The new hotness in the audio world right now is Dolby Atmos, and Plantronics, never one to be left behind, has jumped on board with the release of their two newest gaming headsets.
The RIG 800LX and RIG 400LX (starting at $89 at Amazon) both feature Atmos front and center, and each set provides essentially the same performance. The only major difference is the fact that the 800LX is wireless whereas the 400LX is not.
As far as sound quality goes, the RIG headsets aren’t the absolute best quality headsets I have ever used (that honor goes to the Plantronics BackBeat Pro), but each one performs admirably in its own right.
The Plantronics 800 and 400LX each features Dolby Atmos capability (along with a free activation code), 4mm drivers with low frequency resonators, and incredibly comfortable set of ear cups. They also feature a clever toggle that isolate chat noise vs game noise whenever you have trouble hearing you clanmates.
The 800LX, being wireless, offers lag free audio and up to 24 hours of battery life. Setup is very simple; just plug in the small USB dongle, pair with the headset itself, and you’re off and running. I currently have the 800LX plugged into my PC where I enjoy movies and TV, PC games, and music.
The 400LX is a wired headset, and if you’re using it with a mobile device like a phone or tablet, it should function like pretty much any other headphones out there. Using it with a Xbox One, however, unlocks a number of features that its bigger brother, the 800LX, has. A small adapter plugs into the bottom of an Xbox One controller, and the headset plugs into the adapter.
It’s surprisingly comfortable to use, and the adapter really doesn’t get in the way of your hands at all. On the adapter you have the volume knob, a button to toggle between three EQ settings, and a slider to favor chat vs in-game sound.
In terms of sound quality, Dolby Atmos blew me away. I was never really familiar with Atmos, but the sampler app that you can download gives some amazing sounds clips of what Atmos is capable of doing, and the sound quality is incredible crisp.
I was able to test out Atmos sound with Rise of the Tomb Raider, Battlefield 1, and Mass Effect Andromeda on my Xbox One. The quality is simply spectacular. Atmos provides a moving, flowing sound experience, and short of having a full 5.1 or 7.1 setup, Atmos makes headphone listening a treat.
It’s a shame, then, that once you really crank up the volume, the headset starts to crackle and the sound becomes distorted. It’s not really a deal breaker since it’s probably not a smart idea to listen to anything that loud, but I enjoy my movies and games nice and loud. Having that crackling takes you out of the experience when you’re watching Spider-Man fighting The Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
At $149.99 and $99.99 for the 800LX and 400LX, respectively, you’re getting a high performing headset at a mid-range price. Unless you’re a diehard audiophile that notices every little thing, there’s no need to drop the kind of money on a premium headset. The RIG 800 and 400LX will work just fine, and offers a near premium sound experience for an affordable price.