By: Ben Joubert (Hardware/Testing) and Jonathan Kwan (Testing)
November 25, 2016
Growing up, I had to learn three different languages. One of them is my first language and the second is English, and since I grew up with both of them, I did not really need to work as hard to learn them properly. However, at school, we had to take a third language as well. At that point, I was young and did not really care about learning another language, because I thought it had no use, which now that I am living in Canada is basically true. When I learned my family will be moving to Canada, we thought it would be a good idea for me to learn French, especially because I will be moving to a new school. I found it was really hard to learn a completely new language, because of all the extra work needed to speak it fluently. Also, without being immersed in the language you are learning, it is quite a bit more challenging. Overall, language takes extra work, but there are more subjects or topics of interest requiring just as much -- or even more -- work to do. One of those is testing headphones. It is always a subjective experience, but through proper systematic testing, one can reach a certain degree of objectivity. A methodical testing process is not the only important part of the testing process; you will also need to train your ears. It is important to be able to discern the different frequencies while comparing the headphones being tested with a reference. All of this takes hard work to accomplish, much like a learning a new language. For today, we have the Cooler Master MasterPulse Pro headphones to put through the tests. Read on to find out how the results turned out!
The Cooler Master MasterPulse Pro arrived in a relatively large shipping box. This was because another product was also inside in addition to the Cooler Master MasterPulse Pro we are reviewing today, which will be covered here at APH Networks in the coming weeks. The box was in good condition with a few dents found, and only the corners were slightly beat up, which is expected. Everything was packed tightly to ensure the contents would arrive safely to us here in Calgary, Alberta all the way from Chino, California using UPS Standard. The trip was pretty far, but luckily there was no major damage done to the contents. Enough of the shipping box, let us move on.
I remember when I was a kid walking around in an electronics store looking at the different gaming peripherals. One feature of retail boxes I really enjoyed was a flip cover to be able to see the product better. Today, there are many retail boxes using this design, and the Cooler Master MasterPulse Pro is no different. The flip cover is kept in place by magnets as opposed to Velcro. There is a nice big plastic screen to be able to see the product inside properly. On the inside of the flap is a nice large picture of the different components of the MasterPulse Pro and how they all fit together. Also found are the specifications and a little blurb explaining all the features. The front is very simple in all black with a picture of the product, its name in a modern looking font, and three key features advertised. Along the top is Cooler Master's logo and some text saying "Make it Yours." Cooler Master has been moving ahead with modular products, such as their MasterCase 5. The MasterPulse Pro is similar in some regards, however I will say more later on in the review. The back of the retail box has the features of the headphones in different languages. I think I can understand more than one of them, haha. The sides have some more information on the product, and a side view of the headphones.
Before we move on to the rest of the review, here are some specifications as obtained from the manufacturer's website:
Model Number: SGH-8700-KK7D1
Driver: 44mm driver
Frequency Response: 20~20,000Hz
Sensitivities (@100Hz): 118dB ± 3dB
109dB ± 3dB (bass off)
Max output power: 100mW
Cable Length: 2m
Connector USB: gold-plated
Pick-up Pattern: Omni-Directional
Frequency Response: 100~10,000Hz
Sensitivity: -34 ± 3dB (0db = 1V/pa.1KHz)
Signal to Noise Ratio: 50dB or more
The packaging is simple and practical, ensuring a safe product upon arrival. After opening the top, there is a little hole to grab the plastic holding the headphones in to slide everything out. The Cooler Master MasterPulse Pro is kept in place by a plastic mold while being tied down on each side. Behind the plastic mold is where the cable is bunched up and the in-line controller is stored. A small manual without too much information is also found here. The manual again advertises the features of the headset in different languages, and outlines how to use the headset in just four diagrams with no written instructions. There is also warranty information, where the warranty valid for two years. Not that using and setting up a headset is a hard process, but I would have hoped for some more information, especially regarding the in-line controls. I will explain more about why there needs to be more information about the controls later on in this review.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Subjective Audio Analysis