It’s not been long since I’ve had the EPOS H3 gaming headset on my desk. Such a short time in fact that it could be a record for how quick a product can be updated and released. Jokes aside… EPOS has made some pretty decent improvements on the H3 Hybrid, and while I won’t be discussing all the changes in this review, there will be a video for that coming soon so make sure to subscribe to the channel to not miss that. What I can say though for now is that long story short, the EPOS H3 Hybrid is a very nice gaming headset that has some pretty decent features that are improvements over the original H3 gaming headset.
So, let’s start with the build. As usual, EPOS has created a nice and robust headset that though is pretty much made from plastic, feels strong enough to withstand some drops. There’s no noticeable creaking either which is nice when you adjust the headphones on your head. Everything moves nice and smooth too, like the size adjustment and microphone boom arm, which this time by the way is removable. It’s held in place by magnets and is pretty tough, but it also means that once the microphone has been removed, there’s a plate that’s included in the box so you don’t have a gaping hole left in your headset.
The headband itself across the top is covered in a nice fabric material that feels slightly elasticated, and on the underside, there’s a decent amount of padding so it feels comfortable across the crown, and it’s covered in leather. The same kind of thing happens on the earpads too, where the outer shell is covered in a nice leather, but the area of the pads that hug your head are covered in some kind of felt feeling material for added comfort. And it works. Being made from plastic, and having a nice amount of padding and material means that there’s no real claiming force on the head, and it’s soft to keep wearing for hours. I can’t really comment on the breathability of the headset, as I had no trouble with this with the H3, and again, no trouble with the H3 Hybrid. Maybe I’m just not playing games for long enough right?
The volume wheel that’s been placed on the right earcup is loose enough to be able to turn the volume up and down with one finger, and raising and lowering the microphone triggers its mute function, which can be felt with a click once it gets high enough. What is new though is the fact that the EPOS H3 Hybrid requires power, which can last up to 37 hours depending on how you’re connected. There’s a power button on the left earcup, just in front of the microphone which turns the H3 Hybrid on and off, and there’s also a Bluetooth button to activate the Bluetooth functionality. There’s also a removable 3.5mm aux cable though for a more traditional connection into a games controller on a console or an aux input on a PC, laptop or mobile phone. Because it has Bluetooth and a removable mic, it also means they’ve been designed for on-the-go usage too, so for commuting or travel or even just around the supermarket. Finally, it’s possible to connect the H3 Hybrid to your PC using USB Type-C, and this lets users take advantage of the controls in the EPOS Gaming Suite.
Inside the Gaming Suite, you can find an EQ to fine-tune your audio playback. You’ve got some preset EQ options or manual control, as well as the ability to change between 2.0 and 7.1 simulated audio, of which you should ALWAYS use 2.0. The 7.1 doesn’t do a great job of simulating surround sound, and the 2.0 option sounds awesome, and that’s all there is to say about that really. For the microphone side, you’ve got a Gain slider, a voice enhancer for a warm or clear sounding voice that changes the EQ. There’s a slider for Sidetone which is the ability to monitor your own voice in your head, which again, didn’t do much, especially when you’re inside of a game and there’s sword clashes or explosions going off. And finally, and the most useful of the sliders, is the noise gate, which I added just a bit, to combat my breathing and PC fans in the background. Worked well, and kept it on while using the headset.
In terms of performance while gaming though, the 2.0 mode was the one to keep it on. The headphones have a closed-back, so everything feels a little bit claustrophobic compared to an open back set of headphones, but still, the audio sounded nice and full and powerful, and even treble audio shone through for those bullet cases dropping, or the clanking of a grenade bouncing around the room, or shattering glass in the distance, or even footsteps. Every beat sounded nice and clear. I played a lot of the Battlefield 2042 beta while reviewing this headset, and I must say as with the standard H3, I am super impressed with the H3 Hybrid version.
One feature that stands out though with the new H3 Hybrid is the fact you can simultaneously play audio from two sources. So let me break it down. If you’re plugged into your PC using the USB Type-C connection and playing games and chatting to your friends on Discord, you can use the Bluetooth connectivity to hook up to your mobile phone, so you can listen to music and answer calls on the fly and chat to someone on the phone, all while playing a game. Volumes can also be individually mixed, so turn your game up to drown out your friend calling, or turn your friend up and game down when they have something important to tell you. There’s a secondary microphone for calls built into the earcups themselves, and while quality I was told was okay, it sounded like a normal wireless headset. Doing it this way also means that if you need to mute yourself on Discord so your friends don’t hear your phone call, just raise the boom arm mic. Simple. The final button on the earcups is the Smart Button, which on my software switches between 2.0 and 7.1 simulated audio.
The EPOS H3 Hybrid has made vast improvements over the original H3 gaming headset. It still keeps that wonderful audio experience, but adds to it with its ability to play music from a Bluetooth source, and is well built and super comfortable to wear for long periods of time. It’s slightly on the pricier side for my liking, being sold for around £149 on the EPOS website if you’re just after a gaming headset, but taking into consideration the added functionality, it’s a pretty decent deal and beats the old-school way of sticking earbuds underneath your headphones while gaming.