Roccat is rather new to the US market, but the German company is making headway with updates to their lineup.
Roccat is still relatively new to the US gaming market, but the last two years have proven fruitful for the German peripheral maker. The Kave headset, Kone mouse and Ryos keyboard product lines are getting some new additions this year, and the audio line looks especially promising.
The Kave audio lineup will have three offerings in 2014: The $169 Kave XTD 5.1 digital is the flagship, offering true, non-virtual 5.1 audio via its integrated sound card and digital optical output. The headset has been re-engineered from top to bottom, and the result is a 25% lighter headset that retains the same driver sizes as the original Kave. Bluetooth is onboard for phone connectivity, and switching from in-game audio to a phone call is a one button process. The sound card, built into the control stand that sits on your desk, also has analog audio inputs for your speakers or... another headset, I suppose.
The Kave XTD 5.1 analog is up next, and it's designed to be a true 5.1 surround sound headset for those who already own a proper sound card. There's no digital optical out here, rather the four analog connectors you'd plug into your motherboard or sound card. There's no Bluetooth, either, so it's a stripped down, cheaper ($99) version that still offers true surround audio.
Last but not least, the $69 Kave XTD stereo is a traditional stereo headset (one driver per ear), with none of the extras found on the surround models. All of the headsets are considerably lighter than the original Kave - a chief complaint of mine with the aforementioned is how heavy it was - while still maintaining the kind of durability you'd want in a gaming headset. The jury is out on the sound quality, but a full review will come as soon as the products are for sale.
Roccat is also adding a new Ryos keyboard to the mix. Dubbed the Ryos TKL, this latest board is "Ten Keyless," meaning there's no numpad. The shorter board should be right at home on smaller desks and in LAN party backpacks, for sure. Despite its small stature, the Ryos TKL still has per-key lighting, complete with fading light, and Cherry MX mechanical switches. The per-key lighting is fantastic, especially with the fade feature. If you're playing an MMO, you can set the fade timer to sync up with your spell cooldowns. As soon as the key is illuminated again, your spell is good to go, and so on. The Pro version should sell for around $129, and it should be shipping this Summer in the US.