Plantronic’s RIG 400 and 500 traces show the worth of a novel idea in wired gaming headsets. You are taking detachable earcups, clip them onto an simply replaceable headband, and provide mixtures of them at varied value and high quality tiers. The RIG 400 sequence was useful, the RIG 500 sequence improved on the concept, and now the RIG 500 Professional line presents even higher efficiency. The brand new high of the RIG stereo headset pile is the RIG 500 Professional Esports Version, a $149.99 headset with a lovely metallic design, a intelligent audio cable with a quantity dial, and glorious audio efficiency. It is a compelling wired gaming headset, however on the $150-and-above stage, it faces some very stiff competitors.
RIG 500 Modularity
The RIG 500 Professional Esports Version is unmistakably a RIG headset, with detachable earcups that click on onto a separate headband for a completely modular design. Each the scarf and earcups have been tweaked over the RIG 500, and the Esports Version goes additional with premium supplies. The again of every earcup is now a skeletal body slightly than a stable cowl, which Plantronics says reduces physique vibration and improves the output of the 50mm drivers.
The “Esports” a part of the headset’s identify does not have any particular significance past its place because the top-of-the-line mannequin within the RIG 500 Professional line. There is not any formal partnership with a particular esports league, group, or sport; it simply has a premium construct that ought to attraction to esports followers and aspiring gamers.
The headet’s body is stable metallic, completed in a putting however subdued darkish grey gunmetal shade. The reminiscence foam earpads use fake leather-based on the perimeters and breathable cloth on the face, lowering warmth buildup as you put on the headset for lengthy intervals of time. Plantronics features a second pair of reminiscence foam earpads coated completely in breathable cloth for even higher air flow, if desired. The left earcup contains a pivoting mount for the included increase mic and a three.5mm jack for connecting the headset to your most popular gaming machine utilizing both of the 2 included audio cables. As a headset that makes use of a three.5mm audio connection, it has no onboard controls.
The scarf makes use of the more and more well-liked two-part suspension design as an alternative of thick padding. The highest a part of the scarf is a sturdy however barely versatile strip of darkish grey metallic, whereas the underside half is a evenly padded faux-leather-and-fabric strap suspended on a thick rubber band. The decrease strap sits on the highest of your head, counting on the springiness of the rubber to supply a comfortable, gentle match, lifting the higher a part of the scarf above the scalp the place it retains the headset structurally sound and safe.
It is a useful design that is straightforward to put on with out making the minute changes required by headsets with telescoping joints between the scarf and the earcups. You possibly can nonetheless make broad changes between the earcups and the scarf by selecting which of the three slots on both finish of the scarf every earcup clicks into. For the reason that earcups and headband are fully separate, you possibly can merely pull the earcups off of the center gap and transfer them an area greater or decrease to tweak the match (the decrease suspension strap of the scarf is a part of the cups, not the headset body, and will be eliminated by sliding down the plastic tabs and connecting them to the higher headband).
It additionally means you possibly can combine and match RIG headset elements, changing the scarf with RIG modular frames (Plantronics’ time period for RIG headbands) of various colours or supplies. You in all probability will not need to do that with the Esports Version, contemplating each the earcups and headband are the sturdiest and most tasty of all obtainable variations, however you will have the choice. It additionally means you may get completely different RIG elements if both a part of the headset breaks, as an alternative of a totally new headset.
The RIG 500 Professional Esports Version comes with two four.2-foot-long cables that allow you to join the headset to your PC, smartphone, Xbox One (by the headphone jack on the controller), PlayStation 4 (by the headphone jack on the controller), or Nintendo Switch (in handheld mode). One cable is spherical, with a right-angled connector geared up with a bottle cap-shaped quantity dial on one finish. This cable is designed to be used with the PlayStation four and Xbox One controllers, and the connector will be fitted with one among two included rubber bases that allow it relaxation snugly in opposition to the underside of both system’s controller. It is a very intelligent design that places a bodily quantity dial in attain when you’re gaming, and stays safe on the gamepad of whichever system you employ it with.
The opposite cable is flat, with an in-line quantity slider that rests at chest stage when in use. That cable is designed to work with PCs and smartphones. The removable increase mic is a skinny, hexagonal black capsule on a skinny, versatile arm that connects to the headset by a plastic right-angled connector that clicks securely onto the microphone mount on the left earcup.
Microphone and Recreation Efficiency
The RIG 500 Professional Esports Version’s microphone sounds excellent. In take a look at recordings, my voice got here by very cleanly, if initially a bit gentle. Growing microphone sensitivity within the recording software program and take a look at consoles mounted that. After minor changes, speech was crisp and straightforward to discern. This can be a useful increase mic for voice chat, podcasts, and commentary, although it will possibly’t exchange the efficiency of a devoted microphone; there’s solely a lot a small capsule on a headset can do, and if you wish to significantly report your voice to share with others, you need to take into account finally getting a separate mic.
As a stereo headset, the RIG 500 Professional Esports Version will not present excellent directional imaging moreover the left-right mixing you may get with any headphones (optionally enhanced on sure platforms with Dolby Atmos). Nonetheless, it sounds very clear and highly effective when enjoying shooters, like Fortnite on PC. The sounds of gunfire and explosions get sufficient low-frequency presence to make them sound forceful, however do not overwhelm with wildly highly effective rumble. The rustle of footsteps and thunk of instruments additionally come by clearly, giving sense of the motion round you. The headset’s readability ensures you possibly can pick any close by audio sources, even if you cannot essentially inform exactly from what route they’re coming.
Overwatch additionally sounds robust on the RIG 500 Professional Esports Version. The deep rumble and crash of explosions come by with loads of bass, and better frequency sound results like Junkrat reloading get a lot of crisp edge. Directional cues are restricted to stereo mixing, however they nonetheless provide sufficient readability between the left and proper channels to make close by skirmishes and voice cues from teammates straightforward to select.
Whereas it is designed as a gaming headset, the RIG 500 Professional Esports Version may be very succesful at dealing with music, with a balanced sound that gives loads of high-frequency readability that generally will get misplaced in gaming headsets. Elizabeth Fraser’s vocals in Huge Assault’s “Teardrop” get a lot of texture in opposition to the heartbeat-like drum hits, which do not distort even at most quantity. The drum beats are forceful, however not so overwhelming they dominate the observe or drown out the rain-like vinyl scratch within the background. It sounds just like the headset faithfully reproduces low frequencies as a lot as it will possibly, however does not attempt to attain to date into the sub-bass that it seems like you will have subwoofers hooked up to your heads. You get a bit of rumble, however not an excessive amount of.
Kinds of Past’s “Outta Management” additionally sounds robust on the RIG 500 Professional Esports Version. The drums and bass of the observe get loads of low-end presence by the headset, and at most (and unsafe) volumes, give a robust sense of kick. Ryu and Tak’s rhymes come by clearly and stand on the entrance of the combo, sharing area with the drums however not getting overpowered by them. The upper frequency snare hits keep within the background, current however not punching by the combo with any explicit readability; they maintain time, however do not compete with the vocals or decrease drums.
High quality With Competitors
The Plantronics RIG 500 Professional Esports Version seems to be, feels, and sounds excellent, because the flagship mannequin within the RIG 500 Professional line ought to. Its metallic earcups and headband give the headset a premium really feel, and its two cables provide some spectacular flexibility, particularly the one with the quantity dial and adjustable rubber caps that may work with PlayStation four and Xbox One controllers.
It’s kind of dear at $150, although, and it does not have fairly the luxurious really feel and highly effective audio efficiency of the marginally costlier Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset. It is a superb headset if you’d like a premium construct with a really gentle match, and a sensible choice for players apprehensive about heavy heads or heat ears. In any other case, the Astro Gaming A10 stays our Editors’ Alternative for reasonably priced wired gaming headsets at half the value of the RIG 500 Professional Esports Version. Or you possibly can merely select the lower-tier, customary RIG 500 Professional for a cheaper wired headset, however you may be giving up the great audio dial cable and metallic body.