CM Storm Pulse R Headset Review
In our introduction we mentioned how, so far, CM Storm have had mixed results with their headsets. Thankfully with the Pulse-R, whilst it's not amazing, it's at least consistent.
The first thing that strikes you are the looks. With a very high level of build quality and oozing aluminium everywhere you look, to say that the Pulse-R is robust is almost doing it a disservice. This is an extremely solid piece of kit, guaranteed to survive all the Monster-soaked desks of your local LAN convention, as well as providing years of reliable service at home. The padding on the ear-pieces is particularly good, with plenty of room for even the largest ears and that space ensuring that the sound gets an airy quality that you never get from those headsets with the speakers right up against your ears. The cable is excellent, as is the microphone, and because the microphone is removable you're not stuck with unbalanced headphones for those times when speaking isn't required. The only thing we don't like about the cable is that the inline remote is a slider rather than a wheel. In our experience it was far too easy to move it just by shifting in your seat. With the proprietary cable due to the lighting, it's not simply a case of swapping cables either.
The sound is good, without any particular element blowing our socks, or in this case our ears, off. Bass is reasonably tight without tending towards wooly, and the mid-range is very good as we would expect from 42mm drivers. Highs are a little lost in the mix for our taste, but that's because we like our audio to be fully balanced and clearly, as a gaming headset, the primary focus is on thumping gunfire and mid-range response in the chaos of battle. It's an understandable design choice, and for £60 we can't be too picky. It's definitely good, just not sparkling in every scenario.
Comfort is, as office tests have shown, dependent to a certain degree on the size of your head. Normal sized head people will be find and find the Pulse-R comfortable, but if you're the type of person who has a larger hat, then the lack of hinging on the ear-pieces means that the Pulse-R presses a little tighter than we found comfortable for a marathon session. Thankfully the large amount of foam in the ear-pieces greatly alleviates this issue, even for the giant headed members of our staff, and people with regulation sized heads will find the Pulse-R cushioning and comfortable.
Like the Mech keyboard the side panels of the Pulse-R are removable with an Allen Key, should you want to colour-coordinate to match your team colours or even your own personal preference. This customisation is emphasised by the use of white LEDs for the lighting. Speaking of which, the lighting is subtle bordering on invisible. We wouldn't want the LEDs to dazzle nearby competitors, although that could be a nice edge in heavily competitive scenarios, but you really have to look closely to see that there is any lighting at all.
The CM Storm Pulse-R is a very solid headset that is build like a tank and has some nice touches. There are a couple of slight niggles, and the quality of the audio reproduction across the whole spectrum is such that it's clearly aimed at the gaming market. It's by no means bad, rather it's exactly as good as we'd expect for the £60 asking price. The design matches beautifully that of the other two products in this mini-range so if you like your peripherals to match then you could certainly do worse than the CM Storm Pulse-R and for that reason we're awarding it our OC3D Silver Award.