EPOS H3 assessment | Rock Paper Shotgun
When Sennheiser’s gaming division remodeled into EPOS final yr, one in all their first orders of enterprise was the discharge of their GTW 270 Hybrid wi-fi earbuds, an costly, however extremely compact tackle a conventional gaming headset. Regardless of their tiny measurement, these earbuds had a built-in microphone and all the pieces, however their quick battery life of 5 hours made them lower than best for extended gaming stints. The excellent news is that EPOS at the moment are within the strategy of refreshing Sennheiser’s extra conventional line-up of gaming headsets, beginning with the EPOS H3. That is the evolution of Sennheiser’s GSP 300 and 350 headsets, the latter of which I believed was a good, if somewhat chunky £115 headset again once I reviewed it in 2017.
The H3 improves on the GSP 350 in a number of key areas. Its padded, leatherette headband is rather more snug for starters, and I used to be in a position to put on it for a superb couple of hours with out getting a headache. The GSP 350, however, felt prefer it was slowly turning right into a medieval torture system, and I typically needed to begin shifting it on my head after simply half-hour of use.
Its design is way classier, too. It is nonetheless a bit on the cumbersome aspect, particularly with its built-in, flip-down microphone sticking up on the left-hand aspect, however its all-black (or within the case of my Ghost White assessment mannequin, white and black) chassis is way much less ‘gamery’ than earlier than. Certainly, it really appears and feels rather more like an everyday pair of headphones in comparison with the GSP 350, and it is most likely one of many subtler headset designs I’ve seen lately. There’s nonetheless numerous plastic current contemplating the price of the factor, although, and I might have anticipated increased high quality supplies given its £109 / $119 worth. Nonetheless, at the very least it helps preserve the load down (and that dreaded head pinch at bay), which is extra vital to me than having a barely fancier-looking headset.
Moreover, its chrome steel headband slider helps to offer it a barely extra premium look, and its tactile, clicky adjustment slots make it straightforward to get a superb match. That mentioned, I fear about whether or not there’s sufficient adjustment on the decrease finish of the adjustment scale. I’ve received a fairly small head in comparison with most individuals on the market, I need to admit, however even I could not have it set to something longer than quantity two on its ten-point adjustment slider. As such, if you understand you have received a very tiny noggin in comparison with most people, this may not be one of the best headset for you.
That is a disgrace, because the EPOS H3’s audio high quality is fairly darn nice. It comes with two cables within the field – a single 3.5mm audio jack for consoles, laptops and telephones, and a twin 3.5mm cable for us on PC. It does not want any exterior software program to get one of the best out of it both, and you’ll simply plug in and play and get on with it. The H3 has a wider frequency response than most different gaming headsets on the market proper now, starting from 10MHz to 30KHz as a substitute of the same old 20MHz – 20KHz, and the impact of its decrease lows and better highs was instantly obvious once I put it via my audio testing suite.
In Doom, my Tremendous Shotgun had a a lot deeper, guttural roar once I fired it into unsuspecting demon flesh, and the broader soundscape was a lot richer and extra detailed proper from the off, from the flickering rumble of burning wreckage to the economic yawns of UAC equipment. The sport’s heavy steel soundtrack additionally felt prefer it was correctly pumping via my ears, and I felt fully immersed in each single demon scrap.
Headsets that go large on bass have a tendency to instantly crumble once I put them via the following recreation in my testing suite, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, however fortunately the H3 proved to be simply as deft right here because it was in Doom, taking over its binaural soundtrack with a formidable lightness of contact. The voices inside Senua’s head within the opening cutscene sounded splendidly pure and full-bodied on the H3, like they have been whispering proper on the again of my neck, and so they felt effectively balanced in opposition to the rumbling, distant thunder and delicate splashes of water from the oar of Senua’s boat.
Lastly, the H3 was an amazing match for the plush orchestral rating of Last Fantasy XV, too. The sport’s gentle strings and piano melodies had loads of depth and element to them as Noctis and co clambered throughout the hills of Duscae, and nothing received drowned out or overwhelmed when it got here all the way down to the enterprise of preventing, both. As an alternative, all the pieces felt prefer it was getting an equal highlight right here, with the zippy, zappy teleportation results of Noctis’ sword sounding well-matched in opposition to the busy battle themes beneath.
The H3’s bidirectional microphone additionally put in an excellent efficiency as effectively, producing crystal clear voice chat with out even the smallest trace of annoying background hiss. It dealt with my deliberate plosive-heavy sentences fairly effectively, too, blowing out on a few events however usually protecting all the pieces in examine. I additionally did not really feel the necessity to alter its lengthy increase arm to get good high quality audio, both, so you should have no bother utilizing it to speak together with your mates on-line, or utilizing it to take the odd video name. There’s a bit of little bit of flex within the arm ought to the necessity come up, but it surely’s not as flexible as different headset mics on the market. To mute it, you simply must flip it again up, though it is a disgrace there is not any beep or different indication when it has been pushed far sufficient. Nonetheless, total it is a very commendable microphone that will get the job accomplished.
The one actual misstep on the H3 is its on-ear quantity wheel. This sits fully flush to the headset, which makes it fairly tough to show while you’re really sporting it. It is doable when you’re concentrating, however I stored catching my fingers on the dial’s raised encompass, which does not do something in any respect. It offers a good quantity of management as soon as you have received a superb grip on it, but it surely’s nowhere close to as straightforward and tactile because it may very well be.
On the entire, although, the EPOS H3 is a nice gaming headset certainly. Its audio high quality is totally high notch, and its wider frequency response helps it stand out from the gang. Nonetheless, there’s a number of stiff competitors within the H3’s worth vary, and when my present finest gaming headset choose, the distinctive Logitech G Professional X, could be had for barely much less as of late (£100 / $116), the H3 turns into a bit of more durable to justify. It is the little issues – like its next-to-useless quantity dial, the additional bulk added by its microphone and the very fact it nonetheless, finally, offers me a little bit of a headache after a few hours – that drag it down. The Logitech additionally feels much more upmarket than the H3, plus it is even comfier to put on for longer intervals of time. It additionally does not have any fussy on-ear controls, and its Blue Voice-enabled microphone might be nonetheless one of the best headset mic this aspect of a correct Blue Yeti. The EPOS H3 will not disappoint when you do resolve to make the leap, however a barely extra aggressive worth might have made it one thing really particular.