Testing was conducted using ASUS' Xonar Xense audio hardware @ 192KHz Max with 24-bit resolution on an AMD/ASRock Phenom dual core platform (3.00GHz / 2GB DDR3-1333 / XP SP3).
We found during testing that the KRATOR C-1140 offered some good easily listenable audio that was not taxing on the listener and had a fair amount of warmth and depth to the overall mix. However, some easy tuning mistakes result in noticeable foibles in flatness and tonality across the board.
When testing without the use of an EQ in order to boost the high end by quite some, we found that while high frequency audio was audible, it was not being produced in equal quantities to the other frequencies and this resulted in quite a lob sided mix.
Of course, with the use of a good soundcard with an EQ built in, a lot of this can be corrected. However, this should have been taken care of long before the system made it into our hands. Why the sudden drop-off up the top? It's hard to guess without stabbing in the dark; but to be clear, it's not an issue with the quality of the driver as a unit we don't think, because a thorough EQ job will fix 75% of the issue.
The mid range sounded quite good throughout testing, producing stronger results than the high end when taken on face value without any EQ-ing being done. The 40mm driver choice is well suited to producing mid range frequencies and we found these to be warm and reasonably well balanced.
Percussive tones had a good amount of punch when needed and mid bass was never lacking due to what must be a slight tuning curve around from say 60Hz up to around 500Hz; the equivalent of a hardwired fattening up of the low to low-mid range. This is often done in gaming headsets for obvious reasons. However, when discussing a music oriented headset, it's not usually advised because only some types of music will see a benefit.
This is the strongest aspect of the C-1140 headset and has clearly been taken into close consideration when designing the system. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, this bias towards the low end is going to suite some music well, but other music really not so well.
Again, the use of an EQ can largely negate this bias and produce a somewhat good result. But that's easy for us to say; we have the high end soundcard to fix it. What if the next person is not so fortunate? - Then it becomes a slightly larger issue to deal with. Overall, though, when things hit their stride good audio can be had; make no mistake about it.
An area that's going to be well suited by the added low-end punch offered by the C-1140's. Even though surround sound is not offered with the system, we still feel it performed strongly here.
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