Plantronics RIG 800HS Review | Can a Silent Yet Comfortable Gaming Experience Be Possible at a Decent Price?



Plantronics is positioning its RIG 800HS as a "Wireless Headset For PlayStation 4". That is a pretty niche target audience, as only a chunk of PS4 users requires a headset for voice chat. But I believe it can be more than that. With a sprinkle of creativity and a SPDIF port, the RIG 800HS can be used in almost all gaming setups.

Design




The RIG 800HS features a self-adjusting headband, which allows the headset to firmly stay put during even the most intensive gaming sessions. This is a great feature as it is extremely comfortable, and is much less tight as compared to several other gaming headsets. However, to further adjust the height of the headband, it is required to remove headphone cups. This particular mechanic feels clunky and laborious. Thankfully, it is only used for the first time you adjust it, and the height stays put indefinitely.


One issue that was faced with the setting up process is the assumption that if the RIG 800HS works for the base PS4 model, it should work for the PS4 Slim version. However, you should be warned that the PS4 Slim does not come with the required SPDIF (optical) output port for the RIG 800HS's wireless base to transmit the audio to the headset. Instead, a HDMI splitter (below) was used which provides the needed SPDIF port.


All the additional effort was not for naught. The wireless base enabled the transmitting of audio at a remarkable range. Walking around various rooms with concrete walls between the headset and wireless base did not disrupt the signal, and the audio was still crystal clear. It is sufficed to say that we were impressed with its range.

Having problems with PCs and laptops with weak Bluetooth transmitters? Hate dealing with skipping audio or noticeable audio latency? The RIG 800HS solves these issues. Not to mention, this entire setup can even work with PCs without a SPDIF optical port.



The headset comes with an easy to reach volume control. It even features a 'Sound Balancer' slider that allows for the balancing of the game and team chat audio levels, removing the need for manual adjustments. On top of that, there is a EQ button allows for the switching of various equalizer settings - 'Pure', 'Intensify', 'Seismic', and 'Vocal Focus'.

Audio Quality



When it comes to audio quality, the RIG 800HS is quite balance when set to the 'Seismic' EQ mode. In any other modes, the audio starts to get bright with voices becoming more pronounced. It then became clear why Plantronics decided to market the headset towards gamers.

Instead of just trying it on the PS4, we hooked it up to a PC and hoped for the best. Miraculously, Windows 10 managed to find and install the RIG 800HS audio driver and we were good to go. The advantage of using it on a PC is that it enabled for a more customizable experience. There are also programs available to further tweak the equalizer to your preference.


Usage



The headphone is definitely designed with gamers in mind. After using it for over 3 hours straight, there was no discomfort. Even the headphone cups were not hot and stuffy, as it features an open-back design which allowed my ears to breathe the entire time. Loud explosion and gunshots were not able to drown out the voices of others too. This is all thanks to its 'Sound Balancer' that allowed me to balance the audio levels of the game and voice chat on the fly. Tucking away the microphone to mute is also extremely convenient.


Battery

During our time with the headset, the battery is pretty impressive. It lasted over 14 hours, spread over multiple days. Additionally, because its usage scenario is typically at home, there is always a power outlet nearby. Also, with its utterly common micro USB port for charging, it never runs out of battery.


Summary

With features like exceptionally far range, convenient controls, voice-focused audio, and lag-free wireless audio, the RIG 800HS is an amazing gaming headset that met all of our needs. Just check if your device has a SPDIF optical port and you are good to go.


Factor Description Score
Innovation - Convenient 'Sound Balancer' slider and EQ mode selector allows the RIG 800HS to be flexible 7/10
Design - Self-adjusting headbands, 'breathable' headphone cups, and lightweight design provides a comfortable gaming experience 8/10
Value - Decently priced while being feature-packed 7/10
Performance - Well-balanced audio
- No noticeable audio latency
- Able to be used at a further distance than most other Bluetooth devices
8/10
Final Score
7.5/10



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