If this era has been visually outlined by the emergence of 4K, then the audio equal must be object-based audio, most predominantly with Dolby’s personal Atmos expertise, and the Plantronics RIG 400 is billed as the best method of getting in on this sound revolution. 

For the uninitiated, Dolby Atmos basically provides a three-dimensional encompass sound system. Somewhat than sound merely coming from round and behind you, Atmos permits audio to come back from above you as nicely. 

The brand new expertise has began to make its method into the world of cinema, nevertheless it’s additionally making its method into the world of video games as nicely by way of the Xbox One household of machines in addition to PCs working Home windows 10. The $49.99 (£44.99 / AU$68) RIG 400 headset can work with the PS4, however you’ll wish to use it with a Microsoft console to get the advantage of Atmos. 

We’ll get into how the Atmos help truly works in only a second, however first let’s take a look at what you’re bodily getting with the RIG 400 gaming headset.

Design

We’d be inclined to name the RIG 400 one of the vital comfy headsets we’ve ever used. It’s the finances sibling of the RIG lineup, which suggests no wi-fi operation or noise-cancellation, however this additionally has the benefit of creating it fantastically mild. We wouldn’t say it feels such as you’re carrying nothing in any respect , nevertheless it definitely comes shut. 

The tender cloth ear cushions sit over your ears with out touching them in any respect and the headphones are open-backed, that means that air can move simply by means of the ear-cups to maintain your ears cool. 

Whereas we’re naturally massive followers of cool ears, this does sadly additionally imply 

Mic versatility

The headset’s microphone arm could be indifferent if you wish to get some single-player gaming performed with out it getting in the way in which. 

that the headphones are very leaky in relation to sound. In order for you a headset that you could put on to dam out the skin world then the RIG 400 is just not it, however in the event you play video games in a quiet home then it’s much less of an issue. 

This can be a wired headset, and by default Plantronics makes use of a mix mic / headphone jack to transmit audio. This can be a jack that’s appropriate with most telephones, the PS4 and the Xbox One. If you wish to use it with a PC, Plantronics provides a Y-splitter so you may plug it into separate microphone and headphone jacks. 

You alter the match of the headset by eradicating the earcups solely and attaching them additional down the headscarf

We spent most of our time with the headset taking part in on PC, and we grew to turn out to be very annoyed with this splitter, which doesn’t clearly label its microphone and headphone sides. We plugged the cables within the mistaken method spherical extra occasions then we’d care to confess, and we’d be stunned in the event you didn’t do the identical. It’s not the most important inconvenience, however clearer labelling would have been an enormous assist right here. 

Lastly, an in-line distant contains mute and quantity sliders.

Atmos defined

Since Dolby Atmos is forming a key a part of the RIG 400’s advertising push, it’s value taking a while to elucidate precisely how this performance works. It’s not an unique characteristic to this model of headsets, however Plantronics does simplify the method for you. 

It does this by together with a license key for Atmos within the field with each pair of headphones. You should use a unique pair of headphones to get Atmos, however you’ll have to purchase this license individually to take action. 

On PC, the license is inputted into the Xbox app. It’s then hooked up to your Xbox account, and it then applies throughout your PC and any Xbox One consoles that you simply use the identical profile on. 

The mic arm is detachable in case you wish to use the headset as a pair of headphones

The place it will get difficult is that this license solely applies to video games bought by means of Microsoft’s personal retailer. There are different video games obtainable by means of companies akin to Steam and Battle.web that help Atmos on PC, however which you don’t want this license key to entry. Boot up Overwatch together with your present pair of headphones and you’ll activate Atmos with no downside. 

It’s an advanced scenario, and Plantronics has performed a very good job to simplify it as a lot as it might probably. The essential factor to grasp, nevertheless, is that in the event you like your present headset and wish to improve to Atmos, then there’s no want to purchase new . You simply want to purchase the Dolby Atmos license from the Microsoft retailer. 

Efficiency

When you recover from the Atmos confusion, the headphones sound nice, and the microphone works nicely with individuals we performed with reporting that our voice sounded good and clear. 

All of the sounds you’d count on from a match of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds had been clear and distinct, from the sound of footsteps of enemies creeping overhead, to the crack of gunshots within the distance.  

Though element was good, we had been impressed most of all with how spacious the sound was, which actually advantages a recreation like PUBG the place spacial consciousness is at its most essential. 

This headset may even do an honest job of taking part in music. Their ‘gamer’ styling and leaky acoustic design means we wouldn’t wish to use them within the outdoors world a lot, however the choice is there for those who need it. 

A y-splitter lets you use the headset with most PCs, however the mic and headphone cables could possibly be labelled higher

When taking part in music you realise that the bass response of those headphones doesn’t fairly have the kick of a dearer pair, however since this headset sits on the finances finish of the spectrum we’re inclined to forgive this omission, notably when the choice in so many instances appears to be to introduce an amazing quantity of bass. 

Our single greatest concern with the headset is that the quantity of sound leakage is such that the microphone often picks up the output of the headphones. Though you don’t discover it your self whereas utilizing them, different individuals speaking to it is possible for you to to listen to themselves. 

This makes the headset really feel rather a lot cheaper than it truly is. You could be heard loud and clear by the individuals you’re taking part in with, however there’s a continuing suggestions loop that may be heard even if you’re taking part in at low volumes. 

It’s a extremely unlucky downside, and one which severely undermines the headset as a communications machine, even when the standard of each the headphones and the microphone are particular person very respectable, particularly at this worth. 

A small distant lets you rapidly alter volumes and mute your microphone on the fly

Verdict

In case you’re simply in search of a pair of headphones to play single-player video games with, notably on Xbox One or Home windows 10, then the Plantronics RIG 400 has rather a lot going for it. 

Audio high quality is first rate at this worth level, match could be very comfy, and the soundstage is beautiful and large. The inclusion of a Dolby Atmos license is a good addition for anybody trying to check out the expertise on these video games that help it, even in the event you’re capable of purchase it individually to your present headset. 

However the unlucky suggestions issues between the headphones and the microphone imply that we’re not capable of advocate the headset to be used in multiplayer gaming the place you’re going to be speaking to others. It’s just too annoying to your teammates to have the ability to hear themselves always fed again by means of the headset’s microphone. 

It’s a disgrace, however at this worth level you’re capable of get headsets that don’t endure from this downside. 

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