EPOS H3PRO Hybrid Review

 

 
Overview
 

Release Date: Out Now
 
Overall
 
 
 
 
 
4.5/5


User Rating
3 total ratings

 

Positives


-Excellent sound quality and noise cancellation, especially for a gaming headset
-Connects via Bluetooth, USB, 3.5mm audio jack, USB-assisted 2.4ghz
-Great performance across both games and general media use

Negatives


-Battery is always on, even when you're using it over a wired connection
-Up there in price


Posted April 27, 2022 by

 
Full Article
 
 

EPOS’ H3PRO Hybrid is an evolution of the H3 design we reviewed last year, adding in wireless capability across a spectrum of options, as well active noise cancellation and some pretty cool colour combos to boot. Andrew’s review of the H3 was pretty positive, and I’ve actually found myself using EPOS’ GSP 602 (a bulkier gaming headset) frequently both at home and work due to its consistent audio performance, so it should come as no surprise that the H3PRO Hybrid is a top performer too.

The slim and comfortable design features a nice over-the-head band with leatherette underneath, and soft high-quality mesh on the top. The model we reviewed was ‘racing green’ and comes in a very photogenic dark forest green along its metal cups, with gold-coloured highlights. Actually, as of April 26, EPOS have also announced a new colour that combines the green with white, making for another unique looking option. Having the flexible microphone sticking out does make the overall package bulkier, but the mic arm is easily removable, being held in place by magnets. On the ears, the headset cups enclose your ears firmly but comfortably, providing a good seal.

This is a Closed Acoustic gaming headset, which actually features Active Noise Cancelling as well. Activated via a switch on the right headset cup, the ANC performs very well in cutting out nearly all outside noise. It’s not quite up to the standard that you’d get from a proper noise cancelling headset like you’d get from Bose for plane trips, but then this is aiming at being a much more versatile headset. It still does a pretty excellent job in making most constant low-frequency background noise outside the users fade away, although things like a little louder like washing machines or people talking nearby are a bit beyond the scope of what it can handle.

The ANC works across all the various ways you can connect the H3PRO Hybrid to your devices. The included methods are impressive – there’s Bluetooth built into the headset that’s a snap to pair, an included 2.4ghz WiFi dongle that can be used for consoles (like PS5) and PC, audio over the USB-C port on the headset (which is also used to charge them) and audio over a standard 3.5mm audio cable.

Basically, no matter your device, you’re covered, with the backup wired connections always available if your particular wireless method of choice isn’t working out. There are some interesting use scenarios EPOS points out in its instructions as well, such as being able to mix audio from two different sources, like game audio from a Nintendo Switch over a wired connection, while chatting over say Discord via Bluetooth on your phone simultaneously. In practice, it’s easier to handle a setup like this on a PC where there’s finer control over the mix, but it’s still pretty cool to be able to simply activate it in-headset.

In my testing, the headset’s sound quality was excellent across the board, even across the various connection options. In gaming, the positional audio is great, especially when using 3D audio on the PS5, but even without in normal stereo. Booming sound effects, gunshots and big hits feel powerful, yet ambient music and atmospheric effects are still clear and immersive. Using the H3PRO for Hybrid for music also proved the headset is more than capable for great listening throughout the day, with great separation and powerful response, thumping drums and bass that doesn’t feel overly-exaggerated.

A range of audio enhancing options are available on PC using the EPOS Gaming Suite software, but these are only available through using a USB or dongle connection. There’s fine control over the EQ with a controllable audio curve graph for the headphones, with a few presets like ‘Movie’, ‘Music’ and ‘Esports’, as well as the ability to enable 7.1 virtual surround, and control over the microphone’s gain, side tone, noise gate and noise cancellation.

The H3PRO Hybrid’s microphone actually uses a secondary microphone on the ear cups for noise cancellation, making for pretty impressive performance in clear voice chat, even with all kinds of background noise. It’s still not going to replace a proper studio microphone that you’d want for streaming, but for gaming and voice chat the H3PRO Hybrid is remarkably clear.

Beyond these positives, the one major detractor we found was that the battery seems to be always active, even when the headset is only in use over a wired 3.5mm connection with no ANC activated. That’s fairly disappointing, as I was hoping after a day of using the H3PRO Hyrbid at work via the 3.5mm audio cable, I could simply chuck it in my bag and use it on my PS5, but it was essentially drained of battery. It takes away from some of the advertised versatility of this set, although charging over USB-C is relatively fast if you’re in a pinch.

Battery life for the headset has a range of about 19-30 hours. Using the headset, wired, with the ANC turned off obviously gets you a battery length near the higher end of that range, while using the dongle with ANC active will be around the lower end. Surprisingly EPOS actually claim that the Bluetooth connection, with ANC off, will last longer than simply using the 3.5mm cable with no ANC, claiming 38 hours of battery life. As long as you remember to charge at the end of a day (and you’re aware that the headset is always draining battery when turned on, even over a 3.5mm connection), you shouldn’t run into many issues.

The H3PRO Hybrid offers excellent sound quality and versatile connection options over both wired and wireless, along with a comfortable design and decent noise cancellation. It’s a pretty complete package for gamers who’d like to use their headset across other devices and uses, as well as providing a satisfying game experience in and of itself. It’s also at the higher end of the price spectrum, coming in at AU $399 at most stores. That puts it in competition with other big hitters, like Logitech’s G Pro X, which has slightly bigger 50mm drivers, and more high-fidelity options like SteelSeries Arctic Pro headset which comes with a USB DAC device. Nevertheless, the H3PRO Hybrid provides a complete package for anyone looking for a high-quality gaming headset they can use with pretty much anything.


Adam Ghiggino

 
Owner, Executive Editor of Rocket Chainsaw. I also edit TV, films and make average pancakes.