Review: Nacon RIG 600 PRO HS Headset

19 Sep 2023

A while back, I wrote a review covering the rather excellent RIG 800 PRO HX gaming headset, and about the only negative thing I could come up with is it’s rather difficult-to-activate power button. With that being the worst thing about it, it sets my expectations high for their next-generation headsets.

The 600 PRO has a lower model number and price point than the previous model, with a $99.99 MSRP as of its release on October 18, 2023. Let’s dig into the differences and see if the 600 offers better value than the 800.

Switching Features

First thing of note, the Nacon RIG 600 comes in two models: the ‘HS’ which we are reviewing here, and the ‘HX’. The HS model is designed for PlayStation, while the HX model is licensed by Xbox and includes Dolby Atmos. Both work on PC and other devices as well, which is how we tested this headset.

Out of the box, the lower price point was somewhat apparent right away. The 600 was not packaged quite as nicely as the 800 was, with one of those simple pulpy-cardboard shipping shells holding everything. It does not have a charging dock like it’s older sibling, but everything you need to use it is still included.

The headset itself is a fair bit lighter, which is a mixture of good and not-as-good. Less weight is nice on your head (and something I definitely noticed compared to the 800), but the weight is due to a simpler head cushion design and and overall more plastic-y feel, especially the microphone. The mic is solid plastic and not flexible like the 800, and it’s also housed within the unit which actually makes it hard to fold out for use while wearing it. However, things like this can be somewhat overlooked if the product is just as or more useful.

One of the headset’s most promoted features just might push it into that more-useful category though. That feature being the dual-mode wireless. The 600 PRO can connect wirelessly via the included RF dongle, or over Bluetooth. This means that you can plug the dongle into your PC or Xbox/PlayStation, and also pair the headset with a phone or (especially) Nintendo Switch, and it will automatically switch (haha) if needed, in the case where a Bluetooth device wants to connect. This proved to be very handy, and a nice female voice will inform you when this happens, and also if the signal is lost/restored, the battery status changes, or you turn it on/off. Interestingly, this voice sounds a bit nicer on the 600 compared to the 800, a small but nice improvement. I really appreciated being able to use the same headset on my Nintendo Switch, especially in handheld mode, as I do on my PC. So if you use multiple devices, you’ll be really glad to have this.

The overall design aesthetic of the headset is nearly the same as the 800 PRO, but with a somewhat simplified design. It’s also a bit smaller overall and, while both are adjustable, fits a tad better on my head (your mileage may vary, of course). While the 800 had color accents depending on model, the 600 is basically 100% black. Not a big deal, but it does add slightly to the feeling of cheapness. The one aesthetic improvement might be the easier-to-identify (and also easier to use) power button being red so it’s easier to identify before putting it on. This might seem trivial, but the 800’s power button was a bit problematic, so any improvement is welcome.

Sound Shenanigans

The purpose of a gaming headset, of course, is listening to your games (or music, I suppose), so we need to check how things are on that front. Overall, the sound quality is nearly identical, though the absence of Dolby Atmos, a spatial sound tool for headphones, is noticeable if you don’t go with or the HX model or can’t use the feature on the device in question (i.e. the Switch). It might be very slightly inferior to the 800 otherwise, but I don’t think most users would notice in the heat of playing a game.

In short, the sound quality is about as good as you can get for a headsets in the 600’s price range and you won’t be disappointed with it. The full spectrum of audio from the bass to those high notes all came through solid and clear and it would be hard for me to tell which of the two headsets was on my head if I didn’t know which one I picked up. I am absolutely not an audiophile and I think that the sound is great for its intended purpose (though again, I advise the HX model if you’re using it on a PC for that Dolby Atmos; it’s hard to understate its benefits in a 3D gaming environment). Sure, you can spend twice as much or more on a headset and it may well sound better. That said the audio was free from any obvious issues like low fidelity or background noise or anything else that would significantly drag down the audio experience.

For the HS model, without Atmos it will sound more flat, without the spatial sound simulation it provides, but it will still be good for non-3D games. I played a decent sample of games over the course of my time with it. For 3D games, from shooters like Battlefield 2042 and MMOs like Final Fantasy XIV, it still sounds good overall, but spatial sound is invaluable for a gaming headset and makes all the difference. Move into 2D games, from stacker games such as TETR.IO and Puyo Puyo Tetris, to retro side scrollers like Shovel Knight, which don’t need or really use spatial sound, and you’ll be rocking on to their soundtracks with no issues.

The microphone is, well, just a microphone. I would describe it as “good enough.” It’s no Yeti or other popular stand-alone microphone, but it does do the job reasonably well. I used it for some Twitch streaming and viewers seemed to think I sounded good, but no one really noticed enough difference to make it known in the chat. Listening back on it, I’d say it sounds about the same as the 800 (also “good enough”) to slightly worse owing to the inability to adjust its position much. It is absolutely functional, but a dedicated microphone or a headset at a higher price point would probably be better with higher fidelity.

Sound-wise the only real issue I had was the Bluetooth range being definitely shorter than the range with the RF dongle. If you’re too far, the sound can get garbled or drop out. The problem is, I’m basically sitting right next to my PC case which is sitting behind my monitor. It is very close and the Bluetooth connection still wasn’t perfect. However, it worked fine with my Switch, so it may be interference or the Bluetooth on my PC’s motherboard might have a particularly weak transceiver.

Final Thoughts

Overall, The 600 PRO is pretty solid. While I feel like the 800 PRO is an overall higher-quality product, the sound between the two is virtually identical (Though the Headset Lady does sound a bit nicer). The dual-mode wireless offers a significant bonus to utility for anyone who wants to use the same headset both on their PC and another device.

The downgrade in physical quality is noticeable, though. You also really want to have that Dolby Atmos which is valuable for 3D games, and this is only available on the HX version. Additionally, the microphone being inflexible and less convenient to use is also a bit of a problem. You can effectively add one point to the score for the HX model because of Dolby Atmos’ inclusion (you can still use it on the HS, but you need your own license for it, or another product such as a game controller that includes one, which is an added cost). But for the HS, even with the PlayStation 5 adding Atmos support, it isn’t available by default.

It is for these reasons that I can’t score it as high as the previous 800 PRO. The HX offers a better value proposition than the HS, but don’t misunderstand me- these are still quite strong headsets both for gaming and everyday use. I just think the 800 will be remaining on my head, at least when I’m at my PC.

~ Final Score: 7/10 ~

Review unit provided courtesy of Nacon. Product images provided by Nacon.