Hands-on review: EPOS H3 Hybrid closed acoustic gaming headset
The EPOS H3 Hybrid closed acoustic headset offers gamers an audio solution that’s the best of both worlds. The headset offers the flexibility of a wired connection along with the convenience of Bluetooth. And, to top it off, the boom mic is removable for a more elegant look when on the go.
Epos continues to impress me with its range of gaming headsets. Pretty much identical to the Epos H3, the Epos H3 Hybrid looks a little more refined than some of Epos’s other gaming headsets. The subtle design moves away from the industrial look common in gaming headsets.
The stylish design means that the headset looks professional enough for a corporate Zoom call or just sitting on the train listening to music. The magnetic detectable mic is easily removed and the connector replaced with a circular cover, making the headset look like a normal pair of headphones.
The package comes with both a USB cable for charging and connecting the headset via a USB Type-A connector and a regular 3.5mm stereo/mic audio cable. There’s no 3.5mm split microphone/stereo cable as with the H3, as it is assumed that PC users will connect via the much more convenient USB cable or Bluetooth.
The USB cable connection to the headset is a USB Type-C connection, meaning that with a 3-party cable USB Type-C cable, the headset can easily be connected to a USB Type-C device (like your phone). The headset does not come with a wireless dongle, so can only be used with devices that have onboard Bluetooth.
The H3 Hybrid can be set up for more than one input for mixing audio. For instance, the headset can be connected to a Nintendo Switch via the 3.5m audio cable and your phone via Bluetooth to allow you to take calls whilst gaming.
For a more discreet design, the Epos H3 Hybrid still feels solid. It weighs as much as the more industrial Epos GSP 670. It’s no plasticky headset. The extendable headband is metal with a ratcheted plastic runner to keep it in position. The top of the headband has a cloth trim with a soft pleather insert on the underside.
The earcups have a felt trim with a pleather surround. Even though the earcups look to be pretty hardwearing, they are replaceable.
The detachable microphone is very firmly held in place. The mic is muted, as is usual, by moving it into the ‘up’ position. It’s also flexible and can be bent for optimal positioning away from your mouth.
The headset keeps buttons to a minimum. There’s a power-on button on the left side and a smart button on the right side, which also has a very easy-to-use volume dial. Possibly the only fault I have with the device is that the volume dial does feel a bit scratchy as you rotate it. As well as for pairing Bluetooth devices, the smart button can be used to take and finish calls as well as for custom presets set up via the Epos Gaming Suite app.
As with all Epos gaming headsets, the Epos Gaming Suite app is the best way to get the PC audio out of the device. Unfortunately, the only works when connected via USB. The Epos Gaming Suite allows users to update the device’s firmware. Equalizer settings can be adjusted to personal taste or preset soundscapes selected.
There’s an option to switch on the 7.1 surround and fine-tune with a reverb slider. The microphone options allow for side tone (so you can hear your voice) and noise gate adjustments, as well as vocal enhancements.
Pairing the device via Bluetooth to my PC and mobile phone was flawless, with both the audio and microphone working without a hitch. Similarly, the USB connection gave me full control over my PC audio.
Music via the Windows Spotify app was crisp and clear. Tracks with a fair bit of bass were reproduced without distortion (even after upping the equalizer settings). Very impressive.
Much more impressive were the game audio improvements compared to my desktop speakers when playing Bethesda’s Deathloop. The H3 Hybrid headset review sample arrived just as I started reviewing the game Deathloop. It’s a game that I quickly determined benefited from a good headset. Enemies are not quiet, and the stealth game’s audio design allows players to determine their opponent’s location via audio. The headset allowed me to easily determine where the enemy was so that I could either stealthily avoid them or take them out without alerting their compatriots.
In another bit of perfect timing. The latest Nintendo Switch patch allows the handheld portable gaming device to work with a Bluetooth headset. This means as well as using the 3.5mm jack when on the go, with my phone connected wirelessly, when in the dock I could use the H3 Hybrid headset with the console in the lounge playing on the big TV!
Epos H3 Hybrid is a closed acoustic headset for gaming and everyday use. With wireless and wired connectivity, it’s a stylish and discreet audio solution that looks fine listing to music on a train and whilst on a video call, whilst also having the chops for some high-octane gaming mayhem.
The microphone picks up sound that is good enough for streaming or recording a podcast. Coupled with the Epos Gaming Suite app when connected to a PC via USB, both audio input and output can be further refined. It is without a doubt, one of my favourite headsets, being that I can use it with all my game consoles, my phone and my PC.