[Review] Plantronics GameCom 780 PC gaming headset [Video]

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Thinking of getting a new headset for your PC gaming needs? The GameCom 780 by Plantronics would be a pretty good choice to take a look at. Priced at $79.99 (Amazon), this extremely comfortable 7.1 simulated surround-sound PC gaming headset is definitely a great buy. Continue reading for our full review, and don’t forget to check out the video review that’s embedded in the bottom of the post.

Packaging

Packaging is quite simple and easy to get into. Included with your purchase is the headset, a CD that contains the required software to use the headset, and some documentation. A carrying case of some sort would’ve been nice, but it’s nothing to get angry over.

Design

While simple looking, these are quite stylish. It’s made of black plastic and has some red accents, while all of the cabling is red. Keep in mind that, since the plastic is glossy, it’ll attract fingerprints and scratches.

Comfort

Comfort is incredible! You can easily wear this headset for hours at a time without any discomfort whatsoever. The earcups are enough large to fit most people’s ear sizes. The soft suede-like material is also present on the very comfortable headband. Do keep in mind that the material will attract quite a bit of dust and lint, so you’ll want to clean it regularly. The GameCom logo is embossed into the top of the headband, while the Plantronics logo can be found on the microphone. The overall weight of the headset is quite light, which helps quite a bit in terms of comfort.

Features

The GameCom 780 has most of what you’d expect in a gaming headset. There’s a dedicated mute switch, surround-sound button, and volume switch on the left headphone. That’s where you’ll find the flexible microphone, which I’ll get to in a little bit. One thing that would’ve been very much appreciated is a dedicated mute button for the general sound output. When the surround-sound function is enabled, the appropriate button will illuminate blue.

The cable length is 6.5ft, and is very resistant to tangling. It’s also red, which suits the rest of the headset nicely. Unfortunately, you’ll hear cable noise even when you have the headset on. This isn’t really a problem, as long as you don’t have anyone messing with your cable while you’re gaming.

When you want to temporarily stop using the headset, the earcups will rotate so that they’ll lay flat onto a table, or your chest (if you want to just hang the headset on your neck).

Microphone Quality

The included microphone has multiple audio pickups along the microphone, which ultimately provides for excellent noise cancellation and general input audio quality. The audio is very crisp and clear. One thing that I noticed is that, when gaming, everyone said that I’m considerably louder than everybody else, including their actual game audio. Because of this, you’ll either want to talk quieter, or turn your input settings down a bit.

Audio/Surround-Sound Quality

The audio quality is simply superb, and is a huge upgrade over GameCom’s 777 headset. Highs and mids are very crisp and detailed. There could be a little bit more bass, but you’ll still get some occasional movie theater type of bass. Everything sounds very good, and you’ll easily be able to use these for not only gaming, but for music and movie enjoyment.

The surround-sound is definitely there, but keep in mind that this isn’t true surround sound, as to have that, you’ll need at least 4 dedicated speakers/drivers in each headphone, which can’t be the case with the 780′s, since it has only 2x40mm drivers. Also, without GameCom’s software (which is Windows only), you won’t get the effect.

Once installed and enabled, the surround-sound effect is quite nice. It won’t blow you away, but it will definitely give you an advantage in many video games, as you’ll instantly be able to figure out where certain sound effects are coming from. This effect is also quite good when watching movies. Having this mode enabled when listening to music will make your audio sound more defined and detailed.

As mentioned earlier, the surround sound software is Windows only, so if you’re on Mac OS X or Linux, you’ll still be able to use the headset (including its microphone), but you won’t be able to take advantage of the surround-sound feature.

Conclusion

In the end, this is an excellent buy at just $80. It provides an unprecedented amount of comfort, and the audio quality at this price point is worthwhile. The surround-sound effect is there, but won’t blow you away. If you’re in the market for a new headset in the sub-$100 range, this would be an excellent choice.

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