to play different games. For example, if you are playing a first person shooter game, you may want to crank up the Bass and the Rear, to make sure you are not always being owned from behind. When you play a Role Playing game or watching movies, you may want to adjust the Center so you can hear every conversation better. The possibilities are endless and the control is given to you.
There is an LED indicator on the microphone (and on the Tactical Mixing Console) so you’ll be aware of when you are not supposed to say what you are not supposed to say :) The microphone quality is good although I was speaking in my bedroom and not in a noisy environment such as in a LAN gaming party. Would be good to find out whether the CM Storm Sirus 5.1 microphone works okay in that kind of set-up.
CoolerMaster Storm Sirus 5.1 Review – Conclusion
CoolerMaster Storm joins the other gaming peripheral vendors with its first release of 5.1 gaming headset, the CM Storm Sirus 5.1. CM Storm Sirus 5.1 comes with superb customisations and being made for those who like tweaking their gaming peripherals, including the sound configurations.
You can choose to: hook the headset up with an Analog or USB, use a leather or cloth cushion pads, and adjust the volume level you want for each channel (Front, Rear, Center, and Bass).
Apart from the customisations, the build quality is superb and the headset also looks really cool. The design is spot-on as it is comfortable while maintaining the quality of the build material and the ease of use. The sound quality is great and thanks to the 5.1 audio positioning, you can spot your enemies easier way before they see you. The Bass is not as strong as I want it to be and doesn’t give any satisfying experience, but overall the sound quality is decent.
CM Storm Sirus 5.1 is comfortable, customisable, and the Tactical Mixing Console looks like it’s coming from the outer space ;) (a bonus point)
Note: CM Storm Sirus 5.1 review unit was provided for the review
CM Storm Sirus 5.1 Review – Pros
+ Great build quality
+ Great audio and microphone quality
+ Plenty of customisations
+ Tactical Mixing Console can adjust channels separately on-the-fly
+ Adjustable height and microphone boom
+ Replaceable ear cushion pads
CM Storm Sirus 5.1 Review – Cons
– Take quite a space when not used
– Not really portable (no case/bag & can’t be disassembled)
– Bass is lacking