Plantronics is a commercial electronics company with a rich history in communications-based technology. They have provided high quality headsets and audio equipment to the likes of astronauts, such as Neil Armstrong, to even aviator pilots. Recently, however, Plantronics hasn’t made any significant impact in the audio industry and they are losing ground in a market they used to dominate.
Their solution? Release a new line of headsets aimed at gamers and e-sports enthusiasts. The RIG 400 HS is the budget model of these new headsets and while most consumers will skip it because they believe budget products are inferior or lacking, the RIG 400 HS actually delivers a quality experience for your ears to enjoy.
Aesthetically the RIG 400 HS is a mixed bag. The headset is heavily sci-fi inspired, designed with sharp edges and hollow points around the frame to reflect its lightweight structure. Meanwhile, the 40 mm drivers use a different textured finish then the matte plastic used on the band. The headset is also cushioned with memory foam to relieve pressure off of your head while you’re gaming for hours. Originally I believed the RIG 400 HS had a modular design that customers could customize because of its unique rail system, but unfortunately that’s not the case. The rail system only serves as a way to lock the 40mm drivers into three set positions.
My first experience with a gaming headset was the Turtle Beach P4C’s, and it was admittedly the most garbage audio device I have purchased to date. For just an extra investment of $20, I wish that the RIG 400 HS were available at that time because this headset delivers some great audio for only $50. All of the intense in-game audio that used to leak out from the singular ear cup of the P4C now feels isolated within the highly sensitive drivers of the 400 HS. The quality of that audio is in class with some of the most highly recommended $100 headsets on the market today.
There was only one large problem I encountered using the RIG 400 HS and that has to due with mic compatibility. The removable noise-cancelling mic works great on PS4, and despite its short length, my party was always able to hear me clearly. I just wish I was able to take this headset and use it on other platforms, like PC. While the headset works perfectly the moment you plug it into any headphone jack, for some reason the mic doesn’t register at all on any of my tested platforms, except for the PS4. Even the P4C’s mic could work on PC without driver support, so this problem is baffling to me. What otherwise would be considered a homerun budget headset is kneecapped for poor compatibility issues.
This leaves me conflicted at the final verdict for the RIG 400 HS. For $50 you get a great PS4 headset to use across all the multiplayer titles in your library, but on any other platform you’re only getting the benefit of experiencing some high-quality stereo sound. Today’s market of audio equipment should work flawlessly across multiple platforms, especially the ones they claim work right out of the box, but sorely that’s not the case here. If you’re budget gamer that only has a PS4, you won’t regret the purchase. Otherwise look somewhere else if you’re looking for an audio device that works across all of your gaming platforms.