PLANTRONICS GAMECOM COMMANDER
Plantronics, a bit like Sennheiser, are known for their proficiency with audio products not related to gaming. But they do have a 7.1 gaming headset available to gamers in the form of the GameCom Commander.
Looking at the GameCom Commander gaming headset, the design is clearly inspired by the aviation and industrial aesthetic. The visible thin wire body structure and hard plastic shelled ear-cups look like a direct homage to cans pilots would wear. The top of the headband features a removable velcro tag. On the whole, there is no middle ground with the looks of this Plantronics gaming headset. You are either going to love or hate the look.
The first thing you realize, when you put the GameCom Commander on, is the weight. The headset is quite heavy and the heft is very perceptible. The oval shaped cushioning is adequately large but not roomy due to shallow depth of the pads. A large degree of swivel and the fact that the structure wires are quite flexible keeps the headset’s contact pressure low. But the primary problem with the Plantronics headset is over-heating. Coupled with the aforementioned heavy weight, the GameCom Commander cannot be comfortably used for long durations.
On the left ear-cup you’ll find a boom microphone which can be swiveled through approximately 270 degrees. The microphone can be bent into position, but the stiffness of the arm makes minute re-adjustments hard to make. Travelling down the wire from the ear-cups reveals a clasp that Plantronics has christened QuickDisconnect. Gamers can just unlatch the two halves and swap wires which are designed for use with the PC or smart devices. Just a bit further down on the wire is a control pod for adjusting volume, and muting the microphone.
Like the Sennheiser PC 363D, the GameCom Commander can be plugged in to your PC via 3.5mm connector, or USB. Continuing with the similarities, this Plantronics headset is also equipped with Dolby Headphone and Dolby Pro Logic IIx functionality, along with a USB sound card. A slider on the
“THE HEADSET IS QUITE HEAVY
AND THE HEFT ISVERY PERCEPTIBLE.”
right hand side of the USB card is used to turn it on, with an accompanying blue indicator light.
With regards to music, the tone of the GameCom Commander is slightly tinny and thin. On tracks like Adele’s Melt My Heart To Stone the mids lacked the characteristic warmth and soul the listener expects. Gaming performance for the Plantronics is also slightly disappointing. While the 7.1 virtual surround soundstage is good, it does not match the accuracy of audio direction delivered by the Razer and Sennehiser products. We also found in-game alerts for RTS titles, like StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, to be slightly muffled as well.