EPOS H3 Hybrid
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It's another resounding success for EPOS, upgrading the wired H3 gaming headset to the all-new wireless H3 Hybrid.
- Brand: EPOS
- Battery Life: Up to 37 hours
- Bluetooth : 5.2
- Great battery life
- Very good build quality
- Retains balanced sound from wired version
- Detachable microphone allows you to use headset as headphones
- Wired connection still uses battery
- Glitchy volume control
EPOS H3 Hybrid amazon
We were thrilled with the original EPOS H3 wired gaming headset when it launched back in May 2021. The H3 was EPOS' first gaming headset as a solo manufacturer, and it ticked a lot of boxes: great sound, comfortable to wear, good build quality, and more.
But now, EPOS is back with the upgraded H3 Hybrid wireless gaming headset, allowing you to cast off the shackles of cables and game wherever you want. The new EPOS H3 Hybrid comes with Bluetooth, a detachable microphone, and multiple connection options depending on your gaming hardware.
While the visual design remains fairly similar, the upgraded H3 Hybrid headset directly addresses some of the issues from the first release. So, has EPOS delivered another excellent gaming headset? Find out in our hands-on EPOS H3 Hybrid review.
EPOS H3 Hybrid New Features and Upgrades
The H3 Hybrid comes with upgraded hardware in a few key areas, most of which switch the headset to a wireless model.
So, as you might expect, the H3 Hybrid includes a battery where the H3 didn't require one. The H3 Hybrid battery delivers up to 37 hours of playback on a single charge, giving the H3 Hybrid an excellent battery life.
The battery life does dip if you use the headset in a hybrid connectivity mode, such as connecting to your smartphone via the 3.5mm jack and your PC via Bluetooth. EPOS rates the H3 Hybrid for up 19 hours playback in that configuration. The battery life specification is accurate, and you'll definitely get close to the stated amount of uptime. When you are running low, the headset takes just 1.5 hours to gain full charge, and you can grab a decent amount of battery on a fast charge if you're pressed for time.
The H3 Hybrid features Bluetooth 5.2, where the original H3 was a wired-only gaming headset. The introduction of Bluetooth means the EPOS H3 Hybrid is compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled device. Other connectivity options come from a USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable or the 3.5mm jack cable.
Another major upgrade for the H3 Hybrid is the detachable microphone. EPOS envisaged the original H3 as a headset you could take out and about, but you wouldn't take your headset with an integrated mic down to the shops or out on a bike ride. I mean, some might, but the overwhelming majority wouldn't.
EPOS opted for a detachable magnetic microphone that you can swap out within a second. The magnetic clasp is plenty strong, and the microphone doesn't feel loose or like it'll fall out of place during regular use. It rotates into position with ease, and there is a small flexible area in the middle of the arm for additional adjustment.
But what about the exposed connection? Well, EPOS thought of that, too. In the Hybrid H3 box, you'll find an additional cover plate that pops over where the microphone was, protecting the connectors while you're out and about. Furthermore, and this is a nice touch from EPOS, they've included an extra microphone on the earcup, which means you can still take calls without the detachable microphone attachment (or play multiplayer games with voice-comms in public?).
Lastly, weight. Impressively, EPOS has added all of these new features, including a substantial battery, and kept the weight of the Hybrid H3 under 300g, coming in at 297g (0.65lbs) with the microphone attached, dropping to 278g (0.61lbs) without it. The original wired H3 headset weighed 270g (0.59lbs), so the additional 30g is understandable when you consider the additional hardware involved.
EPOS Hybrid Mode Combines Multiple Audio Inputs
Combining connections is where the "Hybrid" name comes from. The H3 Hybrid can connect to and play audio from two devices simultaneously using both Bluetooth and 3.5mm wired connections. It takes a little getting used to, but it is a handy addition for mixing things up.
How it worked for me was playing a game on my PC, connected using the USB cable, and connecting to Discord on my smartphone using Bluetooth. Yes, I could easily connect to Discord on my PC, but then that wouldn't be worth talking about now, would it? With access to multiple inputs, outputs, and audio tools, the Hybrid mode probably isn't that useful for PC gamers. But I can see it being a great option for console or handheld players where in-game comms aren't always as fine-tuned, especially in titles with cross-platform play enabled.
One thing to note is that while in hybrid mode using the 3.5mm jack cable or USB cable, your headset still uses the battery. This is a slightly irritating quirk of the Hybrid H3, but worth mentioning so you don't get caught out.
EPOS H3 Hybrid Audio Quality
Under the hood, the EPOS H3 Hybrid wired headset delivers much of the same audio hardware, albeit with some small tweaks. The headphones still use 40mm dynamic drivers, and the frequency response drops to the standard 20-20,000Hz—but that won't make a difference to your gaming experience unless you can hear more than the audible range.
Given the audio specs and hardware are so similar between the two headsets, it's no surprise that the EPOS H3 Hybrid delivers an excellent audio experience. When we reviewed the EPOS H3, it was clear that "EPOS has taken the opportunity to tune the H3 soundstage to pick up every footstep, each shell casing dropping to the floor and each drop of rain with precision."
That glowing feedback remains true for the wireless Hybrid H3, even when taking into account Bluetooth connectivity. Its sound quality remains top-notch, and there was very little latency between in-game activity and the audio transmission.
Overall, the Hybrid H3 is perfect for any gamer wishing for immersive, detailed audio without splashing out mega-bucks. The soundstage does peak somewhat at each end of the scale, with the lows and highs receiving a boost versus the more stable middle, but EPOS has blended the audio into an experience that suits shooters, RPGs, racing games, films, music, and more.
There is an easy-to-access volume adjustment dial on the outside of the right earcup. However, at the time of review, it is buggy, requiring multiple turns to adjust the volume, then jumping in blocks rather than single notches. EPOS is fully aware of this, though, and it will be rectified in an upcoming firmware update. If that is an issue for you, use the volume control on your gaming device for now.
EPOS Hybrid H3 Microphone Quality
Like the headphones, the Hybrid H3 microphone also differs in quality, dropping from 10-18,000Hz to 100-7,500Hz. The sensitivity rating also decreases, from -39 dBV / Pa @1kHz to -20 dB FS / Pa @1kHz. It's a change, for sure, but most people won't notice the difference.
Indeed, when playing with friends and switching between the two microphones for testing, there wasn't a monumental change in the tone or accuracy of my voice, with the EPOS Hybrid H3 microphone working just as well.
EPOS Gaming Suite
EPOS desktop audio software, the EPOS Gaming Suite, is available to H3 Hybrid users. The desktop app allows you to customize your EQ, adjust microphone input volume and EQ, and you can upgrade the firmware on your headset here too.
However, you must connect your headset to the desktop using a USB cable. It doesn't register the headset if you're using a Bluetooth connection, and firmware updates cannot be completed using a wireless connection.
Once connected, you can use the app to adjust the EQ and save it to the headset, which is handy enough.
Is the EPOS H3 Hybrid Worth the Money?
Now, onto the money. The EPOS H3 Hybrid wireless gaming headset is available for $180.
These are comfy, well-crafted wireless gaming headphones that will keep you going for years. The Hybrid H3 earpads are thick and luscious, and they've added additional padding to the headband to protect your head during those long gaming sessions. Other new features, such as Bluetooth and the substantial battery life push me to love the EPOS H3 Hybrid headset even more, and while the audio output isn't perfect (these are for gamers, not an audio engineer, after all), the sound quality is of an overall very-high standard.
The $180 price tag might put some potential buyers off. It's not an insignificant outlay, that's for sure. If that sounds like you, but you want the plush ear padding, the great sound quality, and everything else, the original EPOS H3 wired headset does all of that for $60 less.
But if you're on the market for a new wireless gaming headset, and especially if you use several different gaming consoles and platforms, look no further than the EPOS Hybrid H3.