Headsets are serious business and for the top of the line models, we're being asked for quite a lot of money. Sure, there are really cheap models as well, but Roccat Khan Aimo wants to hang around somewhere in between the two extremes offering great sound for a bit less than the top tier headsets on the market. It's a wired model which may turn some people off and the cord isn't very long (a tall person might accidentally tear it from the USB port if they have it plugged into a tower on the floor when they stand up).
First impressions are something of a letdown. As you pull the Khan Aimo out of its packaging it just doesn't have that air of a premium model. It feels plastic and it's hard to imagine it will be comfortable even though it is very light (the upside of the plastic feel). The fairly rigid microphone that doesn't retract (only folds upwards) is also a giveaway that the design is a bit simpler.
But you shouldn't always trust your first impressions, and as we put the headset on and adjusted the rudimentary sliders of the headband, we found that it sits very comfortably on the head. The weight feels evenly distributed. Secondly, and most importantly, we're impressed by the sound they are capable of. A very crisp and precise soundscape, that while not necessarily top of class certainly holds up against competition in the same price range. There's decent surround sound, but perhaps it struggles with the mix at times which can make voice chat more difficult to discern during more frantic moments. From our testing, the microphone also offers a surprisingly good quality given that there's not a great deal of flexibility when it comes to putting it close to your mouth.
The version of the headset we tried for review purposes was black and white and wouldn't look out of place on the helmet of a Stormtrooper. There are other colours (all black for instance), but after getting used to its somewhat eye-catching look we grew fond of it. It does look a bit cheaper than its price tag suggests given the excess of plastic, but the good news is that's it light as a result and the comfort is there for extended gaming sessions. One thing we also found was that the cups themselves fit very snuggly and provided great isolation from outside noise, which allowed us to turn down the volume a bit and save our ears ever so slightly.
Speaking of volume, the wheel that lets you adjust it on the headset felt a bit misplaced and we often struggled to find it quickly. Maybe we're just so used to having it underneath the outside of the cup, that the position towards the back and the middle threw us off a little. As you'd expect it comes with a few options to light up your headset if you want to be easily spotted in the darkness of your gaming den.
Who is the Roccat Khan Aimo for then? We're a bit curious about this because they're not exactly cheap at around a hundred quid, so they're certainly not a starter option. Maybe they're a good option for a young gamer looking for something a bit more serious, but fairly sturdy and not as fancy as the top models from Razer, Steel Series, or Turtle Beach. That said, those who do invest will be getting a headset that offers great sound and comfort that surpassed any expectations we had before we put it on. You can't always be sure what hides underneath the helmet of a Stormtrooper, and first impressions can deceive you.