CM Storm Sonuz Gaming Headset

CM Storm Sonuz Gaming Headset

Value & Conclusion »

Performance

The Sonuz features a well working microphone with a sound quality that is more than enough for use with in-game communication over Team Speak or Ventrilo. The headset is quite light and stays in place nicely. The ear cups have a suspended swivel which allows the headset's ear pads to conform better to the shape of your skull, something quite important for a closed-back design.

Long term wearing comfort is very good, but the pads are quite shallow, which means that the edge of one's ears hit the cover in front of the membrane. This does, of course, depend on the size and angle of your ears.

Gaming

For gaming, the positional accuracy of the Sonuz is surprisingly good, keeping its price in mind. In Counterstrike, it is definitely among the better headsets, although not quite as good as the KRK Systems KNS-6400 headphones. It does come close and is a full $30 cheaper, plus it features a microphone. The bass of the Sonuz is not as overpowering as some might think, based on the size of the drivers. The bass is definitely solid, but it does not clutter up the mids. Extension wise, it cannot keep up with the MMX-300s from Beyerdynamic nor the KNS-6400s, but it is quite close.

The headset’s general tonality is tilted in favor of producing a lot of bass, but the mid-range is still up to the task of gaming. If you want a totally accurate headset for gaming, the Sonuz is not quite there. The less than neutral tonality makes some positional clues a bit harder to pick up, like footsteps through doors or other lower mid-range details. Compared to the ROCCAT Kave 5.1 headset, the Sonuz is simply much better, with the exception of mid-range precision where both sound a bit odd.

Sound stage wise, the Sonuz is well ahead of most gaming headsets in the $70-150 range. It sounds surprisingly open and you get a good sense of what is in front or behind you. Spatial coherency is one of the things that I think of as absolutely essential for a gaming headsets and the Sonuz has it. The headset performs a bit better when you dial the bass back via the equalizer, but you will not feel the explosions as much. The sound is tweaked close to perfection for FFA gaming; however, the pro-gamer might need a bit more neutrality.

If you feel the need for a tonality change, you might want to remove the foam filters underneath the ear pads. The pads are removable. Just twist and pull gently and they come off. The headset does become noticeable brighter with the acoustic foam removed, but the listening fatigue also increases as they become a bit more sibilant. The removal of the foam will generally brighten and open up the sound. The mid-range does not sound as natural with the foam removed. The fact that you can manipulate its sound like this does make testing different types of filtering materials out interesting. A custom shaped foam element might make it sound just right.

Music

The sound quality was more than sufficient with normal quality material. We used our slightly modded ASUS Xonar Essense STX sound card. The only real deficit, compared to normal headphones, is that the mid-range is far from natural to listen to, even without the foam in place.
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