If you are looking for the easiest way to get in on the sound revolution, Plantronics Rig 400 is your best bet. The emergence of 4K has visually defined this generation and the audio equivalent of it has to also be object-based audio, most predominantly with Dolby’s Atmos technology.
The new technology is now making its way into cinema as well as the world of games via the Xbox One family as well as PCs running Windows 10. The Plantronics RIG 400 headset that costs $49 / £44.99 / AU$68 can work with your PS4, but you will like to use it with a Microsoft console for the benefit of Atmos.
Before we dab into how Atmos support works, let’s talk about what you are physically getting with the Plantronics RIG 400 gaming headset.
Plantronics RIG 400 design
We would love to say that the RIG 400 headset is one of the most comfortable handsets we had ever seen. It is the budget headset on the RIG lineup, which means no noise-cancellation or wireless operation, but this brings the advantage of making it exceedingly light. It feels like you ate not wearing anything at all when you are wearing it.
Its soft fabric ear cushion sits over the ears without touching the ears and these headphones are open-backed, meaning air can easily get through the ear-cups to cool your ears. While we love cool ears, this, unfortunately, means the headphones are quite leaky when it comes to sound. If you are looking for a headphone that when you wear it, it will block out the outside world, then RIG 400 headphone is not for you, but if you play games in a silent house, it is less of an issue.
The RIG 400 is a wired headset, and by Plantronics default, it uses a combination of headphone/mic jack to transmit audio. This jack is compatible with most phones, the Xbox One and the PS4. If you want to use it with your PC, Plantronics supplies you a Y-splitter to plug it into separate headphone and microphone jacks.
One issue with the splitter is that there is no label on both headphone and microphone. So we’d be surprised if you plugged the cable in the wrong way before you finally get it right. There is an in-line remote, which includes mute and volume sliders.
Atmos in detail?
Since Dolby Atmos is forming a major part of the Plantronics RIG 400 gaming headset marketing push, we find it necessary to explain how the functionality works. It is not an exclusive feature to this headset, but Plantronics has simplified the process for you.
It simplifies it by including an Atmos license key in the box with every pair of the headphone. If you want to use a different pair of headphones to get Atmos, then you need to purchase the license separately.
On PC, the license is inputted into the Xbox app. You will then attach it to your Xbox account and applies it across your PC and any Xbox One consoles you use the same profile on.
Where it gets more complicated is that the license only applies to the games you bought through Microsoft store. Some other games are available through services like Battle.net and Steam that support Atmos on PC, but which license key is not needed for. Boot up Overwatch with the current pair of headphones and you can get on Atmos without any issue.
The situation is complicated, but Plantronics has done a great job to simplify it. What you need to know here is that, if you like the headphone you are currently using and wants to upgrade to Atmos, you don’t need to buy new hardware. What you need to do is buy the Dolby Atmos license from the Microsoft store.
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The Plantronics RIG 400 performance
Once you get over all those confusion, the headphone is great and the microphone works fantastically with people we played with. They said our voice sounded clear and great.
All the sound from a match of PlayerUnknown Backgrounds was very clear and outstanding, from the sound of enemy’s footsteps to the crack of gunshots in the distance.
This headset is even great when you use it for music. Though the style of the headset is for gamers and many won’t like to use it too much outside gaming, but people who want to use it to listen to music can use it.
When playing music with this headphone, you will realize that the bass doesn’t really have the kick of a more expensive pair, but we can forgive that omission since it is a budget headset. The most significant issue with this headphone is the amount of sound leakage such that the microphone frequently picks up the output of the headphones. Although you can’t notice this on your own, but other people talking to you will be able to hear themselves.
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Mic quality is clear and crisp
Decent sound for its price
Atmos license is a great inclusion
Bass lacks power and depth
Mic frequently picks up audio from headphones
Design allows a lot of background noise in
If you are looking for a pair of headphones to play single-player games, especially on Windows 10 or Xbox One, then this Plantronics RIG 400 has much going for it.
Its audio quality is nice at this price, the sound is lovely and wide, and it fits very comfortable. The inclusion of the Dolby Atmos license is great for anyone who wants to try the new technology ou on those games supporting it.
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Unfortunately, we won’t be able to recommend the headset for use in multiplayer gaming where you will need to talk to others because of the feedback problems between the microphone and the headphones. It is a shame for your teammates to hear themselves constantly fed back through the microphone of the headset, but the price means this is not much issue.