It’s been a while since I’ve taken a look at the new range of CoolerMaster’s CM Storm gaming products so I was pleasantly surprised when the Ceres 500 landed on my desk.
After trying to make sense of the name at first, I got over that pretty quickly and unboxed what looks to be a really nice set of headphones with full ear coverage and ear cups that provide comfort. Noise cancellation unfortunately isn’t really a feature here because of the mesh ear cups, but noise isolation is something that comes into play. The cups can swivel and fold away making for easy storage and perhaps the perfect headset to take into any LAN. For those with consoles too, the Ceres 500 can be used on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as well as the PlayStation 4 by use of the little control box allowing you to switch between format.
The Ceres 500 is a pretty looking headset. It has a big, poofy headband at the top of it and looks very slick from the sides with each cup having a white outline and black mesh on the inside. The CM Storm logo is blazoned nicely in the center of each cup. The detachable microphone fits snugly into the left cup and can be moved in any way shape or form thanks to the extendible arm that protrudes. If you are more a fan of a desktop microphone, then feel free to just leave it off in order to make it easier to transport.
I say it time and time again but I love a braided cable and unfortunately the Ceres 500 doesn’t have one. It does have a regular audio jack though as well as a USB connection. The little console that it comes with has a volume and chat volume dial to adjust on the fly as well as a button to mute the microphone. As stated previously, it has a clicker to adjust between PC and console. Another small little aspect I liked was the belt clip on the unit making it easy to reach in intense times of gaming.
I’ve never been a fan of the nickname “big ears” so suffice it to the say, the full-sized earcups may not fit some people comfortably. The cups have been designed in a way that they squeeze tightly over the dome but not too tight so that it’s uncomfortable. This means that gamers who wear glasses should be able to enjoy the squeeze of the Ceres 500.
The adjustable microphone is a huge added bonus and is a lot better than headsets with the stalk microphones that can generally just go up and down. The headset is very comfortable and will probably satisfy those of you who don’t enjoy using headsets. The headset also has an amazing “rest position” thanks to the swiveling cups and comfortable head band.
My one complaint is largely aesthetic because when powered up, the Ceres 500 control box gives the choice of an extremely bright white light LED or an extremely bright red light LED when the mic is muted. There is no off option for this so either avert your eyes or cover it with something.
Each cup has a 40mm driver with a built-in amplifier which means that the headset delivers a very deep and rich sound. It has an impedance of 32 ohms which isn’t on the level of the top gaming headsets but it’s most certainly close.
The volume control on the unit is an absolute dream to work and it’s probably one of the most functional ones I’ve ever used. It gave me a huge amount of control over sound and when I turned it down, the sound was really soft. I also liked the fact that when I needed something loud, I wouldn’t need to jump into different settings to configure things, I could just turn up the dial.
CM Storm has done a great job in making this headset immersive. Gun sounds from games sounded really good and didn’t feel like a separate entity when compared to other ambient noises.
The "Overall" section of headset reviews are always the toughest because while I feel there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Ceres 500, it lacks in certain areas. For the most part, you can get everything you need from this headset but if you are accustomed to something excellent from Sennheisher, Corsair or SteelSeries, I feel that you might be a little disappointed.
Here is the seller though, the Ceres 500 headset goes for R550 from most online retail shops. If you compare that to the top of the line headsets around, you can look at paying anywhere from R1,500 to R3,000. Paying so little for so much is definitely a bargain and if I was on a budget looking for a great gaming headset, the CM Ceres 500 is definitely something I would place at the top of my shopping cart.