It’s not often a piece of hardware comes along for me to road test, but the wonderful folks at Plantronics put a pair of these bad boys in my hands to give an opinion on.
Quality headsets have become a staple for professional gamers that engage in eSports, but they are also becoming more and more popular among those who take their gaming hobby seriously. I know when I first got my hands on a pair of Turtle Beaches back in the Xbox 360 days, I never looked back. Gaming headsets give you a better idea of where sounds are coming from. They let you hear subtle audio cues like footsteps that can give you a split second advantage over others where it counts. I’m an owner of an XO Four by Turtle Beach, and have owned several other gaming headsets of varying quality in the past. So whilst I have never had the pleasure of experiencing a top of the line headset, I know enough about them to be able to tell the difference between a good headset and a dud.
First thing’s first: What is it?
It’s a stereo headset that has audio amplification and precision audio controls. It comes with an audio adapter that has three pre-programmed EQ modes. After cracking this baby out of its box, the first thing I noticed was how crisp it looked. It certainly has the look of a professional headset. It’s not overly bulky and it’s extremely lightweight. The 40mm speaker on each ear is encased in some of the softest cushioning I have ever worn on my ears. The headset is customisable too. The microphone plugs into a 3.5mm jack next to one of the speakers and you can swap out a standard arm mounted mic with an inline mic suitable for other uses. The mic is connected to a cord that plugs into the adapter which obviously plugs into the controller. Be warned: like with most new devices on the Xbox One, it may mean you need to update the firmware on your controller.
How does it sound?
The sounds coming out of those speakers are as good as you can expect from a stereo headset. The adapter works well if you wish to fine tune your sound. They have managed to do a clever job making the mute button easy to find, but hard to bump accidentally. What I really wanted to know though was whether it worked without the adapter? I own a chat pad and it takes up the adapter slot on my controller. So I plugged it into the 3.5mm jack on the chat pad, and she worked like a charm! If I had any problem with it, it was that the plug is quite long and juts out about 2cm from the bottom of the chat pad, so if you’re gaming with your arms relaxed in front of you, quite often you’re getting poked in the belly.
Is it comfortable?
Yes and no. On the ears it is the most comfortable headset I’ve ever worn. I tested this puppy out on a five hour gaming session and after that length of time my ears are usually feeling a bit tender but not with this headset. Where I was feeling it though, was on the top of my head. The head band is encased in black material with a small amount of padding but after a while my scalp started to complain as the headset dug in a bit. Having said that, it took five hours for it to get sore which is more than I can say for my XO Four.
Is it practical?
Being able to substitute the mic makes it a highly versatile device. I can see it being very handy to use on my iPhone and laptop, and due to its lightweight design, a perfect travelling headset. One thing this headset does do which some haven’t in the past is provide voice feedback. That is where it feeds your voice back though the speakers as you talk so you know how loud you are talking. Another positive note is the length of cable the headset has. It has a very generous length of cable at 1.5m. This means that when sitting down you could put the controller on the floor and your headset won’t get pulled off.
Is it good value for money?
In a word, yes. The RIG FLEX LX retails for around $180. This makes it one of the cheapest decent gaming headsets on the market. For that price you get an extremely lightweight, comfortable, customisable stereo headset that is high in quality. To me, it would be the perfect headset if it weren’t for the lack of padding on the head band but that’s a minor note. If you’re looking to get an entry level gaming headset and don’t want to take out a second mortgage, then this headset is the perfect option for you.
Check out the official Plantronics RIG FLEX LX website here.
You can pick up a set from EB Games here, or JB Hi-Fi here.
SUMMARY: The RIG FLEX LX retails for around $180. This makes it one of the cheapest decent gaming headsets on the market. For that price you get an extremely lightweight, comfortable, customisable stereo headset that is high in quality. To me it would be the perfect headset if it weren’t for the lack of padding on the head band but that’s a minor note. If you’re looking to get an entry level gaming headset and don’t want to take out a second mortgage then this headset is the perfect option for you.