When Polycom and Plantronics came together to create Poly, they settled on delivering a new type of headset to gamers around the globe, with one strong mission statement pushing them along – To empower competitive voice gamers to hear more, react faster and play longer. And with their RIG series of headsets for Xbox One, PS4 and PC, they’ve more than delivered on that front. But whilst there is the opportunity to go all-out with the Dolby Atmos-powered wireless 800LX, light and bereft of wires with the 700HX, and down the wired yet pro route with the 500 PRO HX, there is still room for a lower end headset to provide the goods to those looking for a cheap and cheerful route into this ‘hear more, react faster and play longer’ world. And that is where the RIG 400HX Headset for Xbox One comes in.
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- RIG 800LX Dolby Atmos Special Edition Headset for Xbox One Review
Complete with a mere £44.99 price tag attached – and with that being an MSRP you can expect to find it cheaper still at many outlets – the RIG 400HX for Xbox One is cheaper than a great deal many other headsets on the market. Yet whilst it does make the most of a set of wires to keep you connected to the virtual world, the inclusion of Dolby Atmos-powered sound just about elevates it to another level.
The RIG 400HX is most certainly the little brother in the series, and that is found from the get-go, with a simple black colour scheme encompassing near-on the entire headset. In fact, it’s only broken up by the most minute of detail in terms of some grey RIG and 400 logo action, along with a couple of delicate grey outer rings to the earcups. Other than that, what you’re looking at here is a simple black affair, with some carbon styled detailing allowing some parts to stand out from the rest.
Most of this detail is found sitting pretty around the earcups, and they do certainly look delightful. Taking the now customary industrial-styled RIG sizing system – pop in/pop out to ensure the band fits your head instead of having to worry about sliding headbands – these cups can be completely removed from the black plastic ultralight frame that holds the entire thing together. Why you would want to do that, I’m unsure, but each to their own and all that.
The headband comes complete with some rather tasty padding that runs nearly its entire length, and this is relatively thick too, allowing you to wear this headset for some time without any comfort issues. Remember the mission statement from earlier? Play longer is definitely the case here. It’s helped massively by the fact that this entire headset weighs in at just 188 grams. That is, quite frankly, stupidly light.
However, in order to get down to this weight – and the price point in fact – it’s obvious some things have had to be let go. For instance, the brilliant volume dial that the RIG 500 PROHX works with is missing, instead seeing a simple inline volume slider allowing you to get audio levels and mute options to your liking. It’s just a bit cheap and plastic-y for my liking, and even though it works as intended, how long it holds up further down the line is up for debate. And you see, aside from this volume slider, there are no other dials, switches, knobs, or buttons to utilise on the 400HX. It’s a bog-standard headset in that respect.
Thankfully, and much like all the other RIG headsets that I’ve had the pleasure of using in recent times, it sounds great, letting you ‘hear more’. 40mm drivers are found in the padded round earcups, and whilst I’d like to see the externals of the cups come in at a slightly bigger size, what provides the power internally is not up for debate. These drivers ensure that your gaming sessions are loud, clear and fully dialled-in, with the added bonus of Dolby Atmos support available should you wish to have it. This is accessible via the included code, ensuring that the audio being delivered to your ears via the 400HX will be hugely immersive. Admittedly this Dolby Atmos goodness comes at a price, with an extra bit of cash dropped on over the standard edition, but that could well be the best money you’ve ever spent.
What’s not quite so nice is the fact that in order for this Atmos magic to take hold we find one cable coming out of each earcup, combining into one via the volume slider before attaching to your controller thanks to a 3.5mm jack. The jack isn’t an issue, and I’ve got no problems with using a cable if duty calls, but a few times I’ve found myself getting tangled by the two cables on each side of my head. Okay, so it’s not a big deal, and the draw of Atmos probably outweighs the negatives of this, but another way round things would have been appreciated. Perhaps even foregoing the opportunity to take the headset completely apart would be an idea.
That’s probably the only real negative with this headset though as the team at Poly have ensured that their other section of the mission statement hits home well too, letting them empower competitive voice gamers. See, the detachable noise-cancelling boom mic is great, ensuring that your online friends will be able to listen in on your instructions, commands and bad jokes without any issue. And the fact that it’s removable means that, should you be spending time alone in the gaming world, taking it off and stowing it away safely is an option. Again, perhaps a flippable mic would be better – if only so it’s not easily lost – but for the price point there’s no real complaints here.
In the grand scheme of things though, taking into account the price being asked for the RIG 400HX Headset for Xbox One, it’s very much a case of getting what you pay for – but then getting a little extra thrown in on top. Yes, it’s not going to be an alternative to the mighty RIG 800, and those happy to run a cable would certainly prefer the 500 PRO, but if you’re in the market for a decently priced headset that has Dolby Atmos capabilities then you can’t go too wrong here.
Huge thanks go out to the team at Poly for sending over the RIG 400HX Headset for Xbox One for review. If you wish to pick the headset up for yourself then visit Plantronics direct, or shoot on over to Amazon.
Related: Unboxing the RIG 400HX Headset for Xbox One