Hands-on review: EPOS H3 wired gaming headset
EPOS has launched its first gaming headset, the H3, marketed solely under its own brand.
No stranger to professional audio solutions, previous EPOS gaming audio equipment has previously been co-branded with Sennheiser as part of the two audio giants’ partnership. It is the refinement of the legendary EPOS Sennheiser GSP 300-series headsets that inspired the H3.
The H3 is a closed-acoustic headset with an integrated retractable boom microphone. The audio cable is removable. The kit comes with two cables, one with a single 3.5mm phono jack, suitable for a phone or console and another with two 3.5mm jack, one for speakers and another for mic, suitable for PCs. The wired nature of the headset means that it works with all the consoles as well as PCs.
The headset is available in Onyx Black and Ghost White. We were sent the black version to test.
The headset is nicely presented in its box, with the cables in a separate little accessory box with a quick start guide. There’s nothing to it that necessarily requires a guide, as you just plug it in and off you go.
The H3 headset is a lot smaller than I thought it would be and doesn’t feel quite as robust as the EPOS Sennheiser gaming headsets that I’ve used in the past. That’s not to say that it feels flimsy.
The design is slightly more minimalist than the EPOS Sennheiser branded headsets. These previous headsets favoured a bulked out, almost industrial look compared with the slim characteristic of the H3. The H3, in comparison, comes across as being a bit more refined in its looks than other gaming headsets; looking just as much the part in a boardroom or office as in front of the latest console game.
It’s a very comfortable headset to wear and feels very light. The cups pivot in two directions to fit snugly over your head. The foam-covered steel headband adjusts so that even players with the biggest noggins will find the H3 very comfy. The earpads are removable and can be replaced if they wear out over time.
The boom microphone on the left side of the headset can be raised to mute. The mic is flexible enough to allow it to be adjusted for the optimum distance from your mouth- you just twist it into position and it stays there.
The volume control is on the right side. The dial is flush with the headset, meaning you can’t grip it and twist it, instead you have to turn it with the pad of your finger. It’s not that fiddly, but I do prefer the protruding volume control of the EPOS Sennheiser 600-series headsets.
The audio sounds crisp and clear without any popping. Perhaps lacking the base and volume that I’d like on consoles, but this was not a problem on PC with the use of an EPOS Sennheiser GSX 300 external sound card. These little GSX 300 units are great as they grant access to the EPOS Gaming Suite application for customising the sound via an equaliser as well as turning on 7.1 audio.
The microphone, which is bi-directional in a polar figure-of-eight pattern, picked up my voice clearly, without the general buzz of the other equipment in the lab. Not only was it good for chatting in games, but it also does a fair job when voice recording with the likes of Adobe Audition and taking Zoom calls.
I had no problem using the headset with a Nintendo Switch, plugging it directing into the console. Similarly, there was no problem with Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, with the headset plugged into the respective consoles’ game controllers.
They’ll also work fine with Xbox One (older consoles will need an analogue audio adapter for the controllers) and PlayStation 4 consoles. PC users can opt to plug the headset into the speaker and mic sockets on the back (or front) of their machine, which works well with the Windows sound settings. Alternatively, as I previously mentioned, an external sound card like the GSX 300 also does the job.
If I had one complaint it would be that I do wish headset manufactures would refrain from using shiny plastic on their products. The EPOS H3 I tested had “piano black” parts exactly where you’d go to pick it up. This was a magnet for finger-marks.
I wasn’t instantly enamoured by the EPOS H3. I was expecting something a little chunkier and less svelte. It looked too businesslike and less gamer-ish. This was more to do with me being used to the more in-your-face design of the usual gaming headset. In truth, the H3 is a stylish device that doesn’t need to look like a piece of industrial hardware. It’s comfy, sounds great and is very versatile. Be it for gaming or more corporate use, this one headset should be fine to use across all your devices and comes highly recommended.