Plantronics RIG 700HD evaluate: It improves on its predecessor, but perhaps not enough


    “Plantronics” isn’t any extra—no less than in concept. Having acquired Polycom in 2018, Plantronics took the chance just a few months again to ditch its outdated identify and rebrand as “Poly.” Why’d they alter it? I can’t say. I assume somebody preferred it higher that method.

    But, uh…apparently the parents who designed this headset’s packaging didn’t get the memo: The field touts this because the Plantronics RIG 700HD, a follow-up (kind of) to the RIG 800LX we reviewed just a few years in the past. Barely extra sturdy, barely cheaper, and I’d say, barely higher.

    Solely barely, although.

    Notice: This evaluate is a part of our roundup of greatest gaming headsets. Go there for particulars on competing merchandise and the way we examined them.


    Branding change or not, the RIG line continues to really feel prefer it’s been kit-bashed collectively out of spare components.

    Plantronics RIG 700IDG / Hayden Dingman

    The sizing system is the wrongdoer, I believe. The earcups don’t merely slide up and down the headscarf such as you’d anticipate. As a substitute, there are three holes machined into all sides of the headscarf. It’s a must to pop the earcups out, acutely aware the entire time that they’re held collectively on this in-between state by a single fragile wire, after which fastidiously punch them again into a brand new slot to make changes.

    It’s wild. Reviewing the RIG 800LX, I stated it had “one of many strangest sizing programs I’ve ever seen.” That’s underselling it although. I used to be baffled the primary time I noticed it, and I’m much more baffled that Plantronics has caught with it for therefore lengthy. It looks like a prototype, held collectively by 3D-printed plastic and prayers.

    That stated, it’s a really light-weight “prototype.” If I needed to guess, that’s why Plantronics developed this technique within the first place. It eliminates the burden of a steel headband and strengthened hinges, leading to a RIG 700HD that weighs a mere 8.5 ounces. Battery, transmitter, all of it only a hair over half a pound. Miraculous is what we name that. It’s even lighter than the RIG 800LX, already one of many lightest headsets I’d ever held—although that comes at a price, as we’ll get into later.

    Plantronics RIG 700IDG / Hayden Dingman

    And Plantronics has refined its ad-hoc aesthetic considerably through the years. The RIG 700HD nonetheless seems tough across the edges, but improves on the outdated 800LX by abandoning the floating headband model for a extra conventional padded band. The distinction in consolation is minimal given the RIG 700HD’s mild weight, and it ends in a sleeker silhouette total.

    Plantronics additionally scaled again on texture this time, abandoning the ribbed plastic of the 800LX for clean piano black planes and curves. It’s simpler to seek out the built-in controls in consequence, although the again of the left ear continues to be very crowded: quantity wheel, one other wheel for mixing the sport and chat ranges, an influence button, a MicroUSB charging port, and a mute button, all on one ear.

    The chatmix wheel is a very welcome characteristic on a $130 headset. Not so way back, these have been reserved for the very best of the very best. These days it’s a extra widespread characteristic, seen on Turtle Seaside’s $150 Elite Atlas Aero amongst others, but it’s nonetheless a premium contact on the decidedly budget-friendly RIG 700HD. I solely want it have been simpler to inform which was the quantity wheel and which was chatmix with out taking the headset off. Having one wheel per ear could be much more intuitive.

    Plantronics RIG 700IDG / Hayden Dingman

    But total, it’s a good redesign for Plantronics. Don’t get me mistaken, the RIG 700HD doesn’t look good—but higher, for positive. A powerful brand, a splash of brushed bronze on the ears, these are a marked enchancment to the RIG line. I nonetheless want Plantronics would select a brand new design language, but perhaps that’s for “Poly” to type out.


    Onto the sound, which is the place I had probably the most hassle with the RIG 800LX. To cite our earlier evaluate: