This headset has a standalone 5.1 sound card in the form of a desktop remote.
Roccat is the latest PC gaming peripheral maker to launch a new headset targeting full audio immersion in the latest titles. It's called the Kave XTD 5.1 Digital, and it's the result of community and customer feedback stemming from its predecessor, the original Kave 5.1 headset. This updated model is packed with Bluetooth connectivity for taking calls on a smartphone, a redesigned microphone, and a reworked headband that reduces its overall weight by 25 percent.
According to the company, the revamped XTD model sports a fully-equipped desktop remote featuring its own premium 5.1 sound card. This is also what houses the headset's Smart Link feature, a patented technology that lets users pair their smartphone to the remote via Bluetooth and answer/make calls without having to yank the headset off their ears. This remote also provides 5.1 speaker ports on the back so that users can connect their existing speaker system. The remote even has a complete set of headset and system audio controls.
"The headset comes with a completely reworked head band and, compared to the original Kave 5.1, weighs 25 percent less," the company said. "At the same time new materials and engineering solutions make the headset very robust and comfortable to wear – suitable for hours of gaming. The detachable microphone has been redesigned, keeping smart details like the mute LED while improving on reliability as well as sound quality."
Based on the provided images, the headband seemingly still uses the bedded-pad design that consists of three pads to distribute the peripheral's weight across the user's skull, but this model sports a more "connected" aesthetic for a smoother, more comfortable fit. The older model provides hand-sewn earcups aimed for long hours of PC gaming and tuning out the nagging spouse, kids or siblings, as does this updated model.
The biggest change, it seems, is with the "Tip'n'Control" remote itself which is now larger, more spaceship-like due to the sound card and added features. All controls are now on the outside: game modes can be more easily toggled, the microphone can be quickly turned off and the surround sound adjusted by dialing a new knob mounted on the top. This external sound card solution may actually be ideal for PC gamers who have a laptop packed with a bottom-of-the-line audio system. Here's hoping USB 3.0 will be part of this new package.
ROCCAT revealed the headset at Gamescom in Cologne, and doesn't have plans to ship the unit until this November for a meaty $169.99 USD. That said, the company is rather skimpy on the actual hardware details. The company did indicate that the new Kave XTD model will sport three driver units per earcup aligned at a 12 degree angle. The current model has a 40 mm front driver, a 40 mm rear driver and a 30 mm vibration driver.
We expect to hear more about this headset's hardware details as we get closer to the November launch. The new peripheral will eventually be listed on ROCCAT's website here.