Headphones Review

August 4, 2012

CM SGH-6000-KK5R1 SIRUS 5.1 Headphones Review

If you are here you probably were as confused as I was when you saw Coolermaster attached to a headphones box.  Coolermaster(CM) really isn’t known in the gaming industry for their headphones they are mostly known for their PC parts and most predominantly their gaming towers.   This is their first real foray into the audio world that I am aware of that has made any sort of noise.

I want to first give you some background on me and why I got these.  I previously had a pair of  Turtle Beach Z6A 5.1 Surround Headphones which I must say were a complete disaster and considering my previous experience with Turtle Beach I am very disappointed with it.  The Z6A’s were not putting proper sound out, one channel didn’t have any sound unless I bent the cable in a certain direction, the plastic molding was broken in several places, the cable was to short, and finally the sound quality has gotten progressively worse as I’ve owned them.  I hadn’t even owned these headphones a year before they were finally unusable in my book.  Finally today I said enough was enough and decided to pick up a new pair of Surround Headphones.

It should also be noted that there are two types of surround headphones out there… there are virtual surround headphones (which I don’t like) which basically take stereo sound and convert it into pseudo surround and then there are true surround headphones which actually have 8 – 10 drivers in them and actually require 5.1 connection jacks.  These are TRUE 5.1 surround sound headphones and to get the full benefits out of them I’d recommend picking up a Asus Xonar 5.1/7.1 sound card.  I currently have a Xonar DX 5.1 Surround Sound card.  I also want to point out that I’m NOT an audiophile, musician or audio nut… I’m just a gamer who wants solid sound both in and outside of the game.  Having said all of that lets go on with the review:

Price:

As I mentioned above I owned a pair of Z6A’s before this paid and I paid $99 for them.  I picked these up at Microcenter here locally for $141.00 after tax with a $20.00 rebate to come in 6 – 8 weeks.  So $121.00 for everything respectively.  It should also be noted that these headphones can be had on amazon.com for $97.00.   I think this is a fairly normal asking price for True Surround headphones and I know from experience you can easily spend 2 – 3 times that.

Out of the box:

I know this isn’t really important when it comes to the quality of the product but first impressions are everything and the packaging  is what orignally drew my attention this product.  The product looks amazing, styling and sleek.  I love black and red contrast these headphones do it really well.   The packaging was easy to open and I must say I really liked that it used twisty ties to hold everything in place instead of plastic tie straps.  Made getting everything out easy.

Quality,fit, and feel:

The thing that really made a good impression to me when I first pulled these headphones out of the box was the feel of them.  They feel heavy, they look heavy and they are solid.  My Z6A’s made alot of rattling when you picked them up and quite frankly they felt like they were going to break when I put them on.  The cabling is another highlight… my previous headphones had really low quality cabling in my opinion it looked and felt cheap.  The Sirus headphones in contrast has a very thick and carpet like sheathing on the cable that feels and looks like it can take some serious abuse which is a big deal to me.  Much as I hate to admit it I’m not one of those people who has a foam case and holder for all of his electronic items.  My electronics get abused and this is why I prefer steam copies of games over physical ones because they tend to get destroyed around my place 😛  Yes, physical quality is a big deal to me.

I’ve got a big head, or so I’ve been told, and the Sirus fits me very snugly.  It’s also got removable ear pieces that you can swap out.  It comes with a foam piece or a noise canceling leather piece.  I prefer the leather ones myself so far but I’m going to do a bit more of testing before I give a firm answer going one way or the other.  It also has an adjustable, unidirectional, microphone which feels a lot more sturdy than my previous set.

I know this is just an aesthetic item but the red lights rock my world.  I love red lights especially paired with black.  It just looks intense and for me thats a big deal even though it is just for aesthetic taste.  As I mentioned above the set does have a little bit of weight to it but I like my headphones like I like my guns solid and with a bit of weight to them.  I used them for a solid two hours without moving and I didn’t have any neck cramps or any broke spinal vertebra so I think they are a good fit.

They are fully adjustable so if for some reason you have a head larger than mine you should be good to go.  They fit snugly and when I say they have noise canceling they really do block out noise from the outside.  Those of you have wives who call you to do things constantly take note, you will not be able to hear them calling you and they will be angry.

The cable length is decent.  It’s not as long as some might want it to be.  I sit about 3 feet from my tower so I don’t have a long distance to go.  I’d say the cable is about 7ft if you don’t utilize the ‘Tactical Mixing Console’

The Sound:

I hate to keep ragging on the Z6A’s but right out of the box they sound 4x better then my Turtle Beach’s and that was before any adjustment.  I’m a big metal fan so I immediately put on Crawling from Linkin Park and it sounded amazing.  The Sirus headphones come with two different connectors.  If you don’t have a 5.1 sound card you can utilize the ‘Tactical Mixing Console’ that comes with it or you can utilize the 4 x 3.5mm jacks connection.  My biggest complaint about these headphones is that you can’t utilize both the 3.5mm jacks and the ‘Tactical Mixing Console’.  The console has a lot of cool features to it that I liked but I didn’t want my $100 Xonar DX to go to waste so I had to put it on the side.  While we are talking about the console is it solid and it’s made with metal and it weighs more than the headset itself.  The response on the buttons is amazing and it allows you to control all the channels, master volume and the microphone with it.  For those of you who don’t have a 5.1 sound card this is a winner.

If you want to utilize your sound card you will have to do some adjusting to get it to sound to your liking.  The sound is pretty bland before you do any adjustments.  It took me about 30 minutes to get the sound adjusted to where I like it but once I figured all the audio controls out I was very happy with the result.  It has a frequency response of 10HZ – 20,000HZ, Sensitivity > 105 DB and Distortion or less than 1%.  The one thing, sound wise, that really stuck out to me was the Bass.  The Sirus comes with 30MM F/R/C (Front, Rear, Center) drivers and 40MM Sub drivers which deliver a pretty hefty thud so those of you who love Battlefield 3 will be in for a treat.

The directional sound is great… I tested them out in a few games Battlefield 3, Counter-Strike and Risen and I was easily able to tell where gunfire, explosions and foot steps were coming from.  I tested it with both the Mixer and the 3.5MM jacks connected and it was pretty easy to tell.  I would say the jacks were better but not by much.  Those of you who don’t want to mess with it should know that out the box just using the Mixing Console sounds fantastic.  You won’t see a massive improvement by utilizing the sound card but it will sound slightly better if you do.

As mentioned previously music sounds great on these headphones as well.  I tried several different genres just to get a feel on how it handled them ranging from classical to blazing metal and they all sounded crisp and clean.

Like I said before I’m not an audio nut and really sound is in the eye or in this case ear of the beholder but I really think these sound fantastic especially for the price point of $96 to $140.  There will always be those that don’t like these headphones and for those of us with more demanding ears there may be a better fit for them.

The Conclusion:

This is the 3rd paid of headphones I’ve owned.  All of them have been True 5.1 Surround.  This has been my favorite and that was within minutes of using them.  Then build quality for the price is exceptional and short of using metal parts I don’t think it could get much more solid.  The sound quality, to me, is amazing, crisp and clean in a whole variety of ranges and scenarios for both music and games.

The price is what I would expect for a pair of headphones in fact I’d almost expect them to be a little more expensive.

If you are looking for a pair of new True 5.1 Surround Sound headphones or if you are tired of your sub par Z6A’s like I was than this is a well worth while investment.  This is the best pair of headphones, so far, that I have ever owned.

The only real complaint I had was that you couldn’t utilize both the Mixing Console and the 3.5MM jacks together.  Other than that I really don’t have any complaints.  Take a look at the packaging contents below and feel free to post any questions you might have about these headphones and I will do my best to answer them.  Also check out Neweggs review of them as well.  I’ve posted the video as well.

Rating:

9/10

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