Roccat Kave 5.1 Headset Review

Testing and Conclusion

Roccat Kave 5.1   Headset Review

Testing and Conclusion

Reviewing headsets is always enjoyable. Rather than spend ages replaying the same level or watching the same benchmark seemingly endlessly, we get a chance to watch some films, make our ears bleed with some music, and actually play games. It might seem small potatoes but when you spend month after month re-running the same bit of Crysis Warhead or driving around the same track, to get a chance to just sit and bash through something is a joy.

So what did we find out from the Roccat Kave?

Probably the most surprising thing was the actual surround. So often because of the, obviously, reduced airspace in a pair of headphones compared to a speaker setup it's nearly impossible to differentiate sound positioning. Anyone who has tried the Virtual Barbershop on Youtube will attest that a well recorded stereo setup can give equal sound direction as an average surround setup. However more and more games are finally catching up with films and giving proper surround. The Roccat Kave, with its separate speaker setup, handles these brilliantly.

Without a shadow of a doubt they give the most spacious surround sound this reviewer has ever heard. Everything from Sherlock Holmes to Up! came through with exceptional clarity and easy definition for our aural compass. Gaming in particular was a delight with the usual battery of OC3D titles, (Shift, Grid, Dirt 2, Crysis Warhead, Modern Warfare 2) being as good as we've heard them. As always our list of benchmark games is constantly scrutinised to find more suitable modern games to punish our hardware with and Battlefield Bad Company 2 shone to the point it's almost a cert to appear in future testing.

If you're looking for headphones for the surround, stop now because you've found them.

Now don't think for a moment that the brilliance of the surround is the be-all and end-all and the rest has been compromised to provide epic sound at such a low price.

Build quality is nothing short of spectacular. The Roccat Kave is finished in a lovely soft tactile matte black. The headband is made of very thick solid metal and gives a satisfyingly smooth slide when adjusting the size, without ever moving unintentionally. Everything about them screams quality. It's rare to find a collapsible headset that still feels utterly robust once "up".

Comfort-wise they are phenomenal. The ear-pieces are very soft and despite the Kave being sturdy and having a certain reassuring heft to them, they aren't heavy on the head and can be, and have been, worn for 16 hours straight without causing discomfort. They grip the head nicely so you haven't got sound bleed and all in all are supremely comfortable for all but the most pencil-necked of individuals.

The microphone is as easy to use, or put away, as any we've come across. It certainly wont move of its own accord which is a claim that can't be laid at the feet of many others we've tested. A small led at the end allows you to see at a glance if it's muted without taking your eyes off your target.

Finally the sound quality, away from the surround aspect, is unsurprisingly brilliant too. Volume is most certainly not an issue as they will go way louder than your humble reviewer finds remotely comfortable without once distorting. Yes here at OC3D we even go deaf so that you get the most honest reviews. Bass is tight and thumping without being muddy or blurred. Mids, and vocals especially, are crystal clear and even the highs are glassy without being harsh.

So if they are this brilliant they must be expensive huh? Well they retail around £70 which, for a headset that does surround sound, wonderful stereo reproduction, is easily portable, great remote volume control and has a clear, removable, microphone is spot on.

In short we've got absolutely nothing to criticise at all. Absolutely nothing. Even being really picky and anal we still can't find a fault.

Flawless.

Best In Class

Many thanks to Roccat for providing the Kave for todays review. Discuss in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

25-05-2010, 06:00:05

tinytomlogan
We've liked a lot of Roccat stuff recently, how does their surround sound headset, the Kave, fair?

Continue Reading

25-05-2010, 07:11:36

AMDFTW
nive review,they seem nice

25-05-2010, 07:42:58

WelshD1K
Just went to order one but my bank card has expired!!! noooooooooo oh well have to wait a few days

25-05-2010, 17:32:39

suenstar
Excellent review there.

Had my pair for about two months now and can't say I've ever been so happy with a headset. These things are much higher quality than my Sennheiser PC-350 headset. The sound quality is miles apart, even more amazing considering they costed about 70% of the PC-350 cost at the time.

The only draw back for me is that I find the ear cups to feel a little warm on the ear on extended use (7+ hour sessions)... but those sessions aren't a frequent thing for me.

26-05-2010, 12:01:11

AMDFTW
are these the same? these say Kave Solid?

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Roccat-Kave-Gaming-Headset

26-05-2010, 14:14:26

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='AMDFTW'
are these the same? these say Kave Solid?

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Roccat-Kave-Gaming-Headset
Headband is solid fella. Cans are the same, band isnt. look rank if you ask me.

26-05-2010, 15:14:33

VonBlade
Dunno what you're seeing there Tom. Those are the exact ones we had to review.

26-05-2010, 16:06:12

AMDFTW
thats what i thought the band padding looks split on both but one says solid and one does not

26-05-2010, 16:32:43

VonBlade
The Scan pics are just shown with the band in the retracted position. If you're not sure compare the product code to the Roccat code. They're identical.

26-05-2010, 17:20:25

Steve-O-
They look pretty legit. Too bad I bought a headset recently. Not to say I'm not happy with them though.

26-05-2010, 17:55:39

steve30x
I need a good surround headset because I just moved house and my computer is in my bedroom (the only place where I have room for it) which is right next to my neighbours bedroom. Being a considerate neighbour I dont want to be a nuisance so this headset looks like what I am looking for.

Three things I need to know though. (1) How do they compare sound wise to the Logitech G35? (2) How comfortable would they be for glasses wearers (I have to wear glasses) for a few hours? I have Technics headset (Brilliant sound BTW) and after an hour of wearing them my ears hurt because the earpads press against my ears. (3) where can I order this headset from Ireland?

27-05-2010, 06:07:38

suenstar
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='steve30x'
I need a good surround headset because I just moved house and my computer is in my bedroom (the only place where I have room for it) which is right next to my neighbours bedroom. Being a considerate neighbour I dont want to be a nuisance so this headset looks like what I am looking for.

Three things I need to know though.

(1) How do they compare sound wise to the Logitech G35?
Personally I find the sound quality to be a fair degree higher in the Kave headset. Though I would say that it mainly due to the jacks being plugged into a high quality soundcard, rather than the USB emulated sound that the G35 uses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='steve30x'
(2) How comfortable would they be for glasses wearers (I have to wear glasses) for a few hours? I have Technics headset (Brilliant sound BTW) and after an hour of wearing them my ears hurt because the earpads press against my ears.
Just sat with mine on with some sunglasses for an hour to test this out.

I really couldn't feel any pressure on the glasses from the headset, it sits quite lightly over the ears so you don't really get much of a problem with extra pressure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='steve30x'
(3) where can I order this headset from Ireland?
I'm not sure of any specific shops in Ireland as I live in the UK, but online shops like ebuyer, overclockers and scan ship to Ireland (I believe it costs a bit more than normal though).

27-05-2010, 06:17:31

steve30x
Thank you for the reply. I found the headset on a website that I think delivers to Ireland. I tried looking at ebuyer but I couldnt find the proper website> I will have a look on overclockers though. I forgot about that website. I dont mind the extra charge for delivery.

27-05-2010, 08:45:48

VonBlade
Just to continue the glasses thing. As befits a proper hardware nerd, I wear glasses and have done for years.

So all my comfort tests are done "with glasses on".

29-06-2010, 15:29:42

Junglerog
I just got got this headset and apparently I have difficulties to get volume control and mute button to work with Crosshair IV motherboard and its on board sound card. Any1 with noticed same problem by chance? Any solutions?

Apparently its a problem with windows 7... any1 had same sort of troubles?

Nvm, system reinstall solved everything.

Well I just tested it on my wife's netbook with XP on it and everything seems to work well. I tried to reinstall my X-fi drivers, searched solutions on line and I cannot find anything. I can mute/unmute microphone, the equalizer works, just volume control and mute button doesn't. Any help highly appreciated.

30-06-2010, 03:37:03

steve30x
So you posted four times instead of updating your first post with updates?

01-07-2010, 03:52:31

Junglerog
And what's wrong with that? With this retarded system I need 15 posts to even get access to my personal info even though i 've been registered here for about 6 months. 11 posts in 6 months doesn't really make me a spammer does it? By the way, 4 posts to go.

01-07-2010, 10:15:42

AMDFTW
its not a retarded system fella it just stops spammers,being registerd for however long does not make a difference it is the post count.

you will get there soon

26-01-2011, 12:22:39

INMATE183
Justgot a set of kave's. AWSOME so happy with them

26-01-2011, 14:09:19

Brooksie
Please don't bump threads that are over 3 months old.

Thanks.

Although, I have a pair of Kaves myself and they are indeed lovely.
Reply
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