Tech Review: Plantronics’ RIG Headset line
Recently, Plantronics released a couple of new gaming headsets on the market. All with a different goal in mind. The RIG 100HS is focused on chatting while the more casual RIG 400HX focusses on good technology at a cheaper price. The last and the premium RIG 800 HS, which is meant to deliver a more professional experience. In this article, we take a look at all three and explain why they might be worth getting.
Let’s start with the cheapest one, the RIG 100HS, which basically is a mono headset targeted for the PlayStation 4 users (Xbox One users can get the 100HX). When first taken out of the box, you’ll immediately notice the simplicity of the headset. This isn’t a premium product and thus comes at a cheaper price (you can score one for a little more than 30 bucks). The idea behind the headset is simple and yet it works. The rail to attach the earcup is made of light plastic and offers you three slots to insert the earcup itself, making it comfortable to wear for most gamers. Besides this, the microphone boom also rotates 180 degrees so you can easily switch between right and left ear wearing positions. But what about the performance?
Well, this headset is a plug-and-play type of device, making it easy to understand. You connect the 1.3M cable to your DualShock 4 Wireless controller and you’re ready to go. The headset is extremely light to wear and thanks to the vented earcup, you’ll be able to wear it for long sessions. Since it’s a mono headset, it’s not meant for the in-game music, instead, it’s advised to play with your television sound or surround set while wearing this. Consider this an upgrade to the standard PlayStation 4 chat headset.
The headset itself works decently, players will hear you loud and clear but be warned that this headset doesn’t cancel all background noises. If you keep this in mind, it’s a decent headset to get. Your voice gets transformed a little bit but it does the job you’re paying it to do. Don’t expect miracles but expect a fair deal for the money you’re spending. Again, this isn’t a premium model and everything about it is just plain and simple. From design to performance, it’s great for the casual gamer looking for a new comfortable way to chat with others.
Compared to the 100HS, this RIG 400HX is a decent upgrade. This is the model meant for Xbox One gamers (PlayStation 4 users can get the 400HS version which, of course, offers the same). It’s amazing to see what an extra 20 can get you compared to the 100HS. Instead of a mono headset, you’ll get a stereo headset with a detachable microphone. This means you can easily use this headset to listen to some music while traveling, without having to explain why there’s a microphone dangling from your headset. This is perhaps the best feature of the headset since everything else is, again, rather basic. You get what you pay for so don’t expect a headset you can customize to your likings. Just like the previous one, you can ‘click’ the cups into one out of three sizes. Sounds good but in reality, it feels like the headset never really fits. Lucky enough, the earcups are made out of soft and light materials so it does feel rather comfortable while wearing. It’s another extremely light headset, making it one of my favorites to use while playing a more casual round of Rocket League, for example.
What about its performance? Well, as before, don’t expect miracles. The sound is relatively clear and even enables you to hear some hidden details in the game audio. It’s nothing compared to a premium model where you can easily hear the different layers of audio and where the bass is at the right level. With this one, it often felt like the bass was a bit too much for shooters. You’ll hear everything as it is meant to be heard with the comfort of a light over-ear headset. Same goes for the microphone. Players on the other side will certainly understand what you’re saying but don’t try to use this one to capture your voice-overs for your YouTube channel, the quality isn’t good enough for this. Also, take note that this is another wired headset so it doesn’t give you a complete feeling of freedom.
In conclusion, this one is worth the money for sure. Of course, there are a lot of better headsets on the market but for this price, you definitely get a good deal. The headset is extremely light without ever looking too budget. It’s a nice headset made out of nice (cheaper) materials. If you’re not sure if a headset is something you like, this model might be worth considering to test this out, you can always upgrade to a premium model later.
Finally, we move over to the most expensive one (150 bucks) and thus also the premium model. Right from the start, you’ll notice that this one is the premium one. The box is a lot better and instead of cheap cardboard, the headset is packed in sturdy plastic, ensuring the buyers their product will be delivered without a scratch. It doesn’t stop there, the 800 HS is a wireless headset with a battery-life of 24 hours. You easily connect the adapter to your console with a USB connector and you’re ready to go. Just like the other two versions, you can change the height of the earcups using one of the three levels on the sides of the headset. Compared to the other models, everything feels better. The plastic is made of way better quality without ever getting too heavy to wear. Besides that, the earcups are extremely comfortable and the extra headband makes sure the headset stays where you want it even during intense gaming sessions. The microphone is a lot bigger and can easily take a punch. Based on the material and looks, this one is a giant leap forward. What about the quality?
The sound of this headset is exactly what it should be. Everything sounds the way it should and thanks to the stereo, you can really hear your enemies approaching from different sides, which will give you a huge benefit during online games. On the side of the left earcup, you’ll find some extra buttons and switches. With these, you can change the volume or change the focus on the game or chat. It’s also the place where you switch your headset on/off. These buttons and switches are perfectly located so you can always alter your preferences while playing, which is a big plus. On this side, you’ll also find a connection for your charging cable (included) so you can easily charge your headset when it’s running low. Also good to know is that you automatically mute/unmute the microphone by turning it up/down, a nice little extra.
The microphone itself is by far the best one of the tested versions. It still doesn’t cancel all noises in the background but it definitely does this the best way possible compared to the others. Gamers will clearly hear your voice and will always understand what you’re trying to say, which is, of course, the main reason why you would use a microphone in the first place.
In conclusion, this is by far the best one of the line but comes at a higher price. This price might be the only major setback for gamers looking for a headset. If you’re willing to spend some money, this headset is a safe option and won’t disappoint. It’s certainly a premium model and can easily compete with other brands on the market. Looking for a cheaper solution? Try one of the other models we discussed earlier. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can’t really go wrong with this RIG line.