CM Storm Sirus Headphones Review
Games and Conclusion
This is one area in which these headphones actually did very well in. Most current games have a built-in audio engine which interacts with the audio stack of Windows Vista/7. This disables hardware support like EAX 5.0 and A3D. So even most inexpensive sound cards can match the gaming ability of the top end, it is only sound quality and some extra functionality that ends up getting lost at the lower levels. So utilizing the puck rather than a soundcard is not necessarily a bad thing with modern games.
The earpads are easy to remove and replace.
The combination of multi-channel sound and gaming quality audio allowed these headphones to perk up quite a bit. Playing games with them is enjoyable, and I did not notice any particular audio deficiencies. I did not get the impression that sound is muffled or indistinct, and the soundstage is seemingly widened in such usage.
Positional audio is improved, but it still is a far cry from what even an inexpensive 5.1 channel speaker setup can provide. Spatial cues are present, but are not as distinct as one would like. It is a step up from purely software driven 5.1 solutions. Overall the quality distractions that were encountered with music and movies are not as apparent, and gaming with these is a very pleasant experience.
I wonder if a redesign of the grille can improve overall sound quality when it comes to music?
The Sirus headphones are a bit of a mixed bag. They are most comfortable in a gaming environment and least comfortable when playing high quality musical content. Movie performance is somewhere in between. I believe CM did make a few too many tradeoffs to include four drivers per cup, and certainly the plastic covering over the drivers could use some work to make it more transparent to the audio.
The overall construction of the headphones is very good. They do not feel flimsy, they have a good heft to them, and they are comfortable to wear for hours on end. They are a bit heavy, but they are not fatiguing. The control puck is nice and heavy, the controls move smoothly with just a hint of resistance, and the functionality of the puck is intuitive (as compared to the software control panel). I did get a good laugh at CM Storm’s site when it listed the “gold plated USB plugs for greater audio quality” under the hardware specifications. Yes, I am sure that gold plating will make the quality of the data packets being delivered to the puck that much better.
The analog cable features the 5.1 connections, as well as the USB plug to provide power to the lighting on the headphones.
These headphones should retail for around $129. This is about average for multiple driver based 5.1 headphones. Tritton makes comparable versions from between $120 and $160. I believe that CM has a good overall value considering the build quality, the controller, and the overall sound quality given its focus. If a user wants far more musical headphones, then they need to look elsewhere. But as a “jack of all trades” it does a very adequate job. Gaming is again the specialty of these headphones, with movies being a distant second. If a user typically plays games for hours on end, and cannot do so with a true 5.1 speaker set, then these will be the preferred products for that particular person.