Deciding on a set of gaming headphones is surprisingly difficult. There are too many sets to choose from, and like with everything else we all want to buy the latest and greatest. With audio equipment that is almost always a poor purchasing plan, though gaming equipment has the exact opposite process. Thus, the Gamecom 780.
I wasn’t impressed with the last Plantronics gaming headset, the Gamecom 777. It was harsh; too tight, too small, too flat, and produced sound that was too sharp. Plantronics is also mostly known for their wired and wireless phone headsets, and while their smaller console communicators have always been a favorite of mine, the full-size headsets haven’t been. That’s why I’m doubly impressed with the 780, which is a tremendous step forward.
The full-size over-the-ear 780 is large, but not cumbersome. It has square-shaped cans that sit over the ear while still leaving plenty of space between the ear and audio drivers. Plenty of cloth cushions, as well as a relatively light frame, keep the 780 comfortable to wear for extended periods, while also keeping users ears from overheating. The only downside to the cushions is the complete lack of sound isolation; they block nothing coming in, so if you’re trying to escape from the terrors of your roommates watching Jersey Shore or worse yet, children, the 780′s will make sure you hear all of it.
A full boom microphone extends out of the left can and is completely adjustable. The audio controls are on the left can as well, which includes voice mute, a volume rocker and Dolby Digital Surround on/off button. These are all clearly marked with dull red icons, and the two sliders are studded, so they’re easy to find and switch. In fact, the whole headset uses the simple black-red color scheme which is, while not classy, very pleasing to the eye. It matches so many of our gaming peripherals, and doesn’t stand out in the dark. The two cans also turn out 90 degrees for a comfortable DJ-look, and they get pretty loud too in case you get tired of wearing the set.
Audio quality is excellent, with a good dynamic range of highs and lows. There is some muffling with bass, and because there isn’t any sound isolation it’s fairly easy to miss many softer tones, so audiophiles can steer clear of the 780. Overall however the audio quality is good for gaming and practical music listening, though throw in some CDs or DVD-audio and you will definitely not hear everything. Communication audio quality is also excellent.
As a USB headset there are some obvious usage limitations, specifically that the 780′s only work on your PC. They function both as plug-and-play and as a full installation headset, though if you enjoy surround sound gaming you’ll need the additional software. The cable is also extremely thin, and I ran over it twice in my office chair and, well, you don’t want to do that. It’ll rip pretty easily.
For $80 the Gamecom 780 is a very good headset that PC gamers will enjoy. It’s comfortable for extended use, pretty inexpensive for a USB gaming headset, and offers great sound quality. Gamers will be pleased, so long as they have a quiet gaming environment. If not, you may want to look for a set with leather cushions.
Bottom Line: A low-price, high-quality USB gaming headset
- Comfortable for long periods of use
- Good sound quality
- Provides almost no sound isolation
- Cable is prone to rips for the uncareful