1. Installation - CD
This bit was easy; Kaspersky Internet Security reported autostart.exe as malware (Trojan.Win32.Pincav.gsr). A false positive I hope!
2. Installation - Headset
This bit was a nightmare; it took me 3 hours to get it right.
Warning: The audio cables may not be the same as your sound card. The colouring and order may be different.
If it sounds hollow or phased (like talking down a tube), or the mic doesn't work then you've probably connected it up wrong. Don't play about with the default Windows or sound card settings unless you are sure the connections are correct and the headset is being detected by Windows as a 5.1 surround sound device.
In my case the connections from Kave (5.1) to Soundblaster (7.1) were:
- black to black
- yellow to orange
- nothing to purple
- green to green
- pink to blue
I had pink connected to purple; Windows thought it was 7.1 instead of 5.1 and did not detect the mic unless it was plugged into the Front Panel.
3. Design - Adjustment/Headband
The headset is high quality but also very heavy; I got used to it after a few weeks. I had the headset too tight to start of with which caused pain to the top of my head; I adjusted the headband scale from 5 to 6 which helped. The Equal Weight Distribution system doesn't work as well as I would have liked; the middle pad makes good contact with my head but the side pads don't; I move the headset around or take a 5-10 minute break every hour or so to avoid the pain. Ouch!
4. Real 5.1 Surround Sound
Yes it is REAL and it does work. Compared with my old stereo headset I can now hear tiny and quiet sounds that I never heard before; and I can tell where sounds are coming from. Watch out for other headsets, like the Logitech G35 and Razer Megalodon, as these use FAKE (emulated) surround sound rather than the REAL thing.
The closed ear cups cancel much background noise out; but that also means that you can't hear yourself talking! Having closed ear cups is new to me; it sounds like I've got seashells pressed against each ear.
The mic is clear, crisp and loud enough for game playing.
6. Control Desktop Remote
I've set all sliders to 50% (recommended setting); it sounds just right even with flat (default) settings on both headset and sound card. As a bonus music and movies also sound good.
Overall the Kave headset is very impressive for the price tag. I no longer feel the need to use my external amplifier and speakers when I'm not playing games. My game playing experience is now much more immersive thanks to the Roccat Kave headset. Highly recommended!