Plantronics RIG Stereo Gaming Headset Review
- Good sound
- Misleading instructions on the box
The price alone makes these headphones an excellent purchase. If you also take into consideration how comfortable they are, how great they sound, and how useful the master mixer is, it’s almost hard not to buy them just because you can.
The Plantronics RIG Stereo Gaming Headset is meant to unite your mobile and gaming life together, amplifying your overall enjoyment with your favorite music. That’s right, these aren’t just any ordinary headphones—this is your personal mixer with three EQ profiles and wide compatibility with everything from PC and Mac to Xbox 360 and PS3 to smartphones and tablets. No more fiddling around with in-game audio settings in a vain attempt to get everything just right only to find out that enemies are passing unnoticed right next to you, and that you can’t properly hear the lyrics of the music you have playing in the background.
Build and Design
The RIG headphones are spacious, but not so spacious to go fully around your ears. Fortunately, that’s not really an issue, as the ultra-comfortable ear cushions are among the best we’ve ever tested—and not just regarding comfort. The material they are made from is highly breathable and easily washable. The inside of the earcups is lined with dark orange mesh that keeps dust and dirt away from the 40mm drivers inside. The earcups are adjustable in all directions, and you can even fold them flat for easier storage.
The headphones come with two different microphones—one boom mic for excellent voice reproduction and one in-line mic for on-the-go listening. Swapping one mic for the other takes just a few seconds, and both mics attach with a reassuring click. We instantly felt in love with the boom mic and its unparalleled ability to capture voice and nothing but voice. If you’re a gamer who likes to attend LAN parties or just someone with loud roommates who never shut their mouths, the Plantronics RIG Stereo Gaming Headset will solve many of your problems.
The main thing that sets these headphones apart from just about any other pair on the market is the included in-line master volume mixer with mute controls. Using this mixer, you can change how loud each of the three supported channels (mobile calls, games, and music) is. The headphones connect to one side of the mixer, and the mixer itself connects either via a USB cable or 3.5mm audio cable. There’s a supposedly helpful diagram on the box, which clearly shows that both the 3.5mm audio cable and the USB cable must be connected to your PC. That’s not true. If you only care about game audio, the USB cable is enough by itself. On the other hand, the USB cable is what powers the mixer, so it must be connected even if you just want to make a hands-free phone call.
Most gamers enjoy being blown away by devastating explosions, the roar of an airplane engine carrying a huge payload over enemy territory, or agonizing screams of defeated enemies. The 40mm speaker drivers and three EQ profiles should be more than enough to satisfy these violent desires.
Each available EQ profile is distinctly different from the rest, and they all have a clear purpose. One profile was particularly excellent for movies, while another significantly improved the quality of vocals in every song we listened to.
The headphones are open, so you can’t expect amazing noise isolation, but they still do suppress a reasonable amount of outside noise—enough to help you lose yourself in the heat of a battle.
What’s in the Box?
Included in the box are two microphones, a master volume mixer, and every single cable you might need to hook up the headphones to your PC, mobile phone, and audio player.