Preferred headphones store
Reviewed on May 01, 2018 , Marc Henney, Yannick Khong

Plantronics RIG 800LX
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.6
Mixed Usage
What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
8.1
Critical Listening
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
5.4
Commute/Travel
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
5.4
Sports/Fitness
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
6.5
Office
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
6.6
Home Theater
Score components:
7.7
Gaming
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

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.

Test Results
Design 6.0
Sound 8.3
Isolation 3.2
Microphone 7.6
Active Features 7.0
Connectivity 4.7
Pros
  • Well-balanced sound.
  • Modular design and decent build quality.
  • Comfortable and lightweight.
Cons
  • Bulky and cumbersome.
  • A lot of distortion at high volumes.
  • Poor noise isolation and leakage.

Check Price

6.0

Design

Score components:
Plantronics RIG 800LX Design Picture

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.

Style
Plantronics RIG 800LX Design Picture 2

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.

7.5 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Plantronics RIG 800LX Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.7 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
1.1 lbs

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.

6.7 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Plantronics RIG 800LX Controls Picture
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Above-average
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : Yes
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
Yes
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through : N/A
Additional Buttons : Presets

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.

6.7 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Plantronics RIG 800LX Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 4.9 C

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.

1.1 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Plantronics RIG 800LX Portability Picture
L : 7.1 "
W : 7.4 "
H : 3.1 "
Volume : 163 Cu. Inches
Stand required : Yes

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.

0 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones do not come with a case or pouch.

7.0 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Plantronics RIG 800LX Build Quality Picture

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.

6.0 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Plantronics RIG 800LX Stability Picture

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.

Cable
Plantronics RIG 800LX Cable Picture
Detachable : N/A
Length : 2.8 ft
Connection : USB

These headphones come with a USB transmitter and a micro USB charging cable.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
8.3

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Plantronics RIG 800LX Frequency Response

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.

9.4 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Plantronics RIG 800LX Bass
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.95 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
18.08 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.77 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.0 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.45 dB

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.

8.7 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Plantronics RIG 800LX Mid
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.68 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.84 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.23 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.4 dB

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.

8.6 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Plantronics RIG 800LX Treble
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.75 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.4 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.61 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.09 dB

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.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
Score components:
7.6 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Plantronics RIG 800LX Consistency L Plantronics RIG 800LX Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.47 dB

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.

8.9 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Plantronics RIG 800LX Group Delay Plantronics RIG 800LX Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.25
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.33
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.58
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
2.83

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.

6.7 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
Plantronics RIG 800LX PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.17 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.48 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
8.2 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
9.1
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
5.9
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

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.

7.8 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Plantronics RIG 800LX Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.728
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.741

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.

3.2

Isolation

Score components:

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.

2.3 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Plantronics RIG 800LX Noise Isolation
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-5.7 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-0.08 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
0.23 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-16.94 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
21.37 dB

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.

4.9 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Plantronics RIG 800LX Leakage
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
50.04 dB

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.

7.6

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
No

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.

7.1 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Plantronics RIG 800LX Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
409.04 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
1.98 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
6358.31 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
0.166
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
21.47 dB

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.

8.1 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Plantronics RIG 800LX SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
29.56 dB

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.

7.0

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

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.

7.8 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
24.7 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
3.2 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
Standby mode
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
Yes
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
No

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.

0 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
N/A
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
N/A
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

These headphones do not have any compatible software for added customization options.

4.7

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 33% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

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.

0 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • <1% PS4 Compatible
  • <1% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
N/A
NFC
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A

These headphones are not Bluetooth compatible. If you want a gaming headset with Bluetooth support, check out the Turtle Beach Stealth 700.

0 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : N/A
Analog
What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB
What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A

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.

5.1 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 5% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 5% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
USB Dongle
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
No
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
Yes
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
Audio + Microphone
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
USB
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
No

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.

8.1 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
41 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
110 ft

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.

9.4 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
33 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A

The RIG 800LX only have about 33ms of delay which is barely noticeable and is more than suitable for gaming and watching movies.

In the box

Plantronics RIG 800LX In the box Picture

  • Plantronics RIG 800LX Headphones
  • Base Transmitter
  • USB charging cable
  • Manual

Compared to other Headphones

Plantronics RIG 800LX Compare Picture

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.

Astro A50

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.

Turtle Beach Stealth 700

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.

Astro A20

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.

SteelSeries Arctis 7

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.

Conclusion

6.6Mixed Usage
What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
Average for mixed usage. The Plantronics RIG 800LX are a gaming headset with a well-balanced sound that's good enough for critical listening but has a lot of distortion at high volumes. They are comfortable and well-padded headphones with a modular design that makes them decently durable. They also have low latency for gaming and watching movies and a long battery life. Unfortunately, they do not block a lot of noise so they won't be the ideal headphones for gaming in loud environments and their bulky design only has one connection option, so you won't be able to use them with your phone outdoors or for sports.
8.1Critical Listening
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Good for critical listening. The Plantronics 800LX are comfortable and one of the better sounding headphones that we've tested. Unfortunately, although well-balanced, their sound tends to distort heavily at high volumes, especially when selecting the preset EQ with a bit more bass. This means if you listen to your music at higher than average volumes you might be disappointed with their fairly low distortion threshold. They do a bit better with their more neutral EQ, so they are still a decent option for critical listening as long as you do not push them too hard.
5.4Commute/Travel
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Poor for commuting. The RIG 800LX are not travel-friendly headphones, so they do not block a lot of noise, and they have a bulky design that doesn't fold. They're also limited by their USB transmitter so unless you use them with your laptop, on a long bus trip or flight, they will not be suitable for traveling and most commutes.
5.4Sports/Fitness
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Sub-par for sports. They have a big and bulky gaming design that's not made for running and jogging. They're not stable, and they're also limited by their transmitter dongle.
6.5Office
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Average for office use. They don't block a lot of noise, so you will hear what's going on around you. They also leak quite a bit so they may distract your colleagues. On the upside, they're comfortable, compatible with PCs, and they have a long battery life so you can listen to your music continuously for hours.
6.6Home Theater
Score components:
Average for home theater use. They have a balanced sound (although it does distort a lot at high volumes) and a good wireless range for most home theater set-ups. They also have a low latency suitable for watching movies, but unfortunately, they have only one connection option that's restricted to PCs or the console variant you purchased. This means, they won't be as practical for all home theater set-ups and they do not have an optical input.
7.7Gaming
Score components:
Good for gaming. The RIG 800LX have a balanced sound, low latency, a convenient wireless design. They're also comfortable and decently breathable enough to wear for fairly long uninterrupted gaming sessions. Unfortunately, their sound distorts heavily at high volumes, they do not block enough noise for particularly noisy gaming environments, and they do not have any supporting software for added customization options. Overall, these headphones get the basics right for gaming but do not have the versatility or customization options of some of the other gaming headsets we've reviewed.

Discussions

Log In

Register

Subscribe to emails:

Create Discussion

Preview Back to editor Format guide

The editor uses special characters (aka. markdown).

To post formatted content follow these rules:

What you typeWhat it will look like
*italic text*italic text
**bold text**bold text
[link](http://rtings.com)link
> quoted text
quoted text
# header

header

- item 1
- item 2
- item 3
  • item 1
  • item 2
  • item 3

* Quotes and lists must be followed by a blank line