Most of us know Plantronics through its decent best-selling Bluetooth headsets. I myself was not aware that it is also a gaming headset manufacturer until the Plantronics RIG was released last fall.
Can the RIG gain the same success as previous Plantronics products? Let’s check out my review to figure it out.
Design & Features
Inside the box, you can find the RIG headset, a mixer, a noise-canceling boom microphone cable, an inline microphone cable, a Xbox LIVE chat cable and a 3.5mm (female) to RCA piggyback cable.
I really loved the RIG headset at first look as it felt lightweight and well built. The headphones are made of plastic, the headband and earpads are covered with polyester fiber, not premium leather like other high-end headphones, but the RIG still looks quite solid and you won’t feel like holding a cheap and flimsy pair of headphones.
Unfortunately, I was so disappointed with the design after playing with the cans for a while. As you can see in the picture below, some foam padding is revealed just by tilting the earcups a little bit. I don’t know why they are putting padding on the back of the earcups but it totally makes the headset look cheaper.
The most unique feature of the headset is the mixer. I also find that the mixer is very helpful, especially for hardcore gamers. The mixer have buttons for mobile controls (call answer/end, play/pause), master mute, EQ selector, master volume, and a paddle to switch between mobile mode and game mode with balancer along 2 sides. Basically, it will help you mix mobile calls, music, game chat and game sound. After connecting the mixer to your phone, you can mix music on your phone with game sound, and when you receive an incoming phone call, you can answer it with just one click. Moreover, you can still listen to the game sound when talking on the phone, the volume of game sound and phone can be adjusted easily with the balancer on the left. This is a neat feature but the mixer is very bulky with a lot of cables, I really hope Plantronics will make a wireless unit in the next generation.
Gaming headsets used to be horrible in terms of audio quality and I never intended to use them to listen to music. However, recent headsets really changed my opinion, and the Plantronics RIG is one of them.
This is absolutely not a good choice for audiophiles who prefer flat sounds. The RIG delivers a very warm and colorful sound, I find its sound signature quite similar to the AKG K545. You can easily feel the deep bass, good mids and clear high notes. As compared to the AKG K545, the RIG is just weaker with regard to soundstage and the treble is not as smooth. However, you should know that the price of K545 is more than twice the price of RIG, so this is acceptable.
I like the idea of the mixer but I don’t use it that much because it makes my small table become really messy. Besides, somehow I prefer the sound with no bass boost when connecting the headphones directly to my computer.
Last but not least, the noise-canceling mic works really great. I tried to make some phone calls and the person on the other end always said that my voice becomes clearer when I talk via the microphone.
- Impressive sound quality.
- Noise-canceling microphone delivers clear sounds.
- Useful mixer for gamer.
- A couple of design issues.
- Bulky mixer.
The Plantronics RIG gaming headset is available on Amazon for less than $90. If you don’t mind the design issue mentioned above, this is totally worth the price.
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