Integrating gaming hardware is the way of the future. Looking at home consoles, handhelds and mobile phones is evidence of this. The marriage of your devices, where interruption is minimal, and transitioning between peripherals is seamless, remains the goal. And where that reality sits loud and clear among gaming consoles, Plantronics’s new gaming headset, RIG, now brings audio integration to the table. The results, in a word: impressive.
RIG’s gaming headset brings your mobile phone, PC or Mac or console together so games, phone calls and notifications can sit on the same audio field. Setting up RIG is as easy as plugging in to your PC or console, phone, and USB. No software is required.
RIG’s mixer, the nucleus of this union, gives owners full control of audio input/output with two simple buttons:
The right button - symbolized by a joystick icon and orange LED - controls game and chat audio; while the left button - highlighted by a phone icon and blue LED - commands your phone and game volume. Both buttons have adjustable sliders to increase or decrease the volume of your audio preference, whether it be in-game chat, game sound or an incoming phone call. In a nutshell, pausing your game doesn’t have to happen anymore.
The perimeter of the mixer also has a master volume control for all audio and a three-mode equalizer.
Modes of play:
Gaming with RIG is incredibly convenient. Having an adjustable slider for game sound and chat, whether it be Skype, Ventrilo or TeamSpeak, accommodates your essential audio needs; especially since some games, like FPS, are dependent on in-game sound cues and team communication during competitive play. You simply adjust the slider to the harmony of your comfort and get the best of both. No more fiddling with master volumes and game audio, RIG incorporates all of it.
On the mobile side, say if you receive a phone call, press the left button to switch to mobile mode, followed by the phone button on the mixer itself and viola! Your call is answered. Then adjust your sound, be it giving full attention to your caller or allowing some game audio in while you talk. It’s that smooth.
The headset comes with its own mic for all communication needs, which can be removed, if you’re relaxing or traveling and simply want to veg out to music. The earphones are just as comfortable as the band that arcs over your head. You can even pivot the earphones 90 degrees so they lay flat on a surface, versus the awkward and potentially damaging, vertical position.
The sound isn’t booming, but then again, the point isn’t to necessarily blow your ears out, as it is to find audio balance between gaming, chat and your phone. You can always adjust your hardware’s master volume if you’re looking for a little more kick to your sound though; but even then your ears won’t bleed, thankfully. Either way, audio feedback is solid and the equalizer modes - pure, intensify and seismic - do it due justice.
RIG’s mixer is made of sturdy plastic and houses rubber padding underneath preventing any slipping and sliding off your desk or any surface it rests on. All the appropriate cables come with the headset, whether you plug into your console or computer. RIG comes stock full.
The only drawback, is that this entire set is wired, as opposed to Plantronics’s usual Bluetooth design. The headset jacks into the mixer, which is plugged into your phone and computer, plus the USB cable to sync with your speakers. It’s not so much cumbersome as it is annoying. That said, the wires are military grade, and not easily worn.
Looking ahead, we’re told this is the first device in a series of products under the title - RIG, so a Bluetooth version is very possible.
RIG as an entry product for Plantronics’s gaming headset series, stands as a solid audio peripheral. And for $129.99 it’s hard not to excite over the deal you’re getting. It’s as seamless as it’s advertised, robust, and provides audio convenience like never before.
Even if you’re not a gamer, this product offers adaptable features to suit your audio needs. If you’re looking for a more modern, serviceable design in your stereo headset, then RIG comes highly recommended.
- Excellent audio control.
- Smooth transition between devices.
- Impressive audio balance/feedback.
- Durable and comfortable.
- Easy to setup/use.
Wired arrangement a bit intrusive.