ROCCAT Kulo 7.1 USB Headset ReviewBluePanda - October 16, 2011
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Are you tired of your roommate gaming late into the night or during your quiet study hours? Perhaps it is time to get him or her a headset to keep them out of your hair, or better yet, invest in one for yourself to block the noise. Perhaps your roommate is the one frustrated with you! Either way, if you don't already have a headset perhaps now is the time to take a look at the market. There is nothing more convenient than communicating in-game without the obnoxious push-to-chat option enabled. To be honest, I find it extremely irritating when people think it is acceptable to chat with their speakers blaring in the background.
Now that I have made it obvious why you need a headset let me introduce the one up for review. ROCCAT has had a lot of new products released for US purchase recently after being founded in Germany back in 2007. One of its newest products available over at Newegg.com is the ROCCAT Kulo Virtual 7.1 Gaming Headset. The key here is the "virtual" tag in the product name. As it turns out, the 7.1 is a function of a stereo output rerouted through an included USB sound card. Thus it is not true 7.1 quality but perhaps it is still a great headset. Let’s take a gander at how the Kulo Headset looks and also listen to the beauty that comes from those earmuffs.
Taking the retail packaging out of the standard brown shipping box reveals some of ROCCAT’s impressive packaging. I am lucky to have seen a few of ROCCAT’s other products in original packaging and it is clear there is a department dedicated to packaging science. The key features that grab my attention first are "for music + gaming", "noise-canceling", and the shiny silver sticker announcing the headset's claim to fame, the "virtual 7.1 sound card". As a student, I look forward to the noise canceling feature as a way to escape from the hectic bustling going on around the house. Also, it is always nice to see a multipurpose function for both music and gaming. Although most headsets can perform well in both aspects, a lot of them designed for gaming tend to make music sound not so pretty.
The top of the box provides a glimpse of the upper portion of the headset; the lovely padding that will be perched on your head. The metal reinforcement is clearly visible and looks pretty rugged overall. The key features from the front of the package are re-announced along with the addition of an inline volume control. A couple profiles of the headset are shown as well as a depiction of the 7.1 PLUG&PLAY USB soundcard.
Turning the box around, a more revealing picture of the headphones is given in a high level of detail. There appears to be a soft, squishy part to rest on your head, a fully adjustable microphone arm, 3.5 mm headphone and microphone jacks, and ear pads that appear to be made of the same material as the head cushion.
The side of the box shows different angles of the same features we already discussed. A close-up of the inline volume control is shown as well as an added microphone secret . Alright maybe it's not a secret, but it was not mentioned anywhere else on the box. Swiveling the microphone boom vertically next to your ear automatically mutes the microphone! Now when you have to run for a bathroom break or eat some loud candy during the game you can push your microphone up and not sound like a pig while you chow down.
Taking a sneak peek into the contents of the box reveals some useful materials. Included is a nice quick start guide to using the headphones along with a quick note in 16 different languages reminding you that "...To experience virtual 7.1 surround sound please download the latest driver at www.roccat.org". Needless to say you will need the internet, or at least a friend with the internet, to fully enjoy this headset. The USB soundcard is small enough that it will not be too obtrusive to hang off the front or back of your case. Also included is what appears to be a credit card but is actually the ROCCAT ID card for your product. Simply put, it provides an identification number that allows you to register for ROCCAT WORLD, the company's own online community and support site.
Finally the moment you’ve been waiting for: the headset is out of the box...almost. Tightly packaged like all those toys from when you were a kid, the headset comes securely twist-tied to a plastic shell hiding the cables behind it. Luckily, unlike the best toy at Christmas leaving you waiting to play, no scissors are required here. A few twists is all it takes and the headphones are yours!