Performance, Features and Final Thoughts
Starting with off with the meat and potatoes of the Plantronics RIG 500 PRO eSports Edition headset, the sound presentation is nothing short of impressive. The new exoskeleton ear cup design delivers what it promised in the form of a powerful, warm, surrounding bass that is devoid of distortion. You enjoy every rumbling and every explosion that occurs around you. That surrounding sensation is doubled-down pleasantly by Dolby Atmos, giving you sound that carries virtually over your head. Footsteps and gunshots are not only crisp and clear, but more importantly, they are heard with positional accuracy. I had little trouble telling where enemies were at all times, something that you should expect in any headset with “eSport”s in its name.
As far as communication goes, Plantronics is no stranger to quality microphones in their devices, which showed in the Plantronics RIG 500 PRO eSports Edition headset. Teammates on the other end reported that my speech came across very clear. On PC, the mic excels further than it did on console, since on PC you can control the range of sound that the microphone picks up. When I used the headset with the Xbox One, where mic gain controls are nonexistent, the mic occasionally picked up my surroundings. The surroundings did not overwhelm my speech towards my teammates, however. They were simply aware of various background sounds. Luckily, this was not at a level that would was deemed to be a disturbance for my teammates.
Basic communication and volume controls were as straightforward as you would hope with an eSports-ready gaming headset. Outbound chat is muted when the mic arm is flipped up, regardless of what platform you are on. There is a very noticeable clicking sensation to help indicate when you are either muted or unmuted. On the PC 3.5mm cable, the volume slider was simple and easy to reach for and use. On the console cable, which connects to the bottom of compatible Xbox One and PS4 controllers, the dial was practically placed at the base. The removable rubber cap helped to keep the volume dial stationary, making the dial easier to turn. However, if you have a 3rd party controller that does not fit comfortably with the rubber cap, you can always take it out of the equation. It would still connect easily, just like I did below with the Razer Wolverine Ultimate Xbox One Controller.
Overall, the Plantronics RIG 500 PRO eSports Edition headset is as solid a buy as it is structurally sound. That die-cast metal frame is ready to take a licking, but is still surprisingly lightweight despite the integrity of its build. You have two choices of ear cushioning to choose from, whereas I simply loved the comfort and utility balance of the leatherette-mesh hybrid over that of the full mesh. I stayed cool, comfortable and most-importantly focused throughout hours of gameplay. Best of all, the headset simply sounds excellent, coupled with Dolby Atmos three-dimensional sound. The fact that Plantronics continues to handle the bill for Dolby Atmos with these Xbox One or PC ready headsets adds value to an already solid purchase.
If you are looking for a wired headset solution that performs very well in practically any gaming scenario, then you definitely need to check out the Plantronics RIG 500 PRO eSports Edition headset, whether you’re an eSports enthusiast or simply a casual gamer. The Plantronics RIG 500 PRO eSports Edition headset goes a more-than-respectable $149.99, complete with a lifetime Dolby Atmos license. You can check it out for yourself here.
†Plantronics RIG 500 PRO eSports Edition provided by Plantronics PR for review.