Plantronics is a brand that is well known company for its involvement in the eSports scene. Its partnership with ESL has made Plantronics the signature brand for eSports. Moreover, its RIG series are widely used by pro players of different game genres from FPS, RTS to MoBA. Today we take a look at the RIG 500, their entry level eSports Gaming Headset to see how it differs from other gamer headphones in the market.
UNBOXING and FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The Front Box shows a shot of the headset with its key features shown on the upper-left side. There’s also an ESL branding at the upper right side to show that the RIG 500 is meant for eSports. At the back is a detailed breakdown of the headset’s features with a graph of its sound signature.
Upon opening the box, you’ll see that the headset requires assembly before use. There’s also a discount voucher for ESL Merch included in the package.
The headband is easy to install because of its snap on mechanism. Just push through the hole of the plastic part until it snaps just like istalling an I/O shield on your chassis.
The earcups has 3 installation points depending on the user’s preference. Additionally, there is no guide for the correct orientation of the headset if it’s facing the correct direction.
The headset uses a 3.5mm combo jack that’s ideal for mobile and laptop use. Plantronics included a 3.5mm splitter cable that also acts as an extender.
The mic is not removable but can be ___ . There is no mute function when the mic is flipped up.
The headband and the earcups uses mesh to reduce sweat when using the headset.
User Experience & Conclusion
Let’s break it down:
Performance. The Plantronics RIG 500 offers a flat sound signature with low bass. As a gamer, bass plays an important role as footsteps and explosions are factors for location accuracy and immersiveness. The soundstage of the headset is limited, playing PUBG with this headset is quite hard because enemy gunfire and footsteps can only be heard at a near distance resulting to a short reaction time window.
Build Quality. The headset and its parts are purely plastic and the headband is not sturdy enough to be flex resistant. The locks also aren’t’ secure enough and feel like they’ll easily break once you’ve dropped it. This flaw is compensated by the quality mesh earcups the headset uses.
Functionality. The Plantronics RIG 500 offers a Plug & Play experience with no drivers required. The assembly of the headset does not give a premium feel towards the user and will just give a delay before being able to use the headset. The lack of software customization limits the headset’s potential. The headset is comfortable to use in extended gaming sessions despite its plastic construction.
Bundle. With only the essentials parts and a 3.5mm splitter included in the package, Plantronics doesn’t offer any other modules or accessories for the RIG 500. Replacement parts for headset are also not available even if you purchase them separately. This defies the purpose of its modular design.
Value. Priced at Php 2,750, the Plantronics RIG 500 headset sits at a near premium price in the gaming headset market. It directly rivals the popular HyperX Cloud Core in terms of price. As for sound quality, a software integration for EQ tuning and surround sound capabilities would greatly help this headset stand out.
Along with a 1-year warranty support from Plantronics, we give it our Bronze Award!