The Plantronics RIG is a gaming headset like no other I’ve seen, and at a relatively modest price point to boot. I got to go hands on (or “ears on”) wth the RIG at PAX, and I it was very impressive indeed. The sound quality rivaled the $250 Turtle Beach Z Seven in my opinion, and that’s a professional gaming headset in every way.
First off, the set up – the RIG is a fairly typical over the ear headset, with a mixer control unit, but that’s about where the traditional similarities end. For one thing, it has an innovative detachable boom mic that can be swapped out for a standard phone headset mic/control cord, as well as a separate control unit. This makes it incredibly flexible for all sorts of other applications as well as gaming.
The mixer control unit is also unusual, as it is a wheel resembling a hockey puck. The outer ring controls the master volume and smoothly rotates left and right to adjust your overall output. Inside of the large wheel are 2 small sliders and a few buttons. The sliders adjust the volume of the attached headphone jack device (e.g. cell phone, mp3 player, etc) and the gaming/PC volume. There is also a button to answer/disconnect a call and the same button can be used to play/pause music or skip tracks when connected to a smartphone.
I tried the RIG hooked up to an Xbox and my iPhone, and it worked great. You can easily fine tune the volume of the game, plus any music or phone calls. I could hear my caller fine, but they told me my voice was a bit hard to hear. To be fair, this was in the middle of PAX where the normal decibel level must be like a million, I’m sure it works much better in normal home/work environments. Side note, the RIG can also be used as an Xbox live headset.
My only gripe is that at a $130 price point it would be nice if the headset supported at least 5.1 sound, but it doesn’t – just stereo. Also the small sliders in the middle of the control unit were hard to see and adjust in the darkness of PAX, even though they are illuminated. Despite some fairly minor concerns, the RIG is a great gaming headset. There is no official release date, but you can pre-order it from Bestbuy.com at $129.99.