EPOS H3 Hybrid Review
Like a singer who broke away from the group that brought them fame and established their own, EPOS has continued to move from strength to strength after taking a side step from SENNHEISER.
After the success of the H3 Headset, EPOS has announced two new models joining the H3 lineup, the H3 Hybrid and the H3PRO Hybrid (Coming soon). The Hybrid promises the same audio quality along with a host of new features and clever design choices that are sure to please gamers whatever their platform.
However, all these new features come along with a price tag of $259. So, will the H3 Hybrid Closed Acoustic Gaming Headset take your game to new levels? Or do they add up to yet another gaming headset burdened with unnecessary features? Let’s find out!
Design & Comfort
The EPOS H3 Hybrid features a sleek design whilst also benefiting from the same minimalist look of the original H3 headset. Available in the same Onyx Black or Ghost White colour options. It’s also made from the same premium, lightweight plastic, giving the combined feeling of a quality build that doesn’t weigh too heavily on your head.
As found with the H3 each ear cuff comes with a soft suede-like material on the area that rests against your head. This reduces the build-up of heat and increases comfort for the wearer. The rest of the pad is made of quality leatherette. The headband contains a steel slider with numbered sizes to allow you to find your perfect fit. A welcome improvement on the Hybrid the headband now features a fabric finish on top with leatherette underneath. An indent in the centre of the padding allows for maximum comfort for the wearer as found on the H3.
The H3 Hybrid is also very portable, weighing in at just 298 grams (269g without the boom mic attached) perfect for gaming on the go. Would have loved to have seen an included case just for this purpose. The combination of these features really did add up when putting the H3 Hybrid through their paces. After the initial wear in I found I can comfortably game or work hours at a time with the H3 Hybrid.
This is where one of the core differences between the H3 and the H3 Hybrid comes into play. The original H3 is an entirely analogue headset, whereas the H3 Hybrid offers a digital sound quality brought by EPOS sound engineers. The H3 Hybrid takes in sound in a digital format and then converts it to analogue so you don’t need to compromise on your audio quality. There is an inbuilt DAC and amplifier, to ensure the best sound possible – regardless of the sound card in your device of choice.
Being a closed acoustic headset allows for satisfying bass, crisp mid-range and clear sharp highs. From Overwatch and Call of Duty: Vanguard Beta to Age of Empires: Definitive Edition (I may be a little excited for AOE IV) the H3 Hybrid delivered a solid experience, offering great immersive and audio clues in-game.
The primary microphone is a flip-down detachable boom arm with three notches to adjust proximity. As experienced with all EPOS headsets it’s super clean with minimal compression and does a stellar job of blocking unwanted noise even at default settings.
One unique audio feature is the Bluetooth audio mixing feature. This allows you to have your in-game audio whilst staying on a live chat via your phone. There is a smart button on the headset that allows you to answer incoming calls quickly or even switch between EQ profiles or toggle surround sound on/off when using the EPOS Gaming Suite.
Furthermore, audio can be enhanced through the use of the EPOS Gaming Suite. This software allows you to adjust your audio settings and create your own EQ profiles, as well as enabling EPOS’ virtual surround sound.
EPOS Surround Sound uses custom spatial filters that have been compiled from a large proprietary internal research database. We especially focus on improving the perception of sounds that comes from the back or side of the soundstage, which other surround sound processors struggle to deliver effectively.– EPOS
The sound design varies from game to game, so you are able to create a unique EQ profile, say one with more emphasis on smaller sounds like footsteps in your favourite shooter. This flexibility makes the H3 Hybrid incredibly versatile for a number of use cases and functions.
There are a number of impressive features on the H3 Hybrid. The first of which, is the high quality, detachable magnetic mic. A common bugbear with many gaming headsets is the mic. Whilst it helps with in-game chat, they can add considerable bulk to the headset. The flexibility to remove the mic makes the H3 Hybrid more portable than many of its competitors. When you remove the mic, there is a cap to cover the vacant space. The best part of this new feature there is still an in-built mic in the left ear cup. While does not offer the same quality as its flexible boom mic counterpart it’s still handy to take a phone call whilst on the go.
The H3 Hybrid also features universal connectivity. The 3.5mm cable (included) allows connection to almost any device. There is also a USB-A to USB-C cable included, which charges the headset and allows for quality audio through your PC. Finally, there is Bluetooth connectivity supported by up to 37 hours of battery life, allowing you to take quality audio wherever you may wish to game.
There is also an infinite volume dial, which will sync up to your device of choice meaning you only have one setting for volume control, instead of two. I would love to see a refined design on the notches as they do tend to be on the fiddly side.
EPOS H3 Hybrid Review
- DESIGN - 94%94%
- AUDIO - 96%96%
- VALUE - 95%95%
EPOS H3 Hybrid Review
It’s hard to fault the H3 Hybrid. It takes everything we loved about the H3, and simply added more useful features and greater flexibility of device use. Furthermore, the use of the EPOS Gaming Suite gives users even more control to allow for the audio experience they wish to achieve.
If your budget allows, you won’t be disappointed with the H3 Hybrid. However, if simple audio quality is what you need, and you can live without the features, the original H3 may be a more feasible option for you!