When I first start writing reviews of hardware a decade ago, I was testing equipment I borrowed from friends that would hardly turn on. I was living with my parents, running my own website that got about 10 hits a month, hoping that someday I could be doing what I loved for a living. I feel lucky to be where I am now. I get the opportunity to test out some really awesome and cutting edge equipment, and then get to share it with readers who have similar interests.
My most recent opportunity has been testing the new Plantronics RIG headset. This beast of a device has my jaw on the floor so far and let me tell you why.
Have you ever heard an explosion that sounded so real that you jumped out of your chair, threw your mouse like a grenade, and stabbed your couch cushion in self-defense? Of course not, that would be ridiculous. But this headset sounds fan-freaking-tastic. I kid you not; this sucker performs better than almost any device I have ever owned. I tested it by listening to some awesome music like some Rolling Stones, a bit of 2Pac, and let’s not forget the meanest of the street thugs, Taylor Swift. One thing that won’t give you trouble, trouble, trouble, is this headset.
Of course I also tested video games on it, lots of them. It is pretty much required to test a headset properly. At least 10-15 hours of testing on games, right? “Hear that hunny? They all agree with me!” Luckily for me, I got Battlefield 4 within hours of receiving the headset, and had a perfect game to test with. I wasn’t able to turn up the video settings super high, but that gave me a chance to really focus on the audio and appreciate it more.
The best part of the sound quality is the dual input, and being able to listen to music off your phone while you are in game while balancing the volume of both. The sound comes through crisp and clear, like the voice of James Earl Jones on an audio book. The adjustments can be easily made by the user to get the exact volume level you want at any time without having to minimize or go into game audio options.
Both microphones work without a hitch. Yes I said both. The RIG comes with interchangeable microphones.
- A boom mic for when you are gaming at your desk and want something to yell profanities into.
- An in-line mic for when you are walking downtown and don’t want a giant microphone in your face, because that would just be silly.
I tested the microphone in Skype and multiple games. After very slight adjustment, my microphone came through flawlessly, and I was immediately able to communicate with my teammates. The boom and the in-line microphone worked perfectly on both games and phone calls. It only picked up my voice even with external noise in the background, like a blaring TV or a loud fan.
One of the best parts about this headset is its multitude of uses. Whether you’re gaming, on the phone with your Pop-Pop, or walking downtown this headset will do everything you need. The RIG has three interchangeable cables.
- A boom microphone
- An in-line microphone
- A standard audio cable.
This versatility allows the headset to be used in any situation, and it has awesome features that don’t stop there.
The RIG allows you to hook up both your PC and your phone to the headset at the same time. This allows you to stream music or videos from your phone while gaming. So whether you’re watching a walkthrough video or just listening to your jam you are set. The RIG’s volume control nob allows you to independently adjust the volume of both devices. This nob also controls the master volume and mute control of your microphone. With the headset you can also answer phone calls without ever taking it off. Pressing the middle button will switch the RIG’s sound and microphone to your phone.
Check out the videos here to see how the switching works: http://www.plantronics.com/us/rig/
As usual with Plantronics headsets, I have nothing bad to say about this device. The headband and earpieces are incredibly comfortable and don’t cause pain even after hours of use. Both mics are solid and comfortably placed. The weight of the headset is surprisingly light. This is a nice change of pace from previous gaming headsets I have purchased. Extended gaming sessions should be no problem and the headset is easy to take with you when traveling.
The RIG comes in black and white colors, both of which look pretty awesome. The most amazing thing I can say about this headset it that the cost is only $129.99. I have bought worse quality headsets for 50% more than that on several occasions, and none of them had all the features the RIG has. This really is an all-in-one headset. Pick up one on Amazon here.