As online gaming continues to be the norm, drawing in millions upon millions of players with each major blockbuster release, one of the nuggets of wisdom that is becoming more and more commonplace is that in order to succeed, one of the most vital tools of the trade is a quality headset. If you can hear your enemy more clearly, you can react and prepare yourself much like you would be able to in a real conflict. The gaming populace is always looking for the highest performance, the best deal, and the most features, and with the Roccat Kave 5.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset becoming available in North America, they have another quality option to choose from.
Living up to its name, the most distinctive feature of the Kave is how far the speakers are recessed in the cups of the earphones, which have a thick, soft layer of padding separating the speaker from the ear. The padding stops about two thirds of the way in though, creating an acoustic effect that allows the sounds to come through clearly without pressing your ear to a speaker and distorting, or sacrificing any comfort when it comes to wearing them. With 5.1 surround, a built-in microphone with an LED that turns on when muted, and a desktop control panel to change levels, volume, and mute settings, the Kave lets you adjust your sound without taking a break from the action.
As a surround sound headset, the Kave works like competitors at the top of its class, but one major issue I had with the set is its functionality when listening to stereo media such as music. While it does include 5.1 surround sound, the Kave uses a “vibration unit” to output the sound coming from the .1 of the surround. While this works great in its native environment, despite the fader for it being labeled as “sub,” the unit does not function as a subwoofer, so there’s no bass boosting when listening to music or older-format games and movies. Not a huge issue, but one that I definitely noticed immediately and went looking for the reasons why.
For the most part, wearing the Roccat Kave 5.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset is extremely nice. The plush padding of the ear cups provide ventilation and comfort, so there’s no heat buildup on your ears, and the use of three separate, flexible pads on the inside of the top headband keep the pressure off the top of the head and feel good even after wearing for a long time. The only real drawback when it comes to the comfort of the unit is that it can be a little heavy, and it’s not easy to forget that when you’re wearing the unit. I’ve worn some more natural-feeling headsets, but the padding and ventilation go a long way toward rectifying this problem.
The microphone is receptive and the sound output levels are very strong for the most part, so in terms of functionality, the Roccat Kave has the goods to compete. It also has a nice look to it, with the bulky, durable thickness of the plastic chassis and the simple black of the unit save for the faint blue on the logo, the blue LED surrounding where the microphone plugs in, and the blue LED that turns on at the end of the microphone when it’s muted. The Roccat Kave looks great, sounds great, and feels great, and if you don’t already have a preferred headset for gaming, definitely consider trying one of these out.
Roccat Kave 5.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
Pros: Cons: The Roccat Kave 5.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset is available from Amazon for $119.99.
The Roccat Kave 5.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset is available from Amazon for $119.99.