PLANTRON­ICS GAMECOM COM­MAN­DER

HWM (Singapore) - - Performance -

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.

DRIV­ERS

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