Designed for both PlayStation®VR and DualShock®4 , the new Plantronics RIG 4VR wants to bring immersive sound to your games without breaking the bank. I got to go a few rounds with these, so let’s find out if it will level up your gameplay.
Build Quality and Design
Befitting its affordable price, the RIG 4VR is fully constructed of plastics and rubber but without feeling too cheap. It’s stylish combination of frost-white and black makes it gender-neutral. It’s even got some black carbon-fibre detailing for a more interesting look. For comfort, the RIG 4VR has a stretchable headband and replaceable foam cushions lined with breathable fabric. The cushions are vented, allowing ambient sounds through even while you’re gaming. That could be useful for maintaining a degree of outside awareness, even while deeply immersed in VR games.
You can also personalise the RIG 4VR with a selection of RIG 500 series headband designs.
A drawback with the headband is that it does not extend like a telescope. To achieve a better fit for my big head, I needed to remove the ear cups and reattach them to a lower notch. The same goes for the stretchable headband. Fortunately these are click-in place affairs not involving any screws or special tools.
The RIG 4VR comes packaged with a standard 1.2 meter cable, and a much shorter 40cm cable for the PSVR headset. It also comes with a detachable and flexible boom-mic for team-chat. It does not come with a case – you’ll need to separately purchase that from Plantronics.
Features and Performance
Since I didn’t have a PSVR headset, I hooked the RIG 4VR to my PS4 controller. Frankly, I wasn’t expecting much, but I was quite surprised at the sound coming through the stereo jack. The 4VR’s surround-sound reproduction is pretty impressive, giving near-seamless front to rear transitions.
Since I missed getting Battlefield One on promo, I fell back on testing these headphones with some multiplayer mayhem on Battlefield 4. I liked that the 4VR’s 40mm driver didn’t drown my sound in excessively boomy bass. As I was rushing to my first objective, I could hear my team mates running behind me and moving ahead past me when I squatted in my favourite camping corner. I could also hear bullets whizzing past, and identify the general direction from where it’s coming from. Machine-gun fire and explosions sounded bright and impactful. In-game dialogue was loud and clear, and so was in-game chat with the boom mic. For it’s price, the RIG 4VR performed pretty well.
However, the 4VR didn’t quite manage to recreate sensations of height, space and distance. In-game environments sounded very compact and boxy. In games, that may be advantage, letting you hear more since most details will show up as equally loud. But it also tones down the immersion, and I’m not sure I want that.
Still, I must emphasise that its clarity and detail should more than satisfy anyone who wants to hear more for less cash upfront.
It’s a design that works for gamers, being lightweight and flexible enough to not cause any discomfort. I wore this on a humid day for 5 hours straight, and never had a reason to take it off except to pause my game for a bit. The cushions felt a tad rough on the skin but were actively dissipating the heat building around my ears. However, the cushions felt slightly cramped around my big ears and I wished they were more spacious.
S$119 is a very reasonable price to pay for the Plantronics RIG 4VR’s blend of clear and immersive sound, light and sturdy build, and sharp looks.