RIG 800 Pro HS headphones review – Can you RIG it? – GAMING TREND
First let me apologize for the terrible pun, but I stand by it. The RIG 800 Pro is now here and available in an Xbox, PlayStation and soon a PC model. As many know, I use a lot of different accessories, and have talked about gear over the last two months, and Nacon has added another with the PlayStation model of the 800 Pro (the HS version we’re reviewing ). I could really start and end this one with a “Will it Call Of Duty”, another thing I do a lot, but with the RIG 800 Pro exceeding my expectations, it certainly deserves more of your time and my time.
Without further ado, let’s jump into the box! Inside you’ll find the aforementioned RIG 800 Pro, USB wireless dongle, wireless charging base, and micro-USB charging cable. The charging base works in several ways in that it can work only as a charging station, but to save USB ports, you can plug the wireless dongle into it. The base itself is very pleasant to look at, and allows you to put the helmet upright on it to recharge it, which works with aplomb. I had no problem placing it on the dock and rocking the helmet – the fit is perfect.
That said, let’s talk about the headset itself. The RIG 800 Pro has two very comfortable ear cups, with the exterior in leatherette and what rests on your ears in surprisingly plush fabric. One of my biggest issues with headphones is the heat; that uncomfortable burning sensation that some get on your ears or on the top of your head after a while, but the RIGs don’t do that at all despite my concerns given the construction. In fact, I’ve spent several hours in Call Of Duty on several occasions with these, and they stayed cool the entire time. Along with that, the plastic frame design of the headset shouldn’t work as well as it does; feeling somehow cheap but ridiculously durable. It’s not a knock on them at all either, and I think it’s more of a compliment on their levity. The other design feature I’ve always loved with RIG helmets is the fabric ski band that keeps pressure off your head, another win for the 800 Pros.
While comfort is extremely important, sound quality is just as important. The RIG 800 Pro features 40mm low-frequency resonator drivers, which is a lot of technical jargon to say that they generally do bass and mids well while still accepting bass tones. I usually put them through a few tests, and that’s usually multiplayer, single player, and of course music. For multiplayer, I obviously played the third season of Call Of Duty: Vanguard a lot (our impressions here), and I was pleasantly surprised by the intangible benefits offered by the RIG 800 Pro. Not only does everything sound really good, but the directional sound was sublime. On top of that, I was also able to enable Dolby Atmos through my PC, adding Dolby EQ and expertise to the experience.
With single player, I focused on using the headset on the PS5 and seeing great results. I haven’t tried Vampyr yet, so I thought now was the best time to do so. This one is very story driven, with lots of dialogue, lots of atmospheric sounds and a wonderful background soundtrack, and it all sounded fantastic on the 800 Pro. Directional audio is always a highlight (e.g. a character talking in a tent to my rear left), and the RIG even uses 3D audio from the PS5, which certainly adds value to it. Finally, I used August Burns Red’s “Compose” (one of my favorites) to judge it from the music and the whole track sounds amazing through headphones. Based on audio performance alone, the Rig 800 Pro passes with flying colors.
The other part of the audio experience with headphones is the microphone. I’ve gotten pretty particular with mine lately, mainly because I’ve switched to using my Elgato Wave 3 mic which sounds amazing. You usually won’t end up with something that sharp, I mean you’ll pay almost as much for said mic as the RIG 800 Pro, but it doesn’t have much drop off all told. Talking with my teammates about how it sounded, making recordings, and playing myself all helped me determine that your calls are going to be heard and that it’s not too hot where you’ll start buzzing . It can be a little weak at times, but I was able to adjust the mic closer to my face to fix it.
What’s not as great is the fact that charging still lags the curve. Yes, I really like the docking station, but it works via a micro-USB cable and if you want to be more portable, you’re still stuck charging the headset with a micro-USB. It’s not necessarily a deal breaker, but USB-C allows for much faster charging as well as fast charging, and I’m not sure the docking station allows it to be that fast. With the docking station, the only thing I don’t like is the lack of functionality aside from charging and using it as a “dongle”. I would have liked to see some sort of “mix-amp” capability out of it, and while that might increase the price, you’d just like to see it function as more than just a dock. Either way, it seems inexcusable to use anything other than USB-C charging in 2022, and I’d be fine without the docking station if I had that. On the plus side, the RIG sports a 24-hour battery, and I never felt the end of it during a gaming session.
Another important factor for any helmet is its versatility. For the RIG 800 Pro, there’s only one way to connect it and that’s through the USB-A ports, and even then you’ll have to choose your console of choice. While I fully understand that many headsets don’t offer the ability to switch between devices, one of my favorite headsets allows me to use it with literally anything. Part of that is the connection, it uses a USB-C dongle and an adapter for USB-A, but beyond that there’s a 3.5 port for wired use. I understand that there are only a limited number of ports on a headset, but given that this other headset is only $20 more, I don’t know why the RIG 800 Pro couldn’t have include at least one to give it that little extra. The more devices I can use something, the more I’ll use it, and at least with the 800 Pro I’m stuck on PlayStation and PC.
I was going to bring some of these other features into different sections where they would fit in, but after some deliberation I wanted to explain how the RIG 800 Pro does a lot of little things well. Starting with the mic, I love the flip to mute feature. I know several headphones do this, but with this one Nacon has added an audible indicator, with a handy beep heard in your ears to let you know if it’s muted, with a similar tone to let you know you’re back in line. These tones are another part of the headset that I’m in love with. There’s one to let you know you’re turning the headphone volume too high, as well as voice cues (a female voice saying turn on for example) to turn it on and off, even being able to press the power button while you’re using it for a connection and battery power notification. Another feature on many headsets is mic monitoring, but having a dial on it so I can fine-tune it on the go is appreciated. It’s the little things that make a good device a great device, and the RIG 800 Pro is a great device by those standards.
The RIG 800 Pro is a fantastic headset that does the little things well among a few flaws. Sure, I wish I could use it through more devices, and I’m not sure how micro-USB charging was justified in the design room, but a lightweight, comfortable headset with phenomenal sound and a great mic makes up for it that, at least a little.
David Burdette is a TN gamer/writer/content creator and editor of Gaming Trend. He loves Playstation, Star Wars, Marvel and many other fandoms. He also plays way too much Call Of Duty. You can chat with him on Twitter @SplitEnd89.