When it comes to listening to the games I play on my Sony PlayStation 4, I haven’t exactly been an audiophile.
Until lately, I simply used a pair of Apple earbuds that came with my iPhone, plugging them into the headphone jack on the PS4. They were available, easy to use, and good enough.
I probably would have kept on using them, except their microphone didn’t work with the voice chat feature in some of the games I was playing. Wanting to chat with my fellow players, I decided to check out some other options. I used that search as an excuse to explore wireless headphones and to see what I was missing while wearing my earbuds.
Sony makes two excellent pairs of wireless headphones for the PlayStation 4 — the $99 Gold and $199 Platinum wireless headsets. I recently got review units of both and look forward to testing them. But for several months now, I’ve found my own personal sweet spot: Plantronics’ RIG800HS headphones.
The RIG800HS are wireless, cost $150 — right between Sony’s two offerings — and are made by the same 56-year-old audio communications company that became famous for providing headsets for NASA. Oh, and they’re awesome.
Take a look:
Hands-down, Plantronics’ RIG800HS headphones are the most comfortable wireless headphones I’ve ever used.
Purely on a comfort level, the RIG800HS headphones are the best I’ve ever worn — not just while playing video games, but for everything else too. They’re incredibly lightweight and feel just right when you wear them — not too snug and not too loose. You can shake your head around, and they’ll stay put.
Most importantly, they’re durable. Despite wearing them for hours on end while playing games, my ears didn’t get sweaty, and I never felt the pressure you sometimes feel when you wear a pair of over-ear headphones for too long. The headphones’ design is perfect.
They also deliver great sound.
If you want to be truly immersed in a video game or a movie, you need good sound. After more than four weeks of testing the RIG800HS headphones, I can say they offer one of the best audio experiences I’ve ever had.
When watching movies, the sound was excellent and well-balanced. But the headphones truly excelled when I was playing games, most notably “Destiny 2.”
Thanks to the RIG800HS, I could really appreciate the audio design of the game, from the sound of snow crunching underneath my character’s feet to the subtle glass-shattering sound when one of my bullets hit the perfect spot in an enemy robot.
And best of all, the headphones helped me perform better. In competitive multiplayer matches, I could hear action happening all around me or off in the distance. That helped me navigate the battlefield and make smarter moves.
The headphones’ microphone is cleverly designed, but it didn’t work well in one key way.
The RIG800HS headphones include a microphone, which you can use in games to chat with other players. The microphone sounds great to those you’re chatting with. And it’s got a cool design. You turn it on by simply flipping it down; you mute it by flipping it back up.
Unfortunately, one of the key features related to the microphone didn’t work in my tests. The headphones have a dial that is supposed to allow you to adjust the relative volume of the game you’re playing and your voice chats with other players. As you decrease the game volume, chat volume is supposed to go up and vice versa.
But when I turned down the game volume, the chat volume went down also. It could be this problem had to do with the game I was playing; I only tested the feature with “Destiny 2.”
I love the idea of the feature, but because it didn’t work, I ended up having to turn off the game’s audio completely so I could hear the chat room clearly.