EPOS H3Pro Hybrid Review: Dual Handling Audio
It’s not often that a high-end gaming headset does something that stands out. It does happen, but as someone who has more headsets scattered around my office than I could confidently list, there is a lot of marketing behind most of them. Latency this and fancy hardware that. It all means something, but when you’re dealing with high-end products, you’d expect this level of design and performance. With the EPOS H3Pro Hybrid you get the quality you expect from a wireless headset, but you also get a feature that fixed one of the lingering issues in my gaming experience, the audio mixing between connections. Bluetooth and wired.
What’s in the box?
As you might expect in 2021, the EPOS H3Pro Hybrid comes in a stylish package. It was easy to open the box and remove each of the components. It was also easy to put everything away when I wasn’t using it without having to bend the box or tear it up trying to jam components inside.
The helmet itself is well constructed. It has an adjustable steel headband, and even has markings on it so you can adjust the left and right side equally without guessing. The ear cups are also adjustable via a hinge. It took a bit of tinkering to make it feel perfect on my head, but I appreciated the flexibility. The headband is covered with a leather-like material where it touches the top of your head and a soft fabric around the outside. The ear pads are also made of two materials: the same leather-like material of the headband and some kind of microfiber cloth where your skin touches the earpiece.
The H3Pro Hybrid comes with a mic that can be raised or lowered to turn it on or off. If I’m on my PC, there’s no way I’m using a headset built-in mic, so I took it off and put the cover on. The headset has two microphones, so even with the boom removed, you can still take calls via Bluetooth if your headset is connected to your phone.
The headset itself has several buttons and connections, including a power button on the left ear that does what the power buttons do. On the right ear, a smart button can be used to pair the headset with a Bluetooth device, or it can be pressed to take a call if the headset is paired correctly. The right side of the headphones also has an ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) button to turn the noise cancellation feature on and off. Finally, the right side of the headset has a volume control which is a dial placed on the outside of the earpiece. This is my least favorite part of the H3Pro Hybrid, as there is really nothing to grab hold of and I found the dial not to be very responsive.
The H3Pro Hybrid works with EPOS Gaming Suite software. While I appreciate that every piece of hardware on earth now wants you to install something to get the most out of it, I also appreciate how the H3Pro Hybrid performed flawlessly without it. If I use this headset with my Nintendo Switch or PS5, I don’t feel like playing with its app, and I didn’t need it. It’s a big plus for me.
The H3Pro Hybrid will connect and work with just about anything, including a PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, smartphone, and PC. It does this through wireless and wired options and can connect to multiple devices at the same time using the Bluetooth option to connect to your smartphone. I was able to use the H3Pro Hybrid connected to my PS5 via the USB dongle for wireless, while using Discord on my iPhone via bluetooth. This fixed an issue I had been having for a few years where I wanted to play with my buddies on PS5, but we all wanted to use Discord on our phones because our PCs weren’t in the same room as our consoles. Until now, I’ve been content with using headphones for my iPhone and playing game sound through my surround speakers, which isn’t ideal. With the H3Pro Hybrid, I can now simultaneously get game audio and voice through my headset from two different sources.
The H3Pro Hybrid lists lag-free wireless as one of its features, and that’s quite true. While I didn’t have a lag, I did have a few instances of crackling in the headphones, likely from the wireless connection struggling for a while or two. This specifically happened when using the wireless dongle connected to my PC, but only for a few seconds and only a few times during my use.
It looks good
The H3Pro Hybrid sounds great, as you would expect from a high-end headset. It has a closed back and noise cancellation. Put simply, this means that you won’t hear what’s going on around you when you are using the headphones, and if you do speak, you will often hear your own voice in your head. Whether you like it open or closed is pure preference, but it’s good to know. It’s also important to note that most (if not all) wireless headsets are closed.
The H3Pro Hybrid did an admirable job achieving its stated frequency response. A simple test revealed that he was able to play sounds at 20 Hz, which is the lowest limit of human hearing. I’m 40 now, so I couldn’t check the upper limit of 20,000Hz just because my old ears can’t pick up anything above or so. What I noticed was that there was a bit of hum when listening to deeper bass sounds at high volume. I immediately tested my Audeze LCD-1 headphones with the same sound test, and there was no buzz. I would caution anyone considering using the H3Pro Hybrid for loud music or music with a lot of bass to maybe read a few other reviews and see if that’s a consistent conclusion.
Fortunately, I don’t intend to listen to music in the H3Pro Hybrid, and it served my gaming and voice chat needs very well. The closed back certainly helps isolate sounds. One of my favorite sound-testing games is The Long Dark. The audio in this game can be subtle but vital for survival. You have to be able to distinguish whether the footsteps on top of a hill belong to a deer or a wolf, otherwise it is your life. The H3Pro Hybrid did a great job providing me with clean sounds throughout my playing time, and I never had a problem with the low battery as long as I kept a decent charge in it. Battery life may vary depending on the type of connection you use, but it’s safe to say it’s closer to a minimum of 20 hours.
To wrap up
The big sale for the H3Pro Hybrid for me is that it fixes a problem I’ve had for years by being able to connect through Bluetooth and the wireless USB dongle at the same time. Yes, the headphones generally sound great, look great, and are well built, but most of them accomplish these feats in 2021. Thanks to EPOS for building a headset that gave me something I didn’t have. previously but I needed. This might not be the case for everyone, but maybe it will solve a problem for you too.
This review is based on a sample provided by the manufacturer. The EPOS H3Pro Hybrid retails for US $ 279.