- Sound Quality
- Special Capabilities
Up until now, if you were gaming away and received a phone call, the process you would have to go through to answer the call would be rather tedious. You’d have to pause your game, answer the call, chat away, then continue your game however many minutes later. I don’t know about most people, but considering my short attention span, I usually wouldn’t know what I was doing when I got back into game mode. That’s with offline play, too. When I’m online, shivving people in the back during the intense KS The Last of Us sessions (which has gotten significantly less crowded over the past month or two…weird), there’s no time to stop playing in order to answer the call. I mean come on, The Last of Us multiplayer is a big deal. With the new Platronic’s RIG Gaming Headset, this is a non-issue. Combining seemless game-to-phone capabilities, the RIG headset provides a unique innovation that makes switching between your games and phone calls easy; It’s as simple as flipping a switch. Not only that, but it manages to do this without sacrificing comfortability, sound quality or various capabilities. Let’s take a closer look at what makes the RIG tick.
When it comes to headphones, the biggest thing I always search for is comfort. If I’m going to be wearing this headset for multiple hours a day whilst playing my favorite games, there needs to be virtually no side-effects that will leave me in pain. While the RIG is by no means the most comfortable thing I have ever put on my head, it definitely got me through the multiple hour game sessions with little-to-no problems. The ear cups are round and squishy (gosh, I feel so weird saying that), cupping the ears and keeping them quite comfortable. There was never any discomfort on my ears, nor was there any instances where my ears got too hot, causing me to take it off. In fact, I usually looked forward to putting the headphones on (Yeah…I’m a weirdo. No judgements). The cups are adjustable on the sides, giving them a pretty free range of motion. The headstrap is adjustable, making it so you can easily change the size to fit your head. However, this headstrap is where I found my only comfort issue. On a few occasions, after wearing the headset for an extended period of time, I would feel pain on the top of my head where the band was. It was weird, considering the band itself is pretty heavily padded, but it’s flatter shape makes it so it presses down harder onto the top of your head. It didn’t happen all the time, but I did find myself taking the headset off for a 10-15 minute break every so often because of it. After comfort, when looking at headsets, the next thing we all look for is sound quality.
When it comes to sound quality, the RIG doesn’t fall behind in any way, shape or form. With it’s 40 mm speaker drivers, it provides more than good enough sound. While it doesn’t have the best lows and bass capabilities (I mean, why would it?), it’s highs and sound quality are top notch (when you consider how much you’re paying for the headset). While playing games like The Last of Us, nuances such as footsteps and environmental changes/events were picked up almost indefinitely. It made playing my games much more immersive than just using my television. It also had good quality when it came to things outside of game sound, such as music. While I don’t think they produced quite as good sound as my Skullcandy Aviators, it was so close I could barely tell a difference. In fact, the lows might have been a little better with the RIG. As I have already stressed, the sound quality is above average to say the least.
While we’re on the topic of sound quality, I figure I might as well also mention the RIG’s microphone capabilities/quality, because it’s kind of in the same category. I’m not usually one to care about mic quality when it comes to recording. When we record Kaboomshark’s podcast, I am more than okay with just running with my in-line audio mic. While the quality may not be perfect, it gets the job done. However, after hearing the vast improvement I get while using the RIG headset, I can say that I won’t be using my in-line mic ever again when it comes to recording. With the full blown mic (yeah, there’s two mics you can use), the sound quality is superb. It does a good job at capturing audio, as well as cancelling out audio that you don’t want. I think they call that something like, sound canceling? Crazy concept, right? Along with the full power mic, there’s a stealth mic that can be used to go out into public (without looking like a dingus), and use a mic in a more compact sort of way. The sound quality is still good, though not as good as the full blown mic. The only real problem I found with either microphone was that in order to use the entire RIG, you had to have one or the other plugged in. The microphones are the link between the headset and your input (which is weird to me, considering most headsets use the actual headset as the source of input), which basically means with no mic, you can’t do anything. There’s not anything incredibly wrong with this, but it does make the cord pile quite bulky, something that I don’t like at all (but we will touch on that later). Now it’s time to talk about the RIGs special capabilities.
The RIG’s main selling point, outside of being an above average headset in terms of quality, comfort and sound quality, is it’s special features which allow you to do quite a few things most headsets don’t allow. The first of these things is full mobile incorporation. The RIG Gaming Headset allows you to pretty seamlessly switch back and forth between your game and phone (whether it music or a phone call). This is made possible through the RIG’s mixer. The Mixer is a simple device that is hooked up directly to the RIG headset, and the audio output of whatever you plug into it (a system or a mobile device). On the mixer, you can do various things. You can answer a phone call, adjust phone output volume, adjust game output volume, switch which device your audio goes to, and adjust overall volume of the headset. This is done though the use of like, 3 sliders and a middle paddle. You can play your game, answer a call and instantly switch back and forth between telling your mother to have a happy birthday and telling your buddy to watch his back before he gets shivved. All with exerting minimal effort and not having to switch any cords or inputs. While there was no real situation where I needed to actually use this feature, It is none the less cool and innovative.
As far as my gripes with the RIG Gaming Headset, they are few and far between. I think the biggest issue I actually had was how bulky all the cords end up being and my impatience when it came to dragging them around. I didn’t exactly do any measurements, but the cords that extend from your console to the headset end up being quite long, which acts as a double ended sword. While you can be further away from your actual console, it also becomes a pain to lug the cords around, as well as making it difficult to feel organized while using the headset with a computer. It’s totally possible to just wrap the cord around itself to make it shorter whilst not connecting it to a console, but that is way too far beyond my list of possibilities. I’m lazy, okay. Another big thing is the price. While I didn’t have to pay for the headset, it’s obvious to see that the price could be a little high. This is due to the mixer. I think the headset could sell fine on it’s own without the audio mixer, but that’s a separate thing entirely. Regardless of the fact that the RIG might be a bit overpriced, the actual quality of the headset is right up there. It’s a good piece of technology. Besides that, I mentioned most of my problems in the review body itself. The headset stars to hurt the top of my head after a while, but it’s no real issue considering how few times it actually occurred. I also don’t like the mic input control, but that’s more of a preference than anything.
If you haven’t already realized, I am no expert when it comes to headsets and their consequent reviewing. However, I do say that I am a pretty good judge when it comes to quality, something that the RIG scores pretty highly in. The quality of the headsets comfort, sound and capabilities is pretty high. While I’m sure there are much better headsets out there, for the lowly price tag of $129, it’s a great option. Even more so for those people who find themselves switching between their gaming, computer and phone a lot during gaming/recording sessions. The RIG tried something new, and innovated a pretty useful piece of technology into their headset, without sacrificing key things like quality and comfort. Overall, the RIG headset definitely gets my recommendation if your set price is at around $130.