Reviewed on May 01, 2018

Plantronics RIG 800LX Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
6.0
Mixed Usage
8.3
Neutral Sound
5.0
Commute/Travel
4.9
Sports/Fitness
5.9
Office
7.7
Wireless Gaming
6.1
Wired Gaming
6.7
Phone Call
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. Note that we tested the Xbox One variant of this headset, but we expect similar results for the PS4 variant.

Test Results
Design 6.0
Isolation 3.1
Microphone 7.8
Active Features 7.4
Connectivity 1.4
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.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

Check Price

6.0

Design

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

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
Weight : 0.7 lbs
Clamping Force
:
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
OS Compatibility
:
N/A
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Decent
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : Yes
Channel Mixing
:
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
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
L : 7.1 "
W : 7.4 "
H : 3.1 "
Volume : 163 Cu. Inches
Transmitter 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
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

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

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.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
Top

Sound

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.

Sound Profile
Bass Amount
:
-1.02 db
Treble Amount
:
1.04 db
7.6 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
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.

9.3 Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
0.95 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
18.08 Hz
Low-Bass
:
0.77 dB
Mid-Bass
:
0.0 dB
High-Bass
:
-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 Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
1.68 dB
Low-Mid
:
-1.84 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-1.23 dB
High-Mid
:
-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 Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
2.75 dB
Low-Treble
:
2.4 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-0.61 dB
High-Treble
:
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.

7.7 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
1.51 db
Dips
:
0.94 db
8.9 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.25
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.33
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.58
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
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.

6.8 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
2.17 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
3.48 dB
PRTF Distance
:
8.2 dB
Openness
:
9.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
5.8

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.

8.3 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.162
WHD @ 100
:
0.080
3.1

Isolation

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.

2.1 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-5.7 dB
Bass
:
-0.08 dB
Mid
:
0.23 dB
Treble
:
-16.94 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
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
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.

7.8

Microphone

Integrated
:
No
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
Yes
Detachable Boom
:
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.

7.4 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
409.04 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
1.98 dB
HFE
:
6358.31 Hz
Weighted THD
:
0.166
Gain
:
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
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
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.

7.4

Active Features

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.

8.2 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
:
24.7 hrs
Additional Charges
:
0
Total Battery Life
:
24.7 hrs
Charge Time
:
3.2 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
Standby mode
Audio while charging
:
Yes
Passive Playback
:
No
Charging Port : micro-USB

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
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

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

1.4

Connectivity

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 is one of the best headsets for Xbox One we've tested) 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
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Default Latency
:
N/A
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

These headphones are not Bluetooth compatible. If you want a gaming headset with Bluetooth support, check out the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 or the SteelSeries Arctis 9X especially if you mostly play on the Xbox One.

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

8.5 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
110 ft
Non-BT Latency
:
33 ms
0 Wired
Analog Audio
:
N/A
USB Audio
:
N/A
Detachable : N/A
Length : 2.8 ft
Connection : USB
Wired Latency
:
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.

PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
No
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
No
Xbox Wired USB
:
No
Xbox Wireless
:
Audio + Microphone
3.4 Base/Dock
Type
:
Wireless USB Dongle
USB Input
:
Yes
Line In
:
No
Line Out
:
No
Optical Input
:
No
RCA Input
:
No
Dock Charging
:
No
Power Supply
:
USB

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.

In the box

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

Compared to other Headphones

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. See our recommendations for the best Xbox One gaming headsets, the best PS4 headsets, and the best wireless gaming headsets.

Astro A50 Gen 3 Wireless 2017
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Both the Astro A50 Gen 3 Wireless 2017 and Plantronics RIG 800LX are good gaming headsets. The Astros feel more solid and are slightly more comfortable than the 800LX. Both have great audio reproduction, but you can EQ the Astros in their app, which the Plantronics are lacking. The Astro’s dock is superior, as it has multiple inputs and acts as a charging platform for the headphones, while the Plantronics only has a USB dongle. On the upside, they have better wireless range than the Astro and about twice the battery life, which is great.

Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Plantronics RIG 800LX is a better gaming headset than the Turtle Beach Stealth 700. They have great audio reproduction and don’t feel as flimsy as the Stealth 700. Most of the parts are easily replaceable, and they have an amazing 25-hour battery life. However, the RIG 800LX don’t have the versatility of the Turtle Beach headset. You can only use it with its USB dongle, while the Stealth 700 can be used wirelessly with its dongle while streaming audio from your phone via Bluetooth. You can also use their wired connection.

SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The SteelSeries Arctis 9X are better performing gaming headphones, but the Plantronics RIG 800LX Wireless are more versatile since they can be used with both PS4 and Xbox One and on PC, while the 9X are designed for the Xbox One only. The RIG 800LX also have better wireless latency. On the other hand, the Arctis 9X have a nice companion app with customization options, and they are also Bluetooth compatible and don’t require a transmitter to work. Their microphone recording quality is noticeably better and their overall build feels more solid. If you only play on Xbox One, the Arctis 9X is the better option, but if you need a versatile headset, the RIG 800LX might be a better option.

6.0 Mixed Usage

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.

8.3 Neutral Sound

Good for neutral 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 neutral listening as long as you do not push them too hard.

5.0 Commute/Travel

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.

4.9 Sports/Fitness

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.

5.9 Office

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.

7.7 Wireless Gaming

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.

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