CM Storm Sirus Review
Testing and Conclusion
The CM Storm Sirus is a real Jeckyll and Hyde of a headset. The CM Storm team have done some things outstandingly well and others with almost no thought whatsoever.
Surprisingly for a CM Storm product, and especially for their first foray into the world of audio, it's the design that is the weakest link.
The whole package is a seriously weighty thing. There is plenty of heft in both the headset and the mixer. Of course with so many extra speakers in the headset to deal with the genuine 5.1 surround there will always be some extra weight, but with sensible design choices this isn't really an issue. Unfortunately sensible design choices are almost wholly absent from the Sirus.
Starting with the headset, the earpieces supplied are the cloth type, but some leather ones are included in the box should you prefer that style. Removing them from the headset itself is a simple case of pulling them off. But putting the new ones on isn't that simple. Instead of giving us two sets with the clips built in we have two covers but only one set of clips. So you have to remove the plastic frame from the inside of the cloth ones and wedge it into the leather ones before you can use them. As the plastic frame uses little spikes to 'grab' the cover it's an extraordinarily fiddly job and we're not at all convinced the cloth ones will survive many changes before the stitching starts to go. Not giving two 'pre-built' leather ones saves CM Storm about 10p in plastic, but gives the user no end of grief and hassle.
The comfort is compromised hugely by the rigid nature of the headset. The earpieces neither swivel nor have any play in them at all, so if your head isn't the exact same shape as the designers you'll find it presses on your head in all the wrong places and you quickly become aware of the weight of the Sirus. This most definitely isn't a fit and forget headset, you're constantly aware of it.
The Tactical Mixing Console that shipped with our pre-release sample had a couple of quirks, but thankfully CM Storm have assured us that the final version will see these issues fixed. So when you purchase one you can look forward to a headphone mute button that actually indicates which mode you're in and a volume control that isn't mounted backwards.
The comfort failings are made even more frustrating by the audio quality that the Sirus puts out. Let there be no doubt about it the sound quality is fabulous. The 5.1 is genuinely spacious making aural direction finding a cinch. The bass is tight without being overwhelming, highs are glassy and the wealth of new things you'll hear is quite surprising. My home PC is in the front room and so I live with headphones on, yet the CM Storm Sirus still allowed me to hear new things regardless of the medium. They can certainly pump out some good volume too so careful with that volume control Eugene.
All in all the CM Storm Sirus is a great sounding headset in desperate need of some ergonomic refinement. That 'hewn from a solid lump' look might be epic for sitting on the piano black shelf in your minimalist audio showroom, but there is a reason that every other manufacturer allows their ear-pieces to swivel and/or rotate a little. No matter how awesome the sound quality is, and it is, within an hour you're tired of them and within two you'll definitely want to take them off and give your head a rest. However the build quality is outstanding, the sound is too and the Tactical Mixing Console allows for swift, on the fly, adjustments to your soundscape. If it was more comfortable we'd give it a gold, but for now the CM Storm Sirus gets awarded our OC3D Silver Award.