The audio quality of games has advanced with leaps and bounds right alongside other aspects like video. In certain games what you hear is even more important than what you can see, so for serious gamers having a solid headset is paramount, for this purpose ROCCAT has come out with the Kave headset.
The Kave has a 5.1 surround sound, along with a USB powered amplifier and a control box. There are eight separate drivers in all, four in each ear cup and a slew of mini-jacks available. Furthermore, there are two different settings to choose from to suit your needs; gaming or movies.
As mentioned, there are four drivers for each ear, all set at angles. This gives multiple directions for the sound to come from (ergo, surround sound), but also presents problems like some reverb. The control box was a bit of a hassle as it is very heavy. It’s not something that can just dangle freely – you need a place to set it or else it will put a lot of weight onto one ear. The control box does have a cover, however, and that will protect all your audio settings in case it does fall.
The microphone is detachable, which is a feature that I personally really enjoyed. The majority of headsets with mics allow you to move them out of the way, but to be able to take it off entirely is a huge boon – especially after dealing with many headsets where they become loose and even after you put the mic out of the way it falls back into place. Another cool feature about the microphone is the LED light at the tip, which lets you know if the microphone is muted.
The padding is actually very comfortable around the ears. It’s very soft and the weight on your ears is minimal. I previously reviewed the Tritton headset released for Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and the headband was too large and I couldn’t adjust it small enough. That made wearing it very uncomfortable because there was a lot of weight on my ears. I didn’t have that issue at all with the ROCCAT Kave. In fact, I would actually really recommend the Kave to those of us who are of petite stature (primarily female gamers). Unfortunately I feel like there’s a lack of balance with the Kave where moving around too much causes it to almost fall off. Wearing them for hours on end wasn’t very comfortable because, also due to the lack of balance, a lot of weight rests awkwardly on various points on the skull.
When listening to music, the Kave was subpar. While it is meant to be a gaming headset and does well in that aspect, I know some gamers like to play music while they game and this headset may not fulfill that need. There’s an emptiness to the sound quality, and unfortunately that also translates into the movie watching experience. For gaming the detail level is slightly subpar, but not to the point where it’s discouraging to play. If you’re truly looking for a headset to use for multiple ventures, however, there are other headsets for around the same price that will fill both roles more sufficiently.
As far as looks, I loved this headset. I had several friends comment on that they were cool looking, and they definitely are.
ROCCAT’s Kave headset is decent for the price. It’s durable and fairly lightweight, if only a little off balance and the headband a little uncomfortable. If you mess with the control box and such you can get some decent surround sound performance, but some details get lost. Depending on what you’re using the headset for, music/movies or games, you may be better off investing your money in a different headset. All in all, however, it’s a good headset for its price but there are no real points where it goes above and beyond expectations.
Audio – 3/5: The audio during games was solid, but unfortunately for anything else it definitely fell below the mark.
Gameplay – 4/5: When used for their intended purpose, however, I was satisfied with the sound quality and the overall features that the Roccat Kave had to offer.
Innovation – 3/5: Nothing really new comes to the table, but a few small features – the LED on the mic and the cover over the control box – definitely stood out for the right reasons.
Value – 4/5: For its MSRP, it satisfies so long as you plan on using this headset primarily for gaming.
Final Score: 3.5 /5