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Roccat Gaming Gear: The Pros and Cons

Roccat Gaming Gear: The Pros and Cons
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Roccat and its peripherals have been big over in Europe for years now, but how will the company fare in North America?

If you’re one of our European readers (or a very adventurous North American reader), chances are you’ve heard of Roccat and their full line of gaming peripherals. Similar to Razer and Steelseries, Roccat offers mice, keyboards, surfaces and headsets for the PC gaming crowd (Roccat hasn’t moved into the console space yet). It seems like whenever I talk about gaming gear, one or several readers ask why [Product x] from Roccat wasn’t included, and my response is always the same: We don’t review products that aren’t for sale in North America.

That’s about to change, however – not the part regarding foreign product reviews, but Roccat not having a U.S. presence. Roccat peripherals should start popping up on Amazon and other web-based retailers this week, which is good news for anyone needing a new mouse or keyboard.

Roccat sent us three of its products: The Kave headset, Kone[+] mouse,  and Isku keyboard. Are these new additions to the U.S. market worth your money? Or are you better off investing in another brand? Instead of a traditional review, we’re going to focus on a few overarching themes, all of which are generally a pro or con for the trio of products (with some exceptions). It’s worth noting that some of these products have been around for a while – just not in North America. The Kone[+] was released in 2010, while the Isku was released last summer. The Kave is even older, originally going on sale in spring 2009.

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  • 2 Hide
    najirion , February 16, 2012 2:18 AM
    I hope roccat produce these peripherals in other available LED colors like red and yes, there's a buzzing sound in the Kave 5.1 but I still like the fact that it has audio jacks and can be used to other devices as long as it is powered in the USB connector.
  • 0 Hide
    ectomorph , February 16, 2012 8:23 AM
    The quality on Roccat products is horrible.. I've thrown away 2 mices (the mousewheel got a cheap construction, making it break with regular use), last one I got the left mousebutton is starting to fail..
    The headset failed me after 6 months of use, crappy quality. (replaced 1 mics first, easy as it was detachable, roccat sent me a new one , then the cord itself broke and I gave up)
    I also had the Roccat Valo keyboard which I threw away after 2-3 months. After some use the keys started "lagging" and only way to fix it was resetting it, aka taking the usb cord out and in again. Now try this is a hectic gaming session....
    So be sure to buy Roccat products at a store with good return policies.
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , February 16, 2012 8:34 AM
    I do like blue LED stuff and have my whole PC setup with a blue theme so i can see Roccat transitioning very easily, but it will be very difficult to justify replacing my existing Razer Deathadder anytime soon, same applies to the keyboard I have from Saitek which admittedly doesn't have as may macro keys but is very comfortable and feels very solid
    ...
    However, nothing lasts forever so when my mouse & keyboard finally die from old age Roccat will be on my shortlist of replacement vendors for sure
  • 2 Hide
    xsamitt , February 16, 2012 12:10 PM
    I bought two of their top end keyboards..........one didn't work at all,the other i did use.....and I ended up throwing it out because I could no long see the keys........Never again for me.I'm done with their products.
  • -1 Hide
    jasonpwns , February 16, 2012 1:38 PM
    From the comments so far, this review/preview seems a bit biased.
  • 0 Hide
    dconnors , February 16, 2012 3:08 PM
    jasonpwnsFrom the comments so far, this review/preview seems a bit biased.


    You're right. I own Roccat stock.

    Seriously though, testing a keyboard, mouse and headset over the course of a week can't speak much to how things will work six months later. If people have issues several months down the line, there's no way a regular review could account for that.

    Furthermore, you're basing the reputation of a brand on two comments? Come on, Jason. If you go to Roccat's website, you'll see that the company has racked up numerous awards from sites all over the world. I'm not the only one who thinks Roccat is worth consideration.

    -Devin Connors, Tom's Guide
  • 1 Hide
    jasonpwns , February 16, 2012 3:10 PM
    dconnorsYou're right. I own Roccat stock.Seriously though, testing a keyboard, mouse and headset over the course of a week can't speak much to how things will work six months later. If people have issues several months down the line, there's no way a regular review could account for that.Furthermore, you're basing the reputation of a brand on two comments? Come on, Jason. If you go to Roccat's website, you'll see that the company has racked up numerous awards from sites all over the world. I'm not the only one who thinks Roccat is worth consideration.-Devin Connors, Tom's Guide


    I understand that, but Razer also has a lot of awards and their quality control isn't the greatest. Research is key.
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , February 16, 2012 3:38 PM
    jasonpwnsI understand that, but Razer also has a lot of awards and their quality control isn't the greatest. Research is key.

    Research how? Go online and check other reveiws done by people who have actually used the products? Dev went one step further and got the products to test himself
  • 1 Hide
    dconnors , February 16, 2012 3:58 PM
    You need to limit speculation when you're doing a review. I was willing to give the Kave headset some elbow room since I didn't test it with a mid-to-high-end soundcard, but doing guesswork on how well a peripheral is going to hold up 6-12 months from now is something to be done in a different article.

    -Devin Connors, Tom's Guide
  • 1 Hide
    jcb82 , February 17, 2012 2:30 PM
    Did they just take the thundercats logo, colour it blue and put scratch marks on it?
  • 1 Hide
    senvae , February 17, 2012 2:52 PM
    I really think there should be a website or section of this website where you can record problems or longevity of your products. Like a big ongoing survey that records how good a track record a brand has. Kind of like the "BBC Top Gear" survey they do for car brands. I was excited to buy my first Razer mice, and it worked fine for 3 months so I also bought another one in that meantime. But both started breaking down completely after 4 months usage, and now I have 2 dead mice and I'm short 260+$ plus the shipping costs for the back and forth RMAs. Not to mention how difficult it is to contact tech support from their web page, no obvious links, they keep cycling back to the FAQ. I really think there are some over-hyped brands and I hope Roccat won't be one of them. Not that I plan to buy any of them, my Saitek RAT9 is still in good shape after 6 months. Looks like that one is a keeper.
  • 0 Hide
    dconnors , February 17, 2012 3:16 PM
    senvaeI really think there should be a website or section of this website where you can record problems or longevity of your products. Like a big ongoing survey that records how good a track record a brand has. Kind of like the "BBC Top Gear" survey they do for car brands. I was excited to buy my first Razer mice, and it worked fine for 3 months so I also bought another one in that meantime. But both started breaking down completely after 4 months usage, and now I have 2 dead mice and I'm short 260+$ plus the shipping costs for the back and forth RMAs. Not to mention how difficult it is to contact tech support from their web page, no obvious links, they keep cycling back to the FAQ. I really think there are some over-hyped brands and I hope Roccat won't be one of them. Not that I plan to buy any of them, my Saitek RAT9 is still in good shape after 6 months. Looks like that one is a keeper.


    You should always factor in "bad luck" when it comes to peripherals breaking (unless it's catastrophically widespread). You've had a bad experience with two Razer mice, which started breaking after four months, but on the other hand I've had the same Death Adder for over a year now, and it works just as well today as it did when I first took it out of the box.

    -Devin Connors, Tom's Guide
  • 1 Hide
    senvae , February 17, 2012 5:53 PM
    Yes I've had people vouch for Razer against my word before, but since I've gone over 3-4 mice (2 plus their replacements) with them I can't help but feel that perhaps there is a problem. Maybe the problem is with their newer models. Maybe the problem is that they tried to fix my mice instead of actually replacing it with another one. But one thing is for sure, I would certainly never buy another Razer product, even on their best sale. Their warranty was too short for these kinds of problems I was having, but I still never got my money's worth and now I'm the one who lost. Perhaps if we had a survey, we could find out which models were poorly executed within brands that are recognized for greatness. Even besides the fact that my Mamba broke, I thought it was way overpriced for the quality of materials etc. Anyways, the goal of my comment wasn't to bash Razer but to raise awareness that some premium products can really disappoint, and customer service isn't any better for those than a 20$ mouse. I hope people, including reviewers, will be vigilant to report any quality issues with this new brand as they enter the market.
  • 1 Hide
    chainlash , February 17, 2012 6:41 PM
    I own a kave and I thought there was a fault with it as there was the noise interference, so if your hard drive loaded up it would come out of the speakers. however the fix is to turn the microphone volume all the way down, mic volume is the sound of your mic being played back to you.
    Im using the kave with creative xfi gamer and it sounds amazing.
  • 1 Hide
    N19h7M4r3 , February 17, 2012 7:54 PM
    I like logitech's stuff, but I bought the Kone(+) and its awesome. The software is really sublime... I had a G7 before, so i was also used to the good stuff, and this one doesn't disappoint. I do have to say that the scroll wheel does seem a bit flimsy, but it hasn't failed me yet and I spend a lot of time on my comp, specially reading on the Internet. EasyShift is nice but I actually use it more on Windows to add shortcuts into my mouse to do stuff faster. I've been hoping for my keyboard to break down to get an Isku, but the damned thing still works. I haven't read much negative comments on the Isku. I don't really care about the headset though...
  • 0 Hide
    zhihong0321 , February 18, 2012 1:31 AM
    Try shout this while holding your roccat mouse
    " Thunder, Thunder, Thunderrrr CATTTTTTT. "
    Something will happen to your roccat mouse.

  • 0 Hide
    Marcus52 , February 18, 2012 5:56 AM
    "True" surround doesn't require more than two drivers (speakers), one on each side of the head. You only have 2 inputs (ears) which do a fine job IF the sound being sent to them is accurately produced (or reproduced if it's from a recording). If it isn't, no quantity of drivers above two will help in a headset, and not all that much with speakers scattered around your room, either.

    What determines the quality of the surround experience is the source and the hardware and software in between it and the speakers. The only reason to have more than one driver for each speaker (each ear) in headphones is if your design can produce a better quality of sound across the audible spectrum than a single-speaker design, but the fact is, there are very nice single-driver headsets that produce great sound, whether you are listening to music or playing games. (I'm not saying they are for everyone, and how the speakers color the sound will make a difference in your personal choice, if you care to that degree.)

    Having 3 of the same driver in each cup is a sign of ignorance in headset design. The only reason any headset should produce an audible noise after you've hooked it up is that you got the connections wrong. Maybe you plugged the microphone connector into a speaker connection, and vice versa? If you didn't make that kind of mistake, the headphones are junk, no matter how solid they feel in construction.

    ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 20, 2012 2:53 AM
    nothing like my good ol' ms intellimouse explorer 2.0, 7 years and still working like the 1st day, ofc its now dirty and the paint job is exhausted and rusty, but works and thats good enough for me, best buy ever
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , February 28, 2012 3:16 AM
    Seems that a lot of todays fancy high-tech peripherals are made with typical Chinese standards (low) while looking slick. I'm at work currently using a 6+ year old $15 Logitech keyboard with actual painted keys, rather than todays STICKERS... that look and feel like crap. Yep, look at your keys and notice the outline around the letters? You can drop $120 for any keyboard and you get stickers?! Or you get a background-lit keyboard and after a certain amount of use, the paint rubs off - meaning no letters on your keys, just a BLUE (whatever) key. Hint, Paint the clear plastic KEY from the inside... then it'll last forever. The mouse in use here is perhaps the 1st gen MS ball-less mouse.

    My keyboard at home is a 1997 Lite-on brand MS-Natural Keyboard knock-off. Its layout is a bit different, but I love it. Huge Enter key, Big BackSpace key. the |\ key is tucked under the Enter Key and makes the right SHIFT key smaller... which is no big deal since it tends to be way too big anyway. Hate tiny backspace keys. So... this 15 year old keyboard STILL WORKS, the letters on the keys have done well. I have to use an adapter to convert the AT-Style to PS/2... its THAT OLD. I bought the keyboard for $22 back when ATX motherboards were just hitting the market.

    My OLD Logitech 3-button Mouseman (with grayish rubber sides) and a ball lasted 10+ years... lots of nut cleaning. Seems like I'm replacing the Logitech optical/laser mice every 1-2 years.

    Peripherals made today are NOT made to last, and they sure don't seem to cost less than they did 10+ years ago. I'm going to be SO screwed when my keyboard dies.
  • 0 Hide
    elisa_45 , May 30, 2012 8:00 AM
    Well, yes, there's been multiple updates in terms of tournament updates and to ensure that the playing field is even we've decided that along with The Vita Nova, SPEEDLINK Anti-Cheat will be used from now on. The anti-cheat has worked wonders in the ET scene and has already made a huge impact within the COD4 scene. They really do urge all participants to head over to the SLAC website and register an account as well as downloading the anti-cheat. So, I think Roccat is really worth your time and .
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