Hello there - my name is Matt "Vector" Conwell and today I'd like to show the differences and highlights of two Plantronics GameCom headsets, the GameCom 380 and the GameCom 780. I've been a hard core gamer for over a decade and I've built countless gaming computers, and logged tens of thousands of hours of PC gaming. I'll show you what I like about the headsets, the differences between the two headsets, and help you make the choice of which Plantronics headset is best for you and your play-style.
**PDXLAN and Plantronics are giving away 4 Plantronics GameCom 780 headsets between March 5th and 9th on the PDXLAN Facebook Page.
Be sure to enter to win! **
I received the two headsets the same day directly from Plantronics. The headsets were wrapped differently (The 380 was in a "Blister Pack" while the 780 was in a nice box). After gnawing my way through the GameCom 380 blister pack (My wife doesn't allow me sharp objects) and opening the GameCom 780 I was on my way to figure out what the differences these two Plantronics GameCom headsets had.
The first thing I noticed was the headset cord attached to both of these. I liked what I saw.
I've been a victim of forgetting my headset was on and getting up from my computer during map changes, or breaks. I've pulled my headset cord from my computer countless times and I have tripped on my headset cord a few times. The cord that attaches the GameCom headset to your computer is what Plantronics calls "Superhero-Strength" cords. The headset cord is still rubberized but when you feel it, and bend it you realize this thing is going to stand the test of time!
The second thing that I liked was that both headsets have a "Cup" design that fits over the ear. As a glasses wearer and victim of the headsets that push my ear into my glasses, I was quite pleased with the comfort level these headsets had. I was able to wear them for 3 hours while I played a little Dungeon Defenders. Also both headsets have "on ear" volume and mute controls which I like because I am always scrambling to find the little sound box that exists between my computer and my headset. It's just "there".
The last thing I want to mention that was similar was perceived build quality. When I picked them both up I was taken back by how light they felt. As I tapped on the plastic outer cups I was dubious about the build quality. If I had purchased them I might be experiencing something like "Uh oh". I have to say though - it wasn't an issue! I thought that they felt "cheap" at first but after using them for a number of hours I had no issues and came to appreciate the light-weight nature of the headsets. The sound quality was good, they were comfortable, and I was happily playing a video game.
The first major difference in the two headsets is Stereo Sound vs Dolby 7.1 sound experience. I have to admit - I was skeptical that this "7.1" thing would work. I played some Starcraft II with both headsets to test out sound directionality. I was surprised at just how well the 7.1 on the 780's worked. When SCV's were done building I could tell where the sound came from so I was able to start moving that direction with my mouse. When enemies would attack I had a better feeling of the direction that they were coming from. I could definitely see how this would be advantageous in shooter games like Modern Warefare 3, or Battlefield 3. Knowing where your enemy is attacking you from is key in how fast your response is.
The second major difference in the two headsets is in the way that they plug into your computer. The GameCom 380 uses a 3.5mm jack while the GameCom 780 uses a USB connection. There are advantages to both of these styles, but there are also disadvantages too. As an example I sometimes take my iPhone downstairs and listen to music while in my Lazyboy. I usually grab my headset on my computer. If I owned the 780's I could not do this as there would not be a way to plug in. The 380's on the other hand could. I don't consider this difference a negative because I recognize that the product I am using is a gaming headset - and I am using it outside the intended use.
The last thing I want to touch on is sound differences in the highs and lows. After speaking to a friend years ago about gaming sound I learned that sometimes you don't want overwhelming lows in game sound - they can mask things that are in the high range... like footsteps. Sometimes though, we want loud and thunderous siege tanks in Starcraft II - that would be a better job for the lows. In my opinion the 380's did not have the low ranges that the 780's did. Whether or not than is an issue to you, I don't know. I can see advantages and disadvantages to both in this regard. I personally like the loud and thunderous explosions in game more than hearing footsteps. Maybe that's why I die a lot. :)
Make your choice:
Making choices is what life is about. Which product should I buy? Why? Well I believe in showing you both sides, showing you what I like and why, and then letting you make your own choice between two products.
Both headsets exhibit forethought by Plantronics. Both products answer the way gamers play video games. Both products come with the identical warranty. The question then becomes "For $30 more what do I get?"
The main feature that you get with the Plantronics GameCom 780 that you do not get with the Plantronics GameCom 380 is Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound. Something else you may need to consider in your decision is the type of plug/interface.
I'd choose the Plantronics 780 primarily because of the 7.1 surround sound. To me it's easy to see how that $30.00 difference could give me an edge in playing over headphones that are only stereo surround. I see every edge I can get as an opportunity to get me higher scores, more headshots, and more fun.
To sum it all up (Because we all know people skip to the end) - Make a choice that fits your plays-style. If 7.1 is important to you, choose the GameCom 780's - if you just want a solid headset with Plantronics quality - choose the GameCom 380. Both are great choices - but it just depends on how you use them.
Thanks for reading! Please let us know what you think or what you would choose. We are always interested in comments and feedback! Plantronics review forum here.
Have fun, Frag hard,