CM Storm, the gaming division of legendary manufacturer Cooler Master is back once again with the release of their Sirus-C 2.2 gaming headset. The Sirus has long been a popular product of CM Storm, but this new model looks to kick things up a notch with improved performance and specifications. Not only is the headset compatible with PC, but also PlayStation 4, making it a tempting purchase for those who love to game on both PC and the latest Sony console.
Priced at a little over £70 from most major online retailers, the Sirus-C isn’t overly expensive, especially given the brand name and the multi format support, so it will be interesting to see how it stacks up to the competition. Especially when you can pick up something like the Turtle Beach PX3 and the MadCatz Tritton Pro+ for around the same money. However, the Sirus-C does have some impressive specifications behind it that should give it a leading edge, most importantly being the 2.2 drives, that’s two drivers in stereo configuration and two sub woofers to give your sound extra depth and low end grunt, something that will no doubt appeal to a gaming audience.
“Sirus-C delivers earth-shaking 2.2 channel sound with dedicated extra large 44mm and 40mm drivers in each ear for explosive bass and crisp sound. A built-in high-fidelity amplifier dramatically boosts signal power to make games and movies more immersive and music livelier. In addition, Sirus-C is coupled with an in-line remote that grants access to volume adjustment, microphone mute, chat volume (console mode), and PC / Game Console mode switching.” – CM Storm.
Having a good quality headset can really make or break your gaming experience, especially when it comes to competitive gaming. Having clear audio for team chat, or simply have a more involving and immersive soundscape for single player games. Lets not forget that comfort is also incredibly important, as when you’re gaming for hours on end, you don’t want to take your headset off just to find that your head hurts. CM Storm have had a good run in the past with our reviews here at eTeknix and today I’ll be expecting nothing less than a solid performance from this headset.
The packaging features a large window section, giving us a good look at the headset design as well as the in-line controller. Down the side of the box is a quick run down that details the headset in compatible with Xbox, PlayStation and PC. Although why they put PS4 on the front and not a badge for each format is a little strange as this could confuse some consumers.
Around the back we have a detailed run down of the major features such as the 2.2 drives, audio pass through cables, in-line controller and more. The left side of the box has the full technical specifications (see above).
Everything you need to get you going is included in the box. The headset comes hard wired with the in-line controller and a long braided cable that features both a 3.5mm connection and USB connection. There is also a 3.5″ female to dual AUX pass through cable, controller connection cable and the user / quick setup guides.
A Closer Look
The headset is constructed out of really good quality plastics, with a mixture of glossy edges and matt finished panels, giving it a premium look and feel.
The in-line controller is hard wired on the braided cable and comes with all the major functions you should need, including an easy to access microphone mute slider, master volume and chat volume controls, and a PC / console mode toggle.
Around the back you’ll find a sturdy shirt clip, meaning you can ensure the controller is exactly where you need it, when you need it.
On the bottom edge you’ll find a controller connection jack.
The microphone boom is fixed to the side of the ear cup, but can be pivoted up out of the way when not in use.
It features an LED indicator towards the front of the boom that lets you know when you’re muted.
The boom also features a flexible mid section, this means you can bend it a little to a more suitable position, but also means you’re less likely to snap the boom should you be a clumsy oaf.
Each ear cup is pretty deep, this is no doubt required to fit two drivers into each ear cup, the main driver and the bass driver.
The headband is really nicely finished, with a subtle CM Storm inlay on the top rubber coated section.
Some thick memory foam padding with a high quality cloth covering on the top will help provide a good fit and extra comfort for those long gaming sessions.
The back of each drive features a back-lit CM Storm emblem as well as the CM Storm logo in white just above a small mesh section.
A reinforced metal strip runs through the headset to provide extra support and strength to the size adjustment slider. There is a lot of range to the slider too, so the headset should be suitable for both younger gamers, as well as those with a big noggin like myself.
The ear cups are an over-ear design, with lots of soft padding that should help provide a comfortable fit.
Finally we see that when the headset is powered up (USB required) the in-line controller and the headset light up with a gorgeous white LED light.
I ran the acoustic test twice, first on the PC mode, using the USB connection and again using the 3.5mm jack and the USB powered internal sound card that is built into the headsets in-line controller. The results were wildly different, first on the PC mode you’ll see that volume peaked at 93 dBa with a reading directly from the driver, this is pretty loud and more than enough for anyone who isn’t already half deaf. Sound leak was pretty minimal with volume at 100% and again at 50%, but those sitting near you will still be able to hear a little of what you’re listening to.
Console mode uses the internal sound card on the headset, which is pretty powerful, pushing the drivers up to an ear bursting 108 dBa, this is beyond what your ears can handle and I’ll summarise it as “recklessly loud” at maximum volume. This is no bad thing through, as you don’t need to max out the headset to enjoy it, but should you be watching something where the source is too quiet, you can certainly give it a mighty boost to bring it to a level you are happy with. Obviously audio leak was increased, but so was the volume, that’s just stating the obvious.
Gaming performance is great on this headset, even at high volume the headset remained distortion free and provided some really clear treble and bass frequencies. There is certainly a mid range scoop to the sound, so you do lose a little of the warmth to the sound that the mid ranges provide, but in a gaming environment this just means that bass sounds thicker and that there is loads of clarity to things like footsteps, gun sound effects and team voice chat.
Music performance was pretty decent, but failed to provide accurate reproductions due to the way the drivers are configured, there is definitely a push more towards a “wow” effect, which sounds great on bass heavy music, but saps some of the finer details out of more melodic music. It’s perfectly good for those who just want to listen to a few albums now and then, but those only wanting a headset for music would do better to get a dedicated set of headphone for around the same price.
Movies sounded great on this headset, mostly benefiting from the 2.2 drivers, in action packed scenes you do get a good cinematic quality and the clarity really shines through on vocal tracks.
One of the strongest features for this headset is the microphone, its bright and clear without being overly sensitive, perfect for team chat, but also just as nimble when used on Skype. I would have liked it to be detachable, but the fold-up design is good enough for the times you just want to play solo.
Priced a little over £70 from Scan.co.uk to Sirus certainly isn’t cheap, but it does fall in line with similar priced headsets in terms of features and performance from rivals such as TteSports and Turtle Beach, but the multi-format features do help improve its overall value for money.
CM Storm have proven many times before that they can make a competitively priced and great quality gaming headset, and the latest addition to their Sirus series is no exception. It’s not perfect in my opinion, as it left me a little underwhelmed when it came to music playback, and that is partly due to my personal preference for a fairly flat response set of high quality headphones when I’m enjoying my favourite albums, something that would make for an unfair comparison for most gaming headsets in this price range. Yet when it comes to gaming, the Sirus really shines through and I wouldn’t expect anything less given that it is marketed as a gaming headset.
Bass is full of detail, yet not as over powering as I thought it would be given the dedicated bass speakers design. Instead of the thumping bass I was expecting, you end up with really clear bass notes that leave the higher frequencies clear and distortion free, even when things end up getting manic in games such as Battlefield 4, which often loves to throw endless heavy thumping bass notes around the battlefield almost as much as it lags.
Having a good quality microphone can be one of the most vital components to competitive gaming, clear communication with your team can really means the difference between victory and defeat. The microphone on the Sirus certainly stands out, even in a noisy environment I found that chat proved easy enough for the headset and the 2.2 drivers do a great job of providing natural audio for when you’re listening to your team, where many headsets often drown the chat audio in thick bass, often over ruling the audio from the game, but that wasn’t the case here.
Build quality is rock solid and while the headset is mostly made from plastics, they’re all of a very high quality with no loose fittings, no squeaking panels or rattles. Overall the headset feels pretty durable and should survive a few knocks and bumps with relative ease. The only downside is that the headset is a little on the large side, so chucking it in your backpack when heading out to LAN gaming events may not be the easiest solution. I’m still happy to award the headset with our Gamers Choice Award, but had the music reproduction quality been better, the design just a little less bulky, CM Storm would have been looking at an easy Editors Choice Award.
“If you’re on the market for a dedicated gaming headset with a strong focus on providing great quality chat audio for team work, then the Sirus is certainly a strong contender for the money in your wallet. The multi format support is a welcome addition too, as it means that you shouldn’t need to invest in a second headset just to go enjoy a few games on the PlayStation 4.”
- Rock solid build quality
- Stylish design
- Clear chat audio and great quality microphone
- Braided cable
- In-line controller
- Power built-in USB powered amp.
- Multi-format support
- Distortion free, even at max volume
- All cables included for connecting to consoles and PC
- Music reproduction could be better
- Bass reproduction wasn’t as heavy as I expect (although it was crystal clear)
- Hard wired design
Thank you CM Storm for providing us with this sample.