Always looking for new ways to innovate, Roccat has been a strong influence within the gaming community looking for high performance/design peripherals. Today we’re looking at the Roccat Khan Pro, which promises to push the boundary further in the audio quality department.
A follow-up to Roccat’s earlier Khan products, the Khan Pro is Roccat’s first headset to carry the “Hi-Res Audio” certificate – which is in fact a first for the entire gaming headset segment, so it’s kind of a big deal. It’s a step too far to go into all the technical details here, but the certificate isn’t given out lightly as products have to adhere to the strict requirements laid out by Japan’s JEITA association.
We’ll talk more about the audio quality later, but it’s important to note that Roccat’s emphasis on audio quality for this headset doesn’t just apply to what you hear but also to the Khan’s new microphone. Dubbed a “Real-Voice-Mic”, audio reception is handled by an extremely sensitive mic which can handle frequencies within a 100Hz to 10kHz range – something we haven’t yet come across in a headset priced at under 100 euros/dollars.
As with many of Roccat’s products, the Khan Pro is aimed at e-sports and/or competitive gamers, which comes with a few perks as well as a few drawbacks. Those who play cooperative multiplayer titles will certainly appreciate the audio quality on both the mic and the (50mm) audio drivers. For these gamers, communication is crucial and during a brief multiplayer session it was quite clear who was wearing the Khan Pro and who wasn’t – crisp vocals all around with no distortion at all. For those who rely on communication, this is a definite step up from other headsets in the same price range – including previous Roccat models.
If the mic’s not a big concern for you, then it’s unfortunate that it’s not detachable on the Khan Pro – making it a less attractive option for those just looking for a good pair of headphones with the option to engage in voice chat every now and then. This concern also translates to the wiring, as the Khan’s default option is to use individual wires and plugs for the mic and the audio. If you don’t have inputs available for these jacks then there’s an adapter you can use, but I’ve read people have mixed results with these. We didn’t experience any such trouble, but my hunch is that this depends on the audio capabilities of your PC/laptop configuration. Note that, because of the use of 3.5 mm jacks, the Khan Pro can also be used on most consoles, smartphones and mp3 players – making it for more versatile than headsets that rely on a USB connection.
Which brings me to the headset’s build – which feels well tailored to a competitive gamer’s tendency to play for long stretches at a time. Despite its large drivers, the headset feels lightweight and it’s comfortable to wear. The padding around the headband isn’t as thick as the earcup’s cushions, but the light weight make up for that. Though comfortable, the Khan Pro isn’t the sturdiest of headsets – feeling a bit “plasticy” – no doubt a compromise that had to be made in order to keep the headset priced competitively despite its stellar audio/mic performance.
This audio performance is the biggest reason gamers will want to invest in a Khan Pro. When listening to music the performance of the headset rivaled that which I’ve experienced in hi-fi headphones more than twice the price of the Khan Pro – which is usually a better benchmark for me than in-game tests where a cacophony of sounds can hide some of the clarity you’re trying to hear. Needless to say though, the Khan Pro also performed great during gaming sessions – with clear audio throughout and the ability to deliver positional cues very well because of it.
As with many headsets in this price range, the Roccat Khan Pro is a bit of a compromise – in this case, you’re clearly choosing for audio performance over build quality. I expect that that’s a trade-off that many gamers will be happy to make, especially if they have a need for the Khan’s excellent new mic during cooperative multiplayer sessions.