ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Surround Gaming Headset Review

ROCCAT is a familiar name to gamers who seek quality products, you’ve probably seen my review of the Kone XTD Gaming Mouse and Ryoks MK Pro Mechanical Keyboard of which are of superb quality.

The Kave XTD 5.1 is their top-of-the-line headset and it continues to bear the quality hallmark of the ROCCAT brand.

ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Surround Gaming Headset Review

The design carries ROCCAT’s signature black color scheme with matte textures, and of course the bright blue ROCCAT word right at the ear piece.

ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Surround Gaming Headset Review

On the headband is this neoprene like material that’s absolutely comfortable when rested on your head, designed to allow you long hours of usage without feeling the weight.

ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Surround Gaming Headset Review

The ear piece cushion covers the entire ear piece, and it has a cut out that fits most ears almost perfectly.

ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Surround Gaming Headset Review

The mic for this headset is adjustable and removable.

ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Surround Gaming Headset Review

This is the control panel for the Kave XTD – yes, it’s huge and it’s meant to be on the table.

ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Surround Gaming Headset Review

Here’s a closer look at the panel, the headset is attached to it on one end while the other cable extends from the panel to the USB connector.

ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Surround Gaming Headset Review

At the bottom are rubber paddings to give it a sturdy hold on whichever surface it’s placed.

ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Surround Gaming Headset Review

The beauty of the Kave XTD is that it comes with a soundcard. I couldn’t find much detail on what sort of audio processing chip it’s using but it does work pretty well and as you can see from the picture below, it has I/O ports as you would see on sound cards. What Kave XTD does is that it allows you to connect to your existing speakers

ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Surround Gaming Headset Review

Here’s the panel in the dark, beautiful blue LED lights the interface. It also supports Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to answer calls by using the headset. Personally, I wouldn’t bother picking up a call when I’m in the middle of a game. 😛

ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Surround Gaming Headset Review

More details at the official product page

User Experience

The ROCCAT Kave XTD brings a whole new experience when it comes to gaming with a headset. Most headsets are as it is, you put them on your head and you blast away at your games.

Besides being an already feature-rich product, the Kave XTD’s capability is further enhanced by the Kave XTD Sound Control Software. In fact, this software is the MUST should you wish to utilize the full potential of the Kave XTD.

There’s no reason to buy a 5.1 capable headset to play on stereo mode, it’s just downright silly.

ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Surround Gaming Headset Review

As a gaming headset, the Kave XTD rocks to the max! I couldn’t believe my ears when I tested the game on Battlefield 4. The headset vibrates when it detects bass frequencies, rattling the ear piece that tickles your ear as you witness some rocks falling or explosions going about. Talk about “immersive gaming experience” – it’s just beautiful.

See the words “FRONT CENTER WOOFER REAR” on the image below? You can adjust the volume of each of those channels to balance out to your preference. I lowered the Front and Center to around 70% while keeping Woofer and Rear channels at maximum and this made the surround effects even more realistic.

ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Surround Gaming Headset Review

It’s all great when it comes to gaming, so I thought it’ll be great to try out with my usual audio files as well and to my surprise – all is not that rosy.

The Kave XTD Sound Console has heaps of features that were meant to enhance audio but they don’t work that well, for example the BRILLIANT AUDIO function seems like pushing the treble to a much higher frequency. Too much treble isn’t a good thing, especially when instruments sound like they’re about to pierce your ears.

ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Surround Gaming Headset Review

The bass output from the Kave XTD was disappointing. Sure, there’s bass tones but the bass output is lacking quality. You could turn on all their Dynamic Bass options, tweak the virtual based, adjust the bass threshold and even adjust the equalizer or use the presets – it’s still limited because the hardware itself is limited.

ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Surround Gaming Headset Review

Sorry ROCCAT – the lack of quality bass is probably the only weakness I find in the Kave XTD. If you’re not picky on audio and you’re just using it for games alone then it should be fine.

As for the product build quality itself, I love the cushion on the ear piece. It’s so comfortable, it’s firm yet it molds to your head with ease. As for the noise cancellation, isn’t as good as what I hoped for. I like ear piece like the one on Cooler Master CM Storm Pulse-R that feels like vacuum when you put it on.

The Verdict

The ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Headset is high-grade product of superb build quality and software support, it currently retails at RM 635 RM 585 and comes with 2 years warranty. The audio quality is good and you’ll love the surround sound it can provide.

One has to note that this is not an all-rounder headset where you could choose to use it on your smartphones or MP3 player and such (it doesn’t come with 3.5mm audio connector anyway). The Kave XTD wasn’t build for mobility, it’s meant be one of those device that’s part of your gaming rig.

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