Alex Audio Awards 2018: Worst Headphone/Headset of the Year
I reviewed a lot of great headphones and headsets in 2018.
More often than not, I was surprised or impressed by their value. The Steelseries Arctis Pro and the HyperX Cloud Mix both got a little greedy in their quest to raise prices…but even then, the base products were strong.
So in a year of solid contenders, sometimes the “worst” is just the one that was the biggest personal letdown.
And that’s the Plantronics RIG 600, a totally unnecessary product that did barely any work to improve over its predecessors.
Plantronics has released variants of this model twice before, most recently as the RIG Flex. It has none of the modular features of the other RIG series headphones. It has none of the build quality improvements that Plantronics incorporated into this year’s brand new RIG 500 Pro series. It still maintains the high grade of sound quality and comfort I’ve come to expect from Plantronics…but it has almost no isolation in spite of using leatherette ear cups, thus negating many of the benefits that would have come from its closed back design.
As a headset company, I think Plantronics is probably the best value/budget brand on the market right now. Their prices are lower than average and their headsets punch way above their weight in all the areas that matter.
They have so many other headsets on the market that do every single thing better than the RIG 600 for less money.
You’d be better off with a RIG 400, 500, or 800.
I don’t keep all of the headphones and headsets that I review. I have a small rolling collection, and I sell off older and underused things as I go. Usually, when I give something a positive review, it manages to live on my shelf for at least a month. But I sold the RIG 600 almost immediately after finishing my article.
None of this means that the RIG 600 is outright bad. But as a “new” release from Plantronics, I expected so much more. They have a sterling reputation, and the RIG 600 is a clear odd duck in their current lineup, and the most disappointing/worst headphone or headset I looked at this year.
Also their cables were covered in lots of chunky rubber bits.