The Coolermaster Storm Sirus S may sound familiar already. That is because the Sirus S is based on their already existing Storm 5.1 gaming headset.
In case anyone is interested in reading the earlier Sirus Storm review may click here
Coming back to the newer Storm S, the differences between this and the older Storm are merely the absence of an inbuilt 5.1 sound card. Otherwise, the headphone specifications of the Sirus S and the older Sirus are the same. Even the looks, build quality and cable are practically the same.
The main USP of the Sirus S is that since there is no inbuilt sound card the price is a bit lower. The other difference is that the Sirus S comes with an extra set of ear cups and a nice carry bag as well.
So the Sirus S is also a 5.1 capable headphone with 8 headphone drivers for a real (not emulated) 5.1 surround sound experience.
It also has a retractable microphone and instead of the Tactical control that came with the older Sirus, this one has an inline remote with dedicated volume controls for front, rear, centre and subwoofer channels.
- Uni-directional microphone
- In-line remote with convenient volume control and mic mute switch
- True 5.1 Surround Sound
- Interchangeable ear-cups allowing for breathable audio or noise cancellation.
- Channel: True 5.1 surround sound
- Driver: F/R/C: 30mm Sub: 40mm
- Impedance: 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%
- Pick-up pattern: uni-directional
- Frequency Response: 100Hz – 10,000 Hz
- Impedance: 2.2k Ohms
- Sensitivity: -44 dB ±3dB
- PC with built-in USB port (for the LED lit ear cups)
- Windows® XP SP2 or higher / x64/ Vista / Vista64
- Works best with applications that support Direct X 9.0c or higher
Design and build quality
The headphone is very well built and looks like it can survive a bit of abuse. Looks wise it’s also not bad at all with the black finish and CM Storm logos on each side of the headphone. The ear cups are fixed, so no DJ style flipping of one ear cup is possible but on the up side, the fixed design is generally a sturdier option. The ear cups are covered with plush micro fiber cloth and they are one of THE most comfortable headphones I have ever used (and I have tried quite a few !). One difference between the Sirus S over the older Sirus is that there are two ear pads now. One with a more breathable material for a wider sound and one with a thicker material for better sound isolation.
The Sirus S comes with an in-line volume control system with dedicated volume controls for Subwoofer, Center, the front and rear along with a toggle for the microphone. The braided cable is very sturdy and since the wire is pretty heavy and thick it doesn’t tangle so easily. One of the better wires I have seen on a headphone. The uni-directional microphone is well built and can be swung away when not needed. The Sirus S has a USB connector which can be used to light up the sides of the headphone with the Coolermaster logo. It looks quite freaky at night with the lit up headphone. However since the headset uses analog connectors the USB connection is purely optional and only provides the lit logos. The earcups are easily detachable for cleaning and for swapping from the breathable ear cup to the sound isolating ear cup.
A Bad Note
First, I must mention one flaw in this headphone. It comes with 4 connectors which means you cannot use this with onboard sound if you also want mic connectivity.
Secondly, even if you decide you don’t need a mic the sound level from any onboard sound card (tried 3 PCs) is less than satisfactory.
So you NEED a dedicated sound card if you want to use this headphone for even casual use.
If you really like this headset BUT you don’t wish to purchase an external sound card, you can consider spending a bit more and get the original CM Storm Sirus which comes with a USB-powered sound card.
The USB powered headset counterpart is a pretty capable device and should compete with most budget sound cards.
NOTE: This isn’t a defect of CM as every headphone without a built-in sound card comes with 4 connectors.
Once you connect the headphones to a proper sound card then it’s all good. Whether you are using it in 5.1 channel mode or 2 channel mode the SQ is very good.
The 5.1 effect isn’t as pronounced as a speaker setup but even then the difference between 2 channel audio and 5.1 channel is easily differentiable.
Bass quantity is one area where then Sirus-S lacked a bit. A lot of action movies require a little extra oomph from speakers/headphones to sound good and this where the Sirus S doesn’t put its best foot forward. Bass quality is however very good and for most music the bass is more than adequate and sounds adequate. Mid-range (vocals) and treble is where this headphone shines and frankly for most parts of any game or movie I enjoyed using these headphones. It’s only in certain sections of movies and games that you feel all the thunderous explosions and gun shots are rendered a bit tame.
Coming to games, the 5.1 effect makes it easier to figure out where you are being shot at and with the good sound isolation that these headphones provide you get immersive gameplay. Most games now support 5.1 channel audio nowadays so the Coolermaster Sirus S will provide you with a better gaming experience than most 2 channel headphones. I have quite a few high-end headphones with me that I use for both movies and music but I preferred the Sirus for gaming which says a lot.
Finally the music performance is another place where the Sirus S shines. The bass, mids, treble and soundstage are all presented with finesse and even with better headphones at hand I quite enjoyed listening to music with the Sirus. Since the headphone is also very comfortable and has a smooth sound I found myself listening to music for hours and hours at a stretch without fatigue. Some headphones with boomy bass cause listening fatigue to most users but it’s not the case with the Sirus S.
This headphone gets my recommendation with a few caveats. First off onboard sound is a STRICT no-no. You NEED a dedicated sound card to enjoy these headphones. Also, perhaps these headphones aren’t the best bet for action movies with lots of explosions and gunshots. But they are highly recommended for games and even music. These aren’t massive killers in either sound quality of features but they tick marks in all the right places – comfort, isolation, overall sound quality, build quality, strong cable etc.
The MSRP is around Rs 5,999/- which is a lot cheaper than the MSRP of the older brother the Sirus (Rs 7,999/-). Since both the headphones sound the same you can consider the Sirus S if you already have a good sound card. If you are stuck on onboard you can spend 1500 for an internal sound card like the ASUS Xonar DG or get the original Sirus which has a 5.1 channel USB sound card built in. The warranty period is of 2 years.