Should you embrace the Bass? Hopefully, this review of the Master Pulse Pro will help you answer that. CoolerMaster has some really nice products, and I know this because I have used their cases and coolers for years now. CoolerMaster represents PC building and craftsmanship and has a history of innovations and awards to prove it. Their main slogan is “Make It Yours”. I believe this represents modularity and customization. The history of CoolerMaster started on a hunch with a product manager named Roger. He had no funding but a dream of inventing, improving, and making new products. Over the years, CoolerMaster has moved from more than just cases. CoolerMaster has an entire product lineup of CPU coolers, cases, and peripherals. The Master Pulse Pro is a headset that was designed with 7.1 surround sound, RGB, and sound FX technology in mind. Stereo headsets are no longer an acquired taste for gamers and directional audio helps achieve an edge in games. Let’s see if the quality of this headset can make a difference with some of its interesting design features.
|Sensitivities (@100Hz)||118dB ± 3dB|
|109dB ± 3dB (bass off)|
|Max output power||100mW|
|Sensitivity||-34 ± 3dB (0db = 1V/pa.1KHz)|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||50dB or more|
The packaging on the Master Pulse Pro was given some thought. The front advertises virtual 7.1 surround sound, “Bass FX” technology, and RGB. By opening the front of the package you can see the headset through the box. It shows off design features like the aluminum frame and padded ear cups. The inside of the front door also displays important parts of the headset and specifications.
The package includes
- Master Pulse Pro headset
- Quick instruction pamphlet
- Flat rubber cable attached and (2m) in length
- Omni-Directional mic is built in
- Side panels are removable on each ear cup for Bass FX on/off
The Master Pulse Pro is stylish. It offers an industrial look which I find very appealing. There is an all aluminum frame and individual comfort zones. The headband has five individual cushions for a better fit and comfort. The ear cups have extra padding for a higher level of comfort, but also provide unwanted external noise from getting in.
The headset does feel extremely comfortable on my head and I didn’t feel any strain after a few hours of gameplay.
The cable length is 2m and has more than enough length to reach any USB port you would have nearby. If you have ever tried walking away forgetting you had your headphones on, you know that sucks because your headphones go crashing down or the USB cable could get bent. The extra long cable here gives you a bit of freedom with moving around your desk. The USB port is also gold plated providing the best possible connection. I also like the little details like the CoolerMaster logo on the USB connectors housing.
The in-line control box is where the magic happens. The box houses a sound card that provides 44mm drivers with virtual 7.1 surround sound. This takes the demand off your PC and allows the audio processing over the dedicated sound card.
The in-line provides:
- Audio adjustment over the volume up or down buttons
- Microphone on/off
- LED RGB control using the illuminated button ( above the CoolerMaster logo)
- Toggle 7.1 on/off
- Equalizer profiles button
One thing about the audio control I don’t like is that even on the lowest settings the headset is still loud. I mean I have it just a click above “OFF” and I can set my headset down on the desk and still hear what’s playing. This is even with the side panels “ON”. This isn’t ideal if your in a room where noise matters.
The microphone is omnidirectional with a frequency response of 100~10,000 Hz. It offers 50dB or more of a signal to noise ratio and a sensitivity of -34 (+ or -) 3dB. What is cool about the mic is it’s built in with no external attachment. This is a great idea because sometimes I find even though you can adjust external mics they get in the way or need to be fixed during times I’m gaming. The illumination control offers manual adjustment of the RGB colors or the first profile of cycle. The RGB LEDs provide multi-color illumination allowing you to customize the headset to match your PC’s color scheme. Another feature provided by the sound card is the 3+1 listening profiles. You can choose between Music (red) /Movie (Blue)/Gaming (purple)/Off modes. Above you can see blue indicated for “Movie” mode.
Part of what makes this headset so unique is the Bass FX technology. This is another fancy way of allowing you to make these headphones open or closed depending on your entertainment needs. The argument of which is better can be found here. Essentially Bass FX on represents an easy way to change your audio experience. Bass FX “ON” represents the panels on the side of your Master Pulse Pro removed. Sounds open up and allow low frequencies like explosions, growls, and other effects to feel different. Bass improves for your music and gaming needs. Bass FX “OFF” represents natural tones and a more closed environment. It helps block out the sound and allows you to distinguish footsteps and spatial orientation. Music under off allows a listening experience of crisp clean audio without losing background instruments. You can see examples of both from the CoolerMaster site here. It’s hard to measure the difference without hearing it for yourself.
Another interesting feature of the removable side panels is the ability to 3D print your own. You can get the 3D print file here. Anyone with a 3D printer can make some cool customer side panels for their Master Pulse Pro. This really embraces the “Make It Yours” mentality!
Testing audio is never easy and can require expensive equipment. I wanted to make things a bit simpler to help you understand the audio quality of this device. The Master Pulse Pro is essentially a high-performance audio headset with no software. That is okay because everything is built in and requires really no setup on the part of getting the headset working correctly. You don’t have to fine tune anything or use any software profiles. The cable even though flat, does still get tangled up which can be annoying at times. Given the cable is longer it has more tangles in it than necessary. The audio and mic were captured using an experimental build of Geforce Experience. I was not able to provide an exact link to the experimental build because it hasn’t been released yet.
This sample clip is from the game DOOM. This is with 7.1 turned on and the game equalizer profile. I did record the same audio with the ear panels off but it is really hard to distinguish over an in-game audio sample, see if you can tell the difference. I am an FPS guy and personally enjoy the panels on, I feel even though they say the bass is better with them off. I feel the added silence with the panels on allow me to hear footsteps and voice direction better.
The above video showcases the RGB effects of the Master Pulse Pro and audio power of the headset. Warning: a Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare level is included and may contain possible spoilers for anyone who hasn’t played the game yet.
The mic test above shows the quality of the mic. I did find not having an external mic a good idea, but the mic could still use some work. Because it’s built in, I have to adjust the levels to 100% in the windows control panel in order to even be heard clearly. The sound is kind of muffled and does pick up a small bit of background noise but does a decent job of keeping most of it inaudible. It works so well that I have to speak louder just to get the mic to sound normal. You don’t have to scream but just use a louder than normal voice to make the quality clear enough to understand.
The Master Pulse Pro is an excellent headset and offer superior sound quality, but does have a few shortcomings. For starters, the mic does need to be worked on a little bit as far as quality and sound volume. Also, the volume even on the lowest settings is still really audible and loud even sitting a few ft. away. This isn’t going to be so much a problem with hearing things in the headset but people around you might find it distracting. It only gets worse with the side panels removed for extra bass.
The Master Pulse Pro is very innovative and brings distinguishing design features that make this headset different from other gaming headsets. I enjoy the industrial design with the aluminum frame and screws, as well as the comfort of the headset. The comfort of this headset is outstanding and will definitely keep you comfortable for hours of gaming. The best part of the Master Pulse Pro is the customization’s and built in sound card. The ear cups are removable as well as the side panels giving you actual audible differences. You can even 3D print your own side panels! This is fantastic and I have not seen this on another headset yet. Having the ability to change EQ profiles on the fly and adjust your sound settings without software is welcomed with this headset. You don’t have to worry about adjusting different profiles for specific games or messing with sound settings before launching a game. RGB also adds to your customization for color matching your PC’s color scheme. The RGB colors make this headset look really good and RGB is the craze of 2016 and well into 2017.
I highly recommend the Master Pulse Pro and feel this headset has a lot to offer gamers who love not only audio but the offering the performance with the hassle. You can buy the Master Pulse Pro (Masterpulse Pro Over-Ear Gaming & Audio Headset with Virtual 7.1 Channel Surround Sound and Exclusive Bass FX Technology for PC and Console use.) right now for $110.00.