Roccat Kave XTD

PHOTO: ROCCAT

The Roccat Kave XTD is packed with features but sacrifices compatibility and portability for the aim of being the ultimate desktop headset.

The headset has only USB input, and cannot be detached from its desktop remote-cum-sound-card - a hand-sized device with a volume dial, a Bluetooth indicator and buttons to mute the microphone and change the channel of output.

The headset also has features that I did not even know I need, like adjustable bass vibration and the desktop remote being able to connect to an external speaker set-up.

Unfortunately, the Kave XTD is not compatible with consoles and, although it has Bluetooth connectivity, it is USB-powered, which means it cannot be used on the go.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $259

    OPERATING PRINCIPLE: Semi-open

    DRIVER: 40mm and 30mm

    FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20Hz to 20,000Hz

    WEIGHT: 335g

  • RATING

  • FEATURES: 5/5

    DESIGN: 3/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    VALUE: 3/5

    OVERALL: 3/5

    2

The headset itself has two 40mm driver units and one 30mm vibration unit per cup. They provide genuine surround sound instead of using software to mimic the effect.

To me, there was a significant difference between this and virtual surround sound, and placing noises like gunshots was more accurate.

Unfortunately, the rest of the audio experience falls a bit short. While it was competent enough on most fronts with no glaring distortions, I felt it lacked a certain punch and clarity, which rendered sounds less lifelike than I prefer.

The headset is also ergonomically dissatisfying, with oddly shaped ear-cup foam and restricted pivot angles on the cups. The foam covers most of the ear-cup surface, leaving a small gap for the ears.

It felt almost like I was being forced to fit my ear into a certain configuration - which may be the intention as the drivers are angled precisely 12 degrees apart - and having a fixed head position may augment the surround sound experience.

Lisabel Ting

  • Verdict: A headset for strictly desktop-bound users. Some gamers may have issues with the fit of the headset.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 20, 2016, with the headline 'Roccat Kave XTD'. Print Edition | Subscribe