Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Frederik S, Feb 18, 2012.
To read this review go to: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ROCCAT/Kave/
While I don't doubt if it is truthful or not. I have heard my fair share of gaming headsets and none of them have sounded right, this one shouldn't be an exception unless that they are really doing something different. I do think using them for music and movies and comparing them to proper headphones in the market even at the same price range is fair.
Having to compare to far superior headphones it is unavoidable to say the judgement fairly, against stuff like AD700 and HD598 there is no way you would say it is "comparable but different".
I while do not like other gaming website reviewing their gaming headsets blindly without much experience of other headphones in the market and always giving them a 9/10. Stating the sad truth while giving it a 7.8 score seems a bit strange. The cons might well be called fatal flaws, hissing amp with terrible sound quailty does not sound like something that should receive a score like that.
It has good directionality, a microphone and so on. It is the same price as the AD700s and gives a slightly better gaming experience. The downside is worse performance with stereo content.
For people who only care about gaming this headset is almost alright hence the scoring.
thanks for the review Fred.
Was just picking on the point of there is high level of hiss which is even audible at modest volume. While I did hear some other Razer headset, while sounding terrible, they didn't have that much of a hiss.
That was a truthful review that I much preferred over mindless rave reviews, but given gaming headsets and poor sound often goes hand in hand. Comparing gaming headsets to other gaming headsets might well be a better way for readers aiming to get a pair of gaming headsets a better indication. Quite often they don't really care about getting proper headphones and only wanted to know the difference between the competitors.
Maybe a extra column on gaming headset vs gaming headset on the listening test will be a good idea? While leaving the fact that it is not going to perform as well as hi-fi stereo headphones, and giving a nice overview on it's sound verse their gaming headset competitor.
I was just looking for a TPU review of this headset yesterday... and poof it shows up today! Thank you for an honest review. I only need a headset for gaming and even though your review highlights this set as basiclly only being good for gaming... it looks like I will continue to hold off and see how the upcoming (hopefully not vaporware) Razer Tiamat set does.
I have this headset for more than a year (I think it is close to 2)... I've never had static noise issue that you mentioned in the review...
also the description of the way it sounds, is a bit mismatching my experience; I had such "hollow" and distant sounding when the headset was plugged into the on-board audio (realtek 889); but as soon as I plugged it into cheap XtremeGamer it came into life - the sound become far better... but (there is always a but ) for music is indeed not so good... actually sounds like the music is played somewhere far away from you - I guess that is the drawback of having 5.1 setup tuned for positioning...
I tried to game (mainly TF2 & BF:BC2) with some stereo headphones (several of them: senheizer, creative, siberia) I always prefer the Kave...
Another note: I paid 80euro for it, not 100
No thanks, Sennheiser headphones even being "just" stereo tends to perform much better than any "gaming" headphones (except rebranded Beyerdynamics.. there are around same).
Most "gaming" headphones are just lots of tacky plastick, poor drivers and similar quality cables/jacks. Simply marketing. Althought that goes for a lot of "gaming" gear.
1. Had these for almost 2 years, bought for my son I don't game with headsets.
2. Where I live I got them for the equivalent of around 80Euro
3. Where I live the AD700 are almost double this price.
4. Had the hiss with the onboard Realtek, got a Xonar D1 everything is good.
5. Good mic
6. Needs EQ to sound somehow
7. Movies do sound great in 5.1 (after some EQ)
8. Got to get used to wearing them.
9. Don't use for music (advice)
As a sidenote, I also have a pair a of Senns, the HD518 entry level audiophile, same price around here and the difference is like night and day especially regarding music.
The ROCCAT Kave sell for around €100. 80€ in Portugal
True 5.1 surround sound Good in movies and BC2
External USB powered amplifier Bad quality, i have RMA twice and im still waiting for the second...
Good directional positioning in games compared to price It does the work
Good quality microphone It does the work
Very good build quality Really unconfortable in the top of the head after 1h and a terrible hiss from the amp.
Microphone mute LED Too bright
Light weight What???Too heavy for sure!!!
Me and my friend dont recomend these!I have a siberia v1 and HD598, dont waste your money.
What? I'm surprised at the bad review these headphones got. I have them and I love them. I admit it did take some time to get used to the weight but in time i grew to like the weight of the headset. The hiss coming from the amp only happens on my headset when you turn the EQ on the control box to the max settings. Keep everything but the bass at half way and you are fine.
any idea about modding the headband to be more comfort ?? ... cause now its uncomfortable ,I have a very similar headset but from another company which maybe it did the Original design
As i said, dont buy!
I tested with creative titainum, onboard, essence st and TI hd.All had the hiss!
While I said they are not great, no hiss for me whatsoever with Xonar D1.
I came in this review, expecting no direct comparison with its closest competitor, the Z6a, or the industry standard, the discontinued HPA2. It delivered.
I have this head set. Its good in bf3 and other 5.1 games. Who uses head sets for movies anyways? The hissing is annoying but u just have to turn down the amp untill its gone. music is bad due to 2/5.1. I say this is a gamming head set and nothing more.
Edit:You HAVE to ajust your EQ or its going to sound like poo.
Yeah ,it is often used as a gamming headset .
I have had these Roccat Cave headphones for well over a year now. I must say that I'm quite satisfied with their performance. I've been using these headphones with a Creative SB X-fi Elite Pro.
The hissing problem other people have mentioned is a not a problem for me. There is a certain amount of white noise but it is a constant pure white hiss and disappears whenever the computer is outputting sound.
When I first received my headphones, I tried plugging them into one of the USB ports on my motherboard but that resulted in a dreadful amount of electronic noise. Apparently the 5v supplied through the MB is not very clean. Plugging the headphones into a powered USB hub on my monitor solved this problem completely.
At one point recently I replaced my Enermax Liberty 500w PSU with an Ebermax Modu82+ 620w PSU and I had a problem with audible electronic noise making it through my sound card.
Let me digress for a second. The ROCCAT Kave headphone's amp has four sliders on it that allow you to adjust the volume of front, rear, center and subwoofer channels. The volume dial controls Windows sound volume if it is connected to the computer with the USB port; otherwise it does nothing.
Heretofore, I had been using my Kaves with these sliders essentially maxed out. Generally my volume level in Windows ranged from 8-20% As a solution, I figured out that moving these sliders to about halfway down made the electronic noise that was creeping through inaudible again. My windows volume now generally ranges from 18-50%. An added bonus is that I have quite a bit more granularity in volume control when using the Dial on the ROCCAT or on my G19 to control volume.
Lastly I did try once plugging my Kaves into the onboard sound. That was a mistake of legendary proportions. I have a Realtek ALC 890 and the electronic noise present is deafening.
I used to use Speedlink Medusa 5.1 headphones and let me tell you these are a HUGE step up in build quality, sound quality and microphone quality. Directionality in games and movies is highly satisfactory. Oh and the ROCCAT Kaves don't squish my large ears either. I recommend them.
The sound card used fra an ASUS Xonar D2X, and also the on-board on my ASUS P8P67 was used, both with same hiss level. The sound quality difference is noticeable but not a night and day difference at all.
The PSU used in the system is a brand new Corsair 650 TX unit which should provide plenty of power for the test system used.
The Speedlink Medusa headset was alright back in the day when it was launch, but I agree that the Kave's build quality is better.
Just want to clarify something for readers here... I owned the KAVE headphones over a year ago. The look, feel and construction was very nice. The most important feature (surround) totally fails. I tested them on a variety of 3d sound sources and there is absolutely nothing even close to POSITIONAL AUDIO. When you look at the pyramid layout of the drivers it's easy to understand why. Sound will never be projected in front of you. It only ever sounds like it's coming from behind or slightly to the sides. There is absolutely nothing even closely related to surround audio. It can sound spacious and I suspect that is where many noobs get confused. I sold my Kave's many months later and bought a set of Logitech X-540 5.1 speakers that provide real positional audio and sound good enough for music listening.
Well, I'm no audiophile, but I love my pair for gaming & movies. Never notice the hiss in anything by complete silence, and only notice it increase when "Center" is increased on the amp.
Disappointed to see such a low review score for them here, although I do appreciate the word of someone that probably knows far more about audio than I, so thanks for the review.
Disappointed that it's not compared to other actual (and virtual) 5.1 headphones, though.
For me they fail because they simply don't produce positional audio. Nothing like 5.1 and yet that is how they are marketed. So, as good as they sound for games and movies, there is no point owning them if you wanted them for 5.1 sound. I can't fault the look, feel, the useful control box though but nevertheless I sold mine because when I pay for surround sound, I expect it to work.
actually when discussing audio it always ends up as very subjective subject... different people, different experiences, different expectations...
hey Fred any chance you will join some loaner programs? I would like to see some DAC and Amplifier reviews
@BumbleBee I think we got you covered, keep an eye on the site there will be some very interesting reviews in that category within a month or so.
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