When Plantronics revealed the first-ever gaming headset designed for the upcoming PlayStation VR, it kind of felt like the company was jumping on the hype train here. However, after gaining some hands-on with the product and discussing about how the product came about – my opinion shifted.
The PlayStation VR/PSVR is the first console focused virtual reality headset hitting next month and while the PSVR unit comes with included headphones, why skimp out on audio quality when Plantronics has the RIG4VR gaming headset available. The Plantronics RIG4VR headset is the first third-party headset scheduled to launch alongside the PSVR and while you may think it’s an ordinary headset branded with PlayStation logos for sales reasons – there’s more to it.
Plantronics has worked alongside Sony in designing the RIG4VR to be compatible with the PlayStation VR. Standard headsets will obviously work with the PlayStation VR but Plantronics has angled the design of it so the cups properly seal your ears rather than sit over the strap around you head. The cable from the headset is also angled in a way that it points backwards instead of downwards like most other headsets to prevent the cord getting in the way and to align with the design of the PlayStation VR. Trying the PS4VR combined with the PlayStation VR, it sits on my head perfectly even with the bulkiness of the wearable display.
Another strong point about the RIG4VR is the fact that it uses the signature RIG setup meaning the headset is incredibly light and modular. This is something that Plantronics pride themselves in with their RIG range and is something I found great about the series. As the PlayStation VR requires obviously a lot of motion, adding extra weight to your head will increase the discomfort after long use. With the RIG4VR, it barely feels like anything extra on top of the PlayStation VR which is a plus.
While design wise is one of the biggest highlights of the RIG4VR headset, Plantronics has heavily emphasised the vented ear-cup technology. The headset features open acoustics which reduces listening fatigue. This allows some sound to come through helping players maintain balance while in the VR zone. While I’m no expert in ears, sound and effects – from what I’ve gathered, motion sensory functions of the body are in your ears and when you block it out, it can affect your orientation. When I first used the PlayStation VR back in Tokyo Game Show 2014, I nearly fell over because I was unaware of the surroundings/balance while in the ‘VR zone’. During my hands-on with the PlayStation VR and RIG4VR, I felt like I knew who was around me and while standing up – still felt I was in control of my balance which is something you want. The RIG4VR won’t lock you into the zone but that doesn’t mean it sacrifices on audio quality as playing through Resident Evil 7 in VR, the audio quality was still immersive and impressive.
At first, I wasn’t really sold on the Plantronics RIG4VR Gaming Headset. It kind of felt like a gimmick to make people buy another gaming headset just for the PlayStation VR but after hands-on with the product – I can see an advantage to it. The headset also comes with a noise cancelling microphone, so for a launch multiplayer title like Guerrilla Game’s RIGS – it could prove worthy for those wanting the voice chat on headset while using the PlayStation VR. You can also easily swap the shorter cable for the included longer one to game normally on the PS4 so it’s not just a headset for VR.
The only downside is the silly name for this headset. They could have just called it the RIG VR but they just had to slide in that sneaky number 4. It’s like that type of person that would have called Uncharted 4, Unch4rted or something but unnecessary talk aside – the Plantronics PS4VR is actually something you should consider if you want the full experience with the PlayStation VR. It perfectly complements it.
You can pre-order the Plantronics RIG4VR from EB Games here for $129.95 AUD. It’s scheduled to come out in October 2016.