Plantronics RIG Surround Gaming Headset Review
Surround Audio Mixer
The namesake of the RIG Surround comes from the updated functionality to the mixer. This palm sized audio controller has master volume control, individual volume control for the PC input and smartphone input, a call pick-up/hang-up button, microphone mute button, and button that cycles between three EQ presets or triggers Dolby. The large ring on the outside of the mixer functions both as an off switch and mixer master volume control which operates independently of Windows system volume.
The RIG Surround mixer requires the installation of a driver to make use of the Dolby virtual surround feature. It can be downloaded from the Plantronics website.
The RIG Surround mixer has two cords that come out from the back. One is a four-pole 3.5mm analog plug at the end of a 15 inch red-orange flat cord that plugs into a smartphone and a 6.5 foot long USB cable that plugs into a computer. Removed from the rear panel in the updated 2014 RIG mixer is a jack for optical audio cables.
The 2014 RIG mixer processes audio input and output and has no dedicated analog bypass. This is unlike the 2013 RIG mixer which only processed the audio input from the microphone and had an analog bypass for output from the computer.
On the bottom are three feet arranged in a circle for gripping surfaces. Visible to the front is a 3.5 mm jack for the RIG headset. Removed from the front panel in the updated 2014 RIG mixer is a 2.5mm jack for Xbox 360 controllers.
Flipping the center paddle switch will direct the microphone to either an attached smartphone or computer. In game mode, the arc of orange lights on the right will light up and incoming audio such as music or a ringtone from an attached smartphone is not muted unless the volume slider is at 0%. In mobile mode, the arc of blue lights on the left will light up and incoming audio from the computer is completely muted.
Pressing the equalizer button quickly will cycle through each of the three preset EQ profiles. The three profiles – PURE, SEISMIC, and INTENSIFY, are indicated by one to three beeps that sound through the headset. Holding the equalizer button for a few seconds will turn Dolby on or off which is confirmed by a long beep noise through the headset. When Dolby is active, a while indicator light will shine on the equalizer button.