Testing & Results
Testing an audio device is a subjective undertaking. However, I will do my best to accurately convey the experiences that I have had with the ROCCAT Kave XTD Stereo Gaming Headset. These experiences included approximately 20 hours of gaming, about three hours listening to music, and less than 5 hours watching videos. The majority of the gaming results will be based on the audio quality experience while playing Battlefield 4. However, employed a few other games in order to judge the game-to-game consistency of the unit. These games included Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist, Company of Heroes, and Sleeping Dogs.
Even though this is a gaming headset, I felt it is important to determine the quality of audio experience that the ROCCAT Kave XTD Stereo Gaming Headset can deliver during sessions that include listening to music or watching TV and movies. Some of us want more than merely a gaming headset; we want a headset that can deliver a quality audio experience no matter what is playing. Therefore, I listened to a number of different music genres from both my local machine and other sources through streaming. The same method was used to judge the audio quality while watching videos.
- Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3
- System Memory: 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1333 G.Skill Ripjaws X Series
- Processor: AMD FX-6100 Zambezi 3.3 GHz Six-Core Processor
- Audio: ASUS XONAR DG PCI 5.1 Audio Card
- Video: HIS Radeon HD 7950 IceQ Boost Clock 3GB GDDR5 PCI-E Graphics Card
- PSU: Corsair HX Series HX750 750W GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
- Monitor: AOC e2752Vh (27?) & Samsung SyncMaster PX2370 (24?)
- Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate
The primary feature that most concerns us when testing is the audio quality delivered. “RICH STEREO SOUND” is one of the features highlighted by ROCCAT after all. While gaming, I found the stereo sound delivered by the ROCCAT Kave XTD Stereo Gaming Headset to be outstanding. The statement made by ROCCAT on its website that the “speaker units deliver crisp, clear audio with a huge dynamic range, meaning that you hear not only the faintest of sounds but also get ground-shaking low-end sound,” was realized. In fact, I found the gaming sound quality to be superior to the 7.1 surround gaming headset I was using.
As I played Battlefield 4, the ROCCAT Kave XTD Stereo Gaming Headset performed brilliantly. Explosions were deep and rich, bullets whizzing by had that distinct buzz, and the crack of a sniper rifle’s report was clear and obvious. Even the more subtle sounds were easy to identify, such as footsteps, which is a huge advantage when players are trying to sneak up on you and steal your dog tags. The in-game communications, both over TeamSpeak and via squad chat, were clear and concise. There are absolutely no complains while using this unit during gaming sessions.
While listening to music and watching videos, regardless of the method of delivery, the results were the same. I found the output to be as flawless as I have experienced in a single headset unit. Whether I played this genre of music or that genre of music, the result was a crisp, clear, and full listening experience. I have had headsets that were better delivering gaming audio or better when playing music, but not this consistently solid at delivering quality audio regardless of the format.
Another of ROCCAT’s claims, which is that the Kave XTD Stereo Gaming Headset delivers “SUPREME COMFORT,” also was something that was thoroughly tested. Most of the time, it is easy to identify whether or not a headset is going to provide the desired level of comfort when you first put them. I knew immediately that the ROCCAT Kave XTD Stereo Gaming Headset was going to be a winner in terms of comfort. Considering how large it is, it is surprisingly light. And then there’s the padding… as soft as a baby’s bottom. The padding also allows for a great deal of breathe-ability.