EPOS H3PRO Hybrid Review
I’ll get right to it: the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid is a solid headset in a somewhat crowded space of wireless gaming cans. While I’m not an audiophile, I’m a stickler for quality headphones that do what they do well and meet my requirements. The EPOS H3PRO Hybrid H3PRO Hybrid hits most of the marks but falls short in a couple of minor aspects. Given its strengths, they’re easy to get over.
I need a pair of headphones that can hold up to my 9 to 5 job, which consists of meetings and more meetings. I want to game at night when I have free time. Wireless is a must for all my devices. While I’m aware of the sound degradation through Bluetooth, it’s a sacrifice worth making if it means my entire desk stays cord-free.
The good news is the H3PRO Hybrid is a gaming headset that works well for work and play. It has enough features to justify its price tag without totally breaking your bank account. It can handle two audio inputs simultaneously. This is a must-have feature for most home offices with a secondary function, like a gaming PC or a console setup that allows you to use your phone.
The main wireless audio is done through a 2.4 GHZ USB dongle or Bluetooth. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack to get the sharpest sound on whatever device you fancy to plug it into.
Comfort with less breathability
There’s a real quality finish on the plastic. The headphones are light, clocking in around 0.6lbs, and feel fantastic in terms of material and fit. I wear glasses, so I pay special attention to the pressure against my head. When headphones press too hard, I’ll be in great agony and have a righteous spectacle imprint along my temples. These are perfectly balanced, and I didn’t even feel them against my head for the workday or evening gaming sessions.
What I noticed – which surprised me – is the lack of breathability. The ear cup material uses faux leather over the cloth for a better sound enclosure. It can get pretty hot around the ears as the material keeps your skin from breathing. It’s not a deal-breaker but noticeable compared to my Arctis Pro Wireless cans that I’ve never sweated in.
You’re able to connect wirelessly simultaneously via the dongle and use Bluetooth on another device. Hearing game audio while taking a phone call is done efficiently, so if your mother calls and wants to chat during a match, it’s no big deal. Volume is handled via a handy wheel on the right side, where you’ll also find the Bluetooth power button and active noise canceling. On the left ear, you’ll find regular power, a USB-C connection to charge (or audio), and a proprietary input for the 3.5mm jack. Not sure why you need a custom cable for the headphone jack, but if you lose yours, you can buy a replacement from EPOS.
It’s worth mentioning that I didn’t notice any loss of sound quality even when letting the dog out to the yard or checking my laundry room, making me appreciate the steady signal strength. My house isn’t huge, but it’s nice to quickly get water in the kitchen and be able to hear when a round of Halo is about to start.
Overall battery life with the dongle is rated up to 30 hours. With Active Noise Cancelling enabled, it drops to 19 hours. Using the 3.5mm cord still requires you to power on the headset, which gives you around 29 hours on cable. Most headphones don’t need power to enjoy a direct plugin, so that’s a trade-off.
I found these estimates to be pretty accurate. I clocked 3-4 days of regular use before I needed a charge.
A standard LED pulses green, yellow, and red based on how your battery is doing and a friendly voice prompt when you power on the headset that gives you a percentage.
A big caveat is the microphone. It works and does the job, but people in meetings reported background noises coming through the mic, which was disappointing. If your space is quiet, it’s not a big deal, but if you’re like me and the dog will bark at a doorbell or a bird, your Discord friends may get a tiny earful. If you need mic isolation due to a noisy area, I’d opt for a different headset.
The mic boom can be removed to look less like a gaming device, but the headset will still use a secondary mic on the ear cup. This mic will pick up even more noise, so ensure it’s nice and quiet before giving it a go. Loud mechanical keyboard enthusiasts beware. We’ll hear those keystrokes.
A tinier caveat is the automatic noise cancellation. I honestly could barely tell the difference between having it toggled on vs. off, as the enclosure around the ears is pretty good at removing ambient noise. I did tests with it on and off and noticed only a slight difference in hearing noise, so if you really want ANC as a critical feature, I’d advise you to look elsewhere.
The default settings for the H3PRO are a warm, bass-heavy preset. I liked the default settings before playing around with the software. Songs sound great, though you won’t get the frequency range you’re used to if you’re coming from a DAC and a headset tuned primarily for music. But you can fine-tune it for your optimal preference. The bass and mid to high tones sound great in terms of gaming. Guns in Halo sounded hefty, and the environmental sounds were crisp. The only thing that didn’t hold up so well for me was the positional audio when testing the 7.1 via the software. It splits apart the 2.0 sound, which kind of works, but I still felt lacking, though this is something I call into question with all pseudo surround sound cans.
All things considered, the H3PRO Hybrid is a strong contender in its space. While not a perfect headset – the mic leaves a lot to be desired, and it’s not too breathable –- it comes with software to fine-tune the response, and the battery life is excellent. Managing volume between the dual inputs is straightforward, and the finish on the headphones is polished. They’re a pair you can wear out to walk the dog and not feel silly, as well as do office work or jump on the PS5 / Xbox to unwind. It’s hard to ask for much more than that in our home life these days.
***EPOS H3PRO provided for review***
- Very comfortable for long sessions
- Nice usage of materials
- Long battery life
- Microphone picks up noise
- ANC is not noticeable
- Ear cups are not breathable