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4.1 out of 5 stars
Plantronics GameCom 780 Open Ear Gaming Headset with 7.1 Surround Sound
Style Name: Gamecom 780Change
Price:£54.92+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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172 of 178 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2012
An astonishingly good set of headphones even if they were twice the price that is being asked for them.

Physical characteristics:

The headphones themselves, in terms of their construction, seem to be of very good quality, with none of the cheap, creaky plastic you might find in some other headphones. The ear muffs fit comfortably over my entire ear (my ears are on the large side) and are cushioned comfortably against my head by the padded velvet type ear muffs, and on top of my head, by the similarly padded and covered headband. The headband will go over pretty much anyones head I think, and has just enough spring loading in it to keep it firmly attached on your head, without giving you a headache or ear ache. Cable quality seems good, and it ends in a standard USB connector with none of the bulk associated with some USB headphone connectors, so for those of you with crowded USB sockets, it should fit in without problem and without you having to swap all your USB plugged items around in order to get it inserted. The mic arm on the headset is of the usual 'boom' style and can be moved up and down through a 90 degree arc. It is also flexible and can be bent towards or away from your mouth. On the left hand ear muff of the headset itself, there is a button to turn the Dolby NR on/off, a mic mute switch, and a volume control. The Dolby button lights up with a blue light when the Dolby is turned on.

Installation:

These headphones have a set of drivers supplied with them on a CD, and these should be installed before plugging in the headphones and will require a system reboot for them to be enabled properly. Once the system has rebooted, plug the headphones in, and wait for them to be detected and the appropriate drivers installed. Once finished, there will be a "Plantronics Gamecon" icon available in the bottom right hand corner of your system tray in the notifications area. Within this control panel there are simple settings for either turning the Dolby on/off or changing the headphones sound between using them for gaming, or using them for listening to music/watching movies.

Sound quality:

Gaming: - Sound quality for gaming is nothing short of astonishing. Quite the best set of headphones I have used, and brings gaming sounds out that were previously muffled or indeed totally unheard by me, before using these headphones. As these headphones also offer simulated 7.1 Surround Sound, I am sure you are wondering how effective it is. Well, I can tell you it is very effective indeed, giving accurate, high quality, directional sound that will let you know where every sound in your game is coming from - obviously very important in games like the FPS genre, when you are coming under fire. That's not its only use however, as I have found the headset gives vastly improved quality of sound in MMO's such as WoW and SWTOR, to the degree that it again lets you hear things you hadn't heard before, and as a result provides you with greater immersion in the games environment.

Music/Media Audio: - Music and sound quality, in stereo mode, is again, excellent. This headset in fact outshines some midrange Sennheiser audio headsets that I have, that were more than twice the cost of this headset. I would be perfectly happy to use this headset for audio on a long term basis, and I am pretty fussy about music audio quality, so that probably is a strong recommendation in itself. Similarly, when watching movies with this headset, the 7.1 surround sound works extremely well, providing a high quality soundscape that adds to the experience considerably. Certainly this latter function is a worthy substitute for when everyone has gone to bed and you want to watch that new movie in surround sound, but can't turn your AV Amp on :-)

Mic: - Again, excellent. It has built in noise cancelling, works happily with Skype, Teamspeak, Ventrilo etc. and those on the other end of my calls, tell me it is the clearest sound quality they have ever heard from a headset, and it apparently sounds like I am sitting next to them. The noise cancelling seems to work well too, eliminating background noise when you are multiplayer gaming over the internet.

Overall:

Given Plantronics background in audio headsets intended for voice conferencing, it is perhaps not all that surprising that they can turn their talents to producing decent gaming headsets. What did surprise me however, was just how good this headset is for the money. For the paltry sum you are paying for this headset, you are getting the best gaming headset I have yet heard or used, and a headset that will also double for audio, for those that listen to music or watch movies on their PC. When you buy this headset, you will be buying a top quality device, with superior sound to items that cost more than twice as much. Buy with confidence, people.
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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2012
Update: After 8 months of ownership and daily use for several hours a day, the plastic headband snapped - Right at the joint with the earcup. From reading a LOT of the other reviews, this has happened with some others' headsets, so bear this in mind. Also, mine seem to have lasted the longest out of those that have failed. Will be investigating possibility of refund/replacement through Amazon.

With this in mind, my remarks below still stand - It's a bloody good 7.1 headset for the money and I am still considering a replacement:

For all the great reviews, this is still the cheapest 7.1 headset I could find and I expected everything about it to be thusly attributed. What I got was surprisingly good...

Packaging:
Good enough. Nothing fancy, no amazing marketing designs, but then why would you need that when it just costs more money anyway? It's a cheap headset.
Inside of the box flap has a little note pointing to where the installation CD is taped in place, too. Nice helpful touch.

Software:
Install and restart PC *before* you first plug the headset in. They even include a small orange card to remind you of this. Don't worry, the software is tiny and won't affect your system resources or anything like that.
Once done and you've plugged the headset in, the software is easy to use and very, very simple. There's only a couple of options and a button that opens the PC's audio properties... But for the sort of person who'd buy this headset (rather than the fancy one where the fifty aspects of every individual driver can be customised), this is all you need!
Here is where you can switch between 5.1 and 7.1 sound and set up anything else you want. As other reviewers have already stated, if you don't select these options (it's not difficult - even I managed it) then your audio will not sound right.

Build quality:
Yeah, I like this. It reminds me of some 1980s headsets with the twin wire slide rails and exposed wiring, rather than modern sets that just have plastic covered bars and the wiring all contained within. It's obviously cheap, but will still likely last as it's built well.
The plastic *feels* a little cheap, but is very solid and there are no gaps, rough edges, bad mouldings or loose points. Everything is tightly fixed.

The earcups swivel outward 90º and the hinges are tightly fit with a smooth action. What might be a weak point is as well built as (and reminiscent of) a very expensive Sony headset I had back in those 1980s.

The USB cable is 'bare' wire, in that it has none of the customary braided covering and seems a touch on the thin side. It needs the bends straightening out from being folded up in the box, lest the bends kink and wreck the cable, but this only takes a few seconds and we've all been doing this with packaged electrical products for decades anyway!
It still feels as solid as the rest of the build though. Time will tell if it can stand up to enthusiastic use.

Fit:
Initially I found them awkward, exerting pressure on the points behind my jaw, just below the ears. I took a moment to find the msot comfortable point atop my head for the band and then adjusted the earcup sliders a bit. Hey presto, as comfy as my 500 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets... no, really, I got some as a wedding gift and the headset is just as lovely!
After several hours, my ears were a bit warm and sweaty of course, but in a stuffy room with no AirCon during very hot weather just 'a bit sweaty' is rather good going, I think!
No actual discomfort at all, which is again impressive.
The padding is great, nice and soft outer material and supportive foam core.

Function:
Mic swivels down from the upright position. Nothing unlike the usual headsets, except this doesn't go the other way. It's left side only, I'm afraid. No biggie unless you're fussy about that sort of thing.
The mic is of the contemporary rubber bar shape which bends inward a bit for slight positional adjustment. Doesn't really do that much and it *seems* like it's too far out to pick up any sound... But it's fine.
Earcups individually swivel out of the way. Mainly a DJ function, but occasionally useful for other users.
The left earcup has controls along the lower left edge: an on/off Mic Mute slider switch, a jog-dial for volume up/down and a standard press on/off for the 7.1 sound. This last one lights up a gentle blue when 7.1 is enabled, while at the same time the system tray Headphones icon turns orangey to indicate the same.

Performance:
Kind asking the wrong person on this one - I've used a number of 5.1 and 7.1 headsets before and I can definitely tell the difference, but I'm still not really an Audiophile. I love my music and I appreciate good sound quality, but I have to work with such varying qualities of sound kit anyway that my ears automatically adapt to whatever I'm presented with at the time. As a result, the minor tweaks available on kit don't make that much difference as long as the base setup is of sufficient quality and clarity.

On this set, 5.1 sounds like a nice warm room with the sound almost 'inside your head' like a good pair of earphones. Bass is good and even, mid and upper ranges are clear and everything is fairly well balanced. If you're like me and you fiddle with settings on individual media players, differences are generally more apparent through this headset and so custom settings are more effective.
The 7.1 here sounds like you're in a room with a considerable echo. I actually thought the sound was playing out the PC speakers as well until I took the headset off to check! Not something I've experienced with other 7.1 headsets.
In gaming, I found the 7.1 to be very good where applicable. Many times I closed my eyes and turned my view to where I thought the sound was coming from. My cursor was usually within millimetres of the actual location. Definitely a tactical advantage for those First Person shooters, especially so for the First Person sneakers, but all-round just a brilliant thing to have!

The sound does bleed out of the headset a fair bit, but inside you are nicely isolated. Probably not so effective next to a busy road, but a busy supermarket is easily blocked out.

Conclusion:
Well built, well packaged, well supported with great performance and comfort, particularly if you know what you're doing. Audiophiles will probably dislike it a bit, but I'd say the same about most headsets because they're not designed to replace massive über-speakers from a live concert. Gamers will be surprised and somewhat delighted.
Overall - Exceptional value and holds it's own against it's peer headsets that cost 3-4 times the price!

Highly recommended, especially if you want to try 7.1 audio on a budget and/or cannot afford an expensive speaker setup!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 2 July 2013
I bought these for my office to protect my colleagues from my music and to join teleconferences.
I sit with these constantly on and feel no fatigue (the ear pieces have soft fabric cushioning,
and I wonder how long will it last - 2 months down the line they show no wear). I couldn't ask any more from
the audio output (loud and clear) and telco participants have no complaints about the clarity of my voice
on the other side of the telco bridge.
Those are USB and I feared they wouldn't agree with my Ubuntu based desktop, but the fears were
ungrounded.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2013
Simply headphones but still amazing good for those who work with sound programs and the avarage user. Pretty made construction and well designed, great quality and clarity of sound.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2013
The headset was well packaged with disc and instructions (although I didn't use the instructions I'll admit). I was installing the headset on a year old computer with Windows 7. Installation was without a problem, nice and easy to set up.

The headset is sturdy, with large sponge/velvet type ear covers. The ear pieces extend only as far from the metal rods (unlike some that extend from the central piece). Thus I would suggest if you have a larger head they might be hard to fit. All in all though they fit great.

The disc allows you to install software to the computer which allows for Dolby Stereo in either movie mode or game mode. This seemed to work fine when I tested it. All in all not a bad product for the price. As a gamer though the following was observed:

> Dolby Stereo mode made them sound tinny, I kept trying it with different games (and ensured I had adjusted the sound settings) though it still seemed somewhat 'tinny' to me. Other than this the sound quality is great. Surround sound works and the music/voices are crystal clear if not a little tinny. If you like a deeper bass or sound then these might be off-putting. I admit for certain games I switched to non-Dolby as the sound was better this way.

> The ear pieces, these are a sponge like velvet, and whilst comfortable these can make it very warm. If like me you play extended periods of games, then they can get a little uncomfortable. I've not gotten 100% used to them yet, but the first few days of gaming I found I took them off to let my ears "breath" as the pads completely cover the ears. When it's warm it can be a little uncomfortable.

> Mic - The mic seems to be great, clear for anyone listening, although it does seem to go quiet for no real reason (I think this might be to do with the noise cancelling aspect. The mic is a distance away from the mouth, if you like your mic close to your mouth then this wont be for you. I used closer mics but I did not find it a problem. The only issue was when gaming it gets rather warm, thus I have a fan on. The mic did not cancel out the fan, and actually caused a 'wind tunnel' effect for anyone listening. Though this was easily solved by ensuring the fan wasn't directly on me.

all in all they seem a good product, I'll give them a little time to see if I can get used to the encapsulated ears and the warmth that it creates. Though first impressions are good.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2013
I am very tempted to give these more as I was impressed with the sound quality and clarity of the mic.

However, I did read the review before purchasing this, including the 1 stars, stating how the connectors between the head band and the earpieces broke easily. I decided to ignore this as my #1 choice of earphones (for music) get given the same sort of negative reviews but I look after my earphones very well and they last me long enough.

Mine have literally just broken, and I have really looked after these given the negative reviews. If they weren't on my head they were rested comfortably over my monitor by the headband. I never put them under any sort of strain as I knew people had had issues with them breaking. Regardless of due care these have now broken on the left ear.

Looking inside the breakage at the connection you can see why. There are two tiny connections holding them in place (about 2-3mm) and they look totally inadequate given the stress that headphones tend to take. I really can't see how these would have gotten through any quality control or stress testing.

As i'm saving up for a new graphics card at the moment I can't afford to be replacing these so I'll be getting to work with some superglue and hoping that they will last a little longer.

Recommendation? I might have gotten a bad batch but honestly it looks like a design flaw. By all means take the risk but be prepared to fork out for another pair in a few months. I recommend avoiding these.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2012
I was told I wasn't allowed to plug a surround sound system into my new all singing all dancing computer I built not only is space an issue but neighbours as well so I thought headhones, I thought to get a decent set with a mic for computing use and when I saw these I was skeptical about the surround sound that they boast but to be honest it works fantastic sometimes I look over over my shoulder to see if theres someone behind me; to me it feels more like magic than technology.

Packaging & Delivery: packaged well came within 36 hours of being ordered.

Installation: plug the USB into usb 2.0 slot then insert disc to install the software. (They work without the software but the 7.1 surround needs the software I believe)

Microphone: works a treat I have been skyping without a problem it picks up your voice even when speaking quietly the noise filtering works great to.

Sound: I have tried a lot of high end headphones i.e dr dre beats £280 and skull candies £160 these are different in that they are for gaming but i'd say these are suited to more tasks i.e music, films, games and that they are a pleasure to use

Build quality: big thick and chunky also they feel sturdy but more importantly they are comfortable and hug the ears well, theres no danger of them falling off, the 2 metre long usb cable is a treat as well so they dont tie you in one spot.

To conclude at £40 I feel I owe them something; I would deffinately recommend them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2014
Well pleased with my purchase got the item the very next day,i didn't use the software CD as i'm using windows 8.1 so wasn't sure if it would work,so i downloaded it from their ([...]) website and installed it and everything worked as it should,the sound on my laptop is amazing for the price of these.

I mainly brought these for my PS4 as i like to game a lot in the winter months and these work quite well with the PS4,i knew they would as i did so some research but i wasn't sure if the chat feature would work also,i needn't of worried though as they work a treat,the only thing when using these with your PS4 you can't use the volume control (which is very loud) on the side of the ear cup but not to worry as you can adjust that on the PS4 console,you will also not be able to get full 7.1 surround sound as the light does not come on but again i doubt most people will be able to tell the difference while gaming.

All in all i'm more than satisfied with my purchase as i nearly went and brought some Turtle Beach £200 head sets and i'm glad i decided on these first,no doubt i might try them in a couple of years or when i might want to upgrade but i can't see that being any time soon.

If you have any questions on the PS4 set up or anything else and i can help i will be more than happy to help if i can,just ask away and i'll get back to you ASAP or when i receive the email informing me of it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 29 October 2012
If you are reading this for a buy or not buy with your money, it's a doubtless buy.

This headset is very good for the money, it is solidly build and doesn't have the problem with making your ears really hot after long sessions (Had them on for 8+ hours at a time and my ears are cooler than with most other gaming headsets)

Pros:
-Good microphone both quality(My friend has the same and he sounds good on skype) and with distance from face, not too far to be quiet and not to close to pop
-Doesn't make your ears too hot to keep on
-Microphone mute and volume buttons easy to reach
-Sit comfortably on the head
-When you take them off the ear cups turn to sit flat on your shoulders(Hard to explain but it's awesome)

Cons
-Earpads are made from velvet/suede which picks up lint easy
-Driver requires a restart
-Cable feels flimsy

As you can see I was searching hard for problems with this headset, it works brilliantly and sounds perfect
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2015
I am Extremely Disappointed with this product.

I had high expectations for this headset however the poor quality left me wanting.

I had to return this item due to it falling apart on me. Unfortunately I took a replacement and now the replacement has died on me after the guarantee has expired so I have had to buy a replacement (different brand and model).

If you have this much money to spend on a headset, please, spend it on something else. They might be good when you get them but they just don't’ last.
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