The folks at Plantronics have put out a limited edition headset for the ultimate pro gaming experience, the GameCom Commander. With a price tag of $299.99, I decided to take it for a spin and see about that.
The Commander comes in with a lofty entrance. A heavy-duty carrying case hides and protects the headset and all it’s attachments, complete with a heavy latch to attach the protective case to your belt loop, luggage or backpack.
The case will do it’s job in protecting the valuable headset inside. I tried everything to hurt this thing, from pulling and yanking on the latch to actually standing on the case and it took the abuse with no evidence of it. Considering I’m a former pro wrestler, I have to conclude that this is a pretty tough carrying case.
First Impressions Score: 9 out of 10
The wires and attachments were easy to remove and connect quickly. The drivers also installed on my PC very fast. I was up and running within moments, a big plus to me.
The only real issue here is that the headset uses the standard Windows drivers, something those wishing to use it at home more often than outside events may not wish to be stuck with.
Installation Score: 9 out of 10
Outstanding. The 7.1 Dolby stereo surround sound ensured I could hear every detail, footstep and audio queue on every game and song I attempted to use with it.
A big assist here goes to the noise cancellation ability of the Commander. The basic design of the headset comes from headsets that were originally designed to block out the noise of jet engines. All I could hear was what I wanted to. Any outside noise, even the sound of my own voice, was blocked out.
The heavy duty microphone provided the clearest sound I’ve heard with a headset. Regardless of if you are using the Commander to call out enemy positions in the middle of a team deathmatch or making a Skype call, every word you speak will come out with incredibly clarity on par with anything out there.
Sound Quality Score: 10 out of 10
The Commander has both highs and lows in this department. I’ll start with the good news first.
This headset is tough and will likely last longer than your keyboard and controllers will. As I noted earlier, I’m a pretty big guy and yet my experience with the Commander marks the first time I’ve ever been unafraid that I might break a headset. I considered giving it the same test that I gave the case and see if it could take me stepping on it, but opted not to since I have to return this sample copy to Plantronics.
The volume control uses a flat dial that makes it hard to accidentally bump in the middle of play. The odds of accidentally muting yourself in the middle of a firefight or blasting your ears off accidentally are low.
On the flip side, however, the Commander is almost too much of a beast to be comfortable to wear. The weight of the product might be too much for some users, and after extended use I felt considerable discomfort around my ears and jaw, as if the headset was putting far to much pressure. I found no easy way to adjust the Commander for a more comfortable fit, meaning that it may not be ideal for marathon gaming sessions or lengthy conference calls.
Form Factor Score: 6 out of 10
Overall, the GameCom Commander delivers the experience it advertises and is built to last for the long term. The $299.99 price tag brings along a tough-as-nails design that ensures your investment will survive whatever you plan to put it through.
I only wish it was more comfortable to wear. People of different shapes and sizes may have a different experience in that regard while others might not want to trade off comfort for sound quality.
Total Score: 32 out of 40