LifeisXbox’s EPOS H3 Hybrid review | This headset has a few great reasons to be purchased, an important one is how easy it is for the cross-platform gamer. Speaking out of personal experience it is such an annoyance that most of my headsets can’t connect with my smartphone for Xbox Cloud Gaming. This EPOS H3 Hybrid isn’t the first with cross-platform gamers in mind, for example the Bang & Olufsen headset has it too but that one is almost triple the price. This EPOS headset isn’t cheap either with a price of €179 but the quality warrants that easily. If you follow EPOS a little you’ll immediately notice that they have a strong presence in the eSports world. They are a partner with BLAST Premier and team Heroic, one of the best competitive teams on PUBG and CS:GO. Good sound is a crucial part of being able to win, so I’m sure a team like Heroic wouldn’t take the offer from EPOS if they didn’t deliver great audio.
If you are like me and don’t follow the eSports scene it literally might mean nothing to you who or what is behind EPOS. LifeisXbox’s Dae Jim to the rescue! As with all our hardware reviews, feel free to get in touch if I missed something that you need to know. Always happy to talk with my readers!
Very comfortable for long sessions, but not for everyone!
If I have to make a list of what I think is the most important for a headset, comfort is my number one. Even if a headset has incredible sound, what is the point if it hurts your ears? Horizontal and vertical adjustments can be done easily on the EPOS H3 Hybrid, resulting in a great fit. A bit to my surprise considering the amount of plastics! As you’ll likely notice on the screenshots the hinge mechanic isn’t only a smooth visual design but it helps making the headset more comfortable. The ear pads are a mix of suede and synthetic leather, imagine the most fluffy and soft animal you ever cuddled and you’ll know how soft that suede feels on your ears. However, there is one important issue with the ear pads. The cups are really narrow so someone with big ears will have a very uncomfortable time. Glasses-wearers, you don’t have to worry as I didn’t have any issues with this headset while wearing my glasses. That was the second time that this headset surprised me as the headband tension amount is high, but didn’t cause any issues.
One benefit of the strong headband tension is that the noise reduction is much better than any other gaming headset I tested before. With the exception of the Beoplay Portal but that’s an unfair comparison as that one has active noise cancelling. As gamers we all know how annoying it is to hear outside noises or get distracted by typical household sounds. Or if you are like me and play games on a train it is worthwhile to consider, as noise-cancelling headsets are more expensive and drain a battery faster.
This headset steers away from the typical increased deep bass, a thing many gaming headsets do to increase the effect of explosions or gunfire. What you get is a much more balanced sound, more importantly, it is capable of doing fantastic virtual 7.1 surround sound too. The result is actually pretty impressive and if you don’t like the pre-set you can easily adapt the sound yourself with the Gaming Suite feature on a Windows computer. Here’s you can adjust many things – if you can get past the first hurdle – as connecting the headset was quite a struggle. After a few tries Gaming Suite finally recognised the headset and started to update it. There are sliders for echoes, you can adjust the dB for increased bass and even tweak microphone settings!
Nobody likes hearing someone at an Xbox party with a muffled voice. EPOS H3 Hybrid has two microphones, one is external and works excellent. The other is internal and simply terrible. Will start with the bad one, this one is hidden away in the left ear cup and primarily used for Bluetooth mode. The sound is so suppressed that you have to increase your voice way too much. Barely decent enough to make phone calls. Luckily the detachable boom arm, is much much better. Vocals are clear and party members noticed that I was using a new headset with a better mic.
How long does he last and connections.
There is a huge difference in battery life if you use Bluetooth version 5.2 or when you connect over 3.5mm. Bluetooth lasts around 40 hours, 3.5mm ‘only’ 22 hours. There’s also the option for dual connectivity but this will result in less than 20 hours of battery life. For me this performance is pretty good, I did find it annoying however that the headset has to be on while you plug it in your controller. You can charge over USB and play at the same time, some gaming headsets don’t have that option. So again, yes this headset can do simultaneous connections. You can play Halo Infinite while connecting your phone to talk on Discord or take incoming calls. They both have different volumes too!
Buttons, so many buttons … or not?
On the right earpad is a large textured dial for volume control, easy to use but it does make a rather annoying sound when you use it. On this pad is also a Bluetooth pairing button, this one also switches EQ presets and if you are connected to a phone it answers phone calls too. In other words a very multi-functional button! On the left pad, you will find the power button and the detachable flip-to-mute microphone, this uses a powerful and handy magnetic pin connection.
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