Plantronics RIG 500E

GAX (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE - by Az­izul Rah­man Is­mail zizul

This ex­i­ble and mod­u­lar gam­ing head­set o ers you the choice of 3.5mm and USB con­nec­tions, closed and vented earcups, and with or with­out a mi­cro­phone, but that is only what came bun­dled in the box.

While most gam­ing head­sets are speci cally de­signed for cer­tain sit­u­a­tions, the Plantronics RIG 500E makes sure you are ready for all of them. Its mod­u­lar de­sign makes it com­pat­i­ble with game con­soles, PCs, and mo­bile apps. And you would want to be able to use it with all your de­vices, be­cause it is com­fort­able and sound so good.

But we are get­ting ahead of our­selves here. Let us be­gin with what is in the box. The RIG 500E comes with a frame, a self­ad­just­ing head­band, a ex­i­ble de­tach­able mic boom, a USB Dolby adapter, and two earcups: vented and un-vented. This setup is so ver­sa­tile that tech­ni­cally, with an­other set of frames and head­band, you could make a sec­ond pair of head­phones. Out of the box, the Plantronics RIG 500E re­quires some assem­bly. In­stalling the ad­justable head­band could be tricky if you don’t fol­low the in­struc­tions cor­rectly. Once as­sem­bled, the whole pack­age is light­weight and com­fort­able, and the head­band does a good job in en­sur­ing that it stays in place.

You’ll nd a mi­cro­phone con­nec­tor for each set of earcups to go with the in­cluded de­tach­able boom mic on a hinge lo­cated on the left cup. When con­nected, ip­ping up the ex­i­ble boom mic mutes the mi­cro­phone, which is a nice touch. The ca­ble con­nect­ing the earcups is short, ap­prox­i­mately two feet long with a plug in the mid­dle. You will need to con­nect it to ei­ther a longer 3.5mm au­dio ca­ble (which is bun­dled here), or the in­cluded USB con­nec­tor (or both) for it to reach your PC or mo­bile de­vice.

The pad­ding on the earcups is nei­ther too rm nor too soft. They are cov­ered in fab­ric that is not as warm (or de­te­ri­o­rates as eas­ily) as their faux leather coun­ter­parts. This also makes them ab­sorbent, which can be a deal­breaker for the hy­gien­i­cally con­scious.

Au­dio qual­ity is also a strong point of the RIG 500E. The two in­cluded earcups sound equally good. The vented earcup is ad­ver­tised as non­iso­lat­ing, as in you can hear your sur­round­ing dur­ing use. How­ever, this also en­hances the bass. The iso­lat­ing earcups do a fair job of pas­sively keep­ing sur­round­ing noise at bay, but it is also a joy to use when lis­ten­ing to in­stru­men­tal back­ground mu­sic in a game.

To best en­joy the RIG 500E sur­round sound ca­pa­bil­ity, you will need to plug into its USB con­nec­tor. With the Dolby light turned on, you will feel like you are hear­ing ev­ery­thing while sit­ting in a small room sur­rounded by speak­ers. The 7.1 Dolby sur­round tech­nol­ogy sounds de­cent enough, but di er­en­ti­at­ing sounds from the rear chan­nels is a tad tricky.

The USB Dolby Adapter is a must to en­joy the full vir­tual 7.1 sur­round sound ex­pe­ri­ence.

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