CM Storm Pitch Pro ReviewManufacturer: CM Storm
UK price (as reviewed):
Approx £24.99 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed):
While not all of us own a full-on gaming headset, most probably own a pair of in-ear headphones to use with our smartphone, tablet or MP3 player. It can be a lucrative market to tap into and while CM Storm is better known for its gaming headsets, the company has already made a foray into the in-ear headphone market. The Resonar
did pretty well too, competing confidently with other similarly-priced sets. CM Storm is back for more, though and has sent us it's new Pitch Pro earphones that are set to hit shelves this September.
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At £25, they're a tad cheaper than the Resonars, which currently retail for around £30. However, they offer larger 10mm drivers compared to the Resonar's 8mm and sport a greater frequency response range of 10Hz-20KHz rather than a starting point of 20Hz. The latter makes more sense for us humans as it's the generally accepted low starting point of the limits of our hearing. However, if you have particularly good hearing, in an otherwise quiet environment some may dip lower than this.
The Pitch Pro's sport a slightly lower impedance of 16ohms too, which means in theory they lend themselves better to devices with little or no amplifcation - typically your average smartphone. the headphones themselves feel a little bulkier and more solid than the Resonars and indeed SoundMAGIC's E10s, although they lack the Bass FX dial of the former that was useful for switching between bass-laden tracks and games and something more delicate. The idea is here that the headphones are able to handle things well enough on their own.
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There's an in-line microphone and like the Resonars, this lacks a mute button in PC mode so isn't ideal for some scenarios. The quality is a fair way off a good gaming headset too - it's quiet and there's a lot of background noise but as a call-maker when connected to your smartphone or occasional Skype device they'll be perfectly okay.
The cable and connector are identical to the Resonars too and is made flat to reduce tangles although they still happen. The Resonar's cable is slightly longer, but the Pitch Pro's is still a good 125cm end to end - easily enough to reach from a set of desktop speakers. Included in the box are the usual pairs of smaller and larger replacement ear tips plus an audio/mic splitter for PC use and a travel kit that includes a carry bag and two-pin aeroplane seat adaptor.
Now down to the all-important audio quality. We had the Resonars and a set of SoundMAGIC E10's to hand - the latter are pretty popular and currently retail for £30 on Amazon. The Pitch Pros were certainly clear, producing clean and well-defined audio across the spectrum, although the E10's were noitceably clearer in the highs and mids, occasionally picking out more detail in instruments and in the crack-crack of gunfire. The Pitch Pros did have a very smooth bass, though, which was better defined, if a little weaker than the E10s and this blended a little better with highs - on the latter the high end could sound a little harsh when mixed into the fray by comparison.
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The Resonars, though, still held the top spot when it came to bass-heavy environments where in both music and action-packed gaming scenes, they were much livelier and more enjoyable to use, even with their Bass FX feature disabled. However, the Pitch Pros were a little better with the mids and highs than the Resonars, even if the E10's had a slight lead here. In short, the Pitch Pros are great allrounders but the E10's were better in the mid and high-end while the Resonars are better in bass-heavy scenarios.
The CM Storm Pitch Pro costs £5 less than the SoundMAGIC and CM Storm Resonar sets when we wrote this and both of the latter are better in various ways. The Resonars are arguably better for gaming and those that like a generous helping of bass while the E10's are probably slightly more balanced for general music listening. This leaves the Pitch Pros with a niche all to themselves - the audio is certainly balanced, but a lack of punchy bass and high-end clarity mean they were a little lifeless and are jack of all trades rather than being master of any one scenario. While the latter is possibly what you want from a casual in-ear set of headphones, unless you're not fussed by being top notch in bass or high-end clarity then they're not bad all-rounders at all for the price. In addition, they also include a half-decent microphones, which the E10's lack, although overall we'd still likely splash an extra £5 for the E10s or Resonars so while the Pitch Pros are good, they just miss out on an award.