CM Storm Sirus S
The CM Storm Sirus 5.1 is a great headset which was review by PCFormat in January 2012. It offered true 5.1 surround sound with lots of control and it was comfortable too but its price was a hard pill to swallow and even today, over 12 month later, the headset still goes for R1,200. The Sirus S however goes for a little over R800 which makes it a better proposition than the Sirus 5.1. But the important question is: what has been cut to make the price a little bit more palatable?
The biggest difference between the two headsets is the lack of the USB controller in the Sirus S packaging. The Sirus 5.1 affords the user the option of plugging the headset directly into a sound card or using the USB sound card built into the volume dial. The Sirus S lacks this feature and that presents a major problem for those who use on-board sound cards. Only motherboards with built-in headphone pre-amps and proper sound cards like Asus’ Xonar range will be able to drive these cans. A baby 5.1 sound card like the Asus Xonar DG costs R350 which brings the total cost close to that of the Sirus 5.1.
In terms of sound the Sirus S is a gaming headset that must be confined to gaming use only. CoolerMaster claims that these cans are designed for gamers and audiophiles but the latter will find no love in this headset, and tears might even be shed. Just like the Sirus 5.1 the Sirus S is bass-heavy, which is amazing for playing Battlefield 3 or Black Ops 2, but there is a severe lack of clarity in music.
For those new to setting up a surround sound headset it will take some time to find the right balance but with the Sirus S the returns are immediate with ear-shattering explosions and creeping-foot steps being delivered equally well.
Being a true 5.1 headset means that there are four drivers in each cup of the Sirus S, positioned at angles to deliver the surround sound experience. The front, rear and center channels are handled by three 30mm drivers in each cup while the sub is delivered by a 40mm driver in each cup. Those drivers add a lot of weight yet while the Sirus S is weighty it is not uncomfortable and wearing it for extended hours is not unpleasant. The ear cups have interchangeable cushions, with the micro weave material ones being more breathable and the leatherette cushions being better for noise insulation. That means the noise is kept in because at full volume there is nothing on this planet that will penetrate the sound coming out of these cans when in a game of Battlefield 3. Cotton wool might be needed to help wipe up the blood leaking out your ears.
The microphone is perfect with online party members not complaining of any distortion or weird noises. In comparison to this reviewer’s aging SteelSeries 5Hv2, which garnered many complaints from friends and strangers alike during voice chat, the Sirus S delivered perfect clarity during both conversation and mid-battle frantic screaming.
If you have a sound card that can drive these cans then you won’t be disappointed. They are comfortable, deliver amazing gaming audio and aren’t too expensive but if you lack a proper sound card then it would be worth your while either looking at a similarly priced stereo headset or purchasing the Sirus 5.1 headset.
Manufacturer Cooler Master
Supplier Cooler Master
Drivers: Front/ Rear/ Center: 30mm
Frequency response 10Hz – 20KHz
Mic Uni-directional mic (100Hz – 10KHz)
Cable length: 3.5m
Extras: Interchangeable ear cushions