Originally published at: Review | Rig 900 Max HX Wireless Headset - XboxEra
Plantronics is back with their latest headset, and they’re aiming at the big boys of the wireless gaming headset sphere. The Rig 900 Max HX Wireless Headset has an MSRP of $249.99 US and (nearly) all the bells and whistles you’d expect at that price point. Supreme comfort, a 50+ hour battery life, “dual” wireless audio (though not the way you’d want), and compatibility with every major console and PC. It’s got an ace up its sleeve that took this one from a disappointment to one of my favorite headsets to use. You just have to be willing to give Dolby a scan of your head, so let’s get into it.
Lag-Free 2.4 gHz Digital RF | Dedicated USB Wireless Adapter | Bluetooth 5.1 | 10 m Range | 1800 mAh Battery
Frequency Response: 100 Hz – 10 kHz | Sensitivity: -45 dBV/Pa | Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >42 dB
Pick-Up Pattern: Uni-Directional
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz | Drivers: 2 x Dynamic 40 mm with Matched Bass Tubes
Ultralightweight Design | Dual Fabric Ear Cushions | Power On/Off | Volume Dial | Flip-to-Mute Mic | 3 x Wireless Modes
Game-Chat Balance (Xbox Only) | USB-A to USB-C Adapter | RIG Navigator App for Android and iOS | Base Station with Charge Dock
Out of the box the first thing I noticed was the light weight of the 900 Max. It’s a spring metal design that is rigid without the heft of nearly every other similarly priced headset. They’re incredibly comfortable, with an excellent springy headrest that has just enough tension to keep things in place without transferring any pressure to the top of your skull. In typical Rig fashion you get a choice of three interlocking locations for each earpiece. The earphones themselves are just snug enough to not move easily without giving me a headache from the pinching pressure. My ears didn’t get hot in them either, unlike the otherwise excellent for the price Xbox Wireless Headset.
Much like the Astro A50’s you have a base station available though it isn’t mandatory. I used it in conjunction with the USB dongle that carries the headphone signal to your preferred platform. While the Rig 900 Max HX’s are designed first for Xbox they can work on any of the major consoles and have Bluetooth available. The base station has metal contacts for wireless charging, which you can use with or without the dongle inserted for connectivity.
The buttons on the headset are power, mode, and Bluetooth along with a volume and game chat rocker. Game chat volume is only available for Xbox, and the dual wireless Bluetooth mode isn’t the same one you get in the Xbox Wireless headset. It offers up game chat and cellphone call and notification audio. It’s disappointing but as this headset doesn’t directly connect to your Xbox it simply wasn’t possible to have it work the same way.
The headset’s connection to the USB dongle is fantastic, as I could go across my house with no loss in signal. It is far more powerful than the built in Xbox Wireless signal has ever been with my Xbox and Lucid direct connection headphones. In the few weeks I’ve been using the 900 Max’s I’ve only charged them once as the 50+ hour battery life in 2.4ghz dongle mode and 60+ in Bluetooth 5.1 rang true.
Out of the box I was pleased though not blown away by the sound I got out of the device. It offered a clear sound stage with heavy bass but the surround nature felt lacking. This headset offers up a Dolby Atmos license and is one of the first I’ve seen to use Dolby’s brand new head scanning profiles. I had to wait for the app to become available post launch, and I’m glad I did. What was an ok sounding gaming experience became transformative in Dolby Atmos enabled titles.
While reviewing Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty I tried with and without my head scanned profile and the difference was night and day. The ability for the headphones to trick my brain into thinking sounds were coming from specific directions was incredible. Hopping between the profiles, without the head scan I got directionality. With the profile I could tell the distance far more accurately. A person talking to me wasn’t just behind me and to the left, they were “about 10 feet behind me and to the left”.
For music, they’re passable. At the $250 price point you can find far better values if you’re looking to talk to people as well. While the included mic sounds clear enough it picks up far too much background noise, lagging behind cheaper headsets I own. This is a gaming headset first and foremost and in that area it shines, though most brightly in the limited amount of Atmos enabled titles. With DTS:X or Atmos in non-directly supported titles the headset sounds good. It is only truly great in titles that have native Atmos support while your head scanned profile is enabled.
The Rig 900 Max HX has unbelievable sound in Atmos supported titles once you’ve scanned your head with the phone app. That feature only works on Xbox and Windows PC right now, but it is incredible. Outside of that it’s a decent headset, with nearly all of the features you’d expect at the price point. It falls short of its similarly priced brethren without its admittedly excellent party trick though.
Recommendation: Buy if you have a lot of Atmos games, otherwise wait on sale.