Reviews

RIG 900 MAX HX wireless headset review — A nice addition to the audial arsenal

As most know, I’m an audiophile who loves a good headset. When I first started testing different headsets to check out their benefits, the RIG brand dropped in my lap due to a special GameStop promotion. I was impressed, and for quite some time it was my go-to headset. With the incoming 900 MAX HX, RIG looks to grab that top spot again, and I can at least say they’ve got something great here.

RIG 900 MAX HX | DEFINITIVE WIRELESS GAMING HEADSET

Inside the box you’ll find a few things: the 900 MAX HX wireless headset, the USB-A dongle, the charging dock, a short USB-C cable for both the dock or headset charging, and paperwork. I’m really happy with the change to USB-C with this headset; we all know it’s way better than USB-micro, which is what the last RIG headset I reviewed offered. The cable is a little short for my tastes, but overall everything is what you’d expect when purchasing a headset.

The RIG 900 MAX HX itself is a thing of beauty. I remember imagining what a high-tech looking gaming headset would look like as a kid, and this hits all of the notes. It’s also extremely lightweight, made from a nice sturdy plastic that manages not to be heavy. I’m also a fan of the metal headband, giving a good toughness to the design.

RIG also employs their own type of ski-band, but I’m not as fond of it as their competitors. This is because adjusting the fit is pushing against it, rather than moving the ear cups down. That leads to feeling more pressure on top of your head. The fit is also snug, some of that due to the metal band and some just because it’s new. I like the comfort of the fit, but occasionally I’ll have some discomfort during long sessions. Again, I expect that to wear off to some degree with continual use, but it’s something to keep in mind in the beginning.

To connect the headset, you’ll use two methods, the USB-C dongle or Bluetooth. The dongle can be used two ways: either on its own, or inserted into the dock which would then be plugged into your device via USB-C. I have used the dock myself; for whatever reason I had a few issues with my PC when connecting only the dongle. Said dongle also has two different modes on it, PC and Xbox, so make sure you change that to the correct designation to use it where you will.

Speaking of connections, the RIG 900 MAX HX supports dual linking, so your Bluetooth and dongle can run side-by-side. I say that rather than simultaneously, because unfortunately one interrupts the other. I can’t listen to music in the background off of my phone while playing a game, and if I answer a phone call (the most usual situation this connection exists for), it cuts off the audio of my device. It’s a nice feature, and works just fine, but I wish it went further.

Thankfully the Bluetooth works great anyway. I’ve been using it with my phone for listening to music, and of course if any of your other devices have Bluetooth, like the Switch or VR headsets, it’s supported. There’s also a phone app you can use to adjust EQ, microphone settings, and even update the headset through. I love being able to tweak headset settings, so this is an awesome bonus, although I’m surprised there isn’t a PC option for this.

When it comes to playing games, I love the sound coming through the 40mm drivers. They are well tuned, and when paired with good EQ deliver fantastic quality. As per usual, I go hard with testing my headsets with Call of Duty. After all, if you can’t use audio to your advantage in these games, you might as well pack it up. While I can’t speak to specific changes in any K/D ratio or anything, I didn’t feel a big difference between this and my daily drivers, even if the ones I use are still on the top of my rankings. I felt comfortable entrusting my gameplay to these, and was still slaying with the best of my team. Directional audio is paramount in any competitive shooter, and you have that in the 900 MAX HX.

Funny enough, my best experiences came hooked up to my Xbox Series X. Maybe it’s just how they are tuned or how the Xbox outputs audio, but the 900s are a fantastic choice for the platform. This wasn’t with Call of Duty, however, but with the new Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty expansion (which we just reviewed). The level of immersion offered by the 900s is excellent, and elevated my gameplay experience. Gunshots rang out around me, enemy factions screamed their call outs, and the soundtrack felt like it coursed through my veins. Phantom Liberty might be a top-tier expansion, but it’s even better when matched with a top-notch headset that can squeeze the most out of the audio.

Some of this is because of the relationship Dolby and RIG have together. One of the cooler things offered with the 900s is a permanent boost of Dolby Atmos. As soon as your headset is recognized by the Xbox or PC, it’s active, nothing extra you have to do beyond downloading the Dolby app for access. If you want to amp up the experience even more, there’s also a Dolby Personalization app you can download to your phone and, after making an account, you can scan your head to create a custom and accurate Dolby Atmos profile that will tailor the 3D audio for you. I personally don’t feel like it did much on PC for Call of Duty (in fact, the 900s sound incredible through SteelSeries Sonar EQ), but on Xbox it’s a huge benefit.

Listening is great, but talking is also a function of this headset. The 900s have one of my favorite features ever; a flip to mute microphone. It’s an easy thing to do, and I appreciate it. The mic itself is capable, but I don’t know that it punches much higher than that. If anything, it’s a little low, with my friends on Discord having a tough time hearing me due to the quieter volume. It is pretty clear, and I didn’t hear a lot of background noise in my recordings, so it’s more than serviceable in what you may need. If RIG can boost the mic volume in the next update, it’ll be great.

Lastly, you know we can’t talk about a wireless headset without addressing the battery. Another one of my standards is, if I don’t notice battery life, they’re doing something right. RIG boasts 50 to 60 hours of battery life depending on how you use it, and I haven’t thought about it once. I’ve had several long gaming sessions with them, and hasn’t ever beeped at me for a low battery. One of the reasons is due to the dock, which I love this time around. You gravitate towards putting the headset on the dock when it’s designed this way, and that keeps your battery high. The contacts on the dock for the 900s also click into place much better than the RIG 800 HS did when I reviewed them. All of this together makes the battery a first-class experience.

Lead Video Game Editor | [email protected]

David Burdette is a gamer/writer/content creator from TN and Lead Editor for Gaming Trend. He loves Playstation, Star Wars, Marvel, and many other fandoms. He also plays way too much Call Of Duty. You can chat with him on Twitter @SplitEnd89.

85

Great

NACON RIG 900 Max HX

Review Guidelines

While some features could be better utilized, the RIG 900 MAX HX is an awesome headset. There’s some fantastic, Dolby-backed sound, a nice, lightweight design, and all of it will work for hours due to great battery life. Besides a few nitpicks and functions I wish would be extended beyond their current state, this 900 is taking it to the MAX.

David Burdette

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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