Page 3 - Subjective Audio Analysis
As with all the audio products we review here at APH Networks, it takes quite a bit of experience and training of the ears before we can begin making a fair judgment. Even for the best of audiophiles, it can be hard to produce an exact and accurate evaluation of a product without a thoroughly familiar product to use as simultaneous reference. While I will not claim to be the reviewer of all reviewers for headphones, I can say quite a few other computer review sites have editors lacking in training for reviewing anything audio related. Give them anything and all you will get is some vague description of “awesome bass, amazing midrange, nice treble, no muffles, 10/10”. Do not get me wrong though; there are knowledgeable audio reviewers out there on respected online media outlets, but they are far and few. There are no true objective measurements for audio sound quality. As the reviewer, however, I will put the Cooler Master MH751 through a series of subjective tests to try to come up with the most objective rating as possible. The tests were conducted with the Cooler Master MH751 plugged directly into a Gigabyte Z87X-D3H motherboard.
After over 50 hours of break-in time -- well above the typical required period -- we put the Cooler Master MH751 to the tests. All test tracks are uncompressed or high bitrate audio files. For gaming, I played Overwatch and League of Legends. Shooter games are probably the most crucial games to test these headphones, as gameplay can heavily rely on hearing and interpreting information found sounds. The other games have aspects where audio is useful, but this is less of a factor.
Unsurprisingly, the Cooler Master MH751 still follows a typical pattern of a V-shaped sound character. As such, when we listen to the MH751 from the low-end, the bass was decent with slightly more emphasis. It is possible the closed-back nature of this headset also plays a role here, but I found that it was slightly boosted, keeping in line with the V-shaped signature. Overall, the bass was rounded and filled without sounding boomy. I did notice some bottoming out at times, but bass drum kicks and electric bass riffs drove with direction for a good bottom oomph.
When we moved to the middle of the frequency range, the frequencies here were clear. Sounds from guitars and pianos produced a natural resonance. Vocals were warm and mostly wet, though some dryness started creeping in nearer to the higher end. In relation to the other regions however, the midrange from the Cooler Master MH751 was reduced. The midrange was also not as thick or detailed as I would have liked. In gaming, the midrange is not as crucial for game awareness, which is often why we see this reduction in amplitude.
At the highest frequencies, the treble from the Cooler Master MH751 was decent. Its sharp and bright sounds rang through and felt clean. Instruments like violins and flutes came through well. Again, some dryness started appearing at the upper ends. Overall, we had the typical V-shape sound, which makes for a fun-sounding headset with lows supporting the highs. It is not meant for monitor work or neutral settings, but that is understandable considering the target of this headset.
I thought the MH751 performed decently well in its soundstaging aspects. I would have liked for a wider image still, as music often felt a bit too crowded when listening. As for gaming, I felt like these Cooler Master cans were more than capable in aiding me with directional cues. This could partly be due to the closed-back nature design, as well as the smaller 40mm drivers inside, compared to a 50mm driver we have seen on other headphones. Imaging itself was pretty neutral, which makes for a more natural sound. Without the USB connection box, we do not have any virtual surround, though I found this to be quite artificial on the MH752, so I think it would be better to sticking to stereo is more than fine.
When it comes to layering, the MH751 was capable at handling more complicated audio. Distinctive layers could be distinguished and each voice was audible. In more complicated audio, we started losing some detail at times, but it was pretty much as expected for a headset of this caliber. Frequencies were separated enough and I found transitions between these frequencies were smooth for the most part. There was a bit missing in between the low-end and midrange, but it was not too noticeable. Otherwise, everything sounded pretty clean, though once again, detail could be improved upon in more heavily layered parts.
Due to its closed-back nature and leather earcups, the Cooler Master MH751 had good sound isolation. Using it in noisier areas should be fine as the ears fully sealed external noises from myself during testing. Obviously this closed-back design does affect other acoustic properties like soundstaging, so you should pick according to your preference.
When it comes to microphone performance, the included mic with the MH751 was once again a decent performer. This omnidirectional microphone picked up more than I expected, including keyboard and mouse noises, but it also recorded my voice naturally. Due to the frequency cutoff at the low-end, the recorded audio sounded a bit nasally and lacked openness. This microphone should perform perfectly fine in game communications and casual chats, but I would probably look at purchasing a different microphone for streaming and more audio critical applications.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware and Software
3. Subjective Audio Analysis