Coolermaster’s CM Storm Ceres-400 is an entry level, stereo headset that delivers slightly above average comfort and slightly below average audio quality for its modest price tag. It’s a good if middle-of-the-road gaming headset, and it won’t break your wallet.
It’s admittedly tough to write much about the features of the Ceres-400 because they are pretty much the same as any other stereo headset in its price range. Succinctly, the Ceres-400 offers an adjustable headband, an inline controller, and a swiveling microphone. It connects to your PC through dual 3.5mm microphone and stereo connectors. Interestingly, Coolermaster describes the Ceres-400’s 40mm drivers as “large”. Maybe that’s compared to smaller headsets, because most full-sized PC gaming headsets use drivers in the 40mm-50mm range.
Here are the rest of the technical specifications for the Ceres-400, courtesy of Coolermaster:
CM Storm Ceres-400 features & technical specifications
- Driver diameter: ø40mm x 7.5 mm(H)
- Frequency range: 20 – 20,000 Hz
- Impedance: 32 Ω
- Sensitivities(@1kHz): 108 dB ± 4 dB
- Input: 100mW
- Connector: 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Inner Ear Cup Diameter: 90 mm
- Cable Length: 2.5m
- Microphone Pick Up pattern: Noise-cancelling
- Frequency range: 100 – 10,000 Hz
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 50dB
- Sensitivities(@1kHz): -38 dB ± 3 dB
- Hardware Requirements: Devices with 3.5mm audio jack
The Ceres-400, like its sibling the CM Storm Sonuz (which I recently reviewed) is something of a mixed bag. It’s lighter and (in my opinion) a little more comfortable than the Sonuz, but it’s not quite as sturdily constructed. The headband is made of plastic (not metal as it is in the Sonuz) with a thin (roughly 3/16”) layer of cloth-covered foam. The ear cups on the Ceres-400 don’t swivel at all and are also lined in ½” thick, soft foam-covered cloth.
But while the Ceres-400 is a little more comfortable than the Sonuz, it doesn’t sound as good. Put simply, it’s a bit bass-heavy, and sounds a little ‘muddy’ at higher volume levels. I didn’t detect any distortion, line noise, or other sound problems with the Ceres-400—but to my ears, the audio just wasn’t as crisp and defined as that offered by the slightly more expensive and louder CM Storm Sonuz.
That said, audio preferences vary greatly from one listener to the next. But generally speaking, I think I’ve heard better from headsets with more features and in the same price range as the Ceres-400. The Turtle Beach EarForce Z2 comes to mind.
That said, I don’t dislike the CM Storm Ceres-400, nor did I find anything particularly “wrong” with it. I like the large circular ear cups and the light headband. The ear cups are comfortable, although they don’t seal out much external audio (which is both a positive and a negative). And the Ceres-400 remained comfortable through extended sessions of Borderlands 2.
The inline controller is at best adequate, but could stand some improvement—mainly a larger volume roller and a better microphone mute button. The volume control can be hard to find by feel, and the microphone slide switch is difficult to move because it’s small, smooth, and nearly flush with the side of the controller (for aerodynamics I guess).
The microphone performed well enough through some sessions of Skype and Borderlands 2.
The Ceres-400 provides good comfort and all the features you’d expect for a headset in its price range. If it sounds better to your ears, it’s a reasonably good choice for the price—but I think there are also better options available.
- Turtle Beach EarForce Z2
- CM Storm Sonuz
- Corsair Vengeance 1300