CES 2016

Plantronics RIG 500E Gaming Headset Review

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Plantronics RIG 500E Gaming Headset Review



With all this talk about gaming headsets, peripherals and even PC’s at CES 2016, it’s about time for us to throw in a review, yes? Let’s get a little serious – eSports and competitive gaming serious. We reviewed (and loved) pinnacles of Plantronics’ line of casual and hi-end media enjoyments devices, such as the BackBeat SENSE and the BackBeat PRO+. Now it’s time to check out their populated gaming line of headsets. However, we’re not just covering any gaming headset. We’re reviewing their top of the line ESL-endorsed eSports headset, the Plantronics RIG 500E.


HP Drivers dynamic 40mm
HP Freq Response 20Hz-20kHz
HP Impedance 32ohms
HP Max input power 40mW
HP Sensitivity 110dBSPL/V (vented earcups) / 113dBSPL/V (isolating earcups)
Mic Sensitivity -45dBV/Pa
Mic Signal to Noise >42dB
Weight 200 g

Build and Features


The RIG 500E utilizes a very lightweight build consisting of a headband frame that clasps onto both ear cups and a sort of self-adjusting suspension headband. The headband frame is of a common polycarbonate found in many headsets today. The suspension headband is what actually comes in contact with your head and is made of a stretchy mesh fabric.

How do the ear cups play out in this construction? You pick! The RIG 500E gives you the freedom to swap between closed-ear leatherette and open-ear mesh ear cups as you see fit. Whether you enjoy sound isolation for complete game immersion or prefer longer-term comfort and breathability, the RIG 500E is ready for either scenario. Both pairs of ear cups are over-ear in design and can snap into any of three different height slots on each side of the headband frame.

Both ear cup choices house a slot on the left ear cup for a removable and bendable boom mic. The boom mic is noise-canceling and extends outward towards your mouth to record your voices as you would expect. The added feature here is that the mic automatically mutes when the boom is flipped upward.


The RIG 500E has two connection options to your sound source, a 3.5mm cable and USB cable with imbedded 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound card. A simple press of the button on the USB sound card toggles your 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound on and off.

The RIG 500E is well-packaged with the essentials that any gamer, professional or casual, would appreciate. Having the choice between vented and closed ear cups on the fly was a welcomed bonus not seen in any headset we reviewed so far. And we reviewed quite a few. The 3.5mm swappable cable comes fairly standard and the USB sound card gives the RIG 500E that impact it needs to perform at its peak.  The mic flip-up to mute utilizes a very natural and intuitive gesture for gamers that don’t wish to talk at the moment. The RIG 500E is a very practical package with a simple set of features that don’t go over the top. Simplicity is always appreciated. It was definitely appreciated by me and I would guess that it will be with any gamer.