We’ve covered a few EPOS headsets and have been pretty happy with them. Today, EPOS has sent us their EPOS H3Pro Hybrid to test out. It’s a wireless headset with Bluetooth connectivity to allow you to pair it up with, say, a phone as well as your PC or console of choice at the same time. I’ve reviewed a few headsets recently with this feature so let’s see how EPOS’s headset holds up.
The EPOS H3Pro Hybrid are closed back headphones with 40mm neodymium drivers. The gaming-centric headphones have that familiar EPOS design, which for some consumers are really slick looking - while others I’ve talked to didn’t enjoy the look as much. Of course, it depends on your taste, but I found the design to be good.
The exterior is mostly made up of a hard plastic with a steel band. Normally, this isn’t a big deal, but at this price point you’re going up against headphones with more premium materials. For example, the LucidSound LS50X, which is also a hybrid headset, is in the same price range as the H3Pro Hybrid, but I felt it had a more solid build to it. I don’t expect it to feel as premium as say the Master & Dynamics MG20s, but at $279, I was expecting a little less of a plastic feel to it.
On each cup, you have a very soft suede-like covering that is very comfortable on the skin. There’s a leatherette that surrounds the sides of the ear cups. Memory foam inside ensures a nice soft cushion when engaged with the side of your head. You can take the ear cups off to clean or replace, but it isn’t as easy as the other headsets I’ve reviewed in the price range. They are held on with plastic clips, so it takes a little effort to pull off and put on. Other ones I have either use magnets or are using little pegs to hold them in.
I have what I would consider average-sized ears and the ear cups were able to sit around it without touching any part of my ear. Of course, it’s going to be different for each person, but in my experience I thought they felt comfortable and the pressure on my head was slight, but not annoying after long usages. For those with glasses - and I’m one of you - I had no troubles with the EPOS H3Pro Hybrid sitting on the side of my head with my glasses on.
The underside of the headband features a leatherette that’s comfortable sitting on top of the head. There’s a small groove at the very center to help keep your head cool. The top is covered with a mesh-like material that’s also soft. You can expand and contract the headband by pulling or pushing on the ear cups. There are numbers and lines to show you where the headband is positioned. The headband is ratcheted so when you adjust it you can feel it change position. They do a good job of staying in place once you set them.
There is very little rotation you can do on the earcups of the H3Pro Hybrid. For those who like to spin the earcups to a flat position when you take them off and want to put them around your neck or on a table, you won’t be able to lay these flat on any surface. The limited rotation didn’t affect the comfort of the H3Pro Hybrid for me, but it is something you should be aware of. Taking them off and hanging them around my neck when not in use isn’t as comfortable as others that can twist the ear cups flat and I wish EPOS could have designed them to sit that way.
For controls, you have a few buttons on both ear cups and a dial. The dial to turn the volume is smaller than I would have liked and It took a little more effort to find it and turn it than other headsets I have. It’s slightly annoying, but it does do the job of adjusting your headset’s volume. There’s a power button, USB-C charging port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and a light on the left ear cup. Holding down the power button, you’ll be greeted with a voice letting you know a range of your remaining battery life. It’s not going to be specific on how much you have left, but the ranges it goes through gives you a good rough estimate and will let you know when you should plug it in to recharge.
Going over to the right ear cup, there’s the Smart/Bluetooth button, ANC switch, and the aforementioned volume dial. You can use the button to answer your phone, pair to a Bluetooth source, and switch Bluetooth on or off. It also doubles as a mode switch button or what EPOS calls a Smart button. The issue I had with the Smart button is that it’s limited in what you can do. From the software, you only have the option to make it switch on surround mode or switch presets. That’s it. There’s no other customizations you can do with the button, which is a little disappointing. There’s also no audio cue that the button is pressed so you don’t know if it worked or not. Sometimes I would press the button to switch the surround mode and nothing happened. With the EPOS software up, I watched as the mode would stay the same when pressing the button a few times, only to have it finally switch after a few more presses. An audio cue would have been very helpful for this control. The ANC switch, for which we’ll get into more detail in a bit, switches the active noise canceling on or off.
One of the things I really like about the EPOS H3Pro Hybrid is how the detachable mic is done. It’s magnetically attached and rotatable with very strong magnets to hold the mic in. If you decide to wear the H3Pro Hybrid out and about and want to go without the mic, just pull it off and stash it away. EPOS includes a nice little cover to hide the magnetic contact points so you aren’t going out with a rectangle shaped hole on the side.
Positioning the mic is easily done by rotating the boom arm to where you like. The H3Pro also lets you move the end of the mic closer or farther away from you. The range of motion is plenty to get the mic situated to your liking and the arm is nice and solid so it should stand up the test of time,
Performance wise, the mic on the H3Pro Hybrid is good and I think it does the job for a gaming headset. I’m not expecting really high quality voice on gaming headsets, but the mic here does a good job of isolating your voice and canceling out background noise. I have a somewhat clicky keyboard and fan running at times in my work area and the mic canceled out both of those sounds when I was on a Teams call with work mates. The voice quality is clear and I heard no complaints about how I sounded when using the boom mic. There’s no pop filter, but a built-in screen does help, provided you don’t sit the mic too close to your mouth.
Without the boom mic, the voice on the H3Pro Hybrid is very muted and quiet. In a pinch you can make some quick calls I would say, but it’s definitely not something I’d use in the long term. I say just don’t try to use the H3Pro Hybrid for communication without the attached mic.
Connection to your PC or console is handled by plugging the included dongle into an available USB slot and it comes pre-paired with it so you don’t have to do anything other than turn it on. I used the included USB extension cable so it would sit a little further away from my PC to ensure there’s no interference when using it wirelessly. Range is really good with me being able to hear and talk with my friends even after walking up a floor of my house and some 20 feet away. There’s an LED light on the dongle to let you know when the headset is paired up and connected.
I also paired the H3Pro Hybrid with a phone via Bluetooth and was able to simultaneously stream what was on there to my headphones while playing something on the PC. Unlike some other hybrid headsets I reviewed, you don’t have to do anything to get audio from your phone to play on the H3Pro Hybrid other than to connect it. Sound will come from both the PC and the phone, which is the way I like it in case I get a phone call or a text notification. Pairing to the phone was effortless and I had no issues using it with my Galaxy Fold 3. Unfortunately, it only supports SBC codec so you won’t get the greatest audio quality when connected this way, but it works.
Active noise cancellation is one feature I was really interested in. EPOS’ implementation is fine and will help eliminate low noises such as the hum of a fan or an HVAC system. It won’t remove external voices and other loud sounds, but combined with the closed back nature of the H3PRO Hybrid, the ANC does do the job. It’s not going to compare to say the Sony WH-1000XM3s or a Bose Quietcomfort headset (nor did I expect it to), but I used the ANC for most of my testing time and enjoyed the quieter environment around me.
Sound wise, the H3Pro Hybrids really sounded great, and it’s close to being the best quality out of the headsets I’ve tested in the $250 and above. The mids and highs are nice and clear and don't sound tinny at all. The bass wasn’t overpowering but it conveyed the weight and punch of gunshots and explosions well enough. I was really surprised at how good these sound. Whether it’s music or games, the H3Pro Hybrid was solid on all accounts when I tested it on the PC.
I ran through a gamut of games to see how the H3Pro Hybrid sounded and I was really happy with it all. In games like 7 Days to Die, where I need to hear the quiet footsteps or gurgling of zombies so they don’t sneak up on me, I was able to pick out the softer audio in quiet environments without any issues. Positional audio seems to work well too, with noises that are supposed to be far away sounding like they are and closer sounds feeling like they are near you, rather than everything being in the center. I was able to move around a jet engine and know where the sound was coming from. If you enjoy positional audio, the H3Pro Hybrid works well in this area as well.
With battery life, you’re looking at around 30 hours without ANC activated and around 19 with it on. Both times are going to give you plenty of use before you have to plug it in to recharge. From a dead battery, you’ll need about 2 hours to charge it to full, but with a 30 hour battery life, you can get a better than a days worth of battery out of it with 30 mins to an hour's worth of charging.
There’s an app for both the PC and your mobile phone to adjust settings as well as providing an EQ. The H3Pro Hybrid worked fine when connected to the PC either wirelessly or through the USB_C cable, allowing me to adjust the sound and how long before it goes to sleep with the software, but I could not for the life of me get the Android app to recognize the headset. I was able to listen to my phone through Bluetooth without any issues, but the phone app never worked and even after an update or two, it never did find the headset. So, while the software on the PC was solid, the mobile app was unusable.
I was surprised at how good the EPOS H3Pro Hybrid sounded. Like I said before, it’s one of the best sounding headphones in this price range that I’ve reviewed in the past few months. Build quality wise, it’s good at a lot of things, but I do wish EPOS had improved upon a few issues, like the lack of rotational earcups. It’s a solid looking headset, with a good quality microphone and good battery life. With compatibility across many other platforms and a good comfort fit, the EPOS H3Pro Hybrid is a very solid choice for a gaming headset, retailing at $280 at the time of this review.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
I've been reviewing products since 1997 and started out at Gaming Nexus. As one of the original writers, I was tapped to do action games and hardware. Nowadays, I work with a great group of folks on here to bring to you news and reviews on all things PC and consoles.
As for what I enjoy, I love action and survival games. I'm more of a PC gamer now than I used to be, but still enjoy the occasional console fair. Lately, I've been really playing a ton of retro games after building an arcade cabinet for myself and the kids. There's some old games I love to revisit and the cabinet really does a great job at bringing back that nostalgic feeling of going to the arcade.View Profile