ROCCAT Renga Headset Review
It’s been a while since we’ve seen anything from German peripheral manufacturer ROCCAT, but (as you probably guessed) this is about to change! Over the coming weeks we will be looking at a full range of new peripherals from ROCCAT including Headset, Keyboard and Mouse. First I’ll be taking a look at their latest Headset, this is the ROCCAT Renga.
The ROCCAT Renga is a stereo Headset featuring 50mm Drivers with a frequency response of 20∼20000Hz. In addition to this the Renga is equipped with a boom style omni-directional microphone and an in line control box (ILCB) with both volume and microphone mute controls. The headset is compatible with PC, PS4 and mobile devices.
The ROCCAT Renga arrived at pcG in a smart looking blue/black box with a large image of the headset on the front. Other than the brand, product name and ‘Studio Grade Over-Ear Stereo Gaming Headset’ ROCCAT have chosen to highlight the following: Studio Grade Stereo Sound, Over-Ear Low Weight Superior Comfort, Multi-Platform Support PC/PS4/Mobile and Wide-Angled Drivers Powerful Bass. In addition to this we also see the mention of Earcup Ventilation for Airflow and Heat Escape.
Looking at the back of the box we see another image of the Renga highlighting the following: Ergonomic Headband, Optimally Aligned Driver Units, Earcup Ventilation, Comfortable Ear Cushions, Inline Remote and Rotatable Mic. In addition to this there’s a list of features in English and various other languages (see Specifications/Features below).
On the left side of the box ROCCAT goes on to tell us about the vision for the Renga headset as well as provide a set of specifications (see Specifications/Features below). On the right side of the box ROCCAT goes on to highlight the Studio Grade nature of the headset, the inline Remote and the Multi-platform support.
On opening the box the headset itself was found to be adequately protected in a plastic frame and blister and was also adequately presented, in keeping with its (relative) low price tag. Within the box, other than the headset itself we find a Important Document (support information) and a mobile adapter.
At the time of writing the ROCCAT Renga headset is available from Amazon for approximately £35 and comes with a 1 year warranty.
courtesy of ROCCAT
DIMENSIONS / WEIGHT
First impressions of the ROCCAT Renga are actually pretty good, especially when considering the relative low cost of the item itself (around £35 at the time of review). I quite like the overall look of the headset and the neon blue cable helps to give it a little needed lift. The Headset also seems to be well made, all though it is a bit plasticky (made up word!). The only thing I’m unsure about is the fit as the Renga suffers a little from the old problem of ‘is it an on-ear headset or over-ear?’. Hmmm…
The left and right sides of the ROCCAT Renga headeset are effectively then same, with the only difference being the left side has the captive audio cable and the microphone attached. Both sides feature a good degree of vertical movement but (surprisingly) no horizontal movement. This is down to the fact the the Drivers are angled specifically in an attempt to improve audio delivery. The ear ups themselves are open-backed meaning that your neighbours are going to hear a lot of what you’re hearing, something I’m not so keen on!
The headband is designed so that it floats within the outer band and is therefore self adjusting. The headband also caters well for both small and large heads. The band is very thin appearing to be made from faux leather. On the outside there’s also a smart ROCCAT logo.
Each ear cup also features a good degree of cushioning thanks to plenty of foam, although this appears not be memory foam. There’s also large amount of foam within the ear-cup to prevent your ear from rubbing on the Driver hiding within.
Approximately 35cm from the headset we find the inline control Box or (ILCB). This is a little too close for my liking as I like the control box on the desk and not hanging at chest level. The control box features both volume control and microphone mute as well as a smart embossed ROCCAT logo. But both controls are very small and hard to find in a hurry…
Overall there’s plenty to like about the ROCCAT Renga, build quality is good as is the design although it’s difficult for me to know if it’s an on-ear headset or and over the ear headset as the apertures are just a little too small for my liking. What we have to remember here is the cost of the headset (£35 at the time of review) and keep that in mind…
Hardware Installation/Testing Methodology/Setup
|The ROCCAT Renga simply connects by way of two 3.5mm Jack plugs found at the end of the (neon blue) plastic 2.5m cable. The rubberized cable looks nice, but due to its rubbery nature it’s a little prone to grabbing at anything it can.|
The following games were also used during testing:
- Metro Last Light (benchmark)
- Unigine Heaven (benchmark)
The performance of a headset is predominately based upon what it sounds like, therefore what we have here is my opinion on what I think about the audio performance of the ROCCAT Renga headset; of course this is somewhat subjective…
From a pure performance point of view the ROCCAT Renga performs well. I initially connected it up to the onboard audio of our test ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6, but found it left wanting a little. When connected up to our Sound blaster ZX sound card it was better, not only was the audio quality better but the volume of the delivery was better too.
Overall sound quality was good, especially for a headset costing around £35! Bass was good with good control also, certainly good for games and movies I would say but not so good for music perhaps. Clarity was also good thanks in part to the open back nature or the headset. Comfort levels were also good, despite the on-ear/over-ear debate and this is down to the well designed headband and the relative low weight of just 210g.
To be honest when evaluating the overall sound signature I’d have to say that it was pretty good, very good when you consider the asking price. But studio grade? No! Come on what did you expect for that kind of money… 😉
The microphone found attached to the left ear up swivels into position from vertical to horizontal but it is not very flexible and has a mind of its own!. The microphone itself is omni-directional and pickup overall was good. Using our voice over program of choice (Razer Comms) it was noted that I sounded different, not necessarily worse, just different. Other than this there was no complaints from my online friends.
The new ROCCAT Renga headset is a good Gaming headset as there’s plenty to like from its looks to the construction and the quality of the sound produced. I just wish it knew if it was an on-ear or an over-ear headset as for me it was really neither. But at just £35 maybe we shouldn’t complain…
The ROCCAT Renga arrived at pcG in a smart blue/black box with the contents within adequately packaged and presented. There’s not much in the box other than the headset itself, a mobile adapter and an ‘Important Document’! Once out of the box the Renga surprised me by its lightweight (approx 210g). I also liked the overall look and it appeared to be well made, although there’s a lot of hard plastics used in its construction.
Initially I was a little concerned about the fact that the Renga (for me) was neither an over-ear headset not on-ear headset, it was a little somewhere between the two. This is down to the fact that the ear-cup aperture isn’t really quite big enough, well as a I said for me it’s not anyway and my ears aren’t that big! It’s also worth noting that the Renga is very much an open backed design meaning that not only will this promote better clarity it also results in a lot of the sound leaking out. Therefore if people are close to you when Gaming you’re likely to become a little unpopular. Finally on another note; the Renga is a pure stereo Headset, there’s no software and there’s no virtual surround sound. This fact I very much like as I’m not really a fan of VSS.
In Game the Renga sounded pretty good when it was paired up to our test motherboard’s on-board audio, but power delivery seemed a little lacking. When hooked up to our test sound card (Sound Blaster ZX) it was better and the general audio signature was very good. Bass was good, good for Gaming and Movies IMHO and mid range and treble was also good. Individual sound isolation was also very good meaning that individual sounds were clearly heard over the others. Is it ‘Studio Grade’ Headset? No! Not sure why ROCCAT are using that terminology, but no doubt it’s really just a sales gimmick. But having said that the sound produced by the ROCCAT Renga is very good when you consider the asking price.
The omni-directional microphone served me well when using our VOIP program of choice and I had no real complaints from my online friends. I say ‘real’ as it was noted that I sounded somewhat different, not bad just different.
Simply put for just £35 (at the time of review) there’s a lot to like about the ROCCAT Renga, it’s one of those headset’s that simply does everything well enough. No it’s not outstanding but at £35 I think it’s wrong to nitpick too much…
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Many thanks to ROCCAT for providing this sample for review