When it comes to gaming, there are many things that can give you competitive edge especially on the hardware side of things. One crucial part of any gaming experience, is the audio setup. Some may opt for a traditional 5.1 or 7.1 setup to get their fix while others may use a set of cans to get the job done, either way is user preference but both have their own advantages.
Cyber Snipa sent us a Sonar 5.1 Championship gaming headset that was announced just a few weeks ago for review. This unit has an MSRP of $79.95 (USD), so it falls in the middle ground for pricing and will not break your wallet. The headset has a total of 8 speakers, 4 in each can and dedicated controls to fine tune your audio experience. The software that comes with the hardware works well too and allows you to fine tune your headset to your desired liking, but for the majority of this review we will focus on the hardware as software bugs can be patched, hardware flaws cannot.
The headset comes in an easy to carry package that stores your headset when not in use, which is convenient for on the go gaming. The headset does have a considerable amount of weight to it, but nothing overwhelming or inhibiting. The weight actually adds to the quality feel of the setup but the plastic on the cover of the cans does feel a bit cheap and looks like a roulette wheel in Vegas. Looks aside, overall they do not feel cheap, the covers on the cans are soft, playable, and ear friendly. Although they do not breath as well as you might hope for, while it's not suffocating by any means, if you start pouring sweat during an online battle, you will have to remove them to let your ears breath.
Audio quality is one thing that a gaming headset cannot sacrifice, if you fail on this front, your product is destined for the garbage bin. Fortunately for the Cyber Snipa, this Sonar headset is a pleasure to not only game with, but to do so for extended lengths of time. The audio is reproduced accurately and is heavy on the mids but could use a bit more on the high end. The lows are what you should expect in a headset of this size, it is fulfilling and adequate, but don't expect it to shake your brain free from your cerebellum.
The hardwire audio controls area welcome addition to any headset. If you are in the middle of a game and need to adjust your audio, it is only a few switches away, no software needed. This little addition is welcomed by season gamers who want to adjust things on the fly with little effort.
The mic is another key aspect, if you can't tell your teammates (Internet randoms) where the enemy is at, you might as well forget that you are playing a team based game. The mic works well and no issues were reported by any friends/enemies about audio quality. The mic is on a small boom that is easily adjustable and wont present any issues for the end users.
So what is the result of this 8 speaker monstrosity that features turn tables from Vegas, a flexible mic and soft and comfortable pads on the cans? The result is a magnificent blend of comfort and quality. The audio reproduction is well within reason for the price point and will keep users happy during their fragathons. Sure the highs may be a bit tinny and the bass isn't going to make Pdiddy shine with glee, but it is highly accurate and will help you to locate enemies you may not have noticed with a cheaper set of cans. If you're looking for a mid-priced gaming headset, the Sonar 5.1 Championship headset is solid choice for the price.