The attached microphone is easily adjustable, and even more easily detachable. At CES, when I asked Kathrin Bachmann, Marketing Director of Roccat Studios, why the microphone was detachable, she explained they wanted it to be an option for gamers. Also, if the mic were to somehow become lost or stop working, Roccat could supply the gamer with the mic as an individual accessory, so they can at least continue listening in the meantime.
This is interesting because several times over the past couple weeks, I wondered why my teammates were all of sudden not responding to me, before finding the mic on my floor. The mic needs to be jammed pretty well into the port for it to keep its anchor, although I hope this is just a fluke with mine. Unfortunately, I found the mic to be very quiet on both sound cards. After enabling the +20 dB boost within Windows settings, my voice was still very tinny. Pressing the mute button on the control unit causes the mics tip to illuminate a nice blue glow.
I asked fifteen different PC gamers over the past two weeks to also test the Roccat Kave for a few hours straight. The main complaint, if any, that I received about their experience was comfort. Comfort can be just as subjective as audio quality, but a third of these testers had a issues with the trio of padded headrests on the Kave’s bridge. When worn correctly, each pad floats above the bridge, molding its surface to the shape of the gamers head. But for some, this designed caused headaches after 1.5 to 2 hours of gameplay. The ear cups, on the other hand, are comfy and isolate enough surrounding noise. Final Thoughts
The Roccat Kave will officially be available across North America this week. NCIX-US is already selling it for $129 USD, and possibly cheaper with a promotional code. This headset is definitely one of my faves for concept alone, despite its fidelity limitations and varying comfort levels. If you have an extra USB port and a surround sound audio device to spare, give the Kave a try, and hear what the Germans are thinking of next.
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