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Plantronics RIG | Hardware Review

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When one thinks of gaming headsets, companies like Astro or Turtle Beach spring to mind as the best choices to provide for you. For those of us who are multitaksers, however, Plantronic’s RIG may be a headset worth checking out.

Bear in mind that I haven’t tried a whole lot of headsets lately – the last pair of gaming headphones I bought was Turtle Beach x11s – as I normally use my surround sound speaker setup for all my gaming needs, but now that I’m a college student, I can’t blast my game audio like I used to and not get death threats from the students studying below my dorms. Alas, I have been forced to look into purchasing a gaming headset to keep the peace.

Technical Specifications

Over-the-ear design
Along with foam ear cushions ensures comfort during extended listening sessions, such as when gaming or watching a movie. Ear pods lie flat for off-ear listening.
40mm, neodymium, 32 ohms impedance drivers
Deliver deep bass and immersive stereo audio.
One-touch control
Lets you move quickly from game to mobile phone. Master volume and mute controls make it easy to manage the mix of your game, music and calls.
Boom microphone
Passively reduces background noise to enable clear conversations. Swappable in-line-microphone cable facilitates music and gaming when you’re on the go.
3 EQ settings
Suit a variety of types of audio.
3.5mm connector
Along with USB and 3.5mm-to-mobile-phone plugs, Xbox LIVE chat cable and 3.5mm (female)-to-RCA adapter enables use with a variety of devices, including select desktops, mobile phones, video game consoles and tablets.
Skype compatible
For easy voice chatting using your PC, Mac or compatible tablet.
20Hz – 20kHz frequency response
For faithful sound reproduction.
109dB/mW sensitivity
Ensures powerful sound.

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The Plantronics RIG headset is easily among the most comfortable sets of headphones I’ve worn to date. Compared to the Turtle Beach x11s, which I could only wear for about 30 minutes before my ears or the top of my head started to feel uncomfortable, I can wear the RIG for hours. The earmuffs are soft and cancel out all of the surrounding noise. My roommate constantly has to wave me off to get me to notice that he’s talking to me. The headband is also soft and easily flexes to the shape of your head and can be adjusted for height as well.

plantronics_rig_1-460x261

The sound of the headset is great, and while I’d prefer a little bit more bass, the quality is crystal clear and I have yet to have the headphones cut out or stutter. The Mixer Control unit offers an EQ button that changes the audio balance, but I didn’t really notice that much of a difference between the three different settings.

The main draw of these headphones however is not the headphones themselves, but the Mixer Control unit that’s included with the headset. The Mixer attempts to solve the problem of multitasking between a gaming device and a social device – mainly a cell phone but I’ve used it for other things as well, such as Skype. The Mixer allows you to simply flip a switch between your gaming device and mobile phone so you can swap between what is in the foreground and background.  RIG is compatible with PC, Xbox 360, PS3, most tablets and phones, so if you’re looking for a multiple use device RIG would be a great choice.

RIG Mixer

For example, if I’m playing Call of Duty and using the microphone to talk with people in game and I get a phone call mid-game, I simply click the button with the phone and it answers the call. From there you flip the switch to the phone side of the mixer and the audio from your phone becomes the main audio and the game audio becomes secondary. It takes a little bit of fidgeting to get the audio balance to an appropriate level, but for the amount of convenience it offers, this is not a huge issue.

The way the mixer is designed is simple enough, but it still took me a bit to figure out where each cord goes. It might have helped if the manufactures put a label on the cords for getting the Mixer set up for first time users. And, while it’s not really a complaint – more of something to note – the headset sounds much MUCH better when used with the audio mixer. If it’s just plugged in via the audio input cable connected to the headset, you won’t get the high quality audio mentioned above.

Using the headset while playing a video game works just as expected. The game audio sounds great, microphone clarity good and since it works with any gaming device it once again hits the mark for convenience. Another cool way you could use the microphone if you want to cross game chat on a PS3 etc is by plugging it into a mobile phone, computer, or tablet that has Skype.

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If you’re willing to shell out the $150 for a pair of high quality headphones, Plantronics’ RIG would be a great choice simply because of how comfortable they are, but when you add The Mixer into the package the amount of convenience provided more than makes up for the price.

Review sample provided by Plantronics. Thank you.

ONLY SINGLE PLAYER SCORE

Build Quality – 8/10

Design – 8.5/10

Useability – 8.5/10

Performance – 9/10

Price – 7/10

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Overall – 8/10

(Not an average)

Manufacturer: Plantronics

Price:
RIG Headset: $130

Nick Calandra
OnlySP founder and former site owner.

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