A little while ago I had the opportunity to try out the EPOS H3 Hybrid, a gaming headphone that I throughout provided an interesting sound quality not many brands can deliver. There has now been a new edition to that model in the H3Pro Hybrid. This follow-up contains many features carried over from its previous iteration, but with an improved sound signature that is sure to propel gamers to give the pro version a try. At $279, does the H3Pro Hybrid contain enough quality to satisfy gamers?
What You Get
– GSA H3PRO Dongle
– GSA 25 Cover Plate – Black
– GSA 31 USB Cable
– GSA 30 Console Cable
– USB-A Extension Cable
– Safety Guide
– Quick Start Guide
Look and Feel
If you’re familiar with the style of previous EPOS headphones, then the H3Pro Hybrid might not surprise you in terms of structure. The square end to the headband into the yoke is still a unique look, as well as the overall rigid design for a headphone. I am a huge fan of the color supported here though, as the dark blue and matte material make for a pleasing aesthetic on any headphone. In terms of how comfortable they are, the H3Pro Hybrid sports some cozy leather earpads that gently surround your ears in an enjoyable manner so that they can be worn for a significant amount of time if you so choose. I did find however that my ears did start to feel fatigued after a couple of hours had passed testing the headphones. This isn’t a sensation that I noticed while enjoying the headphones, only when taking them off did I realize how hot they felt.
Design and Functionality
The H3Pro Hybrid uses a dynamic driver with a closed-back principle. It uses a 3.5mm auxiliary cable that can connect the headphone to an assortment of inputs. You can also use the headphones USB type C to A connector and plug straight into a USB source. This way you can both listen to and charge the headphones at the same time, all while getting access to some of the H3Pro Hybrid’s best features using their downloadable gaming suite application. Here you can customize a ton of different aspects to not only the sound signature but your voice as well. A full EQ is provided, as well as options for spatial audio using EPOS’ proprietary 7.1 surround sound. For your voice options, you have the option to choose between different presets that affect the timbre of your voice, or EQ it yourself. The options provided by the gaming suite are stellar and operate wonderfully.
Using the chat audio myself, the standard-setting can sound quite tinny but with EQ you can get an effect that is functionally broadcast ready. No matter what I changed my voice to, friends over Discord could hear me loud and clear, and listening to the recording myself, the chat audio always came in at a comfortable level. To add to the prowess of these headphones, you can also use the H3Pro Hybrid completely wirelessly with an added ANC mode. The noise-canceling is highly effective in an at-home environment, and the Bluetooth connection remained fairly stable throughout my testing.
Even when in wired mode using the headphones 3.5mm connection, the H3Pro Hybrid still requires a battery in order to use. Thankfully you shouldn’t see many issues with the total playtime provided, as the H3Pro Hybrid offers around 38 hours of charge when ANC is turned off, and 22 hours when turned on. This can change depending on what outboard gear you’re using, and EPOS provides specs for certain systems. I did run out of battery once during my testing, but only a few minutes of charge can give you a considerable amount of listening time. Two hours in total will bring the headphones back to full charge.
There are a lot of aspects that a gaming headphone needs to nail down in its sound signature in order to be satisfying. The H3Pro Hybrid not only passes that test with flying colors, but it surpasses that standard in order to achieve an even greater value. Starting with soundstage, one of the most significant characteristics of any gaming headphone, the H3Pro Hybrid brings an interesting ability to its sonic environments. With its display of spatial imaging, the H3Pro Hybrid likes to keep its elements close, portraying a rather large depiction of its frequency response and positioning. However, this isn’t a detriment to the headphone’s demonstration of distance or layering, as music, sound effects, and dialogue are all properly separated.
All of the important sections of your game audio are provided with the space they need in order to communicate the action and atmosphere clearly. What makes the H3Pro Hybrid special is that its clarity is exceptionally transparent, giving you a harder emphasis on accuracy than a lot of other gaming headphones do. This is still a closed-back headphone, but EPOS finds a way to wrap the stereo image around you, immersing you deeper in the world of the game, without having that extension in the soundstage that open-backs excel at. I played many different games with the H3Pro Hybrid, and they all delivered different levels of gratification no matter the genre.
I started my testing playing Halo Infinite on my PC, and what stood out to me here was that representation of distance I mentioned. Here, the soundstage provided me with a closer description of what my team and the enemy team were doing when my eyes weren’t on them. Thanks to the H3Pro Hybrid, I felt like I was able to make more thoughtful decisions based on what I was hearing.
Next, I switched over to my Playstation 4 and started playing the Legendary Edition of Mass Effect 2. Here, it was the ambiance and hard effects that really impressed me. The feeling you get just walking around your ship gives you a perfect sense of place when equipped with the H3Pro Hybrid. I was had never felt like I had been fully sucked into the space of my character as I was, listening to all the detailed tones, foley, voices, sound effects, and music as I did with these headphones. My experience playing this game was helped by the H3Pro Hybrids’ proper height and spatial realism that this soundstage replicates thoughtfully.
When dealing with gaming headphones, certain listeners may be expecting a good level of boost and sweetening to the lower frequency range. The H3Pro Hybrid doesn’t necessarily provide that booming tone or that deep resonance which might disappoint some. However, I appreciate the level of detail and clarity showcased here more than that. I would substitute a boomy, bass-heavy gaming headphone for a timbre like this any day. It not only delivers clean detail and smooth textures to its frequency response, but it also features a more realistic essence of the bass that not many gaming headphones deliver.
The true standout here though is that mid-bass, which produces that energy that some gamers might be expecting in their headphones. While the sub-bass frequencies don’t necessarily give you that vibrating power, the mid-bass provides a far more tight and expressive timbre that should engage you just as much. There’s some real slam here, giving music cues that extra cut to jump out at you accordingly, and sound effects that extra punch. The surface of the bass now becomes a more lifelike depiction of the sound while still giving you that emphasis that gamers enjoy.
In order to get the sharpest and most immediate response out of the midrange, I tested this section mostly with lossless music. The response was highly satisfying as I felt instruments, effects, and voices were all delivered with that same tightness and clarity that echoes throughout the H3Pro Hybrid. There’s no v-shaped effect here, but the mids do get flattened out the more they reach the fundamental frequency range. In comparison, the low-mids, and upper-mids are given a bit of a bump, which helps highlight certain details without hurting the fidelity of the sound signature. Whenever music would appear in my games, the midrange always gave it the space it needed in order to be effective. While playing “Blastphomus” this couldn’t be more true, and the Spanish-inspired acoustic guitars gave the game a certain momentum that added a lot to the aural experience as well as the game’s pacing.
Of course, it is the vocals that receive the most considerable detail. There’s a hike in the upper-mids that accentuates a lot of dialogue in certain games and that can produce more engagement with it due to its forward presentation. Both male and female voices have a crisp resonance that actively made me look forward to talking with characters in games. Whether it’s the commanding narration in “Darkest Dungeon” or the wide range of characters in “Mass Effect” the timbre always gives you an interesting response that showcases the headphone’s greatest strengths.
There’s enough bite here to make the treble region immensely satisfying without showcasing too many bright characteristics. The response here is smooth and easily digestible for any listener, all while providing a good level of spark to make certain elements appear more energetic. These frequencies produce a treble with balance and clarity in mind, while also giving you that coloration that helps heighten the timbre and a proper release to many different sound elements.
I find gaming headphones like the EPOS H3Pro Hybrid fascinating. Its sound signature caters more to an audiophile-like response than that of traditional gaming headsets. In this scenario, I believe the H3Pro Hybrid is the most effective, conveying its timbre with exceptional clarity while providing its listener with a mixture of texture and articulation that’s rare for a gaming headphone. When you add the fact that EPOS’ gaming suite also offers further personalization options for different sonic scenarios makes this headphone all the more valuable in my eyes. Plus, you also get great wireless headphones too, complete with a strong ANC feature. As a whole package, the EPOS H3Pro Hybrid is a slam dunk for anyone looking for a great set of gaming headphones.
The EPOS H3Pro Hybrid is available to purchase from their website here.
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