GC 2008: High-end headset Roccat Kave hands-on review
At the Games Convention we had the chance to get a first practical impression of Roccat's 5.1 headset Kave. We checked wearing comfort, sound quality and the complex control unit. The headset is said to be released this year and cost less than €100.
With this price Roccat is addressing the more ambitioned gamers - so a good wearing comfort over several hours time is important. Our first impression was positive: The earpieces - coated with some kind of leather - adapt to the ears perfectly. Furthermore they fully covered the ears and insulate from ambient noise - at medium volume we didn't hear anything from the chat of two colleagues right next to us. Three pads provide enough cushion and support that you can position the headset very well and individually. A good thing for gamers who's ears stick out a little: The earpieces are quite deep - the ears have some free space.
In the earpieces you can clearly see several speakers. Contrary to the 7.1 headset Razer Megalodon the surround sound is not simulated, but created by the speakers. With the music samples we brought along we were able to get a first impression of the sound quality. The high and medium notes were clear. The bass on the other hand was loud and powerful - as usual for gaming headsets - and had a lot of details. But nevertheless the lower tone area seemed to be flannelly, almost sad - this needs some optimizations. Roccat promised that they optimize the headset until the final release. The cave is connected via phone jack to the sound card. An additional USB connector is necessary for the control unit and vibration effects.
The control unit was quite handy. Unlike classic cable remotes it is placed on the table. When it is closed you can control the master volume or mute the microphone. If it is open you can control the volume of the individual channels and the bass. The sliding controllers look almost like inspired by a professional mixer.
Our first impression of the Roccat Kave is positive: If the producer optimizes the sound and the locating in games works (we could check that yet), you might expect a real good headset.