Plantronics has been producing some great quality gaming headsets for a few years now. Their PC headsets have always been some of my favorites, while their console headsets lacked a lot. Now, after a successful feedback from the Commander headsets, Plantronics releases the all new Rig Gaming headsets with a Mixer Amp. This is an overall use of a gaming headset as it is compatible with Pc, Mac, Mobile, PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360. The coolest feature they are pushing for this headset is the ability to answer phone calls straight from the Mixer and headset. It does sound like a great idea, but did Plantronics execute their plan correctly?
The headset is very lightweight yet sturdy, and very comfortable. Plantronics gives you two sets of cables for the headset portion, a boom mic for gaming and one for mobile use with a microphone attached to the wire. The headset is made up of hard plastic with nylon padding on the headband and ear cups. The cups are wide and fit great over my ears, which is a plus for long gaming sessions. Its also pretty adjustable in case you’re looking for a headset to fit a bigger head. I used the all black version, the Rig is also available in white, and i loved the appeal of it in black with the orange accents in the ear cups. Though I wish Plantronics wouldn’t have placed 2 tabs on each side, one stating Right ear cup and the other saying Plantronics, it just looks weird to me.
The Set Up
Usually when it comes to gaming headsets we are overwhelmed with the contents of the packaging. Multiple cables for specific setups can be annoying, but Plantronics does a great job of minimizing all that. You will take your Plantronics Rig Mixer and plug in the USB ender to the back or front of your home console or PC, this will provide the amp with power. After that is done you have a choice on your audio input source to the amp. You are provided with a RCA splitter if you’re still using that, a line out, and the practical option of Digital Optical (please note that the Rig do not come with an optical cable, so you will need to get one of your own.)
The Mixer should be powered on and ready to go, which means you grab your headset and insert the microphone on the left side of the headset. The microphone has a 3.5mm tip which plugs into the front of the Mixer and then the chat cable, if needed, plugs right next to it and to the controller. The PC picks up the Mixer as a sound card so it all works equally fine. The top face of the Mixer has everything you need to control audio and voice. The right side is for gaming and has its own volume fader for Game/Voice sound and on the left is the volume for an external source like a cell phone. You can easily switch from each by pressing on the correct switch on the Mixer. Your master volume is controlled by the ring around the actual unit.
The back of the Mixer has an extra 3.5mm plug which is used for the external source. Now Plantronics main push is for cell phone use during gaming, but I actually tested out a few things while gaming. Music was fun to add while playing some multiplayer games and even standing my tablet and have it play Netflix while I listened to the dialogue was pretty fun.
The overall sound for the Rigs are fair. With it being a stereo headset, it is hard to fully capture the essence of a surround sound experience in those type of headphones. Though either way they sound great with voice and dialogue being crisp and out there. Explosions and say gun shots in FPS titles don’t sound as boomy but are very loud and good.
The microphone is also good as I had no issues from anyone online telling me I sounded weird, distorted, or just plain awful, which is good. Having the mix of a cellphone call while gaming felt so natural and was really easy to use. Adjusting volumes to accommodate each side was simple, and the caller was able to hear me and understand what I was saying. However, if you are in say a party chat and are on the phone, your chat will be muted and you won’t be able to hear a thing, but if you switch back to game, you’re now able to chat and interact with the party while your mic is muted on the phone call. Don’t worry, you’re still able to hear the person you’re talking to and can easily switch back when ready to speak.
The Plantronics Rig work great as a standard hybrid of gaming headset and stereo headphones. Though they do not provide a surround experience for gaming, they work well enough for most games and are very stylish and comfortable for outside use with music. The Mixer is a huge step forward for Plantronics in innovation of combining the ability to answer and use the phone while still being able to participate with game chat by just the simple press of a button. Retail right now is a bit high for just stereo headsets at just $129.99, the extra bells and whistles do make up for the price jump. These are some of the best headsets for an average gamer I have used throughout the year, with an incredible design and comfort level that any player would enjoy. If you don’t mind shelling out some extra cash for Cell Phone/Gaming combo goodness, then the Rig will be a great choice for you.
Also would like to mention that the Rig Headsets do work on the PS4, so these would be a great choice if you picked one up or planning to for the Holidays.
- All plastic design
- A bit flat when sound is at high volume