One of the most neglected facets to gaming for a lot of people is the quality of the sound. Understandably, a surround sound speaker system is not fiscally feasible for a lot of gamers, especially for a massive home media center in the living room. That can cost you literally thousands of dollars. One thing you can do to alleviate this problem – and alleviate the annoyances that you may cause those around you – is to purchase a nice gaming headset.
The Plantronics GameCom 780 is for use exclusively with PC, but they develop plenty of console gaming headsets as well. The full list of features, taken from the official product page, is as follows:
- Dolby® Headphone and Pro Logic® IIx technologies transform standard audio into a stunning 7.1 surround sound experience
- 40mm speakers pound out deep bass and immersive stereo sound
- Built-in spin-joints let the earpods lay flat for easy storage when you need to take a break
- Noise-canceling mic kills background noise so your team or opponents can clearly hear your commands
- Easy-to-reach on-ear volume and mute buttons let you adjust the sound and still keep a hand on the controls
- Superhero-strength cords and joints mean this USB headset will be around for all your battles
- Ultra-comfortable ear cushions and headband make the GameCom 780 perfect for gaming, and great for watching videos, listening to music, and making PC voice calls.
Setup is fairly easy, you just install the surround sound software, plug it in a USB port, and you’re good to go. Thankfully, in your icon tray, it pops up with a little image to let you know if it is active. In this menu, you can also easily access the sound options from the control panel, which I use often for easily switching between my speakers and the headset. From this menu you can also turn surround sound on and off, as well as switch between two audio modes: Gaming/Video Mode and Music Mode. I don’t know the specifics of what the differences are, but there is definitely a noticeable audio difference. You should use the preferred mode for whichever type of media you are listening to at that time.
Never in my life have I worn a headset that featured such high sound quality and made me actually forget I was wearing anything on my head at all. It is honestly that comfortable. In the week or so I have been testing them out, I have stood up to walk away from my desk and forgot I had them on! The ear-pods are designed to engulf your entire ear while worn, and the cushion that rests on the side of your head feels like a fluffy cloud. The volume control slider and mic mute switch are both found on the edge of the left ear-pod, and can very easily be accessed at any time without having to divert your eyes.
As someone that often is too lazy to put in his contacts and usually just wears glasses, especially when gaming, the comfort level on this headset is mind boggling. Most headsets really hurt my ears and head after extended use – but not these! The same material is used to underline the headrest portion of the headset as well, so the top of your head isn’t pressed against rough plastic.
Most importantly – the sound quality is superb. The virtual surround sound technology works like a treat, and you really do feel and hear the sounds from all around you. This is especially useful in multiplayer games as it clues you in to the direction of the sound, not just the fact that you hear something. Additionally, don’t think it’s not worth it if you only play single player games. You don’t understand the concept of immersion until you play a sprawling open-world RPG with this badboy on – now that is true immersion into a world! I will probably never play a PC game again without this headset – it’s a game changer.
The mic itself is made of a simple rubber material, and offers some flexibility, but not a lot. I tested the mic under various different environments, and overall found that it does a pretty great job of cancelling out background noise. If I was on a Mumble server playing a game with friends, or on a Skype call, my voice came through crystal clear. This held true even if the TV was at a reasonable and audible volume no more than 10 feet behind me. This is good news for gamers that have their PC setup in a room with other activity going on around them, whether it be friends, family members, room mates, the television, etc. it is a good thing to know that your fellow players will not be disrupted.
This does lead me to the one disappointment that really sticks out for me compared to other headsets on the market – the ear-pods cancel out next-to-none of the outside sound. This means if you have friends over gaming on the TV behind you (which happens to me) while you are gaming on the PC with your headset on, you can still pretty clearly hear the things going on behind you. This is not the case if you have a good amount of sound coming in through your headset – in this case it covers up the sound well – but in this case the sound also finds its way out and others can hear the audio a bit. This is not a huge disappointment, and is wholly irrelevant for gamers that are often alone (which is probably a lot, basements need a use too, after all) but it is still definitely worth noting.
On a couple others notes: PC-only functionality is a disappointment, because I’m sure there are plenty of Apple users out there that would like to use headsets like these, as well as console gamers for that matter. The cord is not incredibly long, so if you game on the PC with a setup that has your tower stationed very far from the area you will be, may want to consider USB extension cords or a different headset.
In closing, you can do a whole lot worse when choosing your preferred gaming headset. Plantronics makes quality accessories that work well and last a long time, the GameCom 780 is no exception. Take it from a fellow gamer: using this headset has drastically improved my PC gaming experience. If you want an incredibly comfortable PC gaming headset that gives you a top-notch virtual surround sound experience, then look no further.
Final Verdict: Incredible
For more information visit Plantronic’s official product page for the GameCom 780. It is available for $79.99.
This review was based on a review unit of the product provided by Plantronics.