Review: The Plantronics Rig

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Taking calls without having to stop your game is a lifesaver.

Most headsets these days follow a very safe yet boring formula. We’ve seen a few here and there pioneer some interesting features, but none have really tried to optimize on multichannel hardware. The Plantronics Rig is a headset I really didn’t see coming. It’s a headset that combines everything you need into an affordable, stylish, and highly functional peripheral.

Specs
GAME MODE

  • Mix game audio + chat (PC/Mac, Xbox, PS3)
  • EQ Profiles: Pure. Intensify. Seismic.
  • Master volume and voice mute control

MOBILE MODE

  • Inject mobile audio: music, apps, alerts
  • Quick call answer + music controls
  • Game audio management during calls

ICONS

  •  Take calls. Keep playing
  •  Wired stereo headset
  •  Mobile compatible
  •  Seismic bass
  •  Three EQ modes
  •  Lightweight comfort
  •  Optical input

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Speaker size 40mm diameter
  • Speaker frequency response 20Hz-20kHz
  • Microphone frequency response 100Hz-10kHz
  • RIG mixer powered via USB (no batteries required)
  • Skype compatible

INTERCHANGEABLE MICROPHONES

  •  Inline Mic
  •  Boom Mic

CONTENTS

  •  Headset
  •  Mixer control unit
  •  Boom microphone cable
  •  In-line microphone cable
  •  Xbox LIVE® chat cable
  •  3.5mm (female) to RCA piggyback cable
  •  Getting Started Guide (English and Spanish)
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Funny how I own the same phone also

Design

The Rig system has two main parts. One being the headset itself, while the other being the “External Sound-card”. The entire rig is black except for the inside of the earcuffs, and a couple tags on the headband. There is no leather here, just extremely comfortable mesh which encompasses the earmuffs and the inside top of the headband.

Rig’s external amplifier provides the user with some interesting features which we will get into a bit later into the review, but the device itself is about palm size and measures 4 inches in diameter (it is round), and about an inch and a half in height. Again, a matte black finish surrounds the rig device and the headset with some slick black on the inner call switch. One thing I believe it is missing is a USB charging port on the main external device to charge your phone as you game.

Wiring is another issue I’ve had with the Rig due to just how much of it there is. The main chord which connects the Rig to your PC/PS3/360 is extremely long and can become tangled. Plantronics does provide you with a Velcro zip tie but it still sticks out like a sore thumb.

The external Rig module

Functionality

Nothing to complain about in this department. The Rig performs all of its promised functions to the T with the exception of not receiving sound through my phone every now and then. The external sound card provides you with functions including EQ switching (3 modes), multichannel  volume calibration, call pickup, and power with main volume controls as well as a mute button for your mic.

For more instructions on how to use the Rig check out the video above.

Rig on Head

Rig on Head

Sound

For any headset this is obviously the most critical segment of the review. The Rig performs, and then some. Its EQ options allow the user to maximize their gaming experience and enjoy every sound games have to offer. One thing I was disappointed with was that a $130 headset didn’t have Dolby Surround when others at half the price prove this stock. What the Rig does make up for is comfort and microphone quality. My guildmates noticed a significant quality in sound increase in Ventrillo after I switched to the Rig from a pair of Beats by Dre.

Music is a great focus of the Rig as you can easily use your phone to play whatever you want directly with the cable coming out of the device. I didn’t really see myself using this much with my PC, but with a PS3 this is what you want. Custom music with console games is awesome, and usually only provided by much more expensive options such as the Astro line.

Conclusion

The Rig does everything you need from a quality headset other than Dolby. Build quality is wonderful and the headset can be abused without too much worry. The lack of a USB port and the excessive cabling are slightly disappointing, but for a first version, this is an awesome product. I can’t want to see how Plantronics plan to improve on the Rig in the future. I love that you can pick up calls without having to remove your headset. While it may seem as though it won’t make a significant difference, once you go Rig, it stays as first pick.

Grade: B+

“The RIG headset marks the start of the next generation of gaming audio solutions, crafted for demanding gamersand their dynamic lifestyle. Building on our expertise in acoustics, industrial design, and communications, RIG delivers unique benefits for gamers,” said Chuck Frizelle, head of Plantronics Gaming. “RIG immerses gamers in their virtual world while keeping them seamlessly connected to the real one.”

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Adam "Kharakov" Kharatian
Adam "Kharakov" Kharatian 397 posts

Adam "kharakov" Kharat is part nerd, part geek, and full awesome. With deadly writing skills and the sleeping habits of a jackrabbit, late night gaming sessions are all but mandatory.