As gaming becomes increasingly more common, companies are increasing the number of products designed to cater to someone’s needs. There are super high end headphones like my beloved LCD-GX, simple models intended to get the job done, with anything and everything in-between. EPOS, like a lot of companies, noticed this trend and designed H3 Hybrid with a specific market in mind. Building off of their successful H3 model, H3 Hybrid adds some slight tweaks and Bluetooth functionality to make it more than a gaming headset. Are these advancements enough to sell the headset or is it a weird model that caters to a small group of people?
One thing that stands out about EPOS and its products is the packaging. H3 Hybrid features the same redesign they included with H3, making it look more like a gaming product. Where things start to differ is what EPOS chooses to focus on. Instead of a laundry list of marketing terms or any attractive feature, only the most important things are mentioned. Type of headset, included accessories (2.5 to 3.5 cable, USB-C cable, and a boom arm cover plate), a few key features (high-quality materials, detachable boom arm, multiple connections possible) and a small overview of their mission statement.
A Quick Look at EPOS H3 Hybrid’s Packaging
Part of what makes the mission statement resonate is the thought that goes into any of their headsets. Inside is H3 Hybrid surrounded by protective foam, with a small box containing the aforementioned accessories. It’s these small touches that show EPOS’ pride and part of the reason why I talk about the packaging. It can often say a lot about how the product is viewed or the attention it got by looking at how companies choose to wrap it. Naturally, this doesn’t matter if H3 Hybrid is a lackluster headset.
Unsurprisingly, H3 Hybrid is essentially H3 with a couple of changes. While both share the distinct EPOS design, metal headband slider with each notch numbered, leather earpads with suede on top and volume knob on top, the small changes go pretty far. Instead of a full leather headband, H3 Hybrid has leather on the bottom with a woven fabric top. It gives the headset a more premium feel, as it’s a lot more pleasing to the touch. Some of the accents were changed from a matte finish to more of a gloss, giving the sides a little extra flare.
This is How H3 Hybrid (left) Compares to H3 (right)
Perhaps the biggest change is also my favorite feature, the removable boom mic. While many headsets feature a detachable boom mic, EPOS simplifies the process by making it a magnetic connection. This makes removing it a simple pull, with reattachment as easy as getting it in the general area. Doing it incorrectly will have the magnets push it away, making it impossible to screw up. The aforementioned cap covers also functions of magnets. This holds it in place, makes it easy to add and just as easy to remove.
Wearing was fine. I used it for a couple Back 4 Blood sessions and didn’t feel fatigued until four or so hours in. Since this is a closed headset they can get a little warm, something the breathable mesh inside the earpads helps with, just not eliminate.
Showcasing the Removable Magnetic Boom Arm
The performance will depend on what you’re trying to accomplish. EPOS has a very unique calibration that makes things sound flat. It might not sound appealing, though it can help a lot. Instead of a mutation or some other booming sound overpowering the world around you, EPOS tries to make it so every sound gets a chance to stand up and be noticed. This made hearing birds, incoming threats, and other problems a lot easier in Back 4 Blood.
Fans of shooters, like Destiny or Hell Let Loose, might notice key indicators of hostile activity from the lack of distracting other sounds. For those who struggle to focus on these key cues, it can really be helpful, it’s just certain situations where they don’t hold up.
In terms of sound staging and bringing out the world, they could do a little better. Some nicer headsets bring the world to life, whereas H3 Hybrid offers a satisfying experience without hitting that perfection some higher-end headsets offer. Music was also very hit and miss.
Since the key difference between H3 and H3 Hybrid is the inclusion of Bluetooth, music performance is equally important. Similar to a lot of their other headsets, the default calibration is light on bass. Many songs will lack the same impact or not sound quite the same as other platforms. Various apps, including some EPOS, made to interface with H3 Hybrid, can change the calibration to better suit your wants or needs. Just, if things sound weird or unenjoyable, it’s likely due to that.
When connected via Bluetooth I was pleasantly surprised by the range. Typically when I test the range and connection quality, I throw my phone by my office computer in the basement. With two notable exceptions, every headset I’ve reviewed remains connected anywhere in my two-level house, regardless of walls or floors between the headset and source. Many headsets can further this by remaining connected anywhere on my propriety, typically dying off at the 40’ to 50’ range. EPOS H3 Hybrid is the first headset that has made it past my car, roughly 60’ from the source, leaving me incredibly impressed. I could honestly do anything around my house or on the lawn without losing my connection. This is a massive feature for anyone looking to get away from their phone for a bit.
As nice of a thought as that might be, H3 Hybrid still doubles as a headset. The smart button on the back can be used to answer calls, among other programable features with the EPOS PC app, with or without the detachable boom mic. The internal mic isn’t quite as good but it performed well enough that the person on the other end can understand what you’re saying.
With the boom mic my voice was fairly crisp and clear. Next to similarly priced headsets, it performed slightly better, with the only complaint I got was volume. That can easily be corrected through calibration and is far from the worse problem out there.
EPOS H3 Hybrid Review Verdict
H3 Hybrid is a solid headset if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution. The ability to go from gaming, remove the boom mic and then walk around town can be huge. Add in impressive Bluetooth range, substantial battery life, and nice quality build and you have a winning combo. It’s a shame there isn’t an auto-off function and it requires battery charge, even when used with a wire, though these are small problems that can easily be corrected.
[Editor’s Note: EPOS H3 Hybrid was provided to us for review purposes.]