Cyber Snipa Sonar 5.1 Headset
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 04-24-2008
Provided by: Cyber Snipa

Unlike the Cyber Snipa Stinger mouse, I was not completely satisfied with the Sonar 5.1 Headset. At first they seemed great, they fit very well on my head and are extremely comfortable to wear for extended periods. I have always preferred over-ear headphones and the Sonar has a great amount of adjustment and very plush padding and soft fabric used on the cups and headband. Although having to deal with a cord is kind of a pain (I'm used to a set of wireless headphones I used previously), I would have to say that the Sonar are the most comfortable phones I've ever worn.

The control box is well within reach although it seems a bit larger than it needs to be and the buttons are not easily found when reaching for them blindly. The power LED is very bright, and it flashes when there is sound going to the headset, which is very annoying if it happens to be turned towards your field of view. I ended up having to turn the controls away from me so that the continuous flashing would not distract me from gaming, which makes it that much more difficult if you have to reach for the volume or mute buttons.

The fact that I could not get the microphone to work is disturbing. So many games today support voice chat and not having this ability, I found myself feeling left dumb and mute when I could not communicate with my teammates. I can't understand how the headset could be using more bandwidth than is available with USB 2.0 and the fact that it is apparently drawing the maximum specification 500mA of power as well does not leave me with a good feeling about using these on a long-term basis. This is the first USB type headset I have used; all of my previous sets have used the standard mini-plug analog audio jacks, so I don't know if these types of problems are indicative of the interface or just simply a problem with this particular product.

I found the Cyber Snipa Sonar available online for less than $50, which seems like an unbelievable price for a surround sound headset with 5.1 audio. But after using the Sonar for a week or two I've pretty much come to the conclusion that quality might be sacrificed to bring these to you at such a low cost. Whether the problems I had are unique or indicative of more serious manufacturing issues remains to be seen. If you are looking for a nice set of headphones that sound great and are comfortable to wear for hours at a time, the Sonar 5.1 are great. I can't recommend them for the full functionality of a gaming headset however.

Thanks to Cyber Snipa for sending the Sonar over for review.

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