ROCCAT Kulo 7.1 USB Headset ReviewBluePanda - October 16, 2011
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This headset is ready to use right out of the plastic shell. There is no plastic film to pull off anywhere and nothing else to keep you from using them. They do not feel durable enough to throw on the floor but they are not too flimsy either. The ear pads seem to be lined with a synthetic leather and a soft fabric covering the speaker. The earphone pad feels fairly soft but the padding seems as if it might wear down quickly. After opening it up I believe it is just a ring of memory foam. However, their website does advertise two different sets of ear pads to customize your comfort. The Kulo Classic version is supposed to have a little more treble sound with reduced bass while the Memory+ pads are supposed to have a softer yet more robust bass sound. The headset I received was made before they introduced the Memory+ ear pads, but the website does indicate that you can get the additional set for free if you email them. Nifty!
Looking specifically at the microphone we are again reminded about the automatic microphone-mute. I am not quite sure why they felt the need to print this directly on the microphone, but if you borrowed them from a friend it might be a helpful hint for this feature. Either way, the microphone moves just 20-30 degrees short of making a full 180 degree motion from vertical. Unless your mouth is under your chin I think you will be just fine with the available adjustments. Immediately to the right of "Automatic Mic-Mute" is a rubber segment that allows the microphone to move towards or away from your mouth. It does not stay where you place it but adds the extra flexibility for when you drop them on the floor to prevent the microphone from breaking off of the frame. The outside of the other ear pad shows a simple ROCCAT Kulo logo to prominently display what you are wearing to all those LAN parties.
The inline volume adjuster is not made out of top-grade materials. Rather, it is a simple plastic slider. It is very easy to slide from one end to the other and makes fine-tuning the volume somewhat difficult. However, it is probably sufficient to use during games when you need to tone down the volume without tabbing out to your options screen or Windows desktop. The nicest part about the volume control is the fact that it has a + and – to remind you in which direction you are going (at least if you are looking at it). When you need to make things quieter you have a better chance of not causing yourself to jump when the volume goes up rather than down. The overall cable length is about that of the average headset. The last 10 inches or so splits off into the microphone and headphone jacks. If the jacks on the front of your case are a little further apart, the split in the cable will allow you to simultaneously plug into both. In reality, since it comes with the USB 7.1 virtual soundcard, I am sure I will be connecting via USB all the time instead of just the 3.5 mm jacks. Besides, everything has a USB hub these days, which is a much faster method in my opinion.
Before wrapping up, let’s take another look at the headset. I have to admit that they look pretty nice for their size. The earphones are small enough to fit on the ear - they do not quite fit over the ears and are far from the annoyance of small earbuds. That metal reinforcement in the headpiece makes me confident that it will fit snugly on my tiny head yet have the ability to not squeeze the eyes out of someone with a larger head. The upper headrest does not appear too pleasing, however, because it almost feels like a synthetic, leather bag of air. It beats having no padding at all, but I would rather have the same material as the memory foam ear pads. What matters the most, however, is how these will feel after several hours of continuous use.
Last but not least is the adjustability of the size of the headset. I mentioned in passing before that if it will fit my tiny head then those of you with larger heads will be wondering how they are going to fit you. Well you are in luck because the extension on these is a little more than a full inch on each side. I also had the opportunity to try them out on a big-headed friend of mine. Even with his large-sized skull, there was little adjustment needed. It has a notching system that allows you to get the same number of clicks on both sides, but be careful moving them too fast or you will end up having to count again. Besides, if you need more than a few clicks on either side I worry about your head size.