Back in 2018, Roccat brought out a successor to the Khan Pro headset, effectively upgrading from a stereo speaker system to an all-singing all-dancing Hi-Res 7.1 surround sound monster, also with the addition of some funky RGB lighting. Having a pretty basic soundcard on my PC, I was keen to see how the Roccat Khan AIMO would enhance my immersion when playing games as well as listening to movies. Shut your eyes, crank up that volume and let’s dive in!
Design & Comfort
The Roccat Khan AIMO does not look massively spectacular as you remove it from the box. On first perception, there is a lot of black plastic and plush leather which did not make me want to say “wow look at these!” straightaway. The rigid mic boom can be swiveled from it’s upright position (mic muted) to it’s lower one (mic on) very simply however it cannot be detached which does make you look a little funny when it is not in use as it is sticking up in the air.
Wearing the 275g headset is a comfortable affair as the speaker cups turn gently to suit your head shape and the headband with steel sliders flexes and adjusts without feeling as if it is a vice on your head. The memory foam within the speaker cups is a great touch and really gives you a soft noticeable layer between your ears and the headset which is amazing when using them for long durations.
The Roccat Khan AIMO does however only come with a USB plug on the end of the long braided lead. Sorry, there is no 3.5mm jack. This does affect what devices you can utilise the headset with, however with the mic boom sticking up in the air I am quite happy to just wear it inside the house on the PC or if I am sitting close to the TV the PS4 (but it only works in stereo).
On the right earcup is a handy dial that allows you to control the volume as well as a button that you can press which takes the headset from 7.1 surround to stereo.
Once the USB is plugged into the PC you will see, or not see if you are wearing them already on your head, that there are 4 RGB LED lighting panels hidden within the headset, 2 on the ear cups and 2 just above them on the headband. These serve not much purpose other than to look cool when streaming or when other people walk into the room. One beauty of Roccat products is the powerful Swarm software that you have probably seen me write about before. Basically Roccat understands that gamers love their ability to customise as much as they can to make the product their own. Here the LED lights can be set to one of 16.8m colours and powered by the very trancey AIMO lighting engine this allows not only fluid movement of the lighting effects but also a way to interact between the game and hardware. For instance, when your life in a game is low it may turn red until you have recovered.
Sound & Quality
Ok, so I understand buying a headset that is comfortable and lights up is all well and good, and ofcourse it will look awesome glowing next to your keyboard and mouse, however, what is the sound like I hear you ask?
Well, wonder no more. Here Roccat really pulls it out of the bag in my opinion. The 50mm drivers that sit within each earcup serve to expertly place the sound into your ears at all manner of frequencies.
When they first came out, Roccat’s Khan AIMO headset was the first industry-recognised Hi-Res audio compatible surround sound gaming headphones. This was all down to the inbuilt 24-bit 96KHz DAC sound card which allowed virtually no noise interference when listening to audio. The benefit of Hi-Res audio is that what you get to hear is as close to the sound quality of the original musician/artist/engineer that originally created it. The dynamic range between soft and loud sounds is therefore a lot greater resulting in a more immersive experience.
Roccat states that their measured frequency response is between 100 & 10000Hz. Putting the Khan AIMO through it’s paces with my various audio samples I found that there was not as much bass present as some of the other headsets I have tested in the past. I did find however that the 10000Hz range was bright and clear without any audio cutoff or hissing to be heard. Playing some Blink182 through them allowed me to easily distinguish between Travis’s almighty array of crash, ride and splash cymbals throughout the track as well as Mark’s punky bassline and Tom’s trebly guitar rifts. More importantly, the vocals sounded just at the right level meaning everything was beautifully clear without any distortion or muddiness. When playing FPS games such as Call of Duty, the clarity was phenomenal, especially when it came to enemy sneaking from the side or behind, there was a lot more direction and clarity to help you place exactly where the footsteps were coming from.
The quality of the headset continues as you enter game chat and flick the mic boom down to unmute yourself. My friends commented on the clarity of my voice and that they could not hear what was happening in the background of my house thanks to the Khan AIMO’s passive noise canceling ability.
It is worth pointing out that all of the sound features can be configured on the Swarm software from selecting preset audio equalisers to suit what you are doing to customising complete profiles for a particular game or event. Again this is a great feature, particularly if you have lots of gaming setup styles or if there are other people that may use your headset.
After many days of wearing the Roccat Khan AIMO headset I can honestly say that despite the external appearance, they are amazingly light and comfortable to wear. I would have enjoyed a bit more bass from the drivers however through Swarm there is a separate bass eq that you can adjust to try and find a compromise. Overall the sound quality is amazing with very rich highs, mids and lows throughout. It would have been nice to have the ability to remove the mic when not in use but again it is not the end of the world. Despite not being able to always see it, I do love the AIMO lighting system, there is something about the way it transitions from colour to colour that just looks so organic.
When it comes to price it is worth hunting around, Roccat offer their top-end headset at £119.99 however a quick search on the internet will reveal that you can find them for as low as £70 brand new via Amazon.
I award the Roccat Khan AIMO headset a Hi-Res Thumb Culture Gold award!
Disclaimer: A sample was received in order to write this review.