Hey gang, Valkor here. Gaming audio has got to be a tough area to break into; sure one could produce amazing speakers, but its headphones that’s where it’s at. And to truly standout, you’ll have to put out something unique – something no one else is really doing. And that’s where Plantronics steps in, with a way to keep on gaming without stopping to say… answer a call.
Let’s begin with the design, starting with the ear cups, which are well cushioned and fit comfortably around the ears; they come with a bit of a swivel so that it sits well against the side of your face. If you take them off, resting them on your neck, you can turn them at a 180 against your chest. In this manner, you get to enjoy your audio while doing something that might require your attention or you simply need to take a gaming audio break plus resting them this way is quite comfortable. The padding on the headband isn’t as soft as I’m used and it feels like a cloth covering a soft piece of rubber. I’m ok with this as I have enough padding on my head to withstand wearing most headphones for long periods, but for those with less… maybe it’ll be a little uncomfortable. Maybe? The headphones are wired so you’ll have to do some finagling when it comes to placement of the RIG. When used with the PC, I keep it by my side with the RIG puck at hand’s length. But when console gaming, I place the puck on the floor midpoint between myself and the console, and in this setup I can flick the switch with my feet. Speaking of which…
The key component to the RIG is the mixer itself, which is a small black puck that you attach to the headphones as well as your mobile phone. It has a large dial for the main volume and in the middle is a toggle, which you rock to and fro that allows you to switch between your gaming audio over to your mobile when it rings, with each having an independent volume slider. And you can continue to talk with the included detachable mic, so that way the game doesn’t have to stop. And when you’re done, you just flick it back. There’s also a mute button just above the RIG name so you can place a call on hold while you quickly polish off a level or take care of some other business. On one end you have a long cable with a USB plug and 3.5mm plug at one end and on the other side you plug in your microphone. There’s also an optical port for console gaming (attaching the unit to a PS3, PS4 or XBOX). And the unit comes with instructions on how to attach the headphones to either system.
Setting up the unit is very simple as it’s pretty much ready to go right out of the box. For PC gaming it’s just a matter of plug and play, but switching gears to a console you’ll have to do a little extra work – for instance with the PS3, you’ll need an optical cable (not included), but the system detects the headphones straightaway. I could have easily written up this review without having tested the RIG on the PS3, but I wanted my gaming experience with the headset as well rounded as possible. And thankfully I keep a couple of optical cables around for just such occasions. And after completing several rounds of soaking in the sounds from Plantronics RIG, I’m ready to tell it like it is with the TOV Breakdown.
For their first round in the Val-Cave, Plantronics scores an impressive win with the RIG Gaming Headphones. It’s lightweight and comfortable, able to hold up during long periods of play. I spent a good three hours playing Path of Exiles and I didn’t feel at all bothered by the headsets. Performance-wise, the RIG shoots for the stars as audio quality is crystal clear with just the right levels of treble and bass. The RIG does well with directional audio as well; when playing MMO Path of Exiles, you can hear enemies from specific directions well before they enter onscreen. And voice audio is so clear you’d swear the characters were in the room with you. Gaming audio is even better when playing on the PS3 thanks to the use of the optical cable; sure it’s not the big, immersive sounds of the Tritton Warhead, but the RIG gets the job done. The use of the toggle switch is a pretty smart idea and it not only works in allowing you continuous play without pausing, but you can talk hands-free while doing it. Voice calling is also very clear and the headsets work even better with Skype, though talking on your mobile is no slouch. In the end, Plantronics has on their hands a solid entry in the gaming audio market with the RIG headphones. They look pretty cool and can hang with the some of the big boys out now.
The wires – they get just about everywhere and they easily tangle. I’m looking forward to a wireless option with the next version of the RIG.
Sure the wires can get out of control, but if you’re looking for a great sounding pair of headsets, then consider Plantronics RIG gaming headphones; they’re lightweight, comfortable and they sound amazing. Plus the use of the toggle switch so you’re gaming doesn’t have to take a pause, is a genius idea! So out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving the RIG a 4.5 and they’ve been Valkor tested, TOV Approved!