Page 2 - Features and Benefits
Features and Benefits
The Sonar 5.1 comes in two colors: red and black. I find these colors highly evocative of some great French cinema staring Danielle Derreaux. But, I digress. I doubt CyberSnipa chose these colors at random. Black is a very powerful color, evoking authority and control, while the color red evokes love and passion. I believe its also why most Italian sports cars are red. It's painfully obvious, I know, but I felt compelled to point it out.
Anyway, lets have a look at the specifications for the Sonar.
- 4 speakers in each earcup, one for each channel, front, center, surround, and subwoofer.
- Comfy padded headband
- Circumaural ear-cushions for extended comfort
- Flexible boom microphone with noise cancellation
- 3m USB cord with inline control
- 3D positional drivers included
The single most important feature that isnt really spelled out on the box is that the Sonar 5.1 headphones are themselves a sound card. This is similar to headsets from Plantronics or Turtle Beach, where you just plug it in and it goes. It is a very convenient arrangement with less stuff to install, but the tradeoff is that youre stuck if you want to upgrade later.
There are some other features that are on the box, but dont quite make it onto the list of features here, such as the force feedback and the Skype compatibility. These are non-features to me, since Skype works with whatevers plugged into your system, and the force-feedback is the subwoofer. Its a bit like saying the Sonar are also CD/DVD compatible.
The Sonar are almost entirely made out of plastic, but its big and chunky plastic. The metal grilles on the sides tell me that the Sonar is an open-back design that lets sound go into your head, but also back out to the world for everyone around to hear. The opposite of this design is closed-back, where very little sound leaks back into the environment. You dont see this design very often because its harder to make them sound good. The Sonar do offer a little attenuation of outside sounds making it into your ears from outside. The Everglide s500 headphones, which we reviewed a while ago, are closed-back and have very good sound dampening.
The cable is pretty long at 3m, which is almost as long as Hilbert is tall. Theres also ample strain relief where the cable meets the headphones, which I like to see. Something else will break long before the cable does. And of course, being a single USB connector means that theres only one wire to plug in, and you dont have to remember which color plug does what. Maybe its bad like the internet or video games...
The Sonar is also collapsible to some degree. The earcups will fold enough to make it somewhat compact, but the headband doesnt really bend much.
The Sonar also offers quite a bit of adjustment for head size, though, and fit my slightly inflated head perfectly.
Besides the striking red and black color scheme, CyberSnipa sneak in a whole bunch of surround sound in a fairly conventional package for the Sonar 5.1. Let's see how the build quality holds out, next page please!