Plantronics RIG 800LX review: A gaming headphone that doesn't look too garish
Introduction, design and comfort
Gaming headsets have typically favoured form over function. They are often garish to look at and don't even get me started on started on the recent trend of fitting RGB lighting to everything. Fortunately, the Plantronics’ RIG 800LX is free from all the necessary decoration and bling, and that is already a win in my books. Its comfort and sound quality is also not something to be scoffed at judging from the experience I had using it.
Despite being one of the most restrained-looking gaming headsets, there's no mistaking the Plantronics RIG 800LX for being anything other than a gaming headset. Its bulky aggressive design, sharp angles, and elongated hex slots are dead giveaways.
Unlike most headphones that use sliding mechanisms or even rods with detents for adjustment, the Plantronics RIG 800LX has a peculiar system that requires users to remove the individual ear cups. The elastic headband and the ear cups are all removable. To adjust the headset, I had to pop the ear cups out entirely from one of the three pre-determined holes on each side first. Once I found a good fit, I had to pop them back into the desired slots.
The headset fit well and snugly on my head. But one thing to note is that with just three positions for adjustments on each side, there isn't much in the way of options if you find that these positions don't fit you well. Best to try it out first at the shop before committing.
Furthermore, while it is a relatively simple task of removing the ear cups to adjust the height of the headset, it does leave the cups hanging precariously from a single wire while you decide which slot to fix the cups onto.
The left ear cup comes with a power / wireless sync switch, volume and game chat balance control knobs, and a micro-USB charging port. The right ear cup sports an equalization (EQ) mode switch on its underside. Due to the size of the cups, it can be slightly awkward to find the controls at first but it doesn’t take long to get used to them.
The RIG 800LX naturally comes with a wireless transmitter with it being a wireless headset for the PC and Xbox One. The great thing about the transmitter is how compact it is and the convenience of its plug-and-use setup cannot be understated. No fussy setups required.
I was initially quite skeptical about the floating headband design but it turned out to be one of the more comfortable gaming headsets I’ve tried in some time. This comfort mainly comes down from the RIG 800LX’s lightweight construction.
The ear cups themselves were also very comfortable after the initial adjustments have been made. The ear cups are made from a soft and breathable material that is reminiscent of that from Alienware’s AW988. Although this allows your ears to "breathe" and prevents heat from building up, it does however mean that the RIG 800LX is prone to sound leakage.
The combination of the suspended headband and cushy earcups blends perfectly with the headband resting on the top of the head gently allowing the ear cups to be less constricting on the sides of the head while still making the headset secure enough such that it does not slip off. I was able to game with it for several hours straight without getting a headache, hot spots developing on the head, or have it stifle my ears.