Paradoxically, checking headsets can feel more difficult as the frequency increases. At least that is my expierience. When evaluating more and more gaming headsets, the differences can sometimes become more subtle, with the gaps between mediocre, good, and great becoming a bigger and bigger white noise in the ears.
But in the process, certain features also prove crucial to any quality headset. I have long valued 3D audio. Headsets that use it are instantly a step ahead of those that don’t, and the RIG 700 HX unleashes this important capability.
However, it’s missing another feature that I think is just as important: active noise cancellation. Without them, this headset is firmly in the good range, but a notch below, great.
RIG 700 Pro HX Headset Review: Rich sound, but some features are missing
The RIG Pro 700 offers a few SKUs, but the HX I’ve played with is compatible with PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S. The RIG 700 Pro HX comes standard with the same exoskeleton design that many of the brand’s headsets offer, giving it a decidedly “gamer” look and feel. I personally think that’s fine, even if it’s not my preference, but it makes up for that with its self-adjusting size band, which, like basketball shorts, elastically adjusts to fit many head shapes and sizes.
The frame is plastic which is a disappointment compared to the much cheaper RIG Pro 500 which includes a metal frame. I was wondering if that’s because the 500 is now in its Gen 2 guise and therefore perhaps the next iteration of the 700 will get the same material upgrade.
On the shells, the Pro 700 offers most of what players would expect. As comfortable and lightweight as they both are, the left cup also features multiple physical buttons that players can customize on the fly, saving crucial time that would otherwise have to be spent in the Xbox or in-game menus.
Gamers can adjust the game audio-to-chat audio mix, increase or decrease the volume, and mute the headset, although the final control was a little cumbersome to find and, as usual, not as convenient as flipping the mic up.
The microphone is detachable, which is nice, although almost expected these days, and best of all, the headset is wireless and functional up to 30ft. I’m not kidding when I say this is a helpful choice for a bathroom or snack break that will keep you the party talk. It connects via a USB-A dongle and the battery lasts 12 hours, according to the team. In my testing, that seemed spot on. I was really impressed with how long I could play on a single charge, and even gave up my usual practice of charging my device as soon as I’m done, knowing I had plenty of time.
The downside to the wireless headset is that the charger connects via micro-USB, which in its day never felt as robust as the connector for devices, and is just particularly dated now in the USB-C era.
Another great feature is the mentioned 3D audio. With Dolby Atmos and the compatible app on Xbox consoles, it’s extremely easy to customize your sound setup, either using different genre defaults or fully customizing your own sound profiles.
A lightweight, comfortable wireless microphone is the foundation of something special, and the inclusion of lifetime Dolby Atmos access is starting to really set the headset apart from the competition, but unfortunately the lack of active noise cancellation throws it back a bit.
RIG wants to position itself as a brand for competitive gamers, and I always like to put all my reviewed headsets through the Battle Royale test and play things like PUBG, Fourteen daysAnd war zoneto see how it fares in games where every step is so important because it could be your last.
While the 3D audio offers a rich, full soundscape that’s no less beneficial on its own than that of much more expensive headsets I’ve tested, the inability to cancel external noise really got in the way. With kids running around and a partner working from home, that noise-cancellation is so important and the Pro 700 HX can’t really help gamers deal with similarly busy environments.
I can’t imagine anyone using the Pro 700 HX in a tournament and while few ever get on stage and play games like this for money and glory, many more expect a headset to be as competitive as they are and that it’s really where the $120 Pro 700 fails the most.
Still, headsets need to be compared to those in their price range, and among the most ubiquitous brands like the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 ($30 more), the RIG Pro 700 outshines the competition. It’s also just that I’ve used cheaper sets that put both of them to shame.
RIG 700 Pro HX headset review – The final result
- Long-lasting wireless connection
- Lifetime access to Dolby Atmos 3D audio
- Lots of option buttons on the left ear cup
- Authoritative and comfortable
- Poor noise cancellation requires a quiet external environment
- The plastic frame feels cheaper than even headsets in its own family of devices
- The mute button can be hard to find due to placement and lack of texturing
While gaming is a matter of taste, most people who read headset reviews just want to know: is it worth my money? Dipping into the competitive price bracket at $120, the RIG Pro 700 HX offers much of what such a buyer is looking for, even throwing in nice bonuses like lifetime Dolby Atmos 3D. But it’s not the full-featured peripheral some might expect at this price point.
Lacking proper noise cancellation and built into a plastic frame, the Pro 700 HX feels like it has one foot in and one foot out of the market it aspires to dominate. This is definitely still a good headset and a better option than some of its biggest competitors, but for $120 serious gamers can find better ones if there’s cash left over for more games.