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EPOS H3 Hybrid review – not a great headset for gaming PCs

EPOS has wasted no time in cementing itself as a premiere headset model within the wake of its break up from Sennheiser, standing tall as masters of the microphone. The EPOS H3 Hybrid tries to proceed this legacy by riffing off the design of the unique EPOS H3 that got here out just a few months in the past, and whereas it succeeds in doing a little bit extra than simply slicing the wire, it won’t be the best gaming headset on the market for PC players.

As an alternative of chucking Bluetooth compatibility into its flagship headset and calling it a day, EPOS desires the H3 Hybrid to be a one-stop store that pairs with nearly any machine – and in some circumstances, two on the similar time with one wired and the opposite wi-fi. It’s not the primary to make multi-connectivity a headline characteristic, however I certain can’t see sufficient of it when the Nintendo Swap nonetheless requires you to run your voice chat by means of a third-party platform.

But when a PC is your major gaming machine, it’s troublesome to justify the $179 / £149 MSRP when the hybrid wi-fi connection comes with caveats and there are a number of alternate options.

Most gaming PCs don’t have Bluetooth built-in and the H3 Hybrid doesn’t ship with a dongle, which means you don’t get the identical stage of comfort as a devoted wireless gaming headset until you have already got your personal receiver. Even then, you’ll should be certain it’s trendy to take advantage of the H3 Hyrbid’s Bluetooth 5.0 assist, as pairing it with older requirements will introduce extra latency. In case your dongle’s as much as scratch, nonetheless, you’ll profit from a near-lagless expertise that’s not fairly as clean as a 2.4GHz connection, however the latency is much much less pronounced than the Bluetooth variations of previous.

So, until the celebs align and also you pack the fitting {hardware} or fork out for a more moderen receiver, you’ll seemingly profit from maintaining it wired to your PC by means of USB-C or its 3.5mm headphone jack. Even this selection comes with extra strings hooked up, although, as a result of the H3 Hybrid is a purely digital headset that depends on the battery to energy its audio.

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EPOS H3 Hybrid SteelSeries Arctis 9
Wi-fi
SteelSeries Arctis 3
Bluetooth
EPOS H3
Frequency res. 20Hz – 20kHz 20Hz – 20kHz 20Hz – 22kHz 10Hz – 30kHz
Connectivity 3.5mm
USB-C
Bluetooth
3.5mm
MicroUSB
Bluetooth
2.4Ghz
3.5mm
Bluetooth
3.5mm
Mic response 100Hz – 7.5kHz 100Hz – 6.5kHz 100Hz – 10kHz 10Hz – 18kHz
Battery life Bluetooth: 37h
3.5mm: 24h
Each: 19h
As much as 20h As much as 28h N/A
Vary 20m 12m 10m N/A
Weight 298g
278g w/o mic
376g 318g 270g
Value $179
£149
$199.99
£189.99
$99.99
£99.99
$99
£89

You don’t want to consider this in case you persist with the USB cable, as your cans are virtually at all times on cost. In any other case, the headset lives as much as EPOS’s battery life claims and also you’ll solely need to plug it in after 24 hours when utilizing the three.5mm connection, 37 hours by means of Bluetooth, and round 17 hours utilizing the 2 concurrently.

It’s not all compromises when utilizing the H3 Hybrid on PC, as you may faucet into the EPOS Gaming Suite to allow digital 7.1 encompass sound, which is fairly immersive when paired with the fitting recreation or film. It doesn’t change the fullness of a devoted amp, but it surely’s higher than many digital alternate options on the market and completely non-compulsory provided that the usual sound signature is well-balanced.

EPOS does effectively to not fall into the lure many opponents do, making certain that the bass doesn’t overpower, however this barely mutes the influence of explosions within the likes of Far Cry 6. The midrange and highs are clear regardless of the smaller 40mm drivers, with a pleasant tonal separation that makes it that a lot simpler to pinpoint enemy footsteps in FPS games like Rainbow Six Siege. Usually talking, the H3 Hybrid is a jack of all trades, suiting most varieties of video games and genres of music.

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It’s much like the unique H3 with its quantity dial on the fitting ear and flip-to-mute microphone on the left, but it surely really has extra in widespread with the EPOS H6Pro for the reason that mic is now removable. The headset even comes with a plate to cowl the hole so that you gained’t look misplaced sporting the H3 Hybrid out and about. The cans don’t twist inwards, although, in order that they gained’t sit comfortably round your neck.

Sadly, the increase microphone high quality isn’t as sharp as I’ve come to anticipate from EPOS. This isn’t to say your teammates will rush to mute you on Discord, because the H3 Hybrid’s mic nonetheless has a way of readability and element that many different gaming headsets lack, comparable to selecting up on the decrease, deeper elements of your vocals. That mentioned, it introduces noticeable compression that surrounds your voice with static. You’ll be able to tweak your microphone’s EQ settings from throughout the EPOS Gaming Suite software program, however there’s no approach to enhance its high quality, leaving one thing to be desired at such a excessive worth level.

There’s additionally an inside microphone so you may take calls when your discrete increase mic isn’t hooked up. As you may anticipate, it doesn’t shine and infrequently leaves your voice muffled because the noise suppression suits to quieten the site visitors round you. However since there actually aren’t many built-in mics that do significantly better, it’s good to have the choice.

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The cans are fairly strong regardless of an nearly solely plastic building with a steel-reinforced headband. Like with earlier fashions, this makes them light-weight to minimise fatigue from lengthy periods, sturdy towards drops, and pretty versatile. The ear cups are a combination of suede on the contact level to make sure it’s breathable, reminiscence foam for consolation, and leatherette across the edges to make it final.

On paper, it has all the fitting elements for a profitable headset, however consolation is extra than simply the sum of its supplies. On one hand, the ear pads passively cancel outdoors sounds effectively to maintain you from unwelcome distractions, however they’re additionally a contact too small for the common consumer. I’ve pretty little ears, however even I felt as if the H3 Hybrid was too comfortable at occasions and I can solely think about how uncomfortable these shall be for somebody with regular-sized ears. In fact, your mileage will differ, however consolation is a cornerstone that’s to not be taken flippantly in case you’re the kind to put on your gaming headset for hours on finish.

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It’s clear that the EPOS H3 Hybrid isn’t a headset that fares effectively in case you’re primarily a PC gamer, but it surely additionally struggles to carry its personal towards different multi-platform headsets, too. With its $179 / £149 MSRP, it’s simply $21 cheaper than the SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless, which comes with a snappier 2.4GHz connection and Bluetooth, so you may join to 2 units with or with out the wire. It’s additionally a whopping $80 dearer than the SteelSeries Arctis 3 Bluetooth, which admittedly has a shorter battery life and a muddier microphone, however is rather more snug and has the identical multi-connectivity methods.

Total, the H3 Hybrid doesn’t fairly discover its ft with an eye-watering price ticket in an already aggressive market. That mentioned, the arrival of those new cans has knocked the unique EPOS H3 down in worth to a much more palatable $99 / £89, displaying that this is likely to be much less of a sore spot sooner or later. Consolation, nonetheless, is the true Achilles’ heel, as this can be a elementary problem that may’t be so simply modified – though EPOS may probably use the new swappable nature of the ear pads to handle this. If this isn’t a deal breaker for you, nonetheless, the H3 Hybrid affords unbelievable sound high quality, a relatively good microphone, and an industry-leading battery life.

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https://www.pcgamesn.com/epos/h3-hybrid-gaming-headset-review | EPOS H3 Hybrid overview – not a terrific headset for gaming PCs

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