After reviewing and loving the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 300 series headset, made for the active lifestyle, we turn back to Plantronics’ gaming department. The Plantronics RIG 800LX is a wireless gaming headset for the Xbox One and PC. It is one of three headsets shown to us this year at E3 that comes packaged with Dolby Atmos. Dolby Atmos is Dolby’s latest sound technology delivering a sense of height perception in our audio. Imagine finally being able to tell if an enemy is overhead without having to depend on radar!
The Dolby Atmos technology is available for purchase now via the Xbox One and Windows 10 Store. But, if you were to get your hands on any of the Plantronics gaming headsets showcased at E3 this year, you will get a free Dolby Atmos activation code bundled with your headset! So let’s take a look at one of those very headsets, the wireless Plantronics RIG 800LX for the Xbox One and PC.
Build, Comfort, and Features
The Plantronics RIG 800LX uses a build that is quite close to that of the RIG 500E we reviewed a while back. It uses a suspension headband with a breathable mesh surface and has three height adjustments for each of the ear cups. Different from the RIG 500E, the ear cups utilize an oval shape for their memory foam cushions. On the right cup, you have the boom mic, a microUSB port for charging, and controls for master volume, main power, and game/voice chat balancing. The boom mic is bendable and flips up to mute outbound chat. The right ear houses the buttons for toggling the RIG 800LX’s four EQ settings.
As far as comfort goes, the Plantronics RIG 800LX is both comfortable and exceptionally light for a wireless headset. The grip on your head is quite gentle and the suspension headband does well to keep the headset afloat on your dome. Those soft fabric memory foam ear cups did well at combating fatigue from long term gaming sessions, and I’m talking about five to six hours a pop. I did feel however that the fabric ear cushions allowed some sound to leak in from outside sources, mostly when the volume of the headset was low or when there was little to no action going on. This is usually the case fabric ear cups as opposed to leatherette ones, where the leatherette ear cups give you better sound isolation at the cost of ear fatigue.
The controls on the RIG 800LX are pretty easy to locate and get used to. You can distinguish the master volume control from the chat/game sound balancer easily. Given that the balancer has that additional protruding piece, you can gauge which dial you’re messing with right away, or at least until muscle memory kicks in. The RIG 800LX touts a 24-hour lifespan, so was pretty easy to get lost in gaming for days before realizing that the headset needed a charge.
I appreciated the vocal queues for battery life when you turn on the headset for each session, a feature found in the majority of Plantronics products. I especially appreciated the beeps that indicated mic muting and unmuting. Many headsets use the flip-up-the-mic-to-mute feature, with some not doing too great a job at confirming that you’re actually muted. The beep went a long way at establishing a high level of reassurance that I was safe to speak without causing cross chatter in game.
Continue onto Performance and Final Thoughts…