Roccat are continuing their assault on the aural desires of the esports crowd with their newest headset, the Khan Aimo. Following on from the recent Khan Pro, the Aimo also proudly sports the Hi-Res audio badge, but this time around the German manufacturer has added 7.1 surround sound and RGB lighting, on top of a number of other bells and whistles. It’s clear that they’re making a serious push for the hearts and ears of gamers everywhere, and with the Khan Aimo they may just have reached second base.
The Aimo gets one thing right straight off the bat; it looks cool. The black headset has the Roccat logo embossed in black-on-black gloss on the right earpiece, while the left one and the headband play host to the Roccat and Khan names, with the whole package just feeling more premium than its predecessor. When you don’t have it plugged in it’s actually quite understated. However, once you’ve hooked it up via USB – it’s only connection – the Aimo lighting system comes to life, with a glowing strip on each earcup, while the banding has a small secondary window just below the headband’s adjustment sliders.
Just as with the Khan Pro, the Aimo is very comfortable, despite weighing in at a slightly heavier 275g, and they feel sturdy and solid in the hand. The memory foam earpads don’t get too hot, while the foam in the headband ensures that you can barely even tell the headset is there. It’s the biggest compliment to say that I was able to play for hours upon hours without even thinking about them.
These headphones are possibly the closest you’ll get to looking like you’ve stepped out of a scene from Tron, and while I’m often not a fan of RGB lighting in general, the Aimo nails the balance between flash and finesse. With a possible 16.8 million colours to choose from, and a bunch of presets and effects, you can easily match it up to whatever other hardware lighting your rig has, and there are few headsets out there that look quite so striking. These are bound to be a hit with a number of teams as they hit this year’s ESL arenas.
Mind you, looking cool wouldn’t get you very far if the audio response was anything less than stellar, and fortunately the Aimo delivers on this front as well. Someone at Roccat clearly loves what they do, as this is the second of their headsets that has some of the richest, most detailed audio you’re going to find from a gaming headset. That Hi-Res badge may not mean you’re suddenly going to start to hear frequencies beyond normal human capabilities, but if you combine the Aimo with a high quality recording such as a stream from Tidal or similar, you can hear elements of music and other audio that you simply wouldn’t pick up on with other headsets. As with the Pro, they’re not as bass heavy as some of the other headsets on the market, but rest assured that everything is balanced perfectly whether you’re listening to music or trying to hear distant gunfire in PUBG.
The addition of virtualised 7.1 surround sound may almost be an industry standard these days, but the Aimo absolves itself well here as well. What is less useful is the need to dive into the Roccat Swarm software in order to activate or deactivate it, but once you’re there it’s easy to tinker with presets for different EQ types or customise things your own way. No matter what you’re doing, the Aimo and its 24-bit DAC ensure that there’s no extraneous noise from any source, and when there’s nothing going on it is literally silent. No hum, no buzz, and no distractions to break your immersion.
That all comes down to that USB connection, and it’s clear that the DAC and the high quality braided cabling do a fantastic job at stopping you from hearing anything that shouldn’t be there. Unfortunately, that singular USB connection is also the Aimo’s most limiting factor, and means that the Aimo is more or less wholly focussed on the PC market. It will work happily with a PS4, though only in stereo, but you’ll likely need some kind of USB extension cable if you want to sit anywhere near your sofa. Still, it’s nice that it does work, and once again highlights the ridiculous limitations that Xbox One owners have to endure in terms of headsets.
Besides a volume wheel on the right earpiece there’s a single button which allows you to turn the lighting system off and on, and that’s it. The singular focus is admirable, but if you’re looking for more onboard controls this isn’t the headset for you. While it’s a shame that there’s only a USB connection, you wouldn’t want to wander around with the Aimo attached to your phone anyway, thanks to the large microphone boom arm that folds straight up when it’s not in use. It is at least a fantastically clear microphone, and other players will be able to hear every single important utterance from your mouth. Just remember to fold it up when they’re not so important, yeah?
The Khan Aimo is a phenomenal headset that takes many of the strengths of the Pro and builds upon them further. It’s focus on PC may limit its versatility, but for those players looking for a wired USB headset with amazing audio, enviable comfort and a crystal-clear microphone the Aimo is a perfect choice.