Tests And Performance
The Impact 500 offers 6KRO, plus the modifier keys, and we can confirm that spec. As to why Turtle Beach opted for 6KRO instead of 10KRO or NKRO, this ensures a baseline for all users: Whether you're on a new PC, old PC or a Mac, the 6KRO will work.
Something Turtle Beach should be commended for is the fact that there are few extraneous noises when you're typing. With many keyboard designs, you'll hear an extra "ping" when you strike the keys, or the spring noise may be noticeable (as in the case of the Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum). You do get a bit of "ping" at times, but I noticed it only when I banged the keys especially hard, and sometimes on some of the larger keys.
Certainly the deep "bowl" design of the Impact 500 aids this noise reduction, and the already-loud clicky Blue keys help by masking whatever noise it does produce. That is to say, in terms of sound, the Impact 500 provides a relatively clean typing experience.
With Cherry MX Blue switches on board, you can certainly use the Impact 500 as a gaming peripheral, although it almost begs you to use it primarily as a typer. I was perfectly happy gaming with the Impact 500 under my fingers, and the typing experience ended up being excellent, too, for the most part. At first, I noticed that some of the keys seemed to stick a little, but after many days of use, they all loosened up.
One issue I have with the Impact 500, though, is the Costar-like stabilizers on the larger keys. Allowing that there's a certain amount of subjectivity here, and that those types of stabs do have some fans, I dislike them. Objectively, they're difficult to remove for cleaning (without breaking the tiny plastic inserts), which alone is enough for me to avoid them. However, I also find that they have too much rattle and movement, and if you screw them up at all when removing a key cap, the stabilization can be wrecked such that you have to strike the key in the exact center to ensure optimal performance. Indeed, on the Impact 500 I noticed some ineffective actuation when I struck some the larger keys off-center.
(And yes, I know that you can mod Costar-style stabs somewhat, but I don't believe that having to modify a product to achieve optimal performance is acceptable.)