It’s not often that a high-end gaming headset does something that stands out. It happens, but as someone who has more headsets strewn about my office than I could confidently list, there’s a lot of marketing fluff behind most of them. Latency this and fancy material that. It all means something, but when you’re dealing with top-of-the-line products, you expect that level of design and performance. With the EPOS H3Pro Hybrid, you get the quality that you’d expect from a wireless headset, but you also get a feature that has solved one of the nagging issues with my gaming experience, audio mixing between Bluetooth and wired connections.
What's in the box?
As you should expect in 2021, the EPOS H3Pro Hybrid comes in some slick packaging. It was easy to flip the box open and remove each of the components. It was also easy to pack it all back up when I wasn’t using it without having to bend the box or rip it up trying to jam components back in.
The headset itself is well-built. It has an adjustable headband made of steel, and even has markings on it so that you can adjust the left and right side equally without guessing. The earcups are also adjustable via a hinge. It took me a bit of tinkering to get it feeling just right 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 from the headband, and something of a microfiber cloth where your skin touches the earcup.
The H3Pro Hybrid comes with a mic attached to it that can be raised or lowered to activate or deactivate it. If I’m at my PC there is no way I’m using a mic built into the headset, so I removed it and put the cover in place. The headset has dual mics, so even if the boom arm is removed you can still take calls via Bluetooth if your headset is connected to your phone.
The headset itself features several buttons and connections, including a power button on the left ear that does what 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 properly paired. The right side of the headset also has an ANC button (Active Noise Cancellation) to turn the noise cancellation functionality on and off. Finally, the right side of the headset features a volume control that is a dial placed on the outside of the earcup. It’s my least favorite part of the H3Pro Hybrid, as there’s really nothing to grip and I found the dial wasn’t very responsive.
The H3Pro Hybrid works with the EPOS Gaming Suite software. While I appreciate that every piece of hardware on earth now wants you to install something to get the most from it, I also enjoy how the H3Pro Hybrid worked perfectly fine without it. If I’m using this headset with my Nintendo Switch or PS5, I have no desire to be messing with its app, and I didn’t need to. That’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 both wireless and wired options and can connect to multiple devices at the same time by utilizing 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 also using Discord on my iPhone via Bluetooth. This solved a problem I had been having for a couple of years where I wanted to game with my buddies on PS5, but we all wanted to use Discord on our phones since our PCs weren’t in the same room as our consoles. Until now, I’d just use ear buds for my iPhone and play the game audio through my surround sound speakers, which isn’t ideal. With the H3Pro Hybrid, I can now get simultaneous game and voice audio through my headset from two different sources.
The H3Pro Hybrid lists lag-free wireless as one of its features, and that’s true enough. While I didn’t get any lag, I did get a few instances of crackling in the headset, presumably from the wireless connection struggling for a moment or two. This specifically happened when using the wireless dongle connected to my PC, but only for a few seconds and only a couple of times spread out through my use.
The H3Pro Hybrid sounds great, as you would expect from a high-end headset. It features a closed back and noise cancellation. In simple terms, this means you won’t hear what’s going on around you while using the headset, and if you speak you will often hear your own voice in your head. Whether you like 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 of hitting its listed frequency response. A simple test found that it was able to play sounds at 20 Hz, which is the lowest limit of human hearing. I’m 40 now, so I couldn’t verify the 20,000 Hz upper limit simply due to the fact my old ears won’t pick anything up above 15,000 Hz or so. What I did notice is that there was a bit of a buzz when listening to deeper bass sounds at a high volume. I immediately tested my Audeze LCD-1 headphones using the same sound test, and there was no buzz. I would caution anyone who plans to use the H3Pro Hybrid for loud music or music with a lot of bass to maybe read a few more reviews and see if this is a consistent finding.
Thankfully, I have no intention of listening to music in the H3Pro Hybrid, and it did a fine job of meeting my gaming and voice chat needs. The closed back certainly helps isolate sounds. One of my favorite games to test sound in is The Long Dark. The audio in that game can be subtle but vital to survival. You need to be able to distinguish if the footsteps over the top of a hill belong to a deer or a wolf, otherwise it’s your life. The H3Pro Hybrid did a great job of feeding me clear sounds throughout my game time, and never once did I have a problem with the battery running low as long as I kept a decent charge in it. The battery life can vary depending on the type of connection you're using, but it's safe to say it's closer to 20 hours at minimum.
Wrap it up
The big sell for the H3Pro Hybrid for me is that it fixes a problem I’ve had for years by being able to connect via Bluetooth and the wireless USB dongle at the same time. Yeah, the headset generally sounds great, looks great, and is built well, but most of them accomplish these feats in 2021. Credit to EPOS for building a headset that gave me something that I didn’t have previously but I needed. That may not be the case for everyone, but perhaps it’ll solve a problem for you too.
This review is based on a sample provided by the manufacturer. The EPOS H3Pro Hybrid retails for $279 USD.
EPOS H3Pro Hybrid
- Built well
- Audio mix is handy
- East set up
- Good battery life
- Nice packaging
- decent in-game audio
- Volume dial is downright awful
- Small buzzing at high bass, high volume
Bill Lavoy posted a new article, EPOS H3Pro Hybrid review: Dual-wielding audio