The CMStorm Sonuz Headphones -
The CMStorm Sonuz have an interesting shape to them. Unlike many traditional designs that have the crossbar at the center of the earpieces Cooler Master opted to put this at the back and have given them a look similar to earmuffs. We are assuming this was for comfort and we will be sure to check that out during our time with them. Another unusual design choice is that the outer framework for the ear pieces does not tilt. Instead the actual ear cups inside are mounted on what looks like a ball joint that allows for good mobility. This should allow the Sonuz to fit comfortably on most heads.
The head strap is adjustable through a fairly typical mechanism and is only noteworthy here because it is a little beefier than what we are used to on other headsets. This means that the Sonuz (despite its plastic construction) should have a decent product life. At the top of the head strap is a foam cushion that is covered in cloth. Although this feels soft to the touch we wonder about heat buildup in this over some of the more open weave styles like we saw on the Sirus. Cooler Master has also chosen to use the same material for the ear pads. We will be checking to see how hot our ears will get after extended usage.
Keeping our focus on the ear pieces for a moment we want to point out a very nice feature that we see here. You can move the microphone from one ear piece to the other. To do this all you have to do is rotate the Mic back past vertical and pull it out of its socket. After that simply remove the rubber plug from the ear piece you want to attach it to and insert the mic. We were a little disappointed that Cooler Master did not include a second plug for people that might not want the Mic at all (like us) for some types of listening, but it is a relatively small thing here.
For those of you not all that concerned with the looks or the design we are heading into the more technical area here. To power the new Sonuz Cooler Master has chosen to forgo any attempt at surround sound (even virtual) and instead opted for a large pair of 53mm stereo drivers. These are much larger than what is typically found even in professional headsets where 40mm is the usual standard.
The 53mm drivers allow for a decent 10Hz-20KHz frequency range with a this gives you a sensitivity of 98dB which equates to an efficiency of .0398. Efficiency is the rating that shows the speakers convert electrical power to acoustical power; the higher the number the more efficient the speakers. The speakers on the Sounz are actually better than average as most speakers have an efficiency rating of .02. This means that the Sounz are capable of providing more “sound” for every watt of power they use when compared to the average headphone speakers.
The Microphone on the other hand has a range of 100Hz to 10KHz. This is not all that bad, but it does mean that it will not pick up a wide range of low frequencies. The sensitivity here is -47dB with a signal to noise ratio of 50dB. In all it is a fairly typical microphone, but one that will be able to do the job without any issues.
The cable that connects the Sonuz with your audio device is 2 meters (about 6 feet) and is also braided to help reduce electronic noise and to prevent damage to the cable. A little way down the cable Cooler Master has put in a “remote control” which allows you to turn the mic on and off as well as adjust the volume of the headset. Continuing down the cable we come to a Y in where the separate inputs for the headphones speakers and the microphone split up. The separation is protected by a hard rubberized Y that while flexible will still make sure this vulnerable part of the cable is not going to give you any issues. At the end of the cable we find the two gold plated 3.5mm (1/8-inch) plugs for the headphones and the Mic.
Overall the design is interesting, but it feels a little heavy and potentially awkward at this stage. We also have concerns about comfort during extended us due to the materials used for the ear padding and the head strap. Technically they appear to be very well put together and should produce some very high-quality audio.