Gamecom 380 review

mitor

Active Member
Hi all

In my continuing quest to set up a portable Oculus Rift DK2 setup to show off in the next few months I decided I needed to get a spare set of headphones (any excuse). As I could scarcely justify, or indeed afford, another pair of excellent Sennheiser PC360’s I had to look at the lower end of the market.

After literally, minutes of ceaseless searching my gaze alighted on the Plantronics Gamecom 380’s. I have had good experience with business orientated Plantronics gear in the past but this is the first time I’ve used a more consumer focused setup and at a surprising cheap £20.

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First impressions are very good, bearing in mind the price, with the headset being fairly chunky and constructed from a mixture of cheap but solid feeling plastic and metal for the size adjusters. I selected the 380’s primarily based on the fact that they offer the same kind soft velvet material around the ear cups as my more expensive Sennheisers and they don’t disappoint. I find this choice of materials to be much less sweaty than faux leather and without the slightly scratchy finish found on the material used in Turtle Beach and Grado products. To each, of course, their own, but for me this is definitely the best design. As far as being a circumaural design the closed back ear pieces just about cover my ears, I’d prefer a larger earpiece but this definitely places the pressure of the headband onto your skull rather than crushing your ears uncomfortably. I still find it bewildering though how many people like the headphones where the ear piece rests on your ear, how is that comfortable?

Looking at the rest of the design we have a good range of adjustment and the general build feels made to last. The ear pieces are free to rotate flat for storage though I found that they would often be slightly rotated due to the shape of my head (your mileage will definitely vary!) and as the cushion is not very deep I didn’t always get a complete seal against outside noise.

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Finally there are volume controls and a microphone mute switch on the left earpiece as well as the microphone boom itself which can be swivelled out of the way. The earpiece even has angles of the boom written on to it for no discernable reason. Perhaps it’s cool and trendy, I really wouldn’t know. Connection to the PC or console is via twin 3.5mm inputs, quite a good match for a cheapo usb soundcard I suspect.



Sound Quality

First, the good, the quality on the microphone is pretty excellent as befits a company who makes their name with such products for business with a focus on clarity.

Then, the bad, the sound through the 40mm drivers could best be described as adequate or, if I was feeling uncharitable, mediocre. I think I could best describe the sound response as flat, there is plenty of detail and even a reasonable bass response but it does little to excite. I t really is hard to review products at the low end because there really isn’t a lot of competition, I can’t think of many full size headsets that can be had for under twenty quid. Compared to cheap JVC or Sony headphones it doesn’t match up as far as music reproduction but isn’t massively off the pace as far as films/games and you have to factor in its surprisingly good build quality and boom microphone.

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Overall as a spare or budget option it really is a fantastic purchase and I’ve no regrets. If this is your budget I don’t think you’ll find a better or cheaper headset. If you can splash out a bit more and get up to the £40-50 range you will see a noticeable difference in general fidelity though.
 

wormball

Active Member
In my continuing quest to set up a portable Oculus Rift DK2 setup to show off in the next few months

Thanks for the review but I must've missed the post where you said why you're trying to make a portable setup, is it for work (like Oasismark who's got them for schools) or is if for the general public? because if it is I'll be at the front of the queue :D

I really want to try rift but I'm trying not to buy one till the consumer version is out (hopefully I'll resist till then :blush:)
 

mitor

Active Member
I'll probably be running a couple of demo's in the Bristol area once the DK2 turns up. I did a few with the DK1 but I really want to see how people get on with the new one as there are so many caveats with it.

I think the real hurdle now will be comfort, weight, glasses wear and getting the sweet spot just right. It's really difficlut to get everything into focus at the moment.

Roll on July!
 

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