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Plantronics RIG 500E Review

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Ever since I got my first headset, I settled on Steelseries as a brand and the Siberia V2 Headset, for me it has always been the best headset for price and quality, the Steelseries Elite and the H Wireless are the best top end headset coming in at around £150 to £300.

Now, though a new era has arrived in my gaming world with the Plantronics RIG 500E, OMG, it might not be the best looking headset or have the hidden microphone that I have come to expect and love, but by golly this headset made me cry with joy almost.

RIG_500E_Spill_print_cmyk_22MAY15-534365279851

RIG E Dismantled

From the outset you see the headset it breams eSports, with some great selling features which Include:

  • Dolby,
  • 24 Bit Audio,
  • Noise-Cancelling microphone,
  • 7.1 Dolby Technology,
  • ESL – Electronic Sport League,

Not only that, but these are not only for the PC user, these can be used on Mobile and Console as well.

When picking the product off the shelf, you can see the headset through the front displays, it does look pretty sweet, but the quality does come into question, other than that the design looks rather nifty. Turning the package around and reading the back, you get a load more information to dig into, in more than just one language.

rig-500-usb-connector

RIG 500E USB DD No Volume Control

Features on the back of the product include:

  • Ultralight frame,
  • Self –adjusting headband,
  • Vented earcups,
  • Noise-isolating earcups,
  • 24-bit Audio Sound,
  • USB Dolby 7.1 Audio – VIA USB,
  • Detachable, Flexible mic boom,
  • Easy Swappable Cables, (USB & Analog),
  • Noise Cancelling Boom microphone,

Let’s get over one thing, I said before that quality comes into question when you see the headset through the displays, even now, a few days after getting the headset I question the quality, putting it up against Steelseries. I have come to one conclusion, stop being a dick, you Steelseries fan boy, this headset is damn nice.

I am still not fussed on the boom microphone, and how it always has to be out, yes you can, take it off, but that’s not the point, the point is, I like a microphone that is hidden, when not in use, maybe I am just used to microphones being that way.

There is also one other little issue, “WHERE THE HELL IS THE VOLUME CONTROL“, you created a stupid huge section on the leads to turn Dolby Digital on and off, why did you not add a volume control as well, do you know how stupidly frustrating it is to have to control the volume via the PC/System, “VERY FRUSTRATING”. Pantronics FIX THIS and do not do it again.

rig-500e_open

Ok, now to talk some good, these headphones are super light weight or as Plantronics like to use the term ‘Ultralight’, and they are, my mouse is heavier, even my Xbox 360, Xbox one or the Stratus XL controllers are heavier that this headset, even the Siberia V2 headset is heavier, now that’s rather impressive if you ask me.

Putting the headset together is something new, and not experienced before, the majority of the headsets I own come pre-constructed, no need for building skills, lucky for me though, I have skills in LEGO building, (Not Really Required).

The headset comes in 4 segments, earcups, (noise-isolating or vented), cables ,USB or Analog, the actual frame, the boom microphone, and finally the headband. Choose if you would like to have 7.1 Dolby Digital surround sound or not, choose either to use the noise isolating, or vented earcups, attach them to the frame, then attach the boom microphone, after all that you have managed to create the ultimate destructive power in the universe, or not.

rig-500-e

Putting this headset on, and using them is a delight, the cushions on the earcups are so comfortable, you don’t really feel them on, or should I say there is no pressure around your ears, this could also be attributed to your head size. The self adjusting headband, you do not feel at all, it’s that light, when in use, its like the headset is floating on your head and putting a slight grip around your ears.

I found for long gaming sessions I prefer to use the vented ear cups, for short gaming, music, and movies, I  prefer to use the noise isolating earcups, there is differently a slight difference in sound quality between the two types of earcups.

Using the boom microphone, my voice sounded different compared to my other Steelseries microphones, more bass, maybe, more natural, I don’t know, it just sounds better, to the point where people were saying, “Dam Buddy, you sound much better and more clearer”, so I have to give credit there, the microphone is an improvement over my Steelseries microphone.

RIG 500 Series

RIG 500 Series

After many hours of use, even taking them to my folks for Xmas, to show off, I am rather impressed, they come apart easily and fit back together just as easily, traveling was just as easy, just wish it came with its own carry bag, as eSports does normally require a lot of traveling, so adding the bag in the final sale would be a bonus.

Playing games have been awesome from the Booms in Just Cause 3, to Footsteps and bullets whizzing past in Battlefield, Music sounded just right, but I am no professional and have no idea, of perfection, if it sounds good through high and low frequencies, then its all good for me.

Plantronics have also added a downloadable UI program that you can create your own equalizer setting or use the pre-defined settings, you can also alter microphone volume and sidetone.

dolby-panel

RIG 500 UI

So overall,

Construction at the end was great, light and well built, easy to construct and deconstruct, comfortable to wear regardless of wearing the isolated or vented earcups.

Improvements required, Braided cord, to help stop tangling, volume control on cord and bag for carrying and protection in transit, as this is an Esports headset.

Other than that the sound is great while gaming, you can hear every shot, scream and footstep when using 7.1 DD, when using analog, the headset performed just as you expect.

score final

Rating:
9/10
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