The gaming headphones segment is not exactly booming, rather we only have a product once every few months. Towards the end of 2010, we had seen Corsair’s HS1 Gaming Headphones churning out some real sound and we now wonder whether Plantronics’ entry, which is the GameCom 777 is good enough to beat the HS1.
Design and Build Quality
Like most gaming circum-aural headphones, the 777 boasts of a big, bulky look. However, when you put them on, they feel a lot lighter than they actually look. The earpieces on both sides do not follow the traditional round design, rather they are more like squares rounded at the edges. Something that put us off a bit was that while the overall design of the 777 is quite trendy and cool, there’s a lot of plastic used, giving it a cheap feel. The left earpiece is attached to the cable that has two pins for audio and microphone, respectively. Plantronics has also bundled a Dolby adapter that’s USB-based which they claim, gives the effect of a 7.1 sound system. The adapter has two ports for audio and microphone which will obviously come from the headphones and the other end is the USB port. There’s a volume control attached as well that has a dial for controlling the volume levels and a switch to start/stop the microphone.
The nauseating bit
While the design and build quality of these headphones is not too bad, the comfort from the 777 is abysmally poor. If you wear the headphones without extending it, you’ll find it a tad too tight if you have a big head. However, after extending the strap, the headphones seemed as if they are digging into the sides of your head. In just about fifteen minutes or so, you’ll feel very uncomfortable and even a little nauseous. So in terms of comfort, the GameCom 777 doesn’t reach our expectations, at all.
I, obviously played a few games while using these headphones and a variety of music, as well. While the Dolby USB adapter will not really give you the effect of a 7.1 speaker system, they are not that bad, either. You’ll feel a little bit of manipulation in the sense that while listening to voices during cutscenes, you can identify the direction from where the voice of a character is coming. Also in action-heavy scenarios where enemies are firing and yelling expletives at you from different points, you can easily make out from where exactly they are coming. However, the Dolby virtual system will not give you any special enhancement while listening to music. You’ll probably feel that you can make out the soundstage, but that’s just a little bit.
Volume Control with Mic switch
The 777 follows an open-ear design which means that you’re not entirely cut off from the noise in your surroundings. Personally, I don’t think this design can ever make sense for a pair of gaming headphones. A professional gamer will always want to be left alone and any kind of irritating noise in the surroundings will put him/her off. Also these headphones leak and although it’s not too much, it can still be noticed.
As far as the capabilities of playing different sound frequencies go, the 777 is mostly average in most of the departments. The bass is probably the weakest, with the thump not being too noticeable and in such cases the boom is out of question. The highs are quite decent and will not go too shrill and the mids are very clear. One of the biggest problems however, is the volume. It can be loud enough while playing music or watching a movie, but it feels a little low when you’re playing a game. On the brighter side, the microphone is not too bad and voice clarity is quite decent and audible.
Poor comfort and an equally poor performance
The GameCom 777 is priced at Rs. 4,999, which is the exact same tag which the Corsair HS1 carried. In terms of performance however, the HS1 made a lot of sense. They might be big, but are definitely comfortable. Even in audio quality, there’s nothing much to complain about. In comparison the 777 doesn’t even come close to delivering a satisfactory experience and we recommend the HS1, over these.