Saturday, August 18, 2012

Roccat makes my game station a game Kave

Coincidental or not, Roccat decided to send me, on my birthday, review units of their gaming headphones, the Kave 5.1 and their gaming keyboard, the Isku. As many of you may remember, Roccat had previously sent us their gaming mouse, the Kone [+], and I loved it. This time around I get to review their headset that boasts real 5.1 surround sound, a desktop remote, and a removable microphone with a mute LED. The Isku comes loaded with blue illuminated keys, 36 macro keys, macro Live! Programming, and 8 programmable hotkeys for media and whatever else your PC gaming heart desires. So after being holed up in my home office/cave with my trusty laptop, new keyboard, headset, and my fourth playthrough of Diablo III, lets see how they fair…after I get myself a shower and a shave.
I will start with the headphones, these bad boys are big and pack a punch. The build is very solid and have soft to the touch surface.  The sound is loud and clear, that of other high end headphones, but the individual channel control is easy once setup on your computer. This could very well be the unit’s downfall depending on your soundcard. The headset connects by one USB and four 3.5mm connections so if you don’t have the a compatible soundcard like myself, and had to pick up an external USB card and then spend a good half hour setting up the sound card  in order to get these cans working the way intended. My biggest issue with them are with the wires, if you do not have the right sound card, as the sound is great, they look awesome, and fit comfortably, but you will have a mess of wires if you don’t have an internal card. It is just hard to justify having that many wires hooked up in a small work area devoid of clutter. However, for those of you that have a compatible soundcard, I would highly recommend the Kave 5.1’s as they have outperformed any gaming headset I have reviewed so far.
As for the Isku, once again, it has a great look to it while having a solid and durable feel to it. On top of that, this fancy little keyboard takes some effort to budge once placed on my desk. Enough about the look and feel, lets get to the internals, the plethora of macros and ease of setup is simple and easily programmable. What topped that though was the ability to download macro sets to save time on programming macros for popular titles. For the price point, I would have thought that the keys would have been a little bit more firm and quieter on impact. The keyboard looks good and works great with a number of games, hell even other programs using the 36 macro keys, and with the price point of $89.99 it is completive to those with less features. The only other issue is that the drivers are only available for Windows PC’s, so Mac gamers, even though the keyboard will work, you are unable to go in and reprogram to your specific game of choice.
Roccat has once again impressed us with the amount of features used in their computer gaming peripherals. From the true 5.1 surround provided in the mean looking headphone teamed with the sleek ergonomic Kone[+] mouse, followed up with the aggressive looking illuminated keyboard chock full of custom programmable features and you get a highly personalized immersing experience whether playing games or watching movies. Only suggestion before adding this to current or future gaming rigs, is that you make your components are compatible with the peripherals.

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