Contacts

  • Edie Kissko
    Senior Director & Head of Corporate Communications
    +1 213-369-3719
  • Shannon Shamoon
    Manager, Corporate Communications
    +1 831-201-9142
  • Will Zelver
    Manager, Investor Relations & External Reporting
    +1 831-420-3168

Plantronics RIG 600 Review

Publish Date:

Friday, September 30, 2016 8:00 am PDT

Category:

News Organization:

Enthusiast Gaming

Source URL:

In my early years of gaming, I never really had a great headset. I just couldn’t see the benefit in owning something that restricted sound to just your head, as opposed to having a robust surround sound system.

As the technology around me matured, I did too. I was no longer in search of a stereo system with a dedicated subwoofer or that doubled as a party-starting bass-dropping machine. Around the same time, console gaming was starting to focus on connectivity, multiplayer, and the needs that came along with it. Naturally, questions started to emerge. Why buy a headset that was better in chat than general game sound? What was any different than the Microsoft headset that came bundled with my Xbox 360 system? My first introduction to a gaming headset changed my outlook and perspective in one fell stroke.

The very first headset that I experienced specifically engineered for gaming was the Plantronics GameCom X95 set. This emerged around time that I started doing hardware and game reviews. I was impressed by the X95’s lightweight design and the quality in sound felt like a revelation. One of the other prominent features was the drop down mic that could be hidden and stowed away, flush to the design of the headband. Now I was playing with power!

Armed with this new piece of sound paraphernalia, I journeyed to new places and embraced new roles in a whole new way. I became a soldier wielding a chainsaw lancer, a fighter in the UFC, and even embarked on an adventure through the Mushroom Kingdom as a super plumber. The whole time, my gaming headset brought with it an additional layer of immersion, fully marrying the experiences shared between my eyes and ears. Many headsets came after my initial exposure to Plantronics as a brand, but no other headset really managed to recreate that feeling of completeness as the X95 did.

Until now.

Time after time
In the last few months I have reviewed the HyperX Cloud Revolver and the Plantronics RIG 500HS gaming headsets. Both were impressive in their own respective ways, with the 500HS offering quality sound in a price conscious package, and the CLOUD Revolver focusing in on chat functionality and directional sound awareness. However, they both also had their faults. The RIG 500HS lacked an in-line control feature being that it was an entry-level set. The HyperX Cloud Revolver did provide an in-line, but was almost 3-feet down the cord and became a chore to find unless it was clipped to your shirt.

With my first use of the Plantronics RIG 600, I knew immediately I was in  a higher tier of design quality than that of the RIG 500HS. And, where the HyperX CLOUD Revolver fell short on sound quality, the RIG600 showcases a more vivid soundscape.

What’s in the box?
The Plantronics RIG600, like many other modern headsets, comes bearing gifts for users who game on more than one platform. Included are two in-line cords that are 4.3-feet in length. One is dedicated for all platforms - PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and so on. The cord is wrapped in rugged rubber, housing in-line controls only a short distance from the in-ear input.

The other cord is or use on mobile devices. This cord doesn’t have a visible malleable mic that can be bend back and forth like traditional PC headsets. It instead is hidden in the cord alongside buttons for answering calls like you would expect from an iOS or Android mobile set of headphones. There is a small switch on the side to mute your mic, and a slider bar can be inched up or down for volume control.

The one complaint that I have here is that the input jack for whatever device you use is cylindrical instead of an "L" shape. This is a great feature that the RIG 500HS had, allowing it to sit out of the way when plugged into a controller.

Sound Quality
The RIG 600 is not, unlike its predecessor the RIG 500HS, an entry-level headset. It combines the sporty look and the extras - like swappable headset in-lines - with the quality of sound expected from Plantronics. The RIG 600 displays excellent performance in the mid and high tones, while still hitting those low, bassy sounds with its low frequency resonators. These are essentially bass tubes within the earcups. However, there are limitations to its performance.

I was surprised to find out that when the RIG600 had noticeable crackling when flooded with bass. In some instances, there was clean representation of both heavy lows and tinging highs, which means that hip-hop and EDM songs perform flawlessly. But throw in some mid-tone disruptions, and the headset will show its flaws. The speakers will crackle, producing a noticeable fluttering sound.

The first time I had noticed the sound quality taking a punishment was while watching “Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.” The other movie where this occurred was “Terminator: Genysis.” I should also note that I did have my controller and in-line headset control turned up to the max. At times these controls could be fiddled with to find a happy medium as the controller volume and separate headset volume might be working against one another. At others, the sound was too low for my liking to stay in the position.

If this was the case 100% of the time, I would say this is a complete game breaker, particularly since immersion is the main purpose of buying a gaming headset. But for games like Halo 5: Guardians and Overwatch, the spread of sound was damn near perfect, delivering a sense of direction when incoming fire was heard and delivering that vaunted immersive experience that’s the hallmark of a great headset.

Great - just not exceptional.

Design
Hands down, the RIG 600 is one of the most comfortable, if not the most comfortable, gaming headsets that I’ve owned. The upper band and ear cups are punctuated with visible divots, offering a breathable faux-leather material. The inner band is lined with a sateen material and is padded for lengthy wear.

I was surprised to find that both ear cups swivel to lay flat around your neck when not in use. This is a feature that most often seen in music or studio headphones. This was a great feature to include for mobile use.

The overall design doesn’t necessarily bleed gaming. But there’s no doubt that the sleek black-and-gold design, coupled with the mic input options, are geared up and ready to tackle all arenas of sound. Comparing these to a few of the other headsets on the market, they aren’t as bulky, nor do they tip the scale in weight at 8.7-ounces. I found them to be a great of lightweight design and quality sound output.

The Bottom Line
I’ve always had a certain fondness for the Plantronics brand. The company has a firm grasp on the business world, creating solutions for professional communications with a global reach. Any other business attempting to capture professional communications while holding stake in the gaming market hasn’t been able to replicate the success that Plantronics has. With the RIG600 model, it seems that engineering with ergonomics in mind has paid off.

The sound quality of the RIG600 is great in many respects. But despite its best efforts, there are noticeable faults that don’t quite reach the mark and keep it from reaching exceptionality.

The RIG600 provides comfort for extended wear, and versatility to reach all of your core gaming and mobile devices. I can say that it would be a happy investment for anyone looking to ditch your plain headphones for something with a little more class.  8

Sign up to receive news alerts from the Poly Newsroom   Join
Business Wire NewsHQ SM