There are two things that I love the most and that is gaming and audio with gaming being the obvious first place, but audio and gaming come hand in hand and it is important to have a good audio setup may it be a speaker system or headphones as long as it immerses you into the game. I always believe that it is worth to invest into a good audio system as long the price can justify the quality that you are getting, which is why I have a 5.1 setup in my room for playing all my games and watching movies. At the same time, I do a lot of gaming and majority of the time with friends, so I don’t want to be that person that has a voice chat with people while the game is playing over my speakers as it makes for a horrible experience for the person on the other side. However, I dislike headphones as they hurt my ears after just a short period of gaming which forced me to bring down the volume of my speakers and mute my game audio making me very frustrated. So the nice people over at Plantronics sent me the Plantronics Rig 500 HD for me to try out and I can’t thank them enough because it solved many of my problems.
Even if the headphones are overall made from plastic, the material they used does not feel cheap at all, the headband connecting both the ear pieces is extremely flexible allowing me to remove it easily or put it on my head without worrying about it snapping like most headphones. Just below that is the headpad that goes in between the headband and my head which is so soft and comfortable, I once had a long gaming session with some friends and after two games of Overwatch I totally forgot about it, but mainly I am grateful for it because it blocks the headband from pushing down on the top of my head, it can be removed for those of you that prefer it not to be there. Coming down to the earcups, this was where I was slightly disappointed because unlike other headphones which allow you to adjust the height of the cups, here you are limited to three settings based on the three holes where the earcups will snap to.
This was not a problem for me cause I made do with the lowers hole but I believe it will be nice if they gave the option to allow people to freely adjust it to their preference. There is a reason to this, Plantronics has given an option of two different types of earcups, the one I have is the noise cancellation cups and the other one which can be bought separately is the ventilated cups which allows you to hear your surroundings and keeps your ears cool. Remember how I said that headphones hurt my ears? Well, this headphone did not, mainly because it is over the ear and it has a lot of space for my big ears, I never experienced any pain or discomfort while gaming which is such a huge relieve for me.
Now, this is the most important part of a headphone because even if the build quality is bad or it just looks ugly, as long as the sound quality is good I would not mind getting them. In this case, the headphone does look nice and the sound quality is great. I love how the lows feel really solid but at the same time not overwhelming making for comfortable listening even at louder volume levels. The highs are also good and not making it too sharp that it hurts to listen to. Kicks seem to come from the centre back of your head which I believe is thanks to the 7.1 surround sound with the help of Dolby Audio which can be disabled and enabled from a button press on the driver connected to the wire.
I don’t think you would want to disable it when listening to music because it just sounds so much better with it on. However, when it comes to gaming this is where it becomes a personal preference because I found myself turning it off when I am playing high action games but turning it on when I am playing RPG or games that don’t have too much sound all at once. It took me a while to figure out if I would want this on or off when playing games so I grateful again that it has a dedicated button for the 7.1 surround sound.
When testing out the noise-cancellation microphone with my gaming buddies, they did say that my voice came out crystal clear and they also said that they could hear less of my overhead fan which after I tested out recording my voice found that it was definitely much more clearer than other cheaper headphones mics. Another feature of the mic is that if you flip the mic up it would actually mute the mic which is much easier than alt-tabbing and going to Discord to mute the mic.