Posted by Chris Martin 03 June 2013
Plantronics GameCom Commander review: Limited edition gaming headset
The GameCom Commander is Plantronics' latest headset which is a limited edition. Read our Plantronics GameCom Commander review to find out what it has to offer.
With an RRP of £249, you're going to expect a premium experience right from the moment you open the box. Things got off to a good start with a stylish box which you won't want to throw away once you've removed the headset.
The lid of the box lifts upwards smoothly revealing the Commander hard case standing like some kind of museum exhibit. The only thing missing was some dry ice and a few lasers but we'll let it slip. The case means you can transport the precious headphones around without worrying about damage. There's even a carabina in case you want to walk around with it clipped to your jeans, or more likely, a rucksack.
The GameCom Commander does look a little on the plain side of things due to its all black design but plain in a cool, stealth fighter, kind of way. The design is extremely similar to the headsets which Formula One teams use in the pit lane and tech doesn't get much cooler than F1.
We like the QuickDisconnect feature. A little way down the cable from the headphones is a small clip into which you can easily connect, and disconnect, different cables. There's one for your PC and one for other devices like smartphones. The former can be left plugged into your machine and like other GameCom headsets has a handy in-line control panel with a volume dial and microphone mute switch.
The price means you get custom features including a laser-etched, limited edition serial number and customizable headband.
We can't really fault the build quality apart from the fact that a large percentage of the Commander is made from plastic. Although it is high grade strong plastic, for the high price tag, we would appreciate some more premium materials. The only real issue we had was the adjustment on the headset was too loose meaning we had to alter it almost every time we donned the Commander.
The Commander is an extremely comfortable headset making it a great choice if you want to game for long sessions. They are a little heavier than most headsets, though. The sound isolation is second to none, you can't hear what's going on around you and the sound doesn't leak out – excellent for tournament use or in the home.
Setting up the Commander couldn't be simpler; with no driver or software required simply find a spare USB port and plug the headset in.
Sound quality in old fashioned stereo is outstanding. The two 40mm drivers provide a well-rounded, clean and crisp sound. No matter what the genre of game we played, the Commander made it sound great.
There's also Dolby virtual surround sound provided by the USB sound card. There's a simple switch on the card for turning it on and off. This does its best to transform a stereo audio signal into 7.1 surround sound. There's no doubt that if you're going to watch a movie then the technology makes the experience much more immersive, and gives the kind of sound scape essential for genres like first person shooters.
However, we can't help but feel disappointed in the fact that the Dolby Pro Logic IIx card is the same one used in Plantronics GameCom 780 headset which costs just £40. We expected more in this area considering the huge price difference.
If you're a music lover then the GameCom Commander will do a reasonable job, but the headset performs much better for gaming and movies.
A great feature of the Commander is its superb microphone. The noise-cancelling mic is on the end of a highly adjustable arm and is simply, despite the cliché, crystal clear. It blows every other headset out of the water in this area. It's just a shame this is mostly a benefit to other rather than you, the user.
The GameCom Commander is certainly a headset to behold. We like the cool and the comfortable design with the Quick Disconnect feature for switching cables easily. The sound is excellent but we're disappointed that the Dolby sound card it the same as found on much cheaper models. The high price tag means you need to really want this headset to splash the cash.
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