I first happened upon the RIG brand back in late-2019, invited by the then Poly team to try out their full range of headsets at EGX 2019, followed by full hands-on and reviews of the entry-level 400HX, the 500 PRO HX, the wireless 700HX and the range-topping 800LX. With Dolby Atmos support, a unique fitting system and a weight which easily put the range in contention for lightest gaming headsets on the market, big impressions were made; so much so that they continued to be a headset of choice going forward.
But then the RIG brand itself was picked up by NACON, a company who are fast making waves in the gaming scene by taking on a range of games and ideas. It is with them that the RIG 500 PRO HX has been slightly reworked, remodelled, and redesigned. It’s all the better for it.
Engineered for 3D game audio, the RIG 500 PRO HX is a kind of middle-of-the-road option for gamers looking to run the RIG route, taking a place above the 400 series, but just below the 800 range that tops the market. A wired headset that now comes with the all-important ‘Designed for Xbox’ sticker firmly attached to the box, this second generation model takes everything that was good about the previous 500 PRO HX and then builds on it, ever so slightly.
Sold as a competitive gaming headset with full Dolby Atmos support straight out of the box (download the Dolby App on your Xbox and you’ll find yourself fully immersed in a wonderful audio soundscape), yet again everything about the 500 PRO HX is highly impressive. Stupidly lightweight for what it is, with a stated 281 gram weight only increased by 10 grams or so when you add the mic, this is a headset that you’ll quite easily forget that you are wearing.
It’s not just the weight that helps in that regard though, for this has been designed with extreme comfort in mind. Running a ski goggle-styled suspended headband, the padding and spring of this is great, allowing for full pressure to be taken off the head. That’s a bit of luck too as the new metal outer exoskeleton headband that is fully RIG’d up in terms of logo is not going anywhere in a hurry, with zero adjustability present. As anyone who has used one of these suspension-styled headbands previously will know though, you don’t need any, with the inner band taking all the stress and strain.
Moving down to the sides of the second generation 500 PRO HX and this is all very similar to any other RIG headset; either past or present. RIG headsets utilise a rather unique fitting style that does away with the usual slip and slide of a headband to make the most of three distinct notches. Whether you have a small, medium or large head, a quick push and move of the connector will allow you to find a fitment that works for you. Frankly I’m a big fan of this system and whilst it isn’t the best if you’re handing the headset to others, with a slightly longer adjustment time required, if you’re looking for something that will fit your own head each and every time, the RIG products do that with style.
Further comfort is found in the closed-back earcups themselves. These are oval in style; soft, squidgy and brilliantly fitting around the ear, with a slight leatherette feel on the external sides giving way to a softer material on the inners. They don’t swivel, but do come with just enough flex to allow for an easy fit that means you can wear these for extended periods of time without any fuss nor bother.
And inside those cups a pair of 50mm drivers are more than capable of delivering the audio you want. I’ve found these to be totally crisp, able to cover a range of audio types and, when paired up with the Dolby Atmos app on console, deliver some sounds that are nothing short of stunning. Through gaming this will mean you’re more likely to become immersed in the action on screen, able to pick out the intricacies and detail like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. It’s hugely impressive and whilst I’d personally like a little more bass to come pounding through, for the most part the 500 PRO HX is a more than capable gaming headset.
It’s also decent for those times when you are looking to kick back with some flowing melodies, as hooking it up to a laptop or mobile device is a cinch thanks to the standard 3.5mm jack. And yep, that does mean the RIG 500 PRO HX Gen 2 headset has done away from the rather unique volume dial that used to be present on the older headset. I’m caught in two minds as to whether this is a good thing or not, as whilst I personally had no issues with this unique feature, it did mean that the previous 500 was limited to use through a controller only; there was next to no chance of hooking it up to other 3.5mm jacked devices. And through comments fired our way in regards the old headset, it seems that the previous arrangement wasn’t particularly loved by the gaming community as a whole either, with broken jacks a fairly common occurrence.
It does however mean that the instantaneous action of rolling the volume dial with your hands still attached to the controller is now gone. Instead, with the standard 3.5mm jack now attaching to any controller, we find an inline volume control pushed further down the kink-resistant flat cable. This is well-placed and easy to grab for when you are looking to turn up or down your volume, but a lack of notches or feedback does mean it’s pretty much a case of sliding as you see fit. This cable is permanently attached to the headset too, and so should the worst come to the worst and you somehow break it, it’s looking like you’ll be needing a whole new headset.
There is no mic mute switch found on this inline volume control system either, but that’s because the mic which is included on the 500 PRO HX is of the flip-to-mute variety. Very much in the same vein as that which was previously available – just with a slightly fancier sparkly windproof boom on the end – this flips up and down with ease, allowing you to communicate, or shut yourself off from the world without any hassle. It delivers decent sound too, with teammates finding voice commands to be perfectly clear and acceptable. You should be aware though that whilst this mic is sold as ‘removable’, past history proves that you’ll need to be super careful if you wish to do so. It attaches with a two-pronged system and takes a decent push to be totally in place – remove it too many times and you’ll likely find issues. On a personal level I’m not really sure why it would ever have to be removed, as flipping it up out of the way works well, but if you disagree, just be careful with it.
So what else is there to say about the second generation RIG 500 PRO HX Designed for Xbox headset from NACON? Well, other than that the usual industrial RIG styling is totally on point again, not a lot really. It’s a brilliant take on an already brilliant headset, and with minor changes and subtle differences, this Gen-2 version just about takes things to the next level. If you previously couldn’t get on with the unique connection that the RIG 500 PRO HX came with, this new NACON effort should now mean this is a serious contender for mid-range honours.
It’s lightweight, feels great, sounds just as good as always and comes with a price that will have many gamers across the land sorely tempted. In fact, I can’t disagree with RIG’s selling blurb that this is a headset that has been built for gamers wanting a durable performance headset that can give a competitive edge. If that’s you, consider this one.
Huge thanks go out to NACON for sending over the RIG 500 PRO HX Gen-2 Headset for full unboxing and review. If you wish to pick up the headset for yourself, head to NACON direct.
Related: RIG 500 PRO HX GEN 2 Headset – Designed for Xbox | UNBOXING | REVIEW