You and a bunch of your friends are getting ready for an all night PC gaming session each one keys up a microphone ready to chat. Unfortunately you are left as the odd one out you have not yet made the leap into the new age. Yeah sure you can listen but can’t join in the fun of bashing noobs or just the general geek banter. Today should be the day you treat yourself to a new pair of headphones but with so many on the market how do you choose the right ones? Most stores don’t have a try before you buy option or a area to play test headsets so you are left to your imagination. Unless you are willing to drop money on the headsets then return them within the stores return policy you are out of luck as far as the purchase goes. Well Platform Nation is here to help at least give some info on one offering to the headset market.
Say hello to the Plantronics GameCom 777 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
Looking at pictures these look very impressive but how would that stand up to real world testing with everyday use and a few hours of gaming. When first opening the package I liked that there was only a few things to pull out one being the headset the other a Dolby sound card but more on that later. One thing that is recognizable right away is the overly massive look and feel of the headset which right away was a drawback for me. Holding judgment until the actual test I continued to inspect the headset finding some great features that would make the Plantronic Gamecom 777 headset a worthy buy for a true gamer.
So what can be expected from this headset?
- Dolby® Headphone technology delivers a virtual 7-channel audio experience.
- Dolby® USB sound card is the only way to get the 7.1 experience.
- Open-ear design keeps you connected to the game and your surroundings.
- Concealed mic boom stays hidden until you’re ready to use it.
- Specially designed earpods redistribute pressure for maximum comfort.
- In-line volume and mic-mute controls allow for easy audio adjustment
- Noise-canceling microphone lets you communicate clearly.,,
- Rugged, military-grade design and extra-strength cables make your hardware hardcore.
Plantronics made 7.1 an easy feature to add to your gaming experience by adding this little Dolby sound card. Plug this into any free usb port and away you go with 7.1 sound unfortunately I was not so lucky. Multiple attempts to get it to work were failed so the sound card was placed into a drawer to be tested at a later date. Though the sound quality without the added card is still phenomenal.
Late night gamers have a reason to rejoice thanks to Plantronics design of the volume control each of the 5 levels is raised so you can now how loud the sound is. Plantronics also included a clip to keep the volume control in a central location, so you are not fumbling at a crucial point only to find yourself on the wrong end of a head shot.
If you are a late night gamer or like to raid all hours into the night these two included features are a great addition to your arsenal. No longer will you have to reach for a light switch to find your volume control or take forever to make sure the volume is just right. Plantronics also gave you an option to slide mute the microphone with a switch which is a much needed feature at times. No longer will your buddies get to hear that fight between you and the significant other or the kids screaming because little Jimmy hit Suzie.
One feature I continue to talk about is the microphone which brings nothing new to the table that other headsets have not. One thing that is a welcome feature though is the ability to hide away the microphone when not in use. There is an area just inside the headband where the microphone can be hidden when not in use by the headphone user. Having owned 2 different pairs of headphones with microphones that did not retract this is a much needed feature especially if you don’t use the microphone that often.
Overall the Gamecom 777’s look comfortable when first looking at them but how do thye really feel on the head especially after a long gaming session. First noticeable thing after setting them on my head was how light they were compared to how heavy the actually looked. Right away the one thing that worried me was all the foam meant to be there for comfort could be a major downfall. If you have had the joy or hell of being forced to wear headphones for a long period of time you know how sweaty your head can get. Now double that and add in some high adrenaline pumping action to the mix you have a potential disaster on your hands. Placing these on my head it was easy to realize that after a long session of wearing there was a great possibility my head would be drenched in sweat.
One feature that was great for people that want to be immersed in a reality world but still connected to the real world is an open ear piece design. What does this mean? It means that even though the 7.1 is pumping sweet gaming sounds to your brain you can still hear your boss sneaking up just in time to close out your current session of World Of Warcraft. Having an open ear design gives players the ability to be in two places at once with out losing one or the other.
So wait Mr. review guy what about the sound quality you have not talked about that is it good or bad? In my tests multiple different forms of media were used the first being a bass test to test actual frequency ranges which in the end showed the Plantronics did not handle all that well under sound stress. Next test would be music which sounded beautiful clear and crisp no complaints on that end. Next the headset would be run through a few different games Left 4 Dead, Lost Horizon, The Ball, Peggle each having unique sound qualities that I thought could best test audio features. The Gamecom 777’s held up very well through each audio test though some very audible pops and hisses were present at certain points. Audio reproduction was great you could hear some great sounds coming from the games. Left 4 Dead was nothing but creepy with the low groans of Zombies being heard far off in the distance. Dont get me started on how creepy the cries of the witch were especially as you walked closer. Peggle gave a great impression as the happy music was almost intoxicating making the game that much more enjoyable.
So what is my final say on the Plantronics GameCom 777 Surround Sound Gaming Headset?
If you are looking for a solid headset that is easy to use that gives you great sound quality with no hassle set up these are for you. If you are looking for something that you may use for long sessions I would look into something that might be a little more light weight. Price is just right at $109.99 which is competitive with other higher end gaming headsets. Overall if you are looking for a great headset you can’t go wrong with the Gamecom 777’s for the price and some great extra added bonus features