In this review we are going to look at another headset from Plantronics, the Gamecom 780, the little brother to the Gamecom Commander reviewed last week and the updated version of the Gamecom 777
PACKAGING AND CONTENTS
The box that the headset comes in is very presentable, having a clear plastic window showing off half of the headset; additionally it currently has a free game bundle available upon purchase.
Currently they are offering a choice of one of the following games:
- Assassins Creed Brotherhood
- Might and Magic Heroes VI
- Driver San Francisco
- And Anno 2070
In the box you get:
- The Headset
- A driver CD
- A foldout set of instructions
- And a card that can be used to claim your free game.
The Box the Gamecom comes in
Getting the headset out of the box you can see the design of the headset is quite simple, with two ear cups on wire frames, which can twist to fold flat when not in use and have a small range of lateral movement; this means that when you are wearing the headset the ear cups are firmly pressed against your head, which may become uncomfortable after long periods, however in use I did not notice this
The build quality of the headset very good considering the cost, and it comes backed with a standard two year warranty with Plantronics. As you would expect it is not a patch build wise on the Gamecom Commander, but the headset did have some nice finishes; the soft velvety (not sure if velvet) texture to the ear cups is especially nice and you have to remember this headset also costs a considerable amount less than the Gamecom Commander.
The main cable is a fixed to the left ear cup measuring two metres (6.5feet) and it then loops through the headsets band to the other side. The headset is USB powered and it comes with software which enables the Virtual Dolby 7.1 features. The Gamecom 780 also features a microphone on the left ear cup, which is permanently attached and can be adjusted up and down. It has some resistance in the movement which helps keep it in place whilst in use.
The Gamecom 780 doesn’t feature an inline control like some of the previous Gamecom headsets instead featuring a combination of three buttons/switches on the side of the headset, one is used to toggle the volume, one to turn the microphone on and off and the final button which has a nice blue light behind it enables and disables the Dolby Surround software profile you are currently using.
The Headset Itself
With not much else to say about the contents of the box let’s move on to testing the headset itself. To test the headset I put it through a number of common uses including playing games, listening to my eclectic music collection and watching movies. While I did put the Gamecom Commander to more strenuous audio tests, I did not feel this was necessary in the testing of this headset so without further ado let’s get testing.
With the Dolby drivers installed* the headset performed brilliantly. The included software has two pre-set settings one for music and one for games and movies, unfortunately I could not hear much if any difference between the two settings in my testing. Both settings however improved the overall sound quality by improving the bass in games and music noticeably, increasing the overall potency of the headset.
Whilst the sound quality of the headset is very good the headset does have some physical downfalls that I noticed; the position and feel of the volume control toggle on the rear of the ear cup is a bit of a let-down, it sits flush with the curve of the casing which can make holding it to change the volume a bit awkward and I feel that if it was more pronounced it would be better, especially as the older range had a controller built into the cabling.
In use the microphone was clear, and again much like the Gamecom Commander people had no issues hearing my lovely Yorkshire tone, and although I would have liked for it to extend more outward and have some adjustability in positioning, this didn’t hinder or detract from its overall use.
In Conclusion, the headset was good, having a solid feel and a quality audio experience and with the drivers installed it performed better than I expected, although the quality of the built in volume control was a bit of a cavil especially when compared with the quality of the rest of the headset, however this can be ignored if your keyboard has built in media controls, as these will often be quicker than the button anyway.
I feel that with minor improvements this headset could be even better and it whilst it is let down in one or two areas, these small issues which are more me being picky (probably because of the Gamecom Commander) do not outweigh the many positive features that this headset has, and I can happily recommend it as a product.
*In testing the Dolby drivers would not install on our Windows 8 test bench, as they recognised it as an unsupported OS, however this did not stop the drivers from being installed using Windows 8 compatibility mode set to Windows 7