RIG headsets and gaming gear has been a name we have come to know and appreciate over the years. Brand loyalty usually, in most cases, also relates to age and trustworthiness. The manufacturer has released updated versions of their well-known 500 and 700 PRO series. Now, we have the Pro500 HX and the Pro700 HX. They both appear to be similar, so let’s look at what sets these two products apart.
Style / Feel / Build / Hardware
Before getting involved in performance, I’d like to point out that the Pro 700 boasts wireless connectivity with a 2.4 GHz USB dongle and the Pro 500 rocks a super-thin wired 3.5mm connection. These headsets are made and optimized for Windows and Xbox, but that does not mean you can’t purchase the PlayStation counterparts.
There aren’t too many differences between the two headsets when it comes to style, but there are some. Starting with the ear cups, the 500 features a lesser-grade leatherette, if you will. However, removing the 500 ear cups is so much easier, as it uses clips. On the other hand, the 700 shows off a more premium leather finish, but the ear cups were a nightmare to put back on, as it makes you snake the leather back into thin ports. Both ear padding styles have two textures, stitching the direct head cushion into a fabric rather than leather. The construction is more closed off with the 700 ears as the 500 shows off more of that honeycomb-like RIG signature style, which I prefer.
Moving on to the boom mic, we see huge differences. The 500 offers a mechanical boom arm with flip to mute technology, where the 700 really takes a step back, in my opinion. The boom arm is only detachable, leaving a mute button on the bottom side of the headset. I would have much preferred the flip mute, as I do use this now in most cases. I want to mention a major flaw in the size of the 500 boom, as when I flip it up to mute, the boom mic crashes into my face. It’s all based on how you flex the arm, but I’m sure I won’t be the only one with boom face. However, the boom is removable if you’d like.
There is definitely more room for your ears on the 700, along with a lighter touch to your head. In terms of the general construction of the rest of these headsets, we also see some key differences. Regarding the headband, one can find RIGS signature, super-flexible, headband support that is basically unbreakable. Try it for yourself if you have nothing to lose. The Pro 500 has a generic metal headband with a nice RIG logo stamp at the top. This is probably where some of the extra weight comes from because the 700 is the lighter headset.
When it comes to adjustability, both headsets are matched with a very soft and flexible fabric band to catch your head. It’s almost like a fishnet. It was a little strange at first, but I got used to it and enjoyed the light comfort touch it provided. Also, both headsets offer 3 step size fitment with small, medium, and large clip locks located on both sides.
Yes, this means the Earcups basically detach from the frame, and you have to clip them back on. This was not good or bad, just a different way to fit your head. I’m sure some people will run into comfort issues with these limits. The Pro 700 HX wins the comfort war, in my opinion.
Switching into onboard controls, the wireless 700 has its buttons on the left side ear, providing chat mixer, gain, mute, power and connectivity, charging port, and the boom mic jack. The Pro 500 controls will be found in line on the wire, just providing general volume here. Also, the wire is exceptionally short. It will only really work for gamers if the controller is 1 foot away.
To use this headset with my PC, I had to use a tabletop DAC amp to reach a 3.5mm jack, and even then, I was restricted. Using extensions degrade quality, so I was upset to have the cable length issue. As we went over all aspects of build quality, comfort, and more, I would say the Pro 700 HX offers more overall comfort, build quality, and weight, but the 500 comes out on top in style and boom mic thoughtfulness.
Performance / Hands on Use / Features / User Experience / Analysis / Etc.
Dolby Atmos is a major contributing factor, expanding the sound capabilities into 3D for these two headsets. There is no software for RIG/Nacon in sight, at least none that was easy enough for a daily computer user to Google. Let me know if there is. Otherwise, we used the Dolby equalizer to customize our sound settings to the preferred levels.
Here’s the thing, only the Pro 500HX provides a 2-year activation code for Atmos, as the 700 does not. I input my code from the 500, and now I have Atmos integration for my 500 and 700 headsets. 3D audio is widely adopted, at least in the last 10 years, so this is what RIG went with as a selling point. Anyway, after customizing my settings, I found that the 500HX won on every level of sound fidelity and volume.
There was noticeably less compression in the wired setup, but primarily, the Pro 500 has 50mm drivers instead of the 700’s 40mm. The size of drivers can be a huge player in the sound range, so I am not surprised the 500 has less compression and static. You don’t really know what you are missing if you have never used 3D audio in the modern audio era.
It really enhances your audio senses and drives directionality to a new level. On the other hand, make sure you have an amp or DAC on your desk if you will use the 500 for PC. The wire length for most desktop users will be unusable. Speaking of no wires, the Pro 700’s battery lasted so long; it never died by the time I am writing this review. It simply has 9 lives. I have had headsets die within 6 hours with high volume, but the 700 simply does not lose battery. Granted the headset’s overall max volume and compression, I can see where they save the power. Generally speaking, both headsets sound good and just good.
In terms of boom mic clarity, the 500 wins this by far, guaranteeing content usable sound, whereas the 700 has very crumbly mic pickup. I want to throw in that both headsets volume controls were separate from your PCS main volume, so you have more fine-tuning available in terms of volume. The 700 dials were also quite buttery, so adjusting the volume was smooth.
The RIG Pro 700HX and 500HX both serve a suitable position in the gaming audio universe. Although sound could be better, it did serve as an asset while gaming, comfortably as well. RIG has done right with comfort and style on both of these units, using simplicity and signature branding to stick out. Between the two sets, I wish I can say the 500HX is the way to go in almost all cases, but if you are a PC gamer, you will likely need an extension, adapter, or table DAC to extend that wire.
The 500 just sounded better. I would give the card to the 700 due to its long battery life, decent sound fidelity, build quality, and comfort in terms of all-around use. I come to appreciate headsets that are more comfortable than sound slightly better, as the sound difference in the 500 is somewhat negligible to a trained ear. I have yet to show the best sound and comfort in any headset, and I hope this one-day changes. Hopefully, this comparison adds insurance to your buying decision.
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