So we’ve covered off the build quality, the design and the specifications but what really matters is how it sounds. I was reluctant to do a direct comparison to the Plantronics Gamecom 780 because the 780 is a USB headset and this is an analogue interface which means that the source signal is different.
We tested the sound experience using:
- Onboard Realtek ALC 898
- ASUS Xonar DX
- Onboard Realtek ACL 1150 implemented on the new MSI Z87 M Gaming motherboard with 600Ω amplifier
When testing, I tested the headset with a Blu-ray movie, gaming and CD music – all the results are subjective and while I’m not an audiophile, I am still pretty picky when it comes to sound.
Movie testing involved watching sections of Star Wars Episode 3. The audio was clear, crisp and provided a pleasant movie experience.
Music was good but I wasn’t blown away like I have been on $300+ headsets. Music wasn’t bad by any stretch and on par if not better than average in terms of the headsets that we have seen around the $120-150 range.
As expected, gaming audio was great, the combination of noise isolation and clear sound reproduction provided an immersive experience. Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 have been worthy indicators of chatoic gameplay and sound with footsteps, voices, aircraft, explosions and other ambient sound effects that were all present and clear despite their ingame crossover. Skyrim dungeons and dialogue testing was also a pleasant experience.
In the past, I’ve found that using a microphone via the ALC898 chipset has been soft and not great for the people that I’m trying to communicate with. With this in mind, we tested the Level 10 M headset micrphone via the ASUS Xonar DX. Ambient sound was present and audible in our testing, not to the point where it made voice communication during gaming a problem, but it was consistent in a few different tests so it’s worth being aware of.
For the RRP of $159, the sound is at the upper end of what we would expect and in my opinion, a good ‘all rounder’ headset for a gamer.