ProsVery good audio quality; exceptional microphone quality; attractive RGB effects
ConsHigh price; plastic construction; intelligent lighting could be smarter; clunky software
One of the biggest trends in PC gaming peripherals over the past year or so has been the addition of RGB lighting. What started with simple keyboard backlighting transitioned to bold red or blue lighting, and today full programmable RGB is all the rage. In fact, every major peripherals manufacturer now has an RGB keyboard on the market, and many are bringing out RGB mice as well.
Less common, however, are RGB headsets (we've only tested one, the Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum). Respected Germany-based peripherals manufactuer Roccat has now taken a bold leap into the RGB headset market with its new Khan AIMO. Not willing to simply add some basic LEDs or even go with standard RGB effects, Roccat has developed what it's calling the AIMO Intelligent Lighting System, which is designed to react to what the user is listening to. It has also made some bold claims on audio quality, becoming the first gaming headset to be certified as "Hi-Res Audio" compliant, while also featuring a microphone that Roccat says has been better-tuned to accurately capture the male voice.
In our video review, we put a lot of these claims to the test. Click below to learn more!
Special thanks to Roccat for sending us a sample of the Khan AIMO for testing.
The Khan AIMO is a very interesting new entrant in the crowded gaming headset market. As is typical for Roccat, it offers some cutting-edge features. Roccat, after all, was the very first manufacturer to use RGB light pipes in its peripherals, and was also one of the first manufacturers to offer mechanical keyboards. Roccat is a leader if nothing else. With the Khan AIMO, Roccat has developed an innovative RGB lighting system, an excellent microphone, and audio reproduction that at least matches its competitors using similar 50mm drivers.
But the Khan AIMO does come with some drawbacks. First is the price, which is quite high for a wired headset made almost entirely of plastic, featuring standard 50mm drivers. Furthermore, while the RGB lighting is attractive, we found that there was very little intelligent reactivity - essentially, the RGB cycling simply sped up when there more intense music or sound. We would have loved to see a pulsing red light for gunfire or a soothing blue pulse for jazz or classical music. We were also a bit disappointed in the ergonomics: the headband is a bit hard to adjust while the headset is being worn, and the volume dial is far too small. Finally, the Swarm software suite is in dire need of an overhaul; we find the hardware installation procedure especially tiresome, as it often requires various software module downloads (both for the suite itself and the specific peripheral) and multiple system restarts.
Overall, The Khan AIMO is a very competent entry in the headset market, but it just doesn't do enough to stand out from the crowd. In truth, the price is a bit high, and in our experience, the prices on Roccat products are rarely if ever discounted below MSRP, even years after introduction. Therefore, we do have to judge it at the price at which it's being offered - it's currently available for $119.99 shipped from Amazon. At that price, it's worth considering if its best features appeal to you, but it's not a must-have.