EPOS H3PRO Hybrid

Wireless gaming headset with ANC, Bluetooth and USB connectivity

The EPOS H3PRO Hybrid is a gaming headset that can take on any device – even multiple devices simultaneously thanks to a Bluetooth add-on. As for additional premium features, the manufacturer adds 7.1 surround and active noise cancelling (ANC) on top. This makes the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid one of the most flexible gaming headsets on the market.

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EPOS H3PRO Hybrid – who is this gaming headset suitable for?

With its multiple connection options, the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid is particularly aimed at gamers who are looking for a headset that can be used flexibly: Connected to a PC, Playstation, Xbox or Switch, you can simultaneously exchange information with friends via Discord, stream music via a smartphone or even make phone calls via Bluetooth. Thanks to noise cancelling, a detachable microphone and a rechargeable battery, the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid not only performs well during games or video conferences but also when you’re on the move.

Comfort

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The EPOS H3PRO Hybrid, available in black, green and white with matching colour accents, is made primarily of plastic and appears to be impeccably crafted. The headband, with an integrated steel band for size adjustment, adjusts in ten steps to the shape of your head and, once selected, retains the size thanks to ratcheting. The headband has leatherette padding with an indentation to relieve pressure on the head, and the top is covered with textile. The headset has a two-piece hinge system that provides adequate vertical and horizontal adjustment to the shape of your head, but the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid does not fold flat.

The ear pads are made with synthetic leather as well as a memory foam covered with suede-like material. The mix of materials feels pleasantly soft and sufficiently padded on the ears. The removable ear pads are not necessarily the largest (approx. 7cm x 3.5cm), so large ears are not completely covered by the pads. Compared to the EPOS H3 Hybrid, the contact pressure of this headset doesn’t seem quite as high, but after about three hours of wearing the H3PRO Hybrid, they became a bit uncomfortable, so I had to take a break.

Passive noise attenuation is high, provided the headset fits snugly and the pads provide the appropriate seal.

Operation

The EPOS H3PRO Hybrid has a power button and a flip-to-mute microphone on the left side of the headphones, which docks magnetically and can be easily removed when not in use. A plastic cover plate, which is included in the package, covers the microphone hole like a “cosmetic plaster”. On the right side of the headphones, there is a multifunction button that activates Bluetooth pairing, accepts or rejects phone calls or – if the headset is connected to a PC via USB or wireless – switches between EQ presets or activates the virtual surround sound function. However, the latter requires the EPOS Gaming Suite (see below) to be installed. ANC can also be switched on the right, and the volume can be changed via the rotary control, but the function of this was haphazard. Fortunately, the plastic wheel did not “scratch” on the device we tested, as was the case with the H3 Hybrid. It should be noted that with a simultaneous Bluetooth connection, the volume control can only regulate the signals that are received via the wireless dongle, USB or mini-jack. In this case, if your smartphone functions as a Bluetooth player, the volume must be adjusted there.

Connection options

Unlike many other headphones that can be connected in analogue mode and also support Bluetooth, the H3PRO Hybrid Headset requires power at all times and must therefore always be switched on. If you opt for purely analogue operation via mini-jack, you should always keep an eye on the battery charge level.

But there are also wireless, USB and Bluetooth connections available. The latter can be used in parallel to the other three operating modes, but this does not apply to the analogue connection. In other words, USB and mini-jack cannot be connected to two different outputs.

The H3PRO Hybrid supports Bluetooth version 5.2, but unfortunately, the only codec supported is SBC. Android and iPhone users are thus put on an equal footing, but we would have liked to see the inclusion of a high-resolution codec here.

The software

With the help of the EPOS Gaming Suite (for Windows only), the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid can be adjusted as necessary. Here, as with the H3 Hybrid, we struggled with connection problems: while there was no cause for complaint when used via USB cable, the EPOS Gaming Suite lost the connection to the wireless dongle from time to time. Unfortunately, the manufacturer’s solutions did not help much.

Once the connection is established, not only can updates be carried out and the language selected, but the sound can also be adapted to one’s own needs. You can either use one of the four presets (“Flat”, “Movie”, “Esport”, “Music”) or use the nine-band equaliser, each of which can be adjusted by ±6 dB. Of course, it is possible to save and use your own EQ settings. The audio playback can also be set from 2.0 to 7.1; this activates control of the sound reverberation. If this is set to 100%, however, the sound becomes unattractive to the point of unusable. In the right measure, it immediately gives the impression of being more realistic. In terms of sound, EPOS H3PRO Hybrid’s virtual 7.1 surround sound is one of the better ones because the artificial room sounds quite good.

Naturally, you can also tweak the microphone with the Gaming Suite: an EQ with new bands is also available here, as are some presets. The loudness booster amplifies the microphone signal, sidetone and the noise gate can also be configured here.

Battery life

The battery life of the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid varies depending on the operating mode: The manufacturer states a runtime of up to 38 hours (without ANC), or 22 hours (with ANC) when the headset communicates via Bluetooth. It is 30 hours via wireless (without ANC), approx. 19 hours with noise-cancelling switched on. It should be 29 hours when playing via the 3.5 mm mini-jack cable and about 19 hours when noise cancelling is also switched on in analogue mode. The EPOS H3PRO Hybrid charges the non-removable batteries as soon as it is connected via USB, that is, even while playing.

Sound

Sound-wise, the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid is quite convincing: although we can’t expect either ultra-deep sub-bass roll or silky, shiny highs from this model. Straight out-of-the-box without equaliser tuning, the H3PRO sounds rather unspectacular with a slightly boosted bass range. If that’s too lame, you can intervene with the equaliser and create your own – albeit limited – sound characteristics to suit yourself.

With the EQ deactivated, we listened to a wide range of genres from our test playlist without detecting anything too noticeable. Low bass tracks lacked a bit of punch, but the H3PRO Hybrid delivers bass drums and bass with clean definition.

At full playback volume, it became muddy, especially with densely packed arrangements. The bass range receded into the background, and depending on the sound material, the headset tended to hiss in the treble.

When it comes to gaming, the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid does well: if these headphones fit like a glove, there’s nothing to stop you from gaming for hours on end. In Horizon Zero Dawn and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, we never had any trouble determining the position of opponents or understanding dialogue.

As already mentioned, the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid can also handle virtual 7.1 surround sound. So far, no headset has really been able to impress us with this, but it has to be acknowledged that EPOS’s version is one of the best. In contrast to real loudspeaker surround, a lot of spatial information falls by the wayside. Not surprisingly, because this is just part of the system: differences in delay between the ears simply cannot be adequately reproduced by headphones with one driver per side. The result is a kind of “wide stereo sound” that sounds spatial thanks to all kinds of DSP and filter technology, but we also had trouble with the H3PRO Hybrid precisely allocating sound events in our “blind” test. However, this does not mean that the headset sounds imprecise: As mentioned above, opponents could be reliably located and details such as gunshots in the distance were not masked.

Noise cancelling

If you expect the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid to deliver ANC effectiveness like that of the Sony WH-1000XM4, Apple AirPods Max or Bose Headphones 700 then you will be disappointed. This headset does not suppress noise as broadly as these competitors. Here, the noise-cancelling was more effective in the lower frequency range and it skilfully, but moderately, filtered out low-frequency rumble. Voices, for example, were deprived of their “substance”, while mids and highs were only slightly reduced. The diving bell effect was absent, but the background noise was audibly raised, although this only remained perceptible in silence or quiet passages.

Microphone

The EPOS H3PRO Hybrid has two microphones, as you would expect. The flip-to-mute mic sounded decent and only tended to be sharp when the mouth was too close. This can be counteracted with the equaliser in the Gaming Suite. So while our colleagues in online meetings had nothing to complain about, our test recordings showed that for professional live streams or voice recordings, you should use a specialist device.

The second microphone is hidden in the left ear cup and aims to provide clear voice transmission when in Bluetooth mode. It sounded a bit muffled, and the noise reduction packed such a punch in some situations that even our voice was affected.

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Pete Schloßnagel
5 months ago by Pete Schloßnagel
  • Rating: 3.88
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

With the H3PRO Hybrid, EPOS adds a good all-rounder with an interesting key feature to its range. If you want to play games at home and chat at the same time, as well as listen to music and make phone calls while on the move via Bluetooth using a smartphone, you can do it all without any problems using this headset. Sound-wise, the drivers are unspectacular in a positive sense, as is the flip-to-mute microphone. The surround emulation sounds good, although not authentic – the location of opponents is nevertheless ensured. The noise-cancelling and the very good battery life must also be praised, making the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid one of the most durable gaming headsets on the market.

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingOver-ear
  • Typeclosed
  • Transducer principledynamic
  • Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
  • Sound pressure level (SPL)116 dB
  • Weight with cable308 g
  • Weight without cable288 g
  • Cable length200 cm

What's in the box

  • GSA H3PRO wireless dongle
  • GSA 25 cover plate
  • GSA 31 USB cable
  • GSA 30 mini jack cable
  • USB-A extension cable

Special features

  • Available in black, white, green
  • BT codecs: SBC
  • BT version: 5.2

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