I'm a big fan of gaming headsets that, well, don't look like gaming headsets. The LS40 from LucidSound, for example, looks wonderful but felt hobbled by firmware issues. Plantronics's RIG 600 headset doesn't come with a lot of bells and whistles, but it's billed as a versatile 3.5mm wired solution for music and gaming, across all 3.5mm-capable devices. And it does the job with gusto.
RIG 600 tech specs
- Mic frequency response: 100 Hz to 10 kHz.
- Mic sensitivity: -45 dBV/Pa.
- Mic signal-to-noise ratio: >42 dB.
- Headphone weight: 247.1 grams.
- Headphone frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
- Headphone impedance: 32 ohms.
- Headphone sensitivity: 111 dBSPL/V.
- Headphone drivers: Dynamic 40 mm.
- Connection: 3.5mm cable.
- In the box: 3.5mm cable with uni-directional mic, 3.5mm cable with in-line mic, PC audio splitter cable, and headset.
- Price: $99.
Design and quality
The RIG 600 is a sleek headset, billed as a versatile option for gamers who want something they can use for music and mobility. The headset costs $99, but the manufacturer didn't skimp on materials or build quality. The plastics used feel dense and don't creak under pressure, sporting attractive gold accents. The headband and cups are coated in comfortable foam, beneath perforated synthetic leather which looks rather chic. Being perforated, it's also quite airy, and won't feel clammy against your skin.
The cups have hinges in all the right places, allowing you to manipulate the headset to fit your skull as appropriate. The outer side has a layer of textured leather, too, which gives the headset almost a subtle amplifier-style look, which is a nice touch.
Whether you like the way this headset looks will be down to personal preference, particularly on the gold accent, but the stitching, materials, and construction are top notch in this price bracket.
The RIG 600 is designed to be used on consoles, PCs, and mobile phones. As such, you can remove the microphone and instead opt for a limited but adequate in-line microphone cable, complete with a call answering button. The uni-directional microphone cable offers better recording quality, sounding loud and clear when connected up to your Xbox or PC. There's no mic monitoring, given this connects only with 3.5mm jacks, but the Xbox One's built-in mic monitoring can help to some degree.
There's no 7.1 surround here, sadly, but the headset is elevated on Xbox One and PC with either Windows Sonic or Dolby Atmos surround solutions. I much prefer virtual 7.1 personally, and would advise that if you want a more immersive gaming experience, look for a headset with DTS 7.1 if possible, until more games support built-in Dolby Atmos processing. That said, the stereo sound experience is wonderful. As a music headset, I thoroughly enjoy what the RIG 600 has to offer, which offers rich bass, crisp highs, and clear mids that give individual instruments some really great presence. Unfortunately, though, the headset comes with a pretty big audio flaw that cripples them as a gaming option.
I'm not quite sure how this slipped through testing, but the RIG 600 microphone is too sensitive, and as a result, is able to pick up the voices of people in a party chat with you, causing feedback. Your only option here is to lower the overall sound. This cardinal sin of headset design makes the product hard to recommend for anyone interested in going beyond quick phone calls.
Final thoughts on Plantronics RIG 600
I spent a day testing music and different games with this headset, thoroughly enjoying the soundscape, wearability, and visual design of the RIG 600. Then I jumped into an Xbox Live party chat.
Sadly, the feedback from your friends' voices while chatting on Xbox Live, Discord, or Skype is prominent enough to cause echoes, which is a painful design flaw that can't be overlooked. Since this is a simple headset with 3.5mm connectivity, there's no chance of it being fixed with a firmware update either.
That said, the headset offers a truly excellent sound experience for both gaming and media, and since the mic is detachable, I can see it being a compelling $99 mid-range option for audio fans who aren't interested in voice communications.
- Comforting, attractive design.
- Great sound experience.
- Not suitable for chat due to echo.
Plantronics products are usually rock solid when it comes to nailing the finer details, so it's a little disappointing seeing the RIG 600 fall at the final hurdle.
- Best Xbox One Headsets
- Best Wireless Xbox One Headsets
Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!
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