NACON recently revealed their new lineup of peripherals, including the RIG 500 PRO HX headset and their highly customizable RIG PRO Compact Controller. NACON’s gen 2 lineup is focused on providing superior sound through Dolby Atmos. It makes sense, being that XBOX Series X consoles are the first consoles to support Dolby Atmos. But what about for PC?
The RIG brand was originally a division of Plantronics (now Poly). Since NACON acquired RIG in March 2020, they’ve made slight changes to the original 500 PRO HX design, also now including “Designed for XBOX” on the packaging. Though it was designed specifically for XBOX, it does say it’s compatible with Windows 10.
The RIG 500 PRO HX is a mid-range, wired headset engineered for premium, 3D sound through Dolby Atmos that retails for about $69.99. It’s promoted as a competitive gaming headset. But does this less expensive version of the RIG 500 PRO Esport headset hold up to some of the best gaming headsets for PC?
Note: This review is based solely on PC compatibility and use.
What’s in the box?
The RIG 500 PRO HX package includes its customizable, tactical, design headset and detachable, noise-canceling mic boom. The frame is a lightweight metal with a brushed, matte black finish and an almost reflective greyish branding on the external band and both earphones. The cord is only 1.2 meters or 3.9 ft long with a 3.5mm single jack input. But the cord is flat to prevent entanglement.
The package also includes a quick start guide, 1-year, limited warranty, and a free, 2-year subscription to Dolby Atmos Access.
What’s NOT in the box?
The 500 PRO HX has a 3.5m jack but many PCs may require a two-pronged adapter. You will also want to make sure your 50mm drivers are up to date.
The RIG 500 PRO HX is Customizable
The 500 PRO HX headset is incredibly customizable, fitting virtually any head size. It’s very lightweight. It has a light metal frame. And with it a soft, comfortable, adjustable headband that doesn’t pull my hair when I remove it. The oval, stereo earcups can be removed and snapped back on the frame into one of the three prongs.
Like most gaming headsets, it has an inline volume control with a slider on its left earcup. The earcups fit very snuggly over my small ears. However, after a few minutes, they began to feel as if they were squeezing my head. Even with adjusting the headband, they felt almost like suction cups after about an hour. And, again, the headband didn’t pull on my hair when taking it off.
More Like “Plug-in” Then Plug and Play
Most modern headsets are plug and play, whether they have USB connectivity or 3.5mm jack input. The RIG 500 PRO HX, however, requires a two-way adapter or a controller to function properly on a PC. And though it’s not required, you will need to use the gifted 2-year Dolby Access subscription to get the best audio experience this headset offers.
The 500 PRO HX Has Great Audio Quality But…
The 500 PRO HX does not have native surround sound. Hence, the reason they included a free 2-year subscription to Dolby Atmos. The sound quality was okay without Dolby Atmos, but the volume was incredibly low.
The 500 PRO HX uses 50mm drivers, which typically produces superior stereo sound quality. However, this explains why they aren’t as loud as my other headset. Not being as loud but giving 3D game audio is a fantastic feature for some. However, it was still annoyingly low.
I downloaded Dolby Atmos and followed the directions to ensure the headset was ready for action. The 500 PRO HX could provide an otherworldly, immersive experience if the volume range weren’t so limited. There was a huge improvement in sound quality after I maxed my settings, though.
One of my favorite things to do is have The Elder Scrolls Online playing in the background as I work. Listening to the rain and thunderstorms with the music in the background is incredibly relaxing. I was a bit disappointed that the range of volume for this headset was limited and, therefore, not as immersive as I’m used to.
Note: I keep my master volume settings at 50%. This allows me to adjust individual apps comfortably. My normal headset has phenomenal immersive audio with my Master Volume settings at just 50%. I had to increase my master volume up to 75% to get the same experience.
Mic Check One-Two, One-Two
The detachable, bendable mic boon isn’t anything new. It can be useful for those who will use another mic or no mic at all. The mic has a flip-to-mute feature. Turning your mic boon up mutes your voice; turning your mic all the way down means chat is green for go.
Though I’d much rather have a mute button, the flip to mute feature could be nice for some. But there is the risk of accidentally muting yourself. As nice as having a detachable mic could be, we had major issues getting it to work.
And again, if you are using the 500 PRO HX on a PC, you will need either a two-way audio split adapter or a controller.
I tested the 500 PRO in Discord. My guinea pigs said they could hear me loud and clear. They didn’t detect much of a difference between this mic and my original headset/mic combo. The important thing is that they could hear me loud and clear.
The sound quality was soft and promising but could have been stellar if they had a larger range for volume. If only I didn’t have to max out my volume to hear Hanzo’s heavy footsteps and other environmental nuances in order to feel some of the advertised immersion.
The RIG 500 PRO HX headset with Dolby Access is a fair choice in the affordable headset category. It’s probably better for XBOX users than PC, though.
- Color: Black
- Weight 281 g
- Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Impedance: 32 ohms
- Sensitivity: 111 dBSPL/V
- Drivers: Dynamic 50 mm
- Frequency Response: 100 Hz – 10 kHz
- Sensitivity: -45 dBV/PA
- Pickup Pattern: Uni-directional
- Signal-to-Noise: Ratio >42 dB
- Connection: 3.5 mm Audio Input
- Cable Length: 3.9 ft.