Many true wireless brands go under the radar if they’re not from one of the more known manufacturers. It’s then ironic as EPOS used to be part of one of those big brands, and their latest release is one of their first to not have the name attached. That name was Sennheiser, and their cooperation was with a brand called EPOS. They’ve launched some successful gaming products in the past under the Sennheiser name, but now this is their chance to stick out beyond that partnership. The product is a new true wireless earphone made specifically for gaming. There have been a couple of products like this in the past, but none of them have delivered a serious piece of hardware like the GTW 270 appear to be. Are these an effective gaming earbud, or is it more of a novelty item?
What You Get
- GTW 270 earbuds
- Carry case
- Charging cable
- USB-C to USB-A extension cable
- Ear tips set (XS/S/M/L)
Look and Feel
Starting off, I need to mention the charging case. It’s made from metallic aluminum that feels nice to carry and is very durable. The build not only helps protect the earphones but is also small and narrow enough to fit in your pocket easily. This was my first impression of the GTW 270, which heightened my expectation a bit. As for the earphones themselves, they aren’t too out of the ordinary from what I’m used to seeing with true wireless. A small shell with a rectangular housing with a silver and black finish. The aesthetic isn’t exactly eye candy, but it fits with the earphones gaming focus.
Knowing how much time you can spend focused on a game, it’s suitable for the earphones to have the right fit. Thankfully, the GTW 270 supplied that level of comfort necessary for long listening sessions. After a slight adjustment, the earphones sat comfortably in my ear with absolutely no obstruction or harsh feelings. They always felt properly secure and I never felt like I needed to adjust them for ear fatigue.
Design and Functionality
From looking at the quick start guide, you can tell that the GTW 270 doesn’t behave like an ordinary true wireless. There are elements of its design that are very specific compared to most wireless earbuds on the market. Inside of the housing is a dynamic driver unit and an omnidirectional microphone primarily for voice chat. EPOS ditches the standard touch-sensitive interface for a single multi-purpose button located on the left earpiece. With this control, you easily pick up phone calls, play/pause your music, skip tracks, and activate voice assistant. The button itself is rather easy to access, as it feels natural to use while listening to the earphones.
Most of what makes the GTW 270 unique is its Bluetooth hybrid capabilities. Unlike most true wireless earphones, the GTW 270 uses a wireless dongle that requires a USB-C connection. This establishes a low-latency connection ideal for gaming. However, this isn’t the only option for wireless, as the GTW 270 also supports standard Bluetooth with aptX resolution. The biggest plus to this hybrid system is its ability to use a multi-point connection. As long as one device is plugged into the dongle, another deceive can use Bluetooth capabilities as well. This makes it possible to go from your Nintendo Switch to answering a call on your phone without having to take the earphones out of your ears. It’s something quite unique.
It sounds like all of these Bluetooth options take up a lot of power right? The GTW 270 will last you five hours off a single charge, with a total of 20 hours when combines with the case. Fifteen minutes of charge gives you about an hour of playtime which might combat the shorter battery life. For $199 it might not stack up to its competitors, but I found it sufficient enough to last a few good hours of listening before needing to charge.
Gaming headphones need a great soundstage in my opinion. Without the width and depth, all of the sound effects and music don’t feel like they have a proper place in the mix. This is an even harder challenge for a true wireless system, as many are not known for having the greatest soundstages. That puts the GTW 270 in an interesting place. It needs to fulfill the needs of being proper for gaming, and break the conventions of true wireless soundstages at the same time. No pressure, but does the GTW 270 succeed in that respect? For the most part, yes!
The GTW 270 features a grandiose image, with a good amount of width to support it. Spatial imaging is meticulous in that it purposely pushes the mids forward and brings vocals and dialogue to the front of the soundstage. This makes sense for a gaming earphone, as dialogue being front and center is very important. In terms of its depth, there’s a good amount to enjoy, as instruments and effects feel like they have enough room to breathe with accurate stereo positioning.
The bass response here is meaty and provides that extra lift you need when listening to big effects. Even when you’re just listening to music, the timbre of the lows is especially juicy, with a tonality that will definitely satisfy your bass head desires. Although this is a considerable bass, it doesn’t appear boomy or bleeds into the other frequency ranges. It rather balances itself well with the midrange with an extra bit of warmth to boot.
Equally impressive is the GTW 270’s midrange response. While some elements have a chance of being buried in the mix, other stick out quite noticeably. The upper and lower mids provide some nice emphasis that makes instruments and effects sound a little more clear and sticks out of the mix better. A bit notchy in some areas, but the overall body of the mids makes up for it in textural warmth.
While the high-mids receive some necessary accentuation, the rest of the treble, unfortunately, trails off into a bit of messiness. I rather enjoy a sharp or bright treble at times, but with the GTW 270, there isn’t much high-frequency coloration to enjoy.
Overall, the GTW 270 has a lot to offer in terms of sound quality and functionality. There are some quirks to be worked out, but there’s still some value in this true wireless as a gaming peripheral and a daily earphone for music listening. They were neat to try out a couple of games with the Switch, but I found more enjoyment when using them as a standard bass-head earphone for music.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Bass, Bluetooth options, Build quality, Imaging
Cons: Lacking treble, Battery life
The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid is available on Amazon.
See where it ranks on our ranking list here.