Cooler Master Sirus S
Cooler Master is the latest company to cash in on gamer’s craving a “true’’ surround headset. Can it shake off the problems we’ve seen with every other headset to use discrete surround channels in headphones?
They’re very impressive to look at, with the chunky plastic frame covered in that sexy matte black rubberised paint that we love so much. Each ear piece even has a sexy glowing red LED. A foldable boom mic is perfectly placed, and they’re nice and comfy despite their large dimensions.
Looks are one thing, but all we really care about is their audio quality, which is determined by the choice of driver (speaker) used. The Sirus packs a rather zany four separate drivers into each small ear piece, delivering eight in total. Considering the entire cost of the headset is just $100, doing the math to figure out the cost of each driver isn’t hard. Compare this to something like the Corsair Vengeance, which uses just two drivers yet costs $150, and you can probably predict how the Sirus sounds based on the quality of its drivers.
In a word – horrible. The soundscape is a blurry mess of low-fi reproduction, with the added benefit of sounding like you’re in a tunnel. Bass is lacking, as is every other stage of the sound field. Strangely, panning in a 360 degree arc sees sound effects rise and drop in volume, rather than the smooth shift seen in other surround headsets.
Don’t buy into the hype – of the many “true” surround headphones we’ve seen, to this day we’ve only ever tested one set that were half decent. And the Sirus certainly isn’t that set of headphones.