Anyone who’s ever spent a decent amount of time in an online game will tell you that a good headset is essential in this day and age. Unfortunately, finding a great headset isn’t easy. A truly great headset has to have good sound output and a good microphone to go with it. It has to be adjustable, so it can fit to your head.
It has to have a number of sound settings and good volume control, and more importantly, all of these have to be easy to access so they can be changed on the fly. It has to have a number of input options, so it can work with any setup. It has to be reasonably priced. And most importantly, it has to be comfortable, so you can wear it for long periods, and durable, so it won’t conk out on you after a few marathon sessions.
"The first thing you’ll notice about the RIG is how incredibly comfortable it is. The earphones themselves are cushioned, as is the part of the headset that rests atop your head, so comfort is never an issue, even during marathon sessions."
Despite the sheer number of companies making headsets designed for gaming, finding a headset that satisfies all of these requirements is hard. I can’t count how many headsets I’ve tried over the years, always looking for the one that provided all of the things listed above, and while I have had some experience with quality headsets, I’ve never been able to find one that could do all of the above at a reasonable price.
Some provided great sound quality, but would die early on, while others where durable, but extremely uncomfortable to wear for a long periods of time. Eventually, I began to think that I would never find a headset that provided me with everything I was looking for. And then, by an incredible stroke of luck, I was asked to test the RIG from Plantronics, and let me tell you, this is easily the best headset I have ever had the pleasure of playing video games with.
The first thing you’ll notice about the RIG is how incredibly comfortable it is. The earphones themselves are cushioned, as is the part of the headset that rests atop your head, so comfort is never an issue, even during marathon sessions. There were long periods where I forgot I was even wearing a headset. Of course, the earphones are adjustable, so they’ll fit just about anyone, and they fit nicely over your ears, as well. The set also comes with two microphones. One is more traditional, and fits into a slot on the left-hand side of the RIG, while the other is an inline mic. They’re both easy to use and swap out, and neither gets in your way while you’re playing.
"From the moment I plugged the RIG in, the sound quality impressed me, and many of people I regularly play games with mentioned how much better my microphone sounded."
The real star of the show, however, is the RIG mixer, a small, circular device that allows you to manage various settings for your RIG. The mixer allows you to mute yourself, cycle between preset EQ settings, and adjust your master volume all at the touch of a button. The standout feature is a slider that allows you to adjust how much of your output will be split between a game, and say, voice chat, which is especially handy if your friends are being loud and you don’t want to pause your game to quickly adjust the volume. In addition, the mixer allows the RIG to connect to your phone, so you can immediately switch inputs at the flip of a switch if you get a call. You can also determine the priority of your game and the call with the mixer’s built in slider.
Of course, all of these extra features would be rather pointless if the RIG didn’t deliver on sound quality. Fear not; it comes through in spades. The sounds comes through the headphones perfectly, and the mixer allows you complete control over what you hear, and at what level.
The microphones are just as good, and manages to capture quality audio without ever becoming intrusive. From the moment I plugged the RIG in, the sound quality impressed me, and many of people I regularly play games with mentioned how much better my microphone sounded. What’s even more impressive is that the RIG functions on the Xbox 360, the PS3, the PC, and even the PS4 without any loss in quality.
Of course, there are a few minor problems. The fact that the microphones only plugs into the left side of the headset can be slightly annoying if the object you are plugging it into is to your right, and the importance of the mixer means that you will have to find a space for it so it doesn’t get knocked over and is always within reach. Some may also find fault with the $130 price tag, but when you consider the overall build quality, everything that the headset can connect to, and the sheer power of the mixer, the price tag is actually quite reasonable.
Ultimately, however, these problems are extremely minor and do little to diminish an otherwise excellent product. If you’re looking for a comfortable, durable headset that provides great sound quality and can connect to all of your systems, you’d be hard pressed to do better than the RIG.
Fantastic sound quality. Connects to just about everything. Allows you to balance your sound between games and voice chat/ phone calls. Easy to manage your volume, EQ, and mic options. Interchangeable microphones. The mixer is incredibly convenient. Long cord for connecting to far off systems. Reasonable price considering everything it offers.
You’ll have to find a place to put the mixer. You can only plug the mic into the left side of the headset. Price tag may turn some people off.
The RIG is a comfortable, durable headset that provides great sound quality and offers you a ton of control at any given time. If you’re looking for quality headset that can connect to all of your systems, you’d be hard pressed to do better.
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