The Epos H3 Hybrid headphones are the latest version of the multi-connection gaming headset that has been on the rise lately. With the diversity of entertainment devices, each with its own preferred method of connection, having one headset that works on all devices makes sense.
Epos has retrofitted its popular H3 gaming headset with the H3 Hybrid, and added several improvements to it, as well as two additional connection points: Bluetooth and USB-C. This makes the headset available to more devices, as you can now connect it to your mobile devices, Nintendo Switch, or TV wirelessly, with USB audio available on PlayStation devices and PC.
For around AED 790, the Epos H3 Hybrid is reasonably priced, but despite offering above-average sound quality, this headset might not be for everyone due to the small and somewhat uncomfortable ear pads.
Design and Features
There is little difference between the H3 and the H3 Hybrid from an aesthetic point of view. Both feature a streamlined design when compared to previous GSP headphones from Epos, with a sleeker, sleeker look instead of the box-speaker designs the company was previously offering. The black and white ‘panda’ version we received is one of the best color options available for the H3 Hybrid and definitely stands out in the sea of black headphones available in the market.
The ear pads come in an oval shape, and at first glance they may appear to be placed upside down. But that doesn’t look odd when wearing the headphones, which sit like normal oval-shaped earbuds. They are lined with plush memory foam cushioning, with the inner lining of the earbuds covered in soft suede-like leather while the outer areas are covered in faux leather. Not only does this help prevent sound from leaking out, but it also effectively and surprisingly cancels out any background noise. Even the H3 Hybrid headphones completely eliminated the loud digging noises in the apartment above me while I was watching a movie.
The only problem with ear pads is their size. It is rather small, and the hole in the pillow is too small. I had to shove my ears inside the earbuds every time I wore them, and the average clamping force of the headphones quickly causes pain around the top and bottom of my ears. The pain subsided a bit after over two weeks of use, but the headphones remained uncomfortable during long sessions and I had to routinely take them off to give my ears some relief. Of course, this will vary according to the size and shape of your ears. If your ears are smaller, you’ll feel completely comfortable in this headphone.
The H3 Hybrid is fairly light in its plastic exterior, and feels sturdy in the hands. and similarly toheadphones H6Pro that we previously reviewedThese headphones use the same hinge to hold the earbuds, which may be prone to breaking over time. However it didn’t feel like it was a weak point or was poorly designed and I have enough confidence that it will still be durable even after a year or two of use.
In terms of ports, there’s a volume adjustment dial on the right earpad that swivels endlessly and feels smoother and easier to use than the regular H3 (which has more resistance making it harder to move), plus a Bluetooth button with 3 small LED lights to indicate power status. . On the left earbud, you’ll find a USB-C port and a 3.5mm port, which can’t be used simultaneously for obvious reasons. The 3.5mm port uses a custom locking mechanism, so you can’t use a standard cable with it and will have to buy a new cable from Epos if you damage the cable included in the box.
And speaking of cables, while the 3.5mm cable is braided with a nice fabric material, the included USB cable is wrapped in a cheap rubber coating that looks like it can permanently warp. It’s also quite short, which means you won’t be able to use it with a console or any device located far from where you’re sitting. I had to use another, longer USB cable to test the headset with the PS5 because the cable included in the box was too short to sit comfortably away from my TV stand.
Similar to the Epos H3, the H3 Hybrid uses the same 40mm audio drivers to drive audio. The company was previously part of Sennhsier, so they have experience with how to tune great sound drivers, and that’s evident with these headphones.
The H3 Hybrid delivers a well-balanced sound, with the mid and high frequencies coming in clearly while the bass plays a supporting role by adding rhythm to the overall sound. Some might find the headset to be a little weaker in terms of bass, but it didn’t have problems playing low frequencies like blasts in games or movies without sounding weak.
The ambient sound range isn’t particularly large, and it’s actually much smaller than the H6Pro headphones on the fully-isolated version, but that’s to be expected because the sound drivers are also smaller. However, this did not affect the positioning of the sound, which allows you to easily determine the sound of enemy footsteps or gunfire. The headphones were particularly impressive in Warzone as they were able to deliver the game’s expansive soundscape and place subtle audio cues with precision and clarity.
And if you want to expand the audio range, the H3 Hybrid works well with Tempest 3D on the PS5. Whether connected via the DualSense controller or directly through the USB port, the sound is loud and clear, as the PS5’s 3D audio works admirably in games like Ratchet and Clank: Rifts Apart and Fortnite. On your PC, you can use the Epos Gaming Suite software to add 7.1 virtual surround sound, which uses the company’s engine found in the GSX 1000/1200 Pro DAC / Amp to create a wider, more natural sound range. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s as good as the surround sound in the GSX amp, but it’s still as good and one of the best software-based virtual surround sound solutions.
As mentioned earlier, the H3 Hybrid supports audio through Bluetooth, which can be used simultaneously with a wired connection. This enables you to connect to your mobile device while playing a game on a console to facilitate chatting on Discord or any other program you use. Separately, the headset can be used as a regular Bluetooth headset to listen to music if you’re outside, or connect it to your TV to watch movies and series wirelessly. The audio from Bluetooth is as good as a wired connection, and there is no noticeable lag while playing games or watching a movie. The volume is great and loud too, so you can use the headset for just about anything if you don’t want to be tied down with a cable.
As the H3 Hybrid is a digital headphone, it relies on its internal battery to play the audio. If you’re using USB-C, the battery will charge and the headset is running simultaneously, but when connected to a 3.5mm port and Bluetooth audio, this will continue to drain the battery and will require periodic charging. Fortunately, the headset offers enough battery to run many hours-long sessions without the need to plug it in. Epos claims that the battery can provide up to 37 hours when connected via Bluetooth, 24 hours when connected only via a 3.5mm connection, and up to 19 hours with dual connection (3.5mm cable and Bluetooth), which is pretty much in line with The result we got when we tried it.
The H3 Hybrid comes with an auto-on/mute microphone boom, and can also be detached if not in use (unlike the standard H3). Epos provides a cover for the microphone port to keep the design neat if you need to remove it. The microphone is of good quality, clear and provides high enough detail for online chatting or video calling. But it’s compact and rough to use in online streaming. You can change some of its features via the Epos Gaming Suite, which allows you to tweak the sidetone, reduce noise, “enhance” your voice to sound warm or clear, and more. However, none of these settings really help improve the sound quality.
My golden rule for judging gaming headphones is that if they aren’t comfortable, no matter how great the sound quality they provide, I won’t use them. And this is my problem with the Epos H3 Hybrid. The headphones offer first-class sound quality, and the multi-connectivity with a 3.5mm port, USB-C and Bluetooth makes them available for use with almost any device. But the little ear pads are uncomfortable and cause irritation and pain over time, and I found myself searching for my other headphones to play games or watch movies with. But if you can get past that, or you think you’ll be able to wear them comfortably, the H3 Hybrid will meet your needs.