The Plantronics RIG 800LX / 800HS are good gaming headphones with a comfortable and lightweight modular design. They're easy-to-use, have a great battery life and a well-balanced sound that's good enough for critical listening. Unfortunately, their sound distorts heavily at high volumes, which may be a deal breaker for some. Also, like most gaming headsets, they're not made for outdoor use and their build quality feels a bit cheap for their price even if most parts are replaceable.
The Plantronics RIG 800LX have a modular design and a unique look that will work for some but may not be ideal for everyone. They're comfortable, decently breathable and relatively lightweight for their size due to their mostly plastic build quality. They have a simple and easy-to-use control scheme, but like most other gaming headsets they are not portable or stable enough to use outdoors. Their mostly plastic design also feels a little cheap when compared to other headphones within their price range. However, since you can replace most parts of the headphones, it makes them fairly durable as long as you're willing to pay for it.
The Plantronics 800LX have a fairly unique design that keeps them lightweight and modular but won't look as good for all listeners. They have a mostly plastic build quality that looks a bit cheap compared to other gaming headsets in their price range. The ear cups also have a fairly unorthodox shape but they're well-padded and do not stick out too much once on your head. They also have an understated color scheme that's not too flashy regardless of the console variant you choose, which some listeners may prefer.
The RIG 800LX are comfortable headphones with a self-adjusting headband strap. They have large ear cups, comfortable and breathable pads and they're not too tight on the head. You can also further adjust the fit of these headphones, by attaching the ear cups to a lower slot on the headband (the ear cups are detachable). They're also relatively lightweight compared to similarly designed gaming headsets. However, there are only 3 available spots on the headband for adjusting the ear cups, which should be fine for most users but may not be ideal for all.
These headphones have a simple and easy-to-use gaming control scheme. They provide two dials on the right ear cup for volume and channel mixing control, as well as a power button that doubles as the pairing switch. There is also an extra button on the left earcup to alternate between preset EQ modes. Overall, the buttons are easy to find and fairly intuitive to use with decent feedback, but the dials do not provide discrete clicks when adjusting volume or chat mixing levels, which would have been a bit more precise.
These headphones are fairly breathable for an over-ear design. They have slightly porous pads that keep your ears decently cool when compared to other headphones with faux leather padding. However, since they are over-ears they do obstruct a lot of airflow. They will not be the ideal pair for physical activity but should be fine for gaming and more casual uses.
Like most gaming headsets, the Plantronics RIG 800LX are bulky and not portable. They have large ear cups that do not fold or lay flat and they're limited by their transmitter dongle since they have no other connection option. They're a hassle to carry on you if you don't have a bag or a backpack and do not come with a case or pouch, which is slightly disappointing.
The Plantronics 800LX have a decent build quality but feel a bit cheaply made for their price. They should be durable enough to handle multiple drops without breaking, and their mostly plastic build feels decently dense and flexible while remaining relatively lightweight. They also have a modular design so you can replace parts of the headphones when they break, which makes them a bit more durable than average as long as you're willing to pay for it. Unfortunately, their plastic build quality doesn't feel as premium as some of the gaming headsets below their price range. The audio cables leading to the ear cups are also somewhat exposed and since the ear cups are detachable, there is a higher risk of accidentally snapping the cables when trying to adjust the fit of the cups.
Like most gaming headphones, the RIG 800LX are not made for physical activity and aren't stable enough for running. They're bulky and will quickly fall off your head if you use them while working out. On the upside, since they're wireless Bluetooth headphones, there is no cable to get caught on your clothes and yank the headphones off your head.
The Plantronics RIG 800LX is a very good sounding pair of closed-back over-ear gaming headphones. They have a consistent, thumpy, and well-balanced bass, a nearly flawless mid-range, and a very good treble. However, these headphones don't get very loud, and when they are brought close to their maximum loudness, their bass breaks up and distorts quite heavily. Unfortunately, this may be a deal breaker for those who listen to bass-heavy content at loud volumes. Additionally, their mid-range is slightly recessed and underemphasized, especially on vocals and leads, and their treble is on the bright side.
The RIG 800LX have excellent bass. LFE (low-frequency extension) is extended down to 18Hz, which is great. Accordingly, low-bass is within 1dB of our neutral target, which means that these headphones produce just the right amount of thump and rumble. Additionally, mid-bass, responsible for the body of the bass guitars and punch of kick drums, is virtually flat and flawless. High-bass, responsible for warmth, is within 0.5dB of our of neutral target. However, it should be noted that when this headphone is pushed to its maximum loudness (which is not very loud actually), their bass starts to breakup and distort.
The mid-range performance is great. The response throughout the range is even and flat, but consistently under our neutral target by about 1.5dB. This results in a reproduction of vocals and lead instruments that sounds a tad pushed back and recessed relative to the bass and treble ranges.
The Plantronics RIG 800LX have a very good treble. The response is rather uneven, but well-balanced for the most part. Low-treble has a 5dB peak around 3.5KHz which adds excess brightness and emphasis to the upper harmonics of vocals and lead instruments. Also, the bump in the sibilance range (6KHz-10KHz) makes the S and T sounds a bit piercing, but mostly on overly bright tracks.
The Plantronics RIG 800LX have a good frequency response consistency. In the bass range, the maximum deviation across our five human subjects is about 4dB, which is noticeable, but subtle. In the treble range, the delivery is more prone to positioning as the maximum deviation below 10KHz is about 6dB, but this happens in a very narrow range.
The imaging is great. Weighted group delay is at 0.25, which is within very good limits. The GD graph also shows that the group delay almost never crosses the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched. This is important for accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo image.
The soundstage performance of the RIG 800 LX is about average. The PRTF graph shows a good amount of accuracy, but not a lot of activation, and not a "10KHz notch" either. This suggests that their soundstage will be natural, but relatively small and located inside the listener's head, as opposed to in-front. However, due to the high openness and excitation values, their soundstage will be perceived to be more open, compared to headphones that provide a lot of isolation.
The harmonic distortion performance of the RIG 800 LX is good. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is within good limits throughout the range, except for the sharp peak around 2KHz. This could make the sound of those frequencies a bit harsh and brittle.
Also, we have noticed in our listening test that when this headphone is brought close to its maximum loudness (which is not very loud) it tends to distort quite heavily, especially if the content is bass-heavy. So if you listen to bass-heavy content at a high volume, this may be a deal breaker for you. Since this issue hasn't showed up in our tests, we will investigate improving our distortion test in the future, so it would catch these issues well.
The Plantronics RIG 800LX have a poor isolation performance. They do not block a lot of noise, and they are fairly leaky at moderate-to-high volumes. They are not meant for outdoor use, since they're gaming headsets that are limited by their transmitter's range, but they may also struggle in louder gaming environments like being at a competition. Also, since they're quite leaky, they won't be the ideal choice if you want to game in a quiet room and not distract those around you. However, if you do not mind the leakage level or game alone in a fairly calm environment, then they're a decent choice.
The Plantronics RIG 800LX have poor isolation. In the bass range, where the rumble of airplane and bus engines sit, they achieved no isolation. They didn't achieve any isolation in the mid-range either, which is important for blocking out speech. In the treble range however, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they isolate by about 17dB, which is below-average.
The leakage performance is poor. The significant portion of their leakage is spread between 400Hz and 6KHz, which is a broad range. This results in a leakage that is more full-bodied compared to that of in-ears and earbuds. The overall level of the leakage is relatively loud too. With the music at 100dB SPL, their leakage at 1 foot away averages at about 50dB SPL, and peaks at 66dB SPL, which is noticeably louder than the noise floor of most offices.
The Plantronics RIG 800LX have a good microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this boom mic will sound a tad thin, and slightly lacking in detail and airiness. But it won't be muffled and will be quite easy to understand. In noisy situations, they do a very good job of separating speech from background noise, even in loud environments, like a subway station or a gaming competition.
The Plantronics 800LX's microphone has a decent recording quality. The bass response is lacking by about 5dB between 100Hz and 400Hz, and there's no bass present below 100Hz. The results in a recorded/transmitted speech that sounds a little thin, but it won't be very noticeable. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 6.4KHz means that speech will lack a little bit of detail and airiness, but it won't be too muffled. Overall, it will be quite easy to understand, since speech intelligibility is mostly dependent on the 500Hz-4KHz range.
The boom microphone of the RIG 800LX is very good at noise handling. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of around 30dB. This means they will be able to separate speech from ambient noise to a very good degree even in loud environments, like a subway station.
The Plantronics 800LX have a long 24.7 hr battery life, which makes them a good choice for gaming marathons or for really long listening sessions. You can also use them while they are charging and they have a fairly long standby time but no auto-off feature, which is a little disappointing. They also take quite a bit of time to charge, although it's about average for most gaming headsets. Unfortunately, they do not have any software support for added customization options so they won't have the flexibility and microphone controls that some of the other gaming headsets in their price range have like the Astro A20, Corsair Void RGB or Logitech G533.
These headphones have a good battery life. They have about 24hrs of continuous playback on average which should be more than enough for most gaming sessions. You can also use them while they are charging so you will rarely run out of battery if you're close to a power source like when gaming on PC. Unfortunately, they take quite a bit of time to charge at 3.2 hours and do not automatically power down when inactive. On the upside, they do have a fairly long standby time and a quick 30-minute charge will give you about 3 hours of playback.
These headphones do not have any compatible software for added customization options.
The Plantronics RIG 800LX have only one connection option that's limited to their transmitter dongle. The dongle is also only compatible with the Xbox One (the LX variant) or the PS4 (the HS variant: Plantronics RIG 800HS) depending on the console variant you chose. On the upside, both variants are compatible with PCs, and the transmitter dongle has a good wireless range and a low latency connection that's suitable for gaming and watching movies.
These headphones are not Bluetooth compatible. If you want a gaming headset with Bluetooth support, check out the Turtle Beach Stealth 700.
These headphones do not come with an audio cable that you can use without the transmitter dongle. If you want a gaming headset with an audio cable, then consider the SteelSeries Arctis 7.
These headphones come with a simple, console specific USB transmitter. They have only one input which is their non-detachable USB cable and you can switch between PC or console mode on the transmitter. Unfortunately, the base does not work across platforms so you won't be able to switch between your PS4 and Xbox One, and there is no optical input.
Update: Through user interaction, we were made aware that you have limited functionality when connecting the transmitter to the PS4 if you set the transmitter to PC mode. We've tested this setup and can confirm that it does gives you audio and microphone support but no controls. You won't be able to change the volume or microphone balance directly on the headset but having voice and audio support on the PS4, even with limited functionality, is pretty great.
The Plantronics RIG 800LX have a good wireless range and reached up to 40ft when the dongle was obstructed and in another room, and up to 110ft in direct line of sight before any major connection drops. It's one of the better wireless ranges for a gaming headset that we've tested and it should be more than enough to comfortably game from your couch.
The RIG 800LX only have about 33ms of delay which is barely noticeable and is more than suitable for gaming and watching movies.
The Plantronics RIG 800HS / 800LX is a good gaming headset with a great but flawed sound quality. They're lightweight compared to other gaming headsets, and their modular design makes them decently durable although they look a bit cheap for their price range. They have a well-balanced sound that caters to both critical listening and gaming, but unfortunately, they distort a lot in the bass range at high volumes. It's a lot worse when you select a more bass-heavy EQ which may be a deal breaker for some. They're a good choice for gaming, but they're not as versatile as some of the competing headsets below.
The Astro A50 is a great gaming headset with a wireless base that provides more connection options than the RIG 800LX. These headphones are comfortable, have low latency suitable for gaming and a good set of wireless features including dock charging with their base. Unfortunately, like the 800LX, they're limited to only one console unless you buy an extra base station. They're considerably more expensive than the Plantronics but have a better performance overall with a customizable software support. If you have the budget, then get the Astro A50 since they're the higher-end, better-sounding, and better-built headset but you can't replace parts of the design as easily as the modular design of the Plantronics.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 is a good gaming headset with very low latency. These headphones have a decently balanced sound, they're Bluetooth-compatible and can be used wired. This gives them way more connection options and compatibility with consoles, PC, and phones that the RIG does not have. On the other hand, they have a worse sound overall and you can't replace parts if they break so they're a bit less durable than the Plantronics. If you need a headset you can use with your console, PC, and phone, then the Bluetooth-capable Stealth 700 are a good option, but the RIG are the better choice for gaming and they also sound better if you do not listen to music at high volumes.
The A20 are a decent gaming headset with a good sound and build quality. They come with a base that's limited to the console variant you purchased and doesn't have as many inputs as Astro A50 or the SteelSeries Arctis 7. On the upside, their build quality feels a lot more premium than that of the Plantronics RIG 800LX, although they're not as comfortable and can be a bit too tight for some heads. They're also not as balanced sounding as the Plantronics but their sound quality is more consistent, even at higher volumes, whereas the RIG have a lot of distortion that may be a deal breaker for some. If you want the better-built and more premium looking headset, then go for the A20. They're also a bit cheaper but won't sound as balanced at average volumes.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is a versatile gaming headset that can also be used wired as casual headphones. They have a lot more connectivity options than the Plantronics RIG 800LX but no optical input. However, since they have a wired option, you can use them with both the PS4 and the Xbox One when plugged into the controllers. They're a better gaming headset than the 800LX and they're a bit better suited for a wide range of use cases. Get the Arctis 7 if you can, but the RIG are a viable option, especially if you only game on a single console or on PC.