If you're serious about PC gaming, chances are you're willing to invest in some quality headphones. The Plantronics GameCom 777 headset was designed with gamers in mind, creating a Dolby 7.1 surround sound experience with an included USB adapter. While the asking price of $109 certainly isn't anything to sneeze at, this headset definitely delivers powerful sound, especially in the bass department, and its noise-canceling mic made sure our teammates could hear us crystal clear.
Design and Comfort
There's no denying that these headphones are bulky, with a headband thickness of 1.6 inches and cups that measure 4 inches wide. While we wouldn't say that it's ugly, this headset definitely lacks any sort of memorable visual style, especially compared to the Turtle Beach Ear Force Z2 or the NOX Specialist. In addition, the GameCom 777 isn't foldable in any way, so make sure you have a lot of space in your backpack if you plan to bring these cans to your next LAN party. At least the microphone boom fits snugly into the GameCom's headband so it doesn't stick out when not in use.
The GameCom 777 is well padded but feels a little tight on the ears, even with the headband extended to its maximum length. As a result, it started to get a little uncomfortable after about an hour and a half of use. People with smaller heads may not have an issue, but these headphones may not be the best for tourneys. The GameCom 777 also features a circular iPod-esque volume slider on the cabling. We found it to be easier to use than a regular scroll wheel, and it provided an extra level of precision when adjusting audio that you won't find on many other headsets.
A small, Tic Tac box-size USB adapter is also included; when attached, it's designed to provide Dolby 7.1 surround sound to your gaming.
Sound and Mic Quality
We wore the GameCom 777's while playing through a few levels of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Portal. With the headset plugged into the standard stereo jack, sound was crisp and clear. These headphones are definitely the most bass-heavy of the ones we've tested recently, but fortunately this didn't lead to overly muddled sound. In fact, we could hear both the sound effects and the music without one overwhelming the other. In MW2, we were even able to hear some of the background chatter of the main character's squad-mates, which is very hard to pick up with standard notebook speakers.
We then tested out the surround sound mode using the USB adapter. There was a noticeable improvement in sound quality, but it wasn't as big as a jump as we'd hoped. On the whole, the experience sounded more like a stereo setup; both games still sounded great, but the positional audio (sounds that appear to be behind and to the sides) wasn't very impressive, especially compared to the Turtle Beach Ear Force Z2 with the Ear Force DSS adapter. However, that setup costs $50 more and requires an optical audio input, whereas the GameCom needs only a USB connection.
The noise-canceling mic made chatting with friends in games and on Skype a pleasure. Not only could we hear the other voices without any problem, but our voice came through so clear that one person said it sounded better than the average phone call. Better yet, it worked instantly; we didn't have to make any changes to the mic settings for the other users to hear us.
The Plantronics GameCom 777 provides excellent sound for anyone who plays bass-heavy games such as first-person shooters. While we do wish that its surround sound was a bit more effective, it excels in the most important categories: audio and mic fidelity. At $109, the GameCom is a little pricey, but if they fit your head properly, they're certainly worth the asking price.