Welcome to another addition to MMORPG.com's Audio Autumn line-up. In this review, we will be talking about the MasterPulse MH320 from Cooler Master.
This year, Cooler Master has done something that is, well, quite cool. They have delivered a series of products at entry-level prices with quality that exceeds the price tag. Recently, we reviewed the budget-friendly, RGB-equipped MasterSet MS120 Keyboard and Mouse combo. But Cooler Master has not stopped there in their mission to equip gamers at any spending bracket. Enter the MasterPulse MH320 - Cooler Master’s offering for the communication needs of the tight-of-budget.
Don’t confuse budget-conscious for cheap though, the MH320 has some great features that set this headset apart from the pack of equally priced headgear.
Let’s get down to the brass tacks.
- Driver Diameter: 40mm
- Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Dual 3.5 gold plated jacks
- Microphone frequency response: 100 Hz - 10 kHz
- Microphone sensitivity: -34 ± 3dB
- Signal to Noise Ratio: >58dB
- In-line volume and mute controls
Comfort and Design
Retailing at $40 USD, the MH320 is a surprisingly comfortable headset to wear. The ear cups and headband are made from a ridiculously soft and breathable PU leather and foam that make longer gaming sessions more enjoyable. This is a big deal if you are a glasses-wearer like me. I have found it difficult in the past to find headphones that don’t cause the arms of my glasses to dig into my face. Great design choice, Cooler Master!
The headband features a couple unique points for this price bracket. It is self-adjusting on a set of wire cables, again, adding to the comfort of the device on your head. For the structural integrity of headset, a flexible steel frame shapes the headset, affixing it to sturdy, plastic ear cups. This adds the over-all stability of the MH320, but also creates an issue: the steel headband is noisy. I found that if I were to move my head enough to shift the ear cups, I would hear a metallic, creaking sound. Not totally unpleasant, just odd.
There was, though, a choice that left me scratching my head: the choice to use two 3.5 mm jacks instead of a single, combo audio jack. Since the MH320 is meant for the budget-conscious, this design choice makes the headset a unitasker. Without buying extra outboard gear, this choice severely limits the options for where and how it could be used.
Overall, the rest of the design of the MH320 is pretty smart. It’s a comfortable headset that feels durable, the in-line volume controls and mic mute are easily accessible, and the value for the dollar falls in line with Cooler Master’s mission.
Comfort and Design are great, but how do the MasterPulse MH320 sound?
Using the MH320 is a pretty pleasant auditory experience. There is enough noise isolation with this headset to immerse you in your game at midrange volumes, while keeping you accessible to the outside world. Outside of gaming, I spent a good amount of time listening to different genres of music. Pushing the limits of sonic responsiveness, I found the quality, for the cost, to be quite surprising. From a volume perspective, the MH320 has a fair amount of headroom before any noticeable audio distortion.
Remember, this is a $40 headset, so the dynamic range isn’t as great as high end gear. Game sound is decent, but the low end isn’t quite as punchy as I like. That being said, low end is not absent. I found that tracks with more defined bass lines still carried themselves.
I can hear fine, but am I being heard?
The MH320 brags on its mic being built for “ragers, mumblers, screamers, and everything in-between.” However, I found the microphone to be a fair bit noisy once I got it to work. I did have to boost the input volume to be able to record myself, but you can be the judge.
We all have to start somewhere in putting together our gaming kit. Cooler Master has given great options, proving with the MasterPulse MH320 that you don’t always get what you pay for; sometimes, you get a little bit more.
- Surprising Build Quality
Good Dynamic Range for the Price Bracket
- Limiting Connection Choice
- Weak Input Signal