Plantronics RIG 700 HD
Gaming Headset (Wireless)
Also available as RIG 700 HX and RIG 700 HS for Xbox One and PlayStation 4
Wireless audio is always a nice to have, or something to consider. But the additional hardware requirements mean that comparatively speaking a wireless headset at around the same price as a wireled offering might differ in a couple of key areas. One, it will probably be heavier or bulkier to accommodate the additional battery and balance requirements, and second the sound quality might be compromised to meet a certain price-range or battery life.
The new RIG 700 HD
manages to alleviate both concerns by opting for a new ultra-lightweight design in addition to keeping a keen eye, or ear, towards a crisp and balanced sound. An aspect that has resulted in the RIG line growing in popularity over the years, and for us – the sound quality of RIG headsets has never proven to be an issue. In fact, it’s the sort of sound suitable for a range of different media. That said, the RIG 700 HD feels like a generational step forward for the brand, especially when compared to something like the RIG 500 Pro
. Lighter, wireless, and on the right on the cusp of premium territory.
- Type: Closed
- Driver: 40mm
- Frequency response: 20 to 20,000 Hz
- Impedance: 32 ohm
- Weight: 241 g
- Microphone Pickup pattern: Uni-directional
- Frequency response: 100 to 10,000 Hz
Those familiar with the RIG sound will be pleased to learn that the RIG 700 HD features the same excellent audio response seen in other headsets like the RIG 500 or RIG 800. This being distortion free and without an overly prominent emphasis placed on low or high frequencies. This balance allows for a simple plug-and-play approach without the need to tweak or fine tune settings. That said, Plantronics has targeted a sub-$200 AUD price for the RIG 700 line and this means that one of the brand’s more notable partnerships – that being Dolby Atmos surround – is now a separate purchase. This doesn’t mean that the RIG 700s don’t support surround sound out of the box, you’ll just have to make do with Windows Sonic surround. Which, in case you’re wondering, does a pretty good job of virtual headset surround.
Design and Comfort
Okay, so the RIG 700 weight of only 241 grams make it somewhat of a miracle. This is ultra lightweight regardless of wires, and when coupled with the same look and feel and comfort found in the RIG line-up what you get is something that can be worn for hours without any fatigue or discomfort. There is a downside to this design approach though, and that comes from the overall finish being, well, a little too plactic-y or potentially flimsy. Which is more of an impression than critique, as the build quality proved to be durable and robust even after extended usage – with the quality of the ear cushions and in-line controls standing out.
“The RIG 700 HD feels like a generational step forward for the brand.”
It will be interesting to see if Plantronics could keep the same sort of weight with a metallic frame ala the more expensive RIG 800 – alongside the lower cost. But, the RIG 700 does feature the right stuff when it comes to versatility – a detachable microphone, easy to use in-line controls for volume and chat balance, and a dongle that allows for easy charging.
Tested on PC with Windows Sonic surround both on and off we were impressed with the clear channel separation and the frequency response that never felt muddied or out of balance. It’s the sort of clarity that amplifies excellent sound design, and when paired with titles like Borderlands 3 or Battlefield V you’ll begin to hear and notice little audio flourishes and details that might otherwise be missed if listening to game audio through traditional desktop speakers. A testament to wonderful drivers found in the RIG line, and wireless audio without sacrificing depth or detail.
Tested in stereo, with various HD music recordings the results were impressive if not exactly ground-breaking. It’s here where we noticed one thing that might be a sticking point for others and that is a tendency for the bass response to be punchy and subtle as opposed to loud or rumbling. Now, if we had to choose, we’d vote for this balanced approach every time – but, it also means that some might fire up an equaliser to add a bit more oomph to explosions and, err, more explosions.
In the end the RIG 700 is another great headset from Plantronics, and one that brings an ultra-lightweight design to the somewhat crowded table full of gaming headsets currently available. And it’s a design feature that deserves recognition, switching from the RIG 700 to something else takes a bit of getting used to. Comfortable, lightweight, and excellent audio. Three for three.