Using the Sirus
When we face a 5.1 headset, we always get test tracks to that end. In this case, we used the ones available online for free in the site Lynne Music and Stealth Settings. With these tracks and the “Tactical Mixing Console,” it’s possible to calibrate the volume of each channel individually to our liking. This module is the great strength of the whole package because it allows the user to control the sound like a DJ during gameplay, without having to run an application. During sessions of Battlefield Bad Company 2 – a game we feel has the best all around sound experience in the market – we managed to lower the level of bass of the explosions (which are plenty) without taking our eyes off the monitor or using Alt+Tab to another application. By the way, we felt the headset lacked in the bass department. If the CM Storm application came with a better mixer, that might have been solved.
We also noticed some difference between connecting the Sirus through the analog plugs and the USB ports. The latter gives a somewhat flatter sound without much nuance, while the 3.5 mm minijacks performed better. It takes some gaming sessions to get the whole 5.1 surround in the confinement of an earcup (which, obviously, is not the same space as a 5.1 home theater room) and to get some sort of tactical advantage of knowing if there’s an enemy behind or a tank coming over the left flank. In game, we stayed under allied helicopters hovering to get the surround sound experience of their maneuvers.
The Sirus disappointed us with the microphone performance. You have to really bend it towards your mouth and tweak the mic volume high up (both in game and Windows audio manager) to avoid complaints such as “your voice is too low” or “I can’t hear you” as we got from our gaming buddies during the first tests. On the other hand, the microphone didn’t catch some distant background noises on the street that s
ometimes bother our fellow gamers – something that happens in products with more accurate microphones. However CM Stom contacted us to say that the review sample used an old microphone that has been replaced in the second batch (retail). According to them, the microphone is a new unidirectional model that got tweaked a bit. So, the previous opinion is based on the review model we tested.
Comfort is a main issue for those about to spend hours playing with a headset, and the Sirus just has a sturdiness that is deceiving – the product is quite comfortable despite not being that light on the head. The acoustic isolation of the earcups (especially the cloth ones) left a few unanswered phone calls right by our side.