E-sports are becoming big business, and in response to the major deals coming from this newly created space, Plantronics became the official headset of the League of Legends Championship Series. Out of that agreement comes the Plantronics Gamecom Commander. The Commander headset was designed with PC gamers in mind, delivering the best quality sound Plantronics can muster. Is the Plantronics Gamecom Commander right for your gaming style? Read on to find out.
The Commander is a tournament grade headset, which means you are getting the best of the best. In the cups of the headset are two 40mm drivers, but they’ve been tuned to produce sound that exceeds the normal range of a 40mm driver. This results in a sound quality that is only seen in the best headsets around. When you take into consideration that the headset uses military-grade noise cancellation technology, you can rest assured that you will hear everything that your game throws at you. The headset also features Dolby Pro Logic II 7.1 Surround Sound to ensure the highest quality, directional sound. If you are a tournament gamer, you’ll immediately appreciate the Commander’s balance of superior sound cancelling technology with Dolby surround sound. The Commander performs extremely well, even under the noisiest conditions. No matter what is happening around you, you’ll be able to focus on your game, and you can’t ask much more from a tournament grade headset.
The Commander includes a number of features that tailors directly to the tournament gamer. First, you’ll notice that the Commander comes in a custom carrying case. The case also comes with a Black Diamond carabiner clip. This clip will ensure that your case is staying attached to whatever you clip it to. Once you open the case, you’ll notice that the headset uses a quick connect system that allows the gamer to quickly switch between different connection types. Utilizing the quick connect system, you’ll be able to connect to a 3.5mm headphone jack, 3.5mm headphone / mic jack, or, using the included 7.1 Dolby USB card, a standard USB connection. There is an in-line controller on the 3.5mm headphone / mic cord, so as long as you are using that connection, you’ll be able to control the volume of your headset. If you decide to use the single 3.5mm headphone jack, you’ll have to find another way to control the volume. We really would have liked to see the in-line controller as part of the main cord of the headset and not part of a quick connect cord. It is more a matter of convenience rather than performance.
When looking at the Commander itself, you’ll notice a number of useful features. First, you’ll notice that you get a full-sized, reticulating mic boom with wind screen. It is a serious, sound-cancelling mic that allows you to put the mic wherever you want. Once you place the mic where you want, it stays there as long as you want it. The mic was permanently attached, but it provided a fantastic quality signal to teammates. If you want to make sure you are heard clearly, it doesn’t get much better than the Commander’s mic. The cups themselves feature thick, sound-deadening foam covered in a faux-leather material. The cups are extremely soft, and despite their appearance, they feel light on your head. Unfortunately, the headset is very bulky and looks like it belongs on the deck of an aircraft carrier. It doesn’t effect the quality of the headset, but you aren’t going to win any fashion shows with that.
The Plantronics GameCom Commander is a very expensive headset since it is marketed as a limited-edition, tournament-style headset. With an MSRP of $300, you aren’t going to see anyone impulse buy this. You should look at this as a piece of your tournament PC rig rather than a multipurpose headset. Also, at this price range, the Commander lacks some of the flexibility and features of other headsets. For example, at $300 you can purchase a wireless tournament grade headset that works on PC, PS3, and the Xbox 360. When you compare to a wired Gamecom Commander that only works on PC, it seems that there is some value left on the table. For that reason, we feel that the Commander is a little overpriced. However, it should be noted that even if you do spend the money on this headset, you are getting a superior quality headset, so it isn’t a complete loss.
Ease of Use / Comfort: 9
The Commander is extremely easy to use, and it literally works by just plugging it in. There is no setup or installation diagrams to follow. Simply plug in the quick connect cable that you want to use and it works. The quick connect feature really adds a lot of value to the headset and makes this unit extremely easy to work. The Commander is also deceptively comfortable to operate. Despite the large size and lack of a twist comfort setting, the headset sits lightly on your head. With plenty of cushioning from the sound-deadening material, you’ll be able to game comfortably for hours. From this perspective, this headset receives high marks all the way around.
Overall, the Plantronics GameCom Commander is a great headset. It features high quality technology that produced an above-average sound that works in all mobile and PC applications. When you consider that is enhanced with Dolby Surround Sound, this is a very attractive headset. It is very comfortable to wear for long gaming sessions and very portable by folding nicely into its carrying case. However, this headset comes with a steep price tag, so it isn’t for everyone. The Commander was specifically designed for tournament gaming, so it lacks some of the common features of an all-around headset. The lack of an in-line controller in all applications and its inability to work on multiple platforms stand out when you consider the price. However, if you are a looking for the best quality sound you can buy, the GameCom Commander is one of the few headsets that will do the job and then some.