FutureFive New Zealand - Consumer technology news & reviews from the future
Story image

Hands-on review: EPOS H3 Pro Hybrid gaming headset

EPOS goes from strength to strength, unleashing with its top-of-the-range EPOS H3 Pro Hybrid what could just be the ultimate gaming headset.

At first glance, the H3 Pro Hybrid looks identical to Epos's H3 Hybrid headset. They are so similar that I had to hold them both side-by-side to detect any difference. They both feature multiple connection methods and are both closed acoustic headsets- cutting out noise via sealed-in ear cups. The only discernible difference is a switch for the H3 Pro Hybrid's ANC (active noise cancellation) mode. But we'll come back to that.

In the hand, the headset is fairly light, not so much that it feels cheap. It actually feels rather robust, even though it is rather slight. The adjustable headband is reinforced with steel, so is not likely to break with use. The unique 2-axis connection between the headband and the cups (which allows for enough movement for a comfy fit), whilst solid and flexible, does suggest that the headset is not designed to be thrown about too much.

The headset is very comfortable when worn. The swede-like ear pads have a pleather surround for a tight but comfy seal. The earpads can be removed with replacements available for purchase on the Epos website. The cushioned headband is adjustable according to head size. Unlike the GSP 670, you can't adjust the tension of the headband, but I found it just right fitting on my average-sized noggin.

The headset seems to be only available in blue with black trimming, but it does look rather nice. Unlike many gaming headsets that are gaudy lumps of plastic, the H3 Pro Hybrid wouldn't look out of place in a Zoom call or just listening to music on the bus or train.

A unique feature of these new Epos headsets is the magnetically connected boom mic. As well as being able to swivel the microphone up out of the way (which, of course, also mutes it), the entire mic can be easily detached from the headset and the connection covered with an easy-to-switch magnetic blanking plate. This turns the headset into a more traditional-looking set of headphones.

On the right side, opposite the mic, is a nice round but still discreet volume dial. This means no fumbling around trying to find tiny little controls hidden out of the way. The right side of the headset also has a Bluetooth button for pairing and a switch for active noise cancellation. It's the H3 Pro Hybrid's ANC function that really sets the headset apart from its peers.

In addition to the high-frequency passive noise cancellation from the ear pads, active noise cancellation, according to Epos, eliminates low-frequency noise up to 16dB. Practically speaking, this enabled me to play games without heading any fan noise, the construction noise next door, or my kids whining at one another about Fortnite.

The audio is crisp and clear with or without the ANC. I like my audio loud, and this headset delivers with a top-end volume that's loud enough without being too loud. Even at full volume, the drivers in the headset cope nicely, with no sound distortion.

The headset has two microphones, one on the boom and another built into the left side of the headset. The boom mic picked up my voice without triggering as I breathed heavily during gaming sessions. Additional noise sensitivity settings can be adjusted via software on PC. The second mic is primarily for the ANC feature but is also used if the boom mic is removed for, say, taking calls. It is not as sensitive as the main mic, being further away from your mouth, but it does the job. 
The box contains all you need to hook up the H3 Pro Hybrid to all your devices.

In addition to Bluetooth, the package comes complete with a 3.5mm audio cable that can be used for a Nintendo Switch or plugged into Xbox One/Series X|S and PlayStation 4/5 controllers. There's also a 1.8m USB Type-A cable with a further 1.2m USB extension cable for connection to a PC or console directly. The connection to the headset itself is a USB Type-C, so you can connect it to a suitably equipped device via a third-party USB Type-C cable as well. Lastly, the headset also comes with a low-latency factory-paired USB Type-A dongle.

The headset works when connected to a phone via Bluetooth and another device by the USB cable or 3.5mm jack. This means that you can take calls in the middle of a game using the headset.

Being wireless, the headset has an internal battery that charges via the USB Type-A cable. Expect around 30 hours using the dongle and 3.5mm cable, reducing to around 19 hours if you used ANC. The Bluetooth connection allows for up to 38 hours of use, 18 hours with ANC.

The H3 Pro Hybrid is compatible with the Epos Gaming Suite application unlocking even more features for PC users. The free software that is downloadable for the Epos website enables the headset to take advantage of Epos' 7.1 surround sound function with adjustable reverberation.

There's also a 9-band graphic equalizer with presets. Similarly, the microphone can be adjusted via the same equalizer, with setting for gain, noise gate, noise cancellation, and sidetone (so you can hear your voice in the headset when you speak). The Epos Gaming Suite will not work if the headset is only connected via the 3.5mm cable.

I have to say that the Epos H3 Pro Hybrid may just edge out my trusty EPOS|Sennheiser GSP 670 as my favourite headset. With its 3.5mm jack and wireless options, the H3 Pro Hybrid allows me to use the same headset across all my gaming platforms.

Epos has thrown the kitchen sink at this headset. With Bluetooth, an included low latency dongle, USB, and 3.5mm audio connectivity plus active noise cancellation and closed acoustic earcups, what more could you want? With all this housed in another of Epos's stylish, well-constructed headset designs, the Epos H3 Pro Hybrid may well be the ultimate gaming headset.

Follow us on: