In a world where everything is connected and we find ourselves constantly surrounded by endless notifications and alerts, it would only make sense that a gaming headset would be designed to better suit that lifestyle.
Enter the Plantronics RIG gaming headset, a gaming headset that focuses primarily on its ability to multitask yet still manages to provide a quality listening experience.
The system is comprised of two major parts: the RIG headset and mixer. Out of everything that you’ll find in the box, the mixer will be the first thing to stand out–and with good reason. It’s the part of the system that Plantronics hopes will set this apart from other gaming headsets on the market.
The circular shaped mixer is comprised of three dials and a clicky switch located in its center. Volume on the headset is controlled on the main dial which is located in the outmost ring of the mixer. Going from the lowest to the highest volume level is a quick turn and only about 1/5 of the way around.
Two secondary dials are located on the interior of the main dial, and they control the levels of your auxiliary input on the left side while game and chat audio are controlled on the right.
Plantronics’ thought process behind these cans is that buyers will enjoy the convenience of switching between two inputs (i.e. being able to switch from your gaming session to your cellphone/music player seamlessly) and they did a good job making it easy enough to do. Unfortunately, by building much of the focus around this feature, the actual headset probably won’t earn the respect of core gamers out there, and it really should.
The RIG headset sounds great and that’s what Plantronics should focus a prospective buyer’s attention on.
Gaming headsets are rarely (if ever) going to win awards for beauty and design and the story is no different with this set. Plantronics includes a cable that allows you go boomless and plug these directly into your cell phone (or MP3 players if people still use such a thing) for your excursions throughout the city, but if you don’t want to look like a cross between a hipster and stormtrooper while doing so, I’d suggest sticking to your old reliable ear buds.
It’s a good thing that gamers buy these kinds of headsets for performance because this is where the RIG excels. Normally when you dip below $150 for a gaming headset, there is some kind of concession that needs to be made. Other than the fact that these are not wireless it’s hard to really nitpick where these go wrong.
Like other headsets on the market, it’s all about the “boom-heavy” bass. Unlike other headsets in this price range, when producing low-end sound it remains very crisp and clear throughout. Even when turned all the way up, the RIG manages to perform well.
The setup that I primarily used was plugged directly into the DualShock 4 controller on the PS4 using Battlefield 4 as my reference. Although these are stereo headsets–whether it was gunfire, explosions, or the pitter patter of footsteps–hearing directional audio was not a problem.
The fit of the RIG headset is also a plus as it has among the most comfortable (and breathable) ear cups that I’ve worn on any headset, making it a pleasure to wear during longer gaming sessions.
Although the initial MSRP being at $129.99 may throw some people off–especially since that is a little pricey for a wired headset–it’s good to know that as of right now you can find these online at around $100. At the right price point, these are potentially a best in class performer.
In my own experience with them, if you picked up a PS4 — even if you’re not using the mixer the way as it’s intended — these are the perfect headset for that system; although PC gamers will probably enjoy these even more. The sound quality to price ratio is hard to beat. With or without the mixer, the setup couldn’t be easier. If you’re looking for a nicely priced gaming headset, put these near the top of your list.