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The Rig 800 is still an incredibly comfortable wireless gaming headset

In 2018, I decided in a fit of curiosity to review every single wireless gaming headset on the market: 32 pairs to be exact. None of them were anywhere near as comfortable as the Plantronics Rig 800. “The only one that is so light, so comfortable that I sometimes forgot I wore it,” I wrote to CNET.

Four years later, I am happy to say that the feeling has not changed.

Plantronics no longer exists after merging with Polycom to become “Poly” and then sell itself to HP. But the Rig 800 is doing well at the French gaming company Nacon. I’ve been trying the 2022 “Pro” model for the last few weeks, and it’s hard for me to imagine a more comfortable headset.

It still uses the same exact design with a spring-loaded inner head strap that automatically adjusts the tension to the size of your skull, instead of squeezing the sides of your head with a fixed amount. That, combined with its unique modular headband that lets you snap the ear cups in three different positions for small, medium and large heads, makes it even more comfortable than SteelSeries’ acclaimed Arctis headset, at least in my book. (The weight of 10.9 oz and the super soft ear cups do not hurt either.)

I do not want to call the Rig 800 very nice, but it is nice.

Plus, the $ 150 headset seems to be able to eliminate one of my biggest frustrations with headsets like these: the battery. Not only does the new Rig 800 appear to have even longer battery life than the original – I measured 38 hours at 50 percent volume this weekend, which is 14 hours more than Nacon quotes! – but also it now comes with a magnetic docking station so you can charge it just by putting it down. Although it sometimes requires a firm push to get the contacts in place, it works perfectly and I love having a charge less to worry about.

In some ways, I wish Nacon had gone further than the original design from the 2016 era because some of the rigs’ shortcomings have not changed. Although the gameplay sound is sharp and instantaneous, the headset’s identical 40mm drivers still sound a bit flat and thin without much depth or punch for music and movies. (The rig has bass tubes that strike if there is a real, significant drop, and I enjoy those drops.)

And in one way, the Rig 800 is actually worse: wireless range. While the original Rig 800 had an ugly pigtail of a USB breakout antenna box, I wrote that it had epic range – enough to let me walk across the house and get a snack. Today’s Rig 800 has the smart charging dock, but its wireless antenna is limited to a removable thumb-sized USB stick. It may be useful if you e.g. planning to switch between a console and pc but i got noisy and static and disconnected from only one and a half spaces away.

Jack Reynolds also launched the Rig brand at Plantronics.

Nacon USA President (and Rig Brand Director) Jack Reynolds tells me that since the Rig 800 was one of the company’s best-reviewed, best-liked headsets, the company did not want to change too much on its “quintessential” design. The team just wanted to address some of the biggest complaints, such as its stiff microphone arm and the annoyance of plugging in a USB charging cable. I like that Nacon got rid of the old two-position circuit breaker that was easy to get to by accident. Now press and hold a button.

But I think they should have tested the bigger changes a little more. In addition to the reduced wireless range, I found that the new microphone tends to pick up a lot of wind noise when I just breathe, and Reynolds says that future shipments of the Rig 800 will come with an acoustic cloth for their microphones as a result .

But Reynolds also suggests a more premium Rig headset coming. The existing design is already far more comfortable and has a far better battery solution than my current favorite, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless, for less than half the price. Maybe the next Rig will also give it a run for its money in sound quality.

If you decide to give the Rig 800 a try (instead of one of our other best wireless gaming headset choices), you should know that there are still three versions: one for PlayStation and PC, one for Xbox and PC , which includes Dolby Atmos software, and an upcoming PC-only version. On the Xbox, there is a game / chat balancing; on PlayStation, this disc controls microphone monitoring. Unfortunately, neither of them offers two audio outputs on the PC.

Photograph by Sean Hollister / The Verge

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