The CM Storm Sirus 5.1 gaming headset offers superior design, excellent comfort, and great sound in a package that doesn’t offer a lot of extra features, but still trumps many of the best gaming headsets in its class.
CM Storm—the “gaming arm” of PC peripheral and hardware manufacturer Coolermaster—is a relatively lesser-known name in PC gaming peripherals compared to the likes of Razer, SteelSeries, and Logitech. Regardless, they have produced one of my favorite PC gaming mice (the CM Storm Spawn) and now they’ve produced a very, very strong contender for best/favorite PC gaming headset. The Logitech G930 on my desktop should be nervous.
So what is it that CM Storm does so well? They design their products intelligently and place a premium on functionality. The CM Storm Spawn mouse, for example, is relatively light on features but offers an excellent combination of comfort and portability well-suited to both desktop and mobile gaming.
Similarly, the CM Storm Sirus 5.1 Gaming Headset doesn’t offer a ton of features, but it’s brilliantly designed, very comfortable, and it sounds excellent to boot. In short, it hits all the right notes—literally and figuratively—making it a best-of-class gaming headset well worth your attention.
Ergonomics & Design
There are three simple ergonomics/design features that—at least based upon personal experience—every PC gaming headset should have—and the CM Storm Sirus 5.1 headset has every one.
The first is a Microphone with an LED mute indicator, which makes it easy to see whether or not the microphone is muted out of your peripheral vision and eliminates the need to check software settings or fumble for an inline controller. The Sirus’ microphone is simple uni-directional microphone that swivels up and out of the way when not in use.
The second most important feature is easy-to-reach, accessible controls that are easy to use regardless of lighting conditions—and the CM Storm Sirus’ controller is the best designed control module I’ve ever used.
In many ways the control module is really the ‘star of the show’.
The CM Storm Sirus’ control module connects to your PC through two USB connections (for power). On top of it sits a huge volume knob, exactly like you’d find on a full-sized receiver. It’s easy to find and turn regardless of lighting conditions.
The module is also heavy, so it rests comfortable on your desk and you don’t need to worry about hunting for it. There’s also plenty of cable—about 78” from the USB cables to the controller, and about 48” from the controller to the headset—so it’s easy to make a home for the control module in your PC gaming ‘desk scape’.
The controls on the module are all lit by LEDs, and there are only 3 buttons—one for muting the microphone, one for turning off the headset, and one for switching channels so you can adjust volume levels independently for the Front, Center, Rear, and Bass.
All of this would be for naught if the Sirus 5.1 was uncomfortable, but it in fact sports above average comfort despite its bulk. The default ear cup liners are 5/8” thick memory foam—a good 1/8” thicker than most of the headphones I’ve tested. The headband is also lined with memory foam. And if you don’t like memory foam, the Sirus 5.1 also comes with interchangeable faux-leather ear cups as well.
If there’s a minor weakness in the overall design of the Sirus, it’s only that a) it’s a bit bulky; and b) there isn’t much swivel in the ear cups. They don’t rotate 90 degrees so the headset can rest comfortably on your chest when it’s not in use.
Regardless, the CM Storm Sirus 5.1 gaming headset sports comfort that is well above average and arguably the best overall design I’ve seen in nearly any gaming headset.
The CM Storm Sirus 5.1 has 4 drivers in each ear cup (3x30mm for front, center, and rear, and 1x40mm for sub) to offer “true”5.1 surround sound. Multiple drivers per ear cup is nothing new, however, and many higher end gaming headsets are similarly equipped nowadays. And despite the multiple drivers, in my own experience I typically find headsets still struggle to make truly convincing rear channels, but usually handle the sides and center well enough—regardless of the source.
The software included with the headset offers only the most basic volume control features and little in the way of customizations. The control module makes it unlikely you would ever need to use the Sirus software anyway.
Although the Sirus’ sports far fewer customization options than headsets such as the Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Sigma or Logitech’s G930, the CM Storm Sirus beats them both in comfort. It also beats the Sigma in overall ergonomic design and arguably matches the G930 in the same area.
Taking the Sirus on a stroll with the Mad Catz Cyborg Gaming Lights (I believe I’m wearing them in the demo video) and a variety of music, movies, and games, I found the overall audio to be well above average with strong bass and good overall clarity. While perhaps not quite on par audio-wise with the Creative Labs Tactic 3D series, I didn’t find any glaring issues to complain about.
Like most gaming headsets, the front and center channels are the easiest to discern; rear channels a little less so. Regardless, in Left 4 Dead 2 (which supports 5.1/7.1 audio) the Sirus did a commendable job of identifying which direction those pesky Special Infected were coming from. That didn’t always save me, unfortunately.
Few headsets get everything right, but the Sirus succeeds where it counts most. It’s comfortable, extremely well-designed, and a pleasure to listen to. It’s one of the best headsets I’ve had the pleasure to use.
The CM Storm Sirus 5.1 Gaming Headset is around $129 at e-tailers such as Amazon and Newegg.com.
CM Storm Sirus 5.1 headset features (courtesy of CM Storm)
- True 5.1 Surround Sound
- On-The-Fly Rear, Center, & Front speaker control for maximum sound customization
- Interchangeable ear-cups for breathable audio and noise cancelation
- 4 Drivers per ear cup:
Center channel: 30 mm
Front channel: 30mm
Rear channel: 30mm
- Retractable microphone with LED mute indicator
- circumaural design
- Detachable microfiber ear pads for breathable audio & added comfort
- Detachable leatherette ear pads for noise cancellation
- tactical mixing console for on-the-fly adjustments
- Dual gold-plated USB for more power
CM Storm Sirus 5.1 headset technical specifications
- Channel: True 5.1
- Driver F/R/C: 30mm Sub: 40mm
- Impedance F/R/C: 32 Ohms Sub: 16 Ohms
- Transducer principle Dynamic closed
- Sensitivity > 105dB
- Frequency Response 10Hz – 20,000Hz
- Distortion Less than 1%
- Mic pick-up pattern: Uni-directional
- Mic frequency response Frequency Response: 100Hz – 10,000 Hz
- Mic impedance Impedance: 2.2k Ohms
- Mic sensitivity Sensitivity: -46 dB ±3dB