The Sirius driver is available from the CMStorm website, here. V1.1 is 47.8MB and was released in July this year. The install allows for direct control over the headset as shown above. The External control pad allows for control over the rear, front, center and bass. Finally an overall ‘master' setting is available, once you get the balance perfected.
The Sirus headset is being promoted as an ‘audiophile' headset, which is a heck of a claim from a PC oriented manufacturer.
Above, our Audeze LCD2 headphones, which we use in balanced mode with a valve RaySonic CD player and valve headphone amplifier (pair of ECC85 Mullard driver tubes and four Tung Sol 7236 power tubes from the 50/60's). These are probably one of the best sets of headphones on the market and were imported from America for around £750. Obviously we wouldn't expect the Sirus headphones to equal these headphones, but when we see the word ‘audiophile' being used then we need to look a little deeper into the claims.
We tested the Sirus headphones with the supplied console and found that they really did excel with modern titles, such as Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield 3. The sound staging was very good and with the console controls, we found that adjustments could be easily made, even while playing the game. It is a great system and one I really warmed to, very quickly.
The headset is very rigid and rather heavy and many gamers may find them uncomfortable after a while. I am used to audiophile headphones myself, such as the Audeze LCD2 and Grado PS1000. Neither of these are comfortable and both are very heavy, so the Sirus felt quite comfortable and light. Negatively, I found the earpads could be larger, feeling rather tight to the diameter of the lobes.
Sound staging with the headset was excellent and when playing games such as RAGE, I could hear ambient noises very clearly, positioning them well in the soundstage.
MP3 playback is also noteworthy as the bass response features well in the sound stage, never overpowering the other frequencies, even when configured high in the mix. I was actually quite shocked to hear how responsive these headphones were when pushed high. Certainly when compared with the Audeze LCD2 the bass seemed rather flabby and lackluster, but it isn't a fair comparison considering the price differences.
I was surprised by the high level of distortion free volume available from the Sirus. Many PC oriented headphones start smearing and crackling frequencies, long before maximum volume is reached.
I lent the headphones to several clan gamers, and they returned them a few days later singing their praises. When I asked if they would spend over £100 the reply was yes, and no. One of them summed it up – ‘Yes for the sound quality alone they are worth the money, but they are just too heavy, my neck hurt after a few hours gaming'.
This verified my initial feelings that the headphones might prove too rigid, heavy and uncompromising for a wide audience of gamer who are used to lighter, softer and more flexible headphones. Positive comments were also made for the microphone system, as the noise cancelling works exceptionally well.
I used them myself for a four hour period and never experienced a problem, although as I said earlier, the earpieces would benefit by being about 1 centimeter bigger in circumference to enhance the comfort level.
I ripped a raw high definition audio file of St Martins In The Field (Mozart recording) to play through the Sirius and was very happy with the overall dynamic and separation. Sound staging was also very impressive, although I noticed the mid range frequencies were a little flat when compared against the Audeze LCD2 headphones. A minor criticism, but remarkable, considering the target audience. It seems a shame to use compressed MP3's with these headphones!