Review: Plantronics RIG Gaming Headset

The American giant manufacturer Plantronics has so far been quite invisible in the Nordic region and especially Sweden. More well-known brands have dominated the headset market, such as Turtle Beach, Razer and of course dedicated headphones like Sony Pulse and high end headphones for music, such as Beats by Dr Dre.

RIG is a model that Plantronics now wants to launch on a broad front in Sweden and some retailers have already begun to take them in and offer them to end customers. The headphones are made of nice and very light material and feel comfortable to wear during long sessions, which is quite crucial for a gaming headset. We love the simplicity of using ex Sony Pulse for our PS3, but the tight-fitting ear pads quickly create moisture and discomfort – which means that you rarely want to use them for more than an hour at a time. With RIG, this was not a problem at all – we have played, listened to music and tested them with our iPhone for more than 2.5 hours straight without getting tired of wearing them, sweating about the ears or listening tired of too much bass .

Several high-end gaming headset manufacturers have now started with the concept of sending a little mixer unit to their headphones. This will be the heart of the setup, a small, round connection center where you connect your headphones, your phone and your video game / computer via the included cables and can then easily mix sound between devices and run several at the same time – if you want to take a phone call while you want to hear what’s going on in the game, which you just can not leave or turn off in the middle of a match. At first you get a little confused about how to switch and mix between the different connections, but you will soon get into it and this feature is both cool and quite useful.

The mic (or mics) that come with the headset are two different – a long mic for recording chat in games and a built-in cable, which goes to the mobile, so you can talk in it as a hands-free. The recording quality of the mic was perfectly OK in our test and players we met online had no problem hearing what we said.

Then to the most important thing – how does Plantronics RIG sound? In short, phenomenal. It’s been a long time since we heard a headset that sounds this good, regardless of price range! The headphones have a 40mm speaker diaphragm and run between 20-20,000 kHz. Although some of us thought the midrange lacked a little detail, everyone in the editorial staff agreed that the bass is perfectly balanced (heavy and fast, but never noisy and exaggerated) and the purity of the sound makes you hear every little note, every instrument and background song in all the songs – which actually made us almost experience some as completely new songs. This is clearly the editorial staff’s favorite for music right now!

Disadvantages then? Yes, there are some. Plantronics RIG as a whole are quite well thought out, but they are designed for video games that are mainly connected analog (or iaf via component). The way you connect to eg Xbox 360 and PS3 is a bit cumbersome, especially if you drive with amplifier and HDMI (which everyone should do for the best sound and picture) so it becomes difficult to control TV audio, for example if you want to connect via Xbox 360 front and PS3 optical cable (some solutions also require extra cables, which are not included – eg for PS4, which only has HDMI, you need to get an optical cable and share the sound from the machine differently). For gaming on console, a dedicated handset, such as Sony Pulse for PS3 / PS4, is preferable, as it works directly and is also wireless (which RIG is not).

Another thing, which is not a deal breaker, but which you should keep in mind, is that due to the headphones’ conscious design on the ear cushions, they are good at shutting out disturbing sounds from outside (we look forward to testing them on the flight sometime ) but at the same time are so open and play so loud that the surroundings can easily hear what you are listening to. So in addition to being embarrassing, if you have a sickly cool taste in music like us, it can also be experienced as disturbing in quiet surroundings.

Final assessment:
Plantronics RIG is an absolutely fantastic good handset for hifi and music. In fact, it is probably the best handset we have tried in that context. For the price, around a thousand bucks, it certainly ends up in the high-end layer, but it is still several thousand bucks cheaper than, for example, the corresponding Beats -on ear nap, which also does not sound as good and correct. It’s not a perfect all-around nap for console gaming, but all the better for computer and we will fight as I said about who will be allowed to listen to music with them here at the editorial office in the future. And if it’s not a top rating, then we do not know what is.

Review: Plantronics RIG Gaming Headset
10
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