Gaming Headset Final Thoughts
Headphones are a difficult item to review because I can’t just show charts of benchmarks comparing how the headphones scored against other headphones. Instead, I have to try to convey to you how the headphones felt and sounded to me. The entire article is based solely on my opinion of the CM Storm Pulse-R Aluminum Gaming Headset.
As I mentioned in the beginning of the article, I’ve never really been a fan of headsets. I’ve always preferred to use a good set of surround speakers cranked up pretty high when watching videos, listening to music, or playing games. With some things changing at home, I started to look into a good gaming headset, so as not to wake a sleeping baby lying next to my desk in what used to be my office. In my search, I’ve found the types of things that I like and dislike about headphones and headsets.
First, I need a comfortable set of headphones. I normally don’t like bulky headphones or heavy headphones because I plan on using them for extended periods. I don’t like it when my ears get too hot or when I start to get a headache from the headphones sitting on my head for too long.
Second, I need headphones that produce very high quality sound. I tend to be disappointed with headphone sound quality unless the headset is pretty expensive. I happen to like surround sound very much, especially in gaming. I find it very convenient to hear where my enemies are approaching from. I don’t have as much luck with that when using headphones. Of course, I’ve yet to try out many surround sound headphones.
Third, I need breakaway headphones with a long cord. Headphones always seem to get in my way. As a father of three, my gaming sessions are rarely uninterrupted. There is a lot of moving around, getting up, holding the baby, etc. A long cord that doesn’t tangle easily and detaches from the headset is a must.
Luckily for me, the CM Storm Pulse-R addresses each of these issues, though perhaps not completely.
CM Storm Pulse-R Conclusion
IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested, which may differ from future versions of the same product. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.
The CM Storm Pulse-R Aluminum Gaming Headset performed well in each of the areas in which it was tested. The high and low ranges reached the limits of my hearing and the tones were quite clear. The Pulse-R didn’t sound as good to me as the BOSE QuietComfort headphones, but that isn’t too surprising, considering the BOSE headphones cost twice as much. The Pulse-R headset did sound pretty much the same as the Turtle Bay headphones, though, which cost quite a bit more. Unfortunately, while the stereo sound is good, it doesn’t work as well as surround sound speakers. Again, that isn’t too surprising, just an observation.
I really like the way the CM Storm Pulse-R looks. The LED lighting certainly makes it stand out and sets it apart from any other headset that I have. The appearance of the Pulse-R Gaming Headset, in my opinion, makes it look a lot more expensive than it really is. The removable and customizable plates on the ear cups of the Pulse-R are the icing on the cake. If you subscribe to the philosophy of looks > stats, then this is certainly the headset for you. I haven’t decided what I’m going to put on them, yet, but I am looking forward to it.
The name of the CM Storm Pulse-R Aluminum Gaming Headset says a lot about its construction quality. Although it is a bit heavier than the headphones I am used to, the Pulse-R feels extremely sturdy and stable. The adjustable aluminum band across the headset offers durability and slight rigidity to the structure. The ear and head cushions are heavier and more padded than the other headphones that I have used, making them very comfortable and easy to wear over long periods of time. This was a very welcome discovery for me. Additionally, even the cord was thick and braided, helping to avoid issues like fraying, twisting, and breaking that I have experienced with other headphones, most notably the JVC HA-V570.
Functionally, the CM Storm Pulse-R Aluminum Gaming Headset scores well in my book. It addresses my of the issues that I have had in the past with headphones. The Pulse-R headset has a detachable and very long cable that makes it ideal for my needs. The in-line controls make adjustments easy. It’s not all rosy here, however. The in-line remote is finicky and not adjustable enough. Half of the slide bar mutes the sound, meaning there is really only three levels; high, medium, and low. Also, after pulling the cord out and putting it back in a few times, it became very loose. Now I lose sound in my left ear every once in a while and I have to reach up and reseat the connector.
The best aspect of the CM Storm Pulse-R Aluminum Gaming Headset for me is the price. Available online for $84.99 (NewEgg / Amazon), the Pulse-R offers great comfort, very good sound, adjustability, customization, and functionality that you would be hard-pressed to find on many more expensive headsets. The microphone offered clear and isolated functionality as well. At that price, I highly recommend the CM Storm Pulse-R Aluminum Gaming Headset to anyone looking for a good, quality headset for a relatively low price.
In the end, if you have the money to spend, there are better headsets, but if you are on a budget, you won’t go wrong with the CM Storm Pulse-R Aluminum Gaming Headset.
+ Very comfortable to wear for long periods
+ Detachable Microphone and Cord
+ LED Lighting on ear cups and mic
+ Customizable plates over the ears
+ Good sound quality
+ Sensibly priced
– On the heavy side
– Cord connector comes loose easily
– In-Line controls are mediocre
Final Score: 8.6 out of 10.
Recommended: Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval.
COMMENT QUESTION: What do you look for in a gaming headset?