We consider the headset to be one of the most important items for the PC and honestly, we haven’t heard anyone say that it isn’t. Whether it’s for listening to music or gaming, you’ll want to have a headset that lets you feel and enjoy what you’re doing on your computer.
ROCCAT is one of the headset brands that have become quite popular among gamers; they’ve been around for years but with enough cutting edge innovation and great improvement, it didn’t take long for them to venture into the world of gaming audio where they produced one of the best and real surround gaming headsets for everyone, the Kave.
Today, we’re going to focus on the Kave’s successor which is the Kave XTD 5.1, the rebuilt and more improved gaming headset from ROCCAT. There are indeed a lot of changes and advancements made on this headset such as its weight, the use of a semi-discrete audio processor and USB. The Kave XTD weighs around 335g which is about 25% lighter compared to the original headset – definitely a welcoming change for its users.
Let’s go into further detail and talk more about the headset’s features and specifications.
Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Gaming Headset Review – Whats in the Box?
When we first got our hands on the ROCCAT Kave XTD, we noticed that the headset comes in a smart black box with hints of blue to add some design and style to it; it also has a couple of windows that allows you to see the desktop remote and headset that is inside the box. There are also various features of the Kave XTD highlighted on the box, as well as the contents of the package, system requirements, and technical specifications. On the left-hand portion of the box, you’ll be able to see the desktop remote plus its functionality and full description.
We can say that the packaging is good since it protects the contents well enough but other than that, it’s just a simple packaging that features the products once out of the box. Inside the box, you’ll find a secure ROCCAT wallet which includes the quick installation guide, driver CD, and the Federal Communication Commission Interference Statement.
Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Gaming Headset Review – Sound with a Kick
What’s great about the ROCCAT Kave XTD is the big closed-ear cup design that is fitted with a good amount of cushioning for comfort especially when you’re using the headset for hours. The interesting part of the Kave XTD is its headband since it has a unique and interesting design that foregoes the usual padding for divided cushion. This is mainly designed to help with the distribution of weight across the top of your head; plus, the headset’s notches are numbered to ensure that it’s evenly and comfortably set on your head. Another useful feature of the Kave XTD is its fully adjustable microphone that you can also rotate; if you don’t want the mic getting in the way when you aren’t using it, you can just detach it from the ear cup and you’re good to go. Additionally, its blue mic LED is another feature that we think is pretty cool and useful since it tells you whether the mic is turned on or off.
When it comes to its main features, the Kave XTD has the inline desktop remote that houses all the important volume controls in a central location. When you look at the remote, you’ll see that it features all the primary mute and volume commands, as well as individual controls for the sub, center, front, and rear volume; there’s also a very handy microphone mute button that’s found on the side and a button for movie and game profile sound settings. As far as the audio connection goes, the Kave XTD makes use of the regular USB input together with a 3.5 mm input for the mic, front, center / sub, and rear audio. Some people have issues when it comes to the length of the cord, but the Kave XTD’s cord is more than enough and should not be a problem for users.
The Kave XTD has approximately three 20 mm openings in the ear cup which houses a 30 mm driver and two 40 mm drivers. The ROCCAT Kave XTD also does not have bass but its highs and mid-ranges are excellent, given that these have notable structure when it comes to both voices and music. Gunfire can be loud so you’ll definitely enjoy various shooting games since it gives off that real gun-shooting effect.
When it comes to the Bluetooth connection on your smartphone, we’d say it’s a very smart idea since you only have to pair your phone with the desktop remote and you’ll never miss a call even if your volume is up while gaming. Answering the call will be pretty easy too since you’ll just have to press the phone button on the remote and your call will get piped to the headset which is, in our opinion, very clever.
The Kave XTD doesn’t only have one driver per ear cup but it has three; this gives us perfect 5.1 surround sound to make your gaming experience more fun and exciting. We can say that ROCCAT Kave XTD gives us some of the best positional audio compared to other headsets that we’ve tested, and if you think that 5.1 or 7.1 virtual sound gives you excellent positional audio, I think it’s better if you try out the Kave XTD before getting a virtual headset.
Virtual headsets have their own issues and the most common thing is that its sounds are generally modified; so when you click on the switch for the 7.1 surround sound option, everything will sound different – think of being in a hall or cave where everything just echoes. It also doesn’t mean that you’re using positional audio. With the ROCCAT Kave XTD, it provides you with adequate spatial awareness which is undoubtedly unmatched by any type of virtual technology. Of course, the Kave XTD definitely gives you an edge in gaming since you’ll be making a ton of snap moves that are just based on sounds alone.
The microphone is a good feature since it can rotate a full 360 degrees while also being a removable piece; it isn’t bendable or adjustable to your desired spot but that’s why it was made into a removable piece. When using it for conversations, the mic performs excellently and it sounds just as natural as though you’re using SKYPE.
We know that the older version of the Kave 5.1 was not really that comfortable but this new headset is definitely better: it is much lighter and has an improved headband cushion, giving adequate comfort when we tried gaming for longer periods. Overall, the ROCCAT Kave XTD provides a good range of comfort even when gaming for long periods; also, if you’re someone who wears glasses while gaming, this will not cause any issues or discomfort since the headset fits perfectly once worn. Although the construction of the headset is primarily made out of plastic, it is still a good product that gives off quality sounds excellent for a perfect gaming experience.
Center / Rear / Front Driver Units
- Driver Diameter Rear: 40 mm
- Frequency Response: 20 – 20.000 Hz
- Max Input Power: 50 mW
- SPL at 1kHz: 115±3dB
Vibration Driver Units
- Maximum Input Power: 300 mW
- Frequency Response: 20 – 100 Hz
- Drive Diameter: 30 mm
- Frequency Response: 10 – 10.000 Hz
- Directivity: Omni-directional
- Sensitivity at 1kHz: -32±2dB
- Impedance:2 kΩ + 15%
- Diameter: 4 x 1.5 mm
- Connection: USB
- Cable Length: 6 m
- Headset Weight: 335 grams
- Impedance: 32 Ω
- Real 5.1 Surround Sound including 3 driver units per ear cup
- Premium integrated multichannel soundcard for audio that is rich and interference-free
- Headset to smartphone Bluetooth pairing
- Fully-equipped desktop remote
- Ultralight design for supreme comfort
- Noise-cancelling mic with mute LED
- Powerful and durable engineering
- 5.1 speaker forts featuring in remote
- Tangle proof 3.6 m cable
How to Use
This is one of the headsets that is easy to setup and you won’t really need to worry about not getting to use it once you connect it. To get the Kave XTD working properly, you need to plug it into a USB 2.0 port and not a USB 3.0 port; simply connect the headset to the USB cable together with the audio connections of your computer’s soundcard. Once that’s done then you’re good to go.
ROCCAT’s Kave XTD sound console is an impressive software that looks great and very well compliments the headset. It also has a large number of options that are very useful for altering and controlling a lot of sounds.
The first tab, which is the main control, lets you adjust the primary volume control of the 5.1 setting and its Bluetooth audio, considering that you’ve already paired your smartphone to the desktop remote. You’ll be able to switch between the stereo and 5.1 audio, as well as mix up the stereo into 5.1 audio which is pretty cool in our opinion. Other interesting things you can do is to adjust the sampling rate, control the volume normalization, and even change your voice.
The second tab present is the advanced control tab which is where you can play with the numerous aspects of sounds. It includes enhanced audio and dynamic bass control to improve any compressed music’s quality; there is also a specific control that will improve the clearness and crispness of incoming voices which is actually a good feature of ROCCAT’s software. Here, you can also adjust the mic’s volume just like with the mic’s sampling rate.
Your equalizer will be on the third tab which is the place to further mix up the sounds due to the 10-band equalizer. There are also 8 pre-defined presets with options for games such as World of Warcraft and Counter Strike; if you’re more into playing with the sounds and choosing your own presets, you’re given the option to create your own which is really cool especially for avid gamers who pay attention to the sound quality during gameplay.
The last would be the support or update tab which pretty much already explains what it’s for. This is also where you can request for online support or check if your driver is up-to-date. This is one of the software features that we really appreciate since a lot of gamers search online are figuring out how to get support for things. Overall, the ROCCAT Kave XTD software is easy to use, convenient, plus it also has a nice looking layout; its customization options are really impressive so it’s definitely worth buying.
The ROCCAT Kave XTD as a whole is definitely a product that is hard not to recommend since it delivers outstanding sound performance and quality. The way the headset was constructed is also worth noting and even if it’s still slightly heavier, it has a very solid body which makes it an excellent choice for LAN.
The feature that we liked the most is the options right on the desktop controller since most headsets just feature the regular mute and volume selections. ROCCAT took it a step further and actually removed the need to go through the process of adjusting the volume through your PC’s soundcard manager. The ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Gaming Headset definitely has all the features you need to immerse in a total gaming experience that will let you enjoy the rich audio and sounds during gameplay. We definitely recommend this for avid gamers and even those who want to enjoy listening to good music while they work on their PC’s.