Plantronics Gaming is looking to change the headset game. Not only did the company revolutionize business and consumer audio with impressive innovation, they look to do the same with their new Rig 500E.
Imagine given the opportunity to switch between open or closed ear cups, better improved microphones, or even customizable headbands. That is what the new Rig 500E is based off. The company is also pushing these headsets to the aspiring eSports players. Whether you’re live at an event to just trash talking with teammates from home. The Rig 500E are targeted to fit all of your competitive needs.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was very skeptical when I first heard about this concept in private back at CES but it certainly caught my interest. I have had the chance to test a sample of the final product for about three weeks now. It was presented to us in protective bags so in case you’re wondering about packaging, that’s something we will have to see when its released.
The build of this headset is plastic all around, which while it doesnt feel as premium as other headsets on the market, I understand why Plantronics went this route. The frame is very flexible and features connectors for the self-adjusting headband which stretches to fit most head sizes. Plantronics has done a lot of studies and claim to be able to fit about 99% of head sizes. With that, the frame includes three different size levels for the ear cups. The middle clips gave me a snugged fit so I decided to go to the last level for some breathing room. the headband on this version features the ESL logos and Plantronics has discussed customizing options for customers from colored frames to logos on headbands.
I wore these headsets for quite a while with both sets of ear cups and is definitely in my top 3 for comfort. The plastic is super lightweight on the head and doesn’t press in too much. The memory foam on the ear cups work great with someone who wears glasses like I do.
The main focus of this headset is eSports first and foremost, so in a partnership together with ESL, the audio is fine tuned for gaming. The closed ear cups provide good sound acoustics for shooters. Playing games like Call of Duty and Halo, I heard more of in game and fine detailed environmental noise. Now being able to switch ear cups is why this product exists, and for games like FIFA 15 or adventure titles, I preferred using the more open acoustic cups.
Now you also get a USB adapter for PC with 7.1 Dolby support, but unfortunately you must download Dolby software which wasn’t available during my review time. Besides gaming and PC, I took these bad boys out for a day in NYC and while they sound crystal clear you can definitely tell these were meant for gaming. Music listening experience is a bit flat at times and iPlantronics is well aware of that as they told me that gaming audio was priority, but if you want to use them for music, they’re not that bad. The removable boom mic is a very solid noise cancelling mic that cancels a lot of background noise which is perfect for the tournament atmosphere.
The new Rig 500E is a versatile pair of gaming headset from Plantronics. A product with a potential long future if the company sticks with it and with a backing from ESL, this could become the standard headset. The 500E will retail for $149.99 and will include the USB adapter and both sets of closed and open ear cups. Plantronics will also offer more consumer focused headsets in the Rig 500 and Rig 500HD starting at $59.99 respectively.
- Swapable Parts
- Very Comfortable
- Price Point
- Mic Quality Could Be Better