Gaming headsets are an interesting peripheral, because there are really only two tiers – cheap ones that are passable and the amazing high-end headsets that often cost $100+ as an entry fee. The GameCom Commander, however, tries to create a new third tier of gaming headsets. No, not a middle ground between the two, but instead an extremely high-end tier for gaming headsets. The GameCom Commander is essentially the epitome of gaming headset luxury, top-notch sound quality and incredible versatility.
The Commander is, without a doubt, designed with competitive professional gamers in mind. It’s modeled after actual military headsets and the sleek pure-black design accents that fact. Instead of taking it out of a typical plastic/cardboard packaging box, the Commander comes in a case that looks like it was dropped as a care package from a military plane directly into your hands.
Below you can see the official "features" list from the Commander's webpage:
- Tournament-ready noise isolation, game audio, and voice communication
- HD stereo sound with extended frequency response from 40mm drivers
- Noise-canceling, closed-ear design and ruggedized mic
- Durable, lightweight components for maximum comfort and long-term use
- Laser-etched, limited edition serial number
- QuickDisconnect adapters for switching between PC, smartphone and tablet
- USB sound card for 7.1 surround sound
- Customizable headband identity patch
- Travel case for storage and display
- Inline volume and mute controls
- 3.5mm plugs for analog compatibility
I previously reviewed the GameCom 780, which is an incredibly comfortable and great to use PC gaming headset that really did everything you would ever want – for the most part. It did not, however, do a very good job of cancelling out sound. With the Commander on the other hand, sound-cancelling is almost its most impressive feature. I had the pleasure of demoing the headset at QuakeCon 2012 a few months ago. While sitting in the middle of a busy showroom floor with music and loud gaming events going on all around me, I could comfortably sit on the couch and listen to music with the headset and barely hear anything around me.
This wonderful feature is even more noticeable when you use it in the comfort of your own home. Whether you’re listening to music, watching a movie or playing a game, the GameCom Commander essentially puts you in a virtual bubble of sound. The ear cups are lined with soft leather that makes them very comfortable to wear, but the headset itself is a bit heavy. After an overly-extended period of time it does start to feel cumbersome given the amount of weight you’re carrying. The top of the headband is also lined in a soft material so it doesn’t hurt the top of your head.
As a glasses-wearing gamer (I’m too lazy to put in my contacts 90% of the time) I was pleased to find that the ear cups were large enough to cover my ears and avoid the pain that’s often associated with wearing headsets for me. The microphone is entirely flexible so you can set it exactly how you want it and swivel it around to use on either side of the headset. The sound quality and noise cancellation on the microphone itself works very well. I tested it with various different games, in Skype chats, Mumble chats and much more without any issues at all.
One of the greatest facets of the Commander is just how versatile it is. With its different attachments you have portable surround sound for using on any computer without requiring an installation and the ability to detach the cord and use it with only a headphone jack. This is an interesting feature for something designed as a professional gaming headset and makes it very nice to use in various circumstances.
Unfortunately, since it is such an incredibly high quality headset with so much versatility, it isn’t cheap. Usually the price is just a detail not worth mentioning because you know what to expect, but that isn’t the case here. The GameCom Commander comes at a hefty price - $299.99. This price is quite steep for the casual gamer or the weekend soldier, but if you compete competitively and the top-of-the-line in sound quality and communication is necessary, then you can’t really get much better than this.
This review was based on a promotional unit loaned to us by Plantronics.