Review – Plantronics RIG 500 Pro Esports Edition Headset

Review – Plantronics RIG 500 Pro Esports Edition Headset

Headset heavyweights Plantronics are back with a brand new headset line under the umbrella of the RIG 500. The latest Esports edition brings a cross-platform model for use with PC, Xbox One and PS4, and a whole bunch of exciting features to make it one of the most durable and exciting gaming products on the market.


The RIG 500’s design is immediately enticing, not only visually but with the favoured metallic exoskeleton
look that Plantronics have gone for to bring an extremely sleek look. The dark grey colour gives it that industrial feel, coupled with a spare pair of fabric ear cushions thrown in for good measure. On the subject of ear cushions, this particular oval-shaped set offers leatherette edges, which helps to block out as much sound as possible, whilst the inner fiber-coated memory foam boasts plentiful comfort, particular for those longer gaming sessions.
And it feels as if the RIG 500 is made to last for longer periods of gaming, with simple options for adjustment to get the fit that’s right for you. With an elastic cord running through the padded headband, it allows for a quick yet not always so sizeable adjustment to be made. Bigger adjustments have been left down to the three size options that are featured on both sides of the earpieces, with the previously mentioned cord taking care of size options between these three choices on offer.
Two 3.5mm audio cables come with the RIG 500, one for use with PC and the other for console gamers. The PC version features a volume control on the cable itself, whilst I found the console cable to be of more use in terms of where its controls are located. When plugging the cable into my Xbox One controller, the volume is controlled in the form of a small dial, which is within reaching distance of your thumb in case you need to make an alterations mid-battle. Not to say that the wires are particularly intrusive or at risk of getting tangled, but a wireless version would make this the complete headset just for that additional level of freedom, but it’s very far from being a deal-breaker.


The microphone is one of the headset’s strongest features, no doubt. It once again emphasises the clever design technique in the making of the RIG 500, bringing the best of both worlds with a mic that is detachable but can also be fixed into place, and simply flipped up for when you choose not to use it. I’ve found with microphones in the past that it can be frustrating to have to alter the positioning for whatever reason, whether it being too close to bring out breathing sounds or being too far away that ultimately effects the volume and clarity of your voice coming through, but thanks to its fixed placement and ability to pick up voice clearly at a reasonable distance, there’s no such issues to be found as far as the microphone is concerned.


Each version comes with a code that can be redeemed for Dolby Atmos on Windows 10 and Xbox One, which serves to enhance your audio experience even further courtesy of its three dimensional sound. The stereo sound when playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 allowed for discovery of some rather neat audio features that couldn’t be heard previously, and the design of the earpieces do a great job in canceling out unwanted noise. BO4 isn’t a title on Dolby Atmos’ radar as of yet, but there are games such as Gears of War 4, Overwatch and Super Lucky’s Tale that make the very most of Dolby and took the headset’s audio prominence to a whole other level. There is a much more of a surround sound feel when enabling Atmos for particular games, giving you far more awareness of your surroundings such as enemy location, something which can prove to be the difference between winning and losing.
One key characteristic that is an absolute must, especially when you’re paying a decent price for a headset in today’s market, is the ability of the mix being able to completely immerse you in whatever game you’re playing. The headset so far has been tested on a variety of games as I discussed earlier, with other titles to be added to that list including Resident Evil, Fortnite, Forza Horizon 4 and PUBG. Shooters especially seem to have a distinct upgrade, with particular clarity coming from distant gunfire with none of the low, mid or higher frequencies canceling each other out at any point. So as far as the mix goes, Plantronics have done a great job in not sacrificing any frequencies within to compensate another.


Overall, the Plantronics RIG 500 PRO Esports Edition brings a headset to the table that is tough to beat. Once I managed to find a comfortable fitting, it proved to be a completely immersive experience when using it, which is exactly what I was hoping for. The motto of “you get what you pay for” rings true here, and by paying a fair (compared to other headsets at retail) but premium price, you are certainly getting a premium product. It looks, feels and sounds like a piece of kit that will withstand the slog of those long competitive hours of gaming, with some simple yet effective features that will keep you enticed in comfort for a long time to come.

Author's rating

Overall rating

The good
  • Sleek exoskeleton design
  • Immersive audio mix
  • Comfortable to use for longer gaming sessions
The bad
  • Wireless version would offer more freedom
  • Dolby Atmos compatible games list is short at this time
About author

Jack Hamnett

Twitch affiliate/filthy casual. Spends far too much time replaying 2D platformers, quoting South Park and complaining about the quality of British TV adverts.

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