One key element to a great Virtual Reality experience is immersive sound quality and out of the box, Sony’s PlayStation VR is somewhat lacking thanks to the budget-minded earbuds packed in with the unit. While far from terrible, it’s hard to feel fully dialed in with those teeny buds tickling your eardrums. Fortunately, the fine folks at Plantronics got on the case and have come up with a great solution with their great RIG 4VR headset (MSRP $69.99). Officially licensed, they match the PS VR perfectly, fit over the big headset with an adjustable headband, connect to your PS4 in one of a few ways and yes, sound absolutely great for the price point.
When my review unit showed up, I was surprised at how light the shipping box felt. Inside the RIG 4VR box you get the above, the headset, instructions, a detachable microphone and two 3.5″ plug cables. This means setup takes maybe 30 seconds at best unless you need to adjust the ear cups by easily popping them from the flexible band and readjusting. The entire headset slips over the big VR goggles and as noted, the weight issue is a non-issue. At 8.5 ounces 240 grams), they’re comfortable enough to wear for a few hours at a time. If using the VR headset, there’s a shorter cable that plugs right into the PS VR unit, while the two longer ones are for either plugging into the PS4 controller or another audio source if not playing games.
Granted, with the full PS VR and RIG 4VR getup on, you’ll kind of look like ol’ Gort above. But, hey – no one looks cool in a VR set. Well, except Gort, that is (please don’t vaporize me! Um, Gort! Klaatu Barada Nikto!). Where were we? Oh, right. An open acoustic design means you’re not completely shut off from the outside world and can hear your doorbell ringing or someone in the room can interrupt your gaming without giving you a heart attack. In other words, yes, some Resident Evil 7 action went down and yes, thanks to the positional sound and it being my first attempt at the game, I did a bit of jumping thanks to those 40 mm drivers paired with low-frequency resonators in the headphones doing their job too well.
For you chatty gamers out there, that omni-directional noise canceling mic is also great for all you online yakking needs. Once attached, it folds upwards to mute and back down to activate with a nice clicky sound that might make you grin whenever you hear it. If there are any actual negatives here, it would be some audiophile types will bemoan the lack of bells and whistles like fancy lighting and some sort of high end surround sound support stamped all over the box in big letters. Also, if you’re cursed with larger than normal ears, the snug fit of the cups might be a problem. I’m gathering if demand for a larger size cup becomes a thing, Plantronics could handle that somewhat easily. With PS VR climbing to close to a million units sold to date, there are bound to be a few bigger-eared folk in that user base.
That said, if you’re looking at buying a PS VR set, definitely grab a RIG 4VR with it. It’s a great value for the money that does exactly what it needs to do – make a solid and affordable console VR solution an even better product.
Score: A- (90%)