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For those unwilling to put their money down on a 5.1 surround sound headset, there’s the option of choosing some less expensive models with 2.0 stereo sound. One of such models is the new Sonuz from CM Storm, a cheaper choice but one that doesn’t mean a cheap headset in terms of performance and design. On the contrary, this is a huge headset that looks like a leftover from the movie set of “Robocop,” with its futuristic and aggressive lines. Let’s take a look at its physical aspects and then proceed to the performance evaluation.
The Sonuz is a robust headset that catches the eye with its gigantic ear pads, featuring an internal diameter of 3.8” (97 mm). They spring from the outer structure like a flower. The inner headband is covered by a cloth-wrapped cushion; the same material also covers the ear pads and makes them breathable.
As usual, the omni-directional microphone is located on the left ear cup, but it can be detached and even plugged in on the right ear cup. The Sonuz comes with a small lid to close the unused microphone jack. The microphone can also pivot upwards.
The cable is cloth-wrapped and ends up on two 3.5 mm plugs (one for the microphone, the other for the sound channel). In the middle of the cable, the user finds the control unit with a volume dial and a mute key.
[nextpage title=”Main Characteristics”]
The main characteristics of the Sonuz are the 2.0 stereo sound (more about it later) and the size of the peripheral. It’s a really huge headset, and since it’s not bendable, the Sonuz ends up taking a lot of desktop space. It also gives the impression of being clunky and heavy, but appearances can be deceiving; the Sonuz is comfortable, as long as the user adjusts it to his or her head size. There are 11 markings on each side of the headband for that purpose.
The microphone is slightly bendable, so it’s somewhat limited in terms of positioning. For instance, it can’t be bent directly in front of the mouth, so it’s better to move it slightly below the mouth to clear the field of vision. Like everything else about the Sonuz, the microphone is also robust and aggressive looking. Removing the microphone is easy. Just pivot it upwards and pull it out.
The mute key on the control unit is clicky, so the user really knows if it’s on or off, which prevents accidental uses.
[nextpage title=”Testing the Sonuz”]
Those who pick the Sonuz as their headset of choice know that they will be forsaking the 5.1 soundtrack on the games they play. An FPS title such as Battlefield 3 uses the 5.1 mix and sound effects to immerse the player in the action. The CM Storm headset only reproduces 2.0 stereo sound, which means that users who want to watch DVDs and Blu-Rays will also forsake the multichannel sound mixes. That being said, how did the Sonuz fare?
We played Battlefield 3 in 2.0 mode, and the response was precise and powerful. Those 53 mm drives are way bigger than most drives found in similar models on the market (they range from 30 mm to 40 mm), so the bass was meaty. But don’t forget to configure the setting of any game to a 2.0 sound mix (if available) to avoid cacophony. Dialogue tracks on TV shows, movies and games sounded crisp.
Since music is natively a two-channel medium, music listening with the Sonuz was excellent, and the performance was great, ranging from YouTube videos to CDs. With drives that big and some tweaking on the audio controller mixer, the headset was great to listen to different beat-driven styles like hip-hop and house or techno.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]The main specifications for the CM Storm Sonuz headset include:
- Stereo analog headset
- Connector: 3.5 mm mini jacks
- Cable: 6.5 ft. (2 meters)
- Drivers: 53 mm
- Frequency response: 10 Hz – 20 kHz
- Impedance: 45 Ω
- Dynamic range: 98 dB ± 3 dB (at 1 kHz)
- Type: Omni-directional
- Diameter: 4 x 1.5 mm
- Frequency response: 100 Hz – 10 kHz
- Sensitivity: -47 dB ± 3 dB (at 1 kHz)
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 58 dB
- More information: https://www.cmstorm.com
- Average price in the U.S.*: USD 69.99
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The CM Storm Sonuz is a 2.0 stereo headset with great sound and powerful bass, suitable to those on a budget or users who don’t care about having a 5.1 surround sound model. The peripheral is huge and a bit clunky; it takes up a great deal of desktop space because it’s not bendable. However, the robust design doesn’t mean it’s uncomfortable; the ear rests easily inside the big ear cups. The microphone could have been more flexible.
- Quality stereo sound with deep bass
- Futuristic design
- Great for music listening
- Comfortable despite the clunky appearance
- Control has a clicky key to mute the microphone
- Could be bendable