Plantronics RIG 800LX headset review: No nonsense wireless audio for Xbox and PC
I'm always on the lookout for killer wireless headsets, as a bonafide cable hater. So far, I haven't found a headset that matches the best wired solutions, but seriously, the RIG 800LX comes pretty close.
Plantronics' RIG 800LX is a wireless headset solution designed for both Xbox One consoles and Windows PC. It lacks some of the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive headsets out there, but the level of convenience, build quality, and audio you'll get for what you pay represents some pretty incredible value. Here's our review.
Plantronics RIG 800LX Specifications
- Compatibility: Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, Windows PC:
- Mic Signal to Noise: >42 dB
- Mic Sensitivity: -45 dBV/Pa
- Mic Pick Up Pattern: Uni-directional
- Mic Freq Response: 100 Hz–10 kHz
- Battery: 1,500 mAh battery
- Charge Time: 30-Minute charge for every 3 hours of game play
- Max input power: 40 mW
- Impedance: 32 ohms
- Freq Response: 20 Hz–20 kHz
- Drivers: Dynamic 40 mm w/bass tubes
- Wireless: 2.4 GHz digital RF, 10m range
- In the box: Headset, wireless USB adapter, USB charge cable, pre-paid Dolby Atmos code.
- Dimensions: 11 x 9.6 x 4.2 inches
- Weight: 289 grams
- Price: $149.99
Design, durability, and comfort
The RIG 800LX is an impressively comfortable headset. Rarely do I notice the weight of a headset, but the RIG 800LX is incredibly light, weighing just 289 grams. Usually, I prefer headsets to have a little weight because they feel a little more durable as a result, but the RIG 800LX doesn't suffer from this problem. It retains a reassuringly strong feel throughout, which is laudable not only because of its lightweight nature, but also, its modular design.
Each part of the RIG 800LX can be customized. You can remove the floating headband simply by popping out the rubber clasps that hold it in place. Instead of hinges or snapping adjustable straps, the headphones themselves can be removed too and moved up and down within the frame to achieve that perfect fit. The floating headband self-adjusts too. The result is an effortless fit, which I can't praise enough.
The earcups are layered with airy memory foam which feels great on the skin and doesn't get clammy or uncomfortable even across marathon sessions. Thanks to this headset's battery life, you'll be having plenty of long sessions too, since it lasts anywhere up to 24 hours for continuous wireless audio. At this weight, and this price point, it's hard to not be impressed.
The headset comes with an adjustable microphone which can be repositioned easily, and self-mutes when angled in an upward position, continuing the theme of convenience.
As far a design goes, the RIG 800LX looks distinct, sporting almost metallic carbon fibre patterns in black and grey. The angular designs might not appeal to everyone, but I like it a lot more than I thought I would after judging from photographs alone. Since this headset's mic isn't detachable (and it doesn't have 3.5mm or Bluetooth connectivity) you won't be taking this outside for use with your phone anyway. This is a pure gaming headset.
The most important aspect of any headset is the sound experience, and considering this product is wireless, you might be wondering how it handles the signal. Well, the answer is extremely well.
The RIG 800LX uses its own USB signal adapter, which can be switched between Xbox and PC modes. On both consoles and computers, it's a simple case of plug and play, with no need for additional drivers or software downloads. Press the pairing button on the receiver and on the headset, instantly pair, and game on. PC drivers, in particular, can be a pitfall for certain audio accessories, so it's nice to see Plantronics thoroughly nail this aspect of the headset.
I haven't found a single solitary issue with the signal on this headset, despite the tons of potential interference from various other wireless devices in my office. You can rest assured, you'll enjoy a distortion/lag free wireless sound experience with this headset.
Plantronics says that the headset features "sound isolating earcups," but I haven't really found that to be the case. Other (admittedly, more expensive) headsets have been far better at blocking out noise from the outside world, but I'm actually grateful that the RIG 800LX doesn't block out all external sound. Why? Because annoyingly, the voice feedback feature is too quiet to actually help proceedings – if the headset was completely isolating, you'd wind up yelling while chatting.
The headset has independent controls for game sound and chat, allowing you to control your audio levels right there on the headset. You can also alter overall volume, and switch between different audio modes with a separate button.
The microphone quality isn't good enough for recording high-production videos or live streaming, owing to a slightly muffled sound, but it's more than adequate for clear multiplayer chat. The gameplay sound is far better, though.
The RIG 800LX doesn't have a built-in virtual surround solution, instead coming bundled with a free Dolby Atmos license for Xbox One and Windows 10. The soundstage isn't as wide and spacious as you might find with more expensive headsets as a result. You can still determine the direction of enemy fire, but pin-pointing enemy movements a little more difficult when directly compared to some other headsets I've used. Disregarding that, however, Dolby Atmos lives up to its name for atmospherics, and the headset's sound quality is rich, clear, and distortion free even on the more problematic frequencies.
As far as convenience and quality go, few headsets can compete with the RIG 800LX at this price point. The wireless solution is problem-free, connecting easily to both Windows computers and Xbox One consoles without the need for additional settings, drivers, or software. The signal is also powerful, providing lag and distortion-free audio that rivals wired solutions.
The battery life is impressive, providing up to 24 hours of continuous playback. There's a lot to love about the design too, with durable, yet light materials, complemented by a distinctive, confident design and modular adjustability. It feels great to wear, and it's easy to set-up and get gaming.
- Crisp and clear audio.
- Great modular design.
- Comfortable and convenient across Xbox and PC.
- Rock solid wireless signal.
- Huge battery life.
- Soundstage isn't as immersive as more expensive sets.
- Voice monitoring feedback is too quiet.
I was a little disappointed by the low volume of the voice feedback monitoring for chat, and the virtual surround sound experience isn't as great as some other headsets I've used, but at this relatively low price, it's hard to expect perfection in every area.
For $149.99, you will not be disappointed with this headset, particularly if you frequently switch between PC and Xbox use cases as much as me. Simply plug in the USB receiver, flip a switch, and you're good to go on both devices. This is a great product, and it's well worth your consideration.
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at 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!