It’s been six months since the Consumer Electronics Show and Plantronics is back with the introduction of their RIG 500 PRO series of gaming headsets. Announced on June 5th, the RIG 500 Pro series is a multi-platform series of headsets geared towards use with Xbox, PS4, and PC. How does the PC version of the headset stack up in the Plantronics Gaming Universe? More importantly, how does it hold up to our testing? Without further delay, let’s take a closer look in this Plantronics RIG 500 PRO review.
Per the June 2018 press release: “RIG 500 PRO Series are the first gaming headsets to feature an exoskeleton earcup design with isolated inner acoustic chambers to reduce distortion, creating the ideal audio solution for today’s high-resolution gaming platforms.”
According to Jack Reynolds, Director of Gaming Products at Plantronics. “The new RIG 500 PRO Series takes the innovative modular design of the RIG 500 to the next level. It continues the impressive number of firsts we’ve brought to competitive gamers, including the first VR-focused headsets, Dolby Atmos® activation and now, the RIG Game Audio Dial for Xbox One and PS4 wireless controllers.”
Plantronics RIG 500 PRO Review
Design, Fit, & Features
Plantronics RIG 500 PRO gaming headset has several features that make it one of the more comfortable headsets that I’ve worn. The usual heaviness that most gaming headsets consistently seem to have is reduced with its lightweight exoskeleton combined with an inner comfort band. The lightweight metal is a burnished gold which makes it look not only luxurious but gives it a very sci-fi feel to an already unique looking headset. The geometric cutouts surrounding the ear pads make for an interesting appearance.
The comfortable ear cups are adjustable however they differ from others which utilize a sliding mechanism. Instead, these ear cups pop out at the connector and have three different positions. A bit of a downside here is it takes some force to push the cups out of their connectors. While cute that the cups won’t suddenly shift, it is a bit of a pain to adjust. And having only three settings makes it limiting if you like a full range of adjustment in your headset.
The ear cups are supremely comfortable, and the soundproofing is quite amazing. Though depending on the game, it is not fully noise-canceling. When playing a fighting game like DRAGON BALL Fighter Z, I could still hear outside interference. However, this is not a game where the intense focus on hearing is needed.
The soft cushioning makes the RIG 500 PRO headset easy to wear for extended amounts of time and not require me to adjust them.
There’s an easy volume adjuster on the cord. Its slider made it easy to adjust mid game while not having to struggle to adjust. I loved how easy it was to change it. In conjunction with the easy adjuster, the mic flips up to mute. The ease with speaking and muting is a huge draw.
There was a downside though. I found the volume was not quite loud enough for some specific games.
Over the years I’ve worn several headsets such as those from Turtle Beach to the Xbox recommended headphones, and none have been as comfortable as this one. As someone who can’t wear tight headphones, the RIG 500 PRO is perfect. The comfort band makes an excellent lightweight barrier between the bulk of the weight of the headset. The ear cups are so comfortable that it doesn’t even feel like you’re wearing a gaming headset. Also, there’s no issue with them heating up or the problem with it tangling with my long hair.
The headset was used playing several levels of Assassin’s Creed Origins where hearing your surroundings is vital. When going through the open world, being able to hear what is going on around you is very important. Just as it when you’re listening to backstories and character information. It provides quite the fantastic ambiance to an already exciting game. This is something I’ve found lacking in other headsets. A small caveat to this is the volume could go louder. But that is probably more of a personal preference since I tend to crank the volume as loud as it will go.
The RIG 500 PRO shined when playing Fortnite. The sound quality was quite good and didn’t need to be turned up as much as when playing Assassin’s Creed. This quality made hearing my surroundings excel upon which I lasted much longer during gameplay than usual. It’s safe to say that I prefer this headset for this particular game more than for Assassin’s Creed.
RIG 500 PRO Gaming Headset Specifications
• Microphone signal-to-noise ratio: > 42 dB
• Microphone pick-up pattern: Uni-directional
• Weight: 281 grams
• Headphone frequency response: 20 Hz-20 kHz
• Headphone maximum input power: 40 mW
• Headphone drivers: Dynamic 50 mm
• Headphone impedance: 32 ohms
• Cable length: 1.3 meters
• Gaming headset
• 1.3 Meter cable
• Quick start guide
• Warranty & Regulatory Info
• Safety Info
• Dolby Atmos® code
Overall, my impression of the Plantronics RIG 500 PRO headset is that it’s a great headset for any gamer. The comfort is unbeatable, and its functions are amazing.
It’s got features aplenty like the adjustable mic, the comfort ear cups with soundproofing, the lightweight exoskeleton and comfort inner band, plus fantastic sound too.
Available for purchase on the Plantronics website at a very affordable price of $89.99, this headset is a moderate price with such incredible features. The downsides of this headset are quiet speakers and the odd way of adjusting the ear cups. Yet, they are far surpassed by its features and the quality build of the headset. I’m thoroughly impressed.
Set up is very easy and there isn’t a long mess of cables like with some other gaming headsets.
There are four sets of headphones that make up the RIG 500 PRO Series:
- RIG 500 PRO for PC: $89.99
- RIG 500 PRO HX for Xbox One: $79.99
- RIG 500 PRO HS for PS4: $79.99
- RIG 500 PRO Esports Edition, $149.99
What do you think of this Plantronics RIG 500 PRO review? Do you think it’s one of the best gaming headsets under $90? Let us know in the comment section below or via social media. We’re eager to hear your thoughts.
FTC Disclosure: Plantronics provided Beantown LLC with one (1) RIG 500 PRO gaming headset sample for review purposes. This writer’s opinion is 100% her own and is not a paid product ambassador.
All photographs are the copyrighted property of Beantown LLC © 2018.