We've seen a lot of peripherals coming from Cooler Master over these few years under their CM Storm badge that has quite the range. We got a small unboxing to do today with the latest CM Storm Resonar Gaming Earphone.
Big thanks to Cooler Master Malaysia for getting us the sample before the official launch day, the Resonar will be available in retail stores soon for RM179 SRP. With that said, let's take a look at the actual product at hand.
Just to highlight that the specification is copied from the packaging where I find some inconsistencies in the descriptions. Yes it's minor but I thought the folks over at Cooler Master should take note ;)
The CM Storm Resonar comes in an overall black box that's no larger than a soda can. At the front, the actual product is depicted with the branding, features and product name highlighted in silver against the dark background. Calling this an In-Ear-Monitor (IEM) or headset would've probably be more attractive compared to Earphone, but that's just my opinion for the sake of simplicity, we'll class this as a headset.
At the back you'll find more branding and some highlights of the features of the Resonar.
Flipping open the magnetic flap at the front, you'll see the specification of the Resonar along with an image on how the patented Bass FX technology is activated as well as the frequency response chart to show the difference between the two settings. you will also see the actual product and the carry case through the clear windows on the opposite side.
Emptying the contents, you will find a quick start guide, a 3.5mm 4-pole to dual 3-pole adaptor, some replacement eartips (silicone), a warranty service info card and the hard carrying case for accessories.
A closer shot of the carrying case.
The Earphone features matte-rubber flat cables, a better option compared to the traditional round cables most IEM in the market. The gold-plated 3.5mm jack looks great with the metal casing. CM Storm also included a small reusable cable tie that'll come in handy if you wanna shorten the cables when in use.
The in-line microphone is located closer to the left earpiece, it only has a single button for multiple function such as pause for tracks and receive calls when you're using this with your smartphone.
The earpieces are pre-fitted with medium sized eartips and differentiated with coloured bands, blue for the left and red for the right. The earpieces seems to be made of metal but there's no such indication on the box.
CM Storm branding etched to the earpiece shells at the top.
Looking at the earpieces this way, you can see the dials that lets you toggle the Bass FX on or off. It is very rare to see physical switches on small earpieces like these so it'll be very interesting to see what difference it will make to. This is left on by default.
My First impression of the CM Storm Resonar is that it wasn't comfortable to wear at first, the silicone eartips seems to be a little harder to what I'm used to but it does fit snugly and securely so that the noise isolation properties of the Resonar isn't affected. No in-line volume control on the unit, so you do have to rely on the volume control of your media device or via software on the PC, though you do get an in-line microphone and a receive call button. The flat cables are good in a way that it's less likely to tangle while in your pocket but I do hear the cable tugs while wearing the Resonar so that's one thing to note.
For music, the Resonar is a bit heavy on the bass but not too prominent that it drowns out the mids and highs, nice job from CM Storm. The heavier bass means that the Resonar is more suited to movies and (of course) games, particularly on FPS games which it delivered satisfying round and thumpy bass that accommodated low rumbles, explosions and gunfire very well.
The microphone works very well despite it being an in-line module. With calls and skype, the person at the other end of the line is able to hear me clearly minus the ambient sounds such as traffic and moving trains.
Turning the dial and switching the Bass FX off, I do notice some difference in the bass but I can't pinpoint what's different until I got to "bassy" tracks like Clarity (by Zedd ft. Foxes). The bass is still there but it is now producing shorter, tighter and less echo-y bass notes compared to when the Bass FX was on, as if someone was physically holding the bass diaphragm with their hands. So you're kinda listening to a different set of earphones for one unit, this kinda makes the Resonar suitable for a wider crowd as opposed to people who only prefer bass heavy audio.
The Resonar is a product most suited for those into mobile gaming, particularly with hand held smart devices as they become more common in the market and games for these platforms are getting better. For it's small size, it is a solid performer not only for gaming but also for movies and music making the Resonar an ideal travel companion. The Bass FX is certainly a first for me and I think it's well executed feature for the Resonar.
However, being a gaming-oriented audio device, I'd like to see at least a mic-mute function if not a volume controller as it'll be a bit of a hassle having to access them through software. I am aware that mobile devices will not be affected so mainly this is for the PC gaming community that might take a liking to the Resonar since CM Storm did bundle an audio splitter/adaptor anyway.
- Great sound quality
- Use of flat cables
- Inclusion of hard storage case
- One of a kind Bass FX feature
- Eartips could be softer
- No mic mute or volume control