April 20th, 2011

Roccat Kulo

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Gaming

A stellar job all round for the games I played. For “only” a stereo field of sound, no virtual surround, I was pretty impressed with hot atmospheric Max Payne and CoD were. I was able to detect left and right pans for bullets and placing enemies was very easy to do by ear. Certainly this headset wouldn’t be a bad bet for anyone that’s into competitive FPS gaming.

The other two titles did similarly well, though atmosphere isn’t something their sound is there for. However, despite this the frequencies made available were solidly ouput with no real minus points worth noting.

In terms of the onboard Mic, clarity is very high with very little background noise thanks to it being uni-directional. On top of this, the auto-mute feature, while sounding a bit redundant is great and works really well. Simply rotate the mic so its sitting flush with the side of your head and it turns off completely.

Music

Impressive ammount of bass here. For such a little lightweight headset, I was impressed with how strong some of the youtube subwoofer tests sounded. Again panning was handled well and I was very pleased with how well mid-frequencies are handled; Rammstein’s Du Hast sounded bloody fantastic when cranked up.

However, one thing I did notice – and I would assume is down to the lack of USB power – is that the Kulo itself can’t do much to boost sound. Because of this, if you want a truly loud experience, you need all your sound card’s volume settings jacked right up there or you’re simply not getting the volume with these things. Not that anyone really needs ear shattering DB levels, but its nice to know its there if you want it. Ultimately, I’d quite like a USB power option added to this so that we can have a bit more boost, but its not strictly necessary.

Movies

Movies didn’t do quite so well with the Kulo, but it still handled itself pretty well. Fast and the Furious sounded great, with engine notes coming through very raw and rattling through your head; a nice immersive experience. Starship Troopers on the other hand wasn’t quite so good. The music was great and sound effects were strong, even speech was excellent, but when they all came together, the mix gets a bit muddled.

During the launching of the drop ships to the surface of Klendathu, when that fantastic score is blasting out and people are running frantic with bug noises coming through, its all just a bit much for the Kulo and everything gets a bit muddy. Its fine, but this isn’t the way I’d like to watch big movies like this.

Comfort

Surprisingly for on ear headphones, fantastic. The Kulo can be worn for hours and hours with little problem. The only real comfort issue is that the faux leather sticks to your ears so when you remove it you could get a bit of a sting if you do it too quickly. Other than though, top notch.

Cost

Depending where you go, you’re looking at between £45 and £50. This isn’t cheap, buts certainly quite reasonable when with true high end headsets you’re looking at upwards of £70 or £80.

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Peripherals