Serious surround sound, now via 3.5mm audio jacks instead of USB - Roccat hits all the right notes with the Kave XTD 5.1 Analog
Headphones subtype: Over-ear headset, Plug type: 4x 3.5mm jacks, Weight: 335g, Cable length: 3m
The original Kave XTD was a runaway success for Roccat; a true 5.1 headset in a market dominated by virtual surround, it was the weapon of choice for many FPS gamers, as excellent positional audio could give you the advantage when listening out for the location of your enemies. Unfortunately, the USB sound card added to the price and limited what you could actually hook the headset up to. The company has been listening to its customers, and has finally introduced an analog version.
Unsurprisingly, Roccat hasn’t changed the formula too drastically from the digital edition. The Kave XTD 5.1 analog retains the same oversized cups to make room for the multiple drivers in each ear, and continues to use a combination of soft-touch plastics, leatherette padding and smart-looking embossed logos to leave you in no doubt this is a gaming headset.
The glowing blue LED around the boom mic continues the theme. The microphone detaches for when you don’t need it, or you can simply flip it up and out of your line of sight. The matching LED on the tip lets you know if you’re muted or not. We had no trouble being understood when speaking on voice comms in games, but the mic managed to avoid picking up to much background noise when other people were in the room.
With the entire headset built from plastic, it’s surprisingly lightweight given its size, and the padding on the headband and ear cups mean it’s comfortable to wear for prolonged periods – as long as you can find a firm fit to begin with. The headband can be expanded, but the ear cups only move on the vertical axis and have no horizontal movement at all. The ear cups also surround your ears completely, which can make them pretty toasty after a prolonged gaming session. The original Kave was built from metal, which while contributing significantly to the weight, made it reassuringly firm. It was also more flexible, and this latest edition feels a little like a backwards step.
As you would expect given the name, the Kave connects to your PC with three 3.5mm audio jacks – four if you want to use the microphone too. Each one is colour coded, which makes it easy to work out which ones to plug into your sound card. There’s also a USB connector, although this is purely to power the LEDs; the headset does work without plugging into a USB port, you just won’t be illuminated.
The comprehensive inline remote is a welcome inclusion, letting you adjust each speaker driver independently as well as change the overall volume, mute the microphone and adjust the EQ between Game and Movie mode. An integrated clip lets you attach it to your clothes to keep it within easy reach, but we preferred using the bundled desk stand; the remote clips onto it and angles all the controls towards you for quick access when gaming. It’s made of plastic, though, and doesn’t feel particularly sturdy.
|Headphones subtype||Over-ear headset|
|Headphones impedence||21 ohms|
|Plug type||4x 3.5mm jacks|
|Accessories||inline remote control, desktop stand|