For as long as the world spins, there will be products and manufacturers that we align ourselves with. Whether that be due to a specific design that evokes memories, or a first product with which you have fond memories from years gone by, once a brand finds a way to worm itself into your head, it’s very difficult to let go.
That was the case for me with Sennheiser. After acquiring a first proper set of cans many years ago, I was immediately smitten by what they offered, later going on to ensure that they were my go-to for any and all audio products.
So when Sennheiser started working the gaming scene with their EPOS brand, it was difficult for me to ignore them. And that love continued to be cemented with the arrival of the EPOS | SENNHEISER GSP 300, 500 and 600 lines. Even now, my go-to headset of choice when gaming is the stunning blue and tan GSP 602. It may not do anything fancy, it may not have a multitude of buttons and features, but it’s supremely comfortable, never runs out of juice due to a constant wired connection to my controller and, above all else, sounds immense.
But then EPOS and Sennheiser split, going their separate ways, leaving a rift in my heart. Thankfully the former have continued to evolve, continuing to amend and enhance their products to ensure they stay relevant. That was the case with the EPOS H3 Wired Headset that took the GSP 300 vibe and worked in an altogether more refined product. But EPOS had plans way beyond that simple to use, plug-and-play device. They had the EPOS H3 Hybrid in mind.
And yep, I’m still utterly sold on what they’ve managed to create.
So, the EPOS H3 Hybrid headset is an evolution of the standard wired version of the H3. This one comes with an internal battery, a power button, the opportunity to charge via USB-C, Bluetooth capabilities in tow AND, get this, a removable mic and built-in secondary one for when you want to leave the house with these on your head, but don’t want to let the outside world know exactly what you get up to in your spare time.
Running pretty much the exact same design as the original H3, the H3 hybrid comes in Onyx Black (basically solid black all over) and Ghost White (yeah, Stormtrooper vibes). There is little to distinguish the two headsets from one another either, and from a distance you’d struggle to be able to tell which is which. Get closer though and some vital clues point to the Hybrid version; mostly as various buttons and features come to the fore.
The first difference is in the headband and proudly displayed on the edge of this is the H3 Hybrid logo, just below the cloth upper and leathered underside of the band. With the same steel reinforced headband being adjustable via the usual push-and-pull method, it isn’t until we move down to the earcups themselves where further differences are found.
Running the same 40mm drivers inside the earcups, the sound that the H3 Hybrid delivers is immense, something that should be no surprise when you take the past history of EPOS products; these guys know how to make a headset sound good and no matter how you are taking in your audio, the H3 Hybrid is more than capable of delivering loud, crisp, uncluttered sound. In fact, I’ve not yet found anything that is able to muddy the audio provided, across gaming, music and video use. Props go out to the EPOS team for being able to ensure that even their relatively cheap headset lacks little.
It’s the outside of the ear cups where things get interesting though. The standard H3 is utterly bereft of any button, with just a rotating volume dial allowing the user to dial in their sounds as they wish. But the Hybrid comes with bigger, grander ideas and with Bluetooth in tow alongside USB-C connection and a 3.5mm jack, all eventualities are covered.
What this means is that should you be playing on Xbox, or PlayStation, or Switch, or PC, connecting the H3 Hybrid via the 3.5mm jack to your controller, and then hitting the power button on the headset, will deliver you the finest gaming sounds to your ears. The volume dial then does the rest. But as you game away, there will be times when you want to bring in audio from elsewhere. Perhaps you’re bored of the DIRT 5 podcast that accompanies the racing, and want to fire up a bit of Spotify via your phone, helping power your sessions with music in tow. A simple Bluetooth connection to your phone enables this, with that volume dictated by your usual phone systems.
This also comes into its own should you wish to take a phone call whilst gaming, or chat with your mates via Discord. A flip-to-mute mic is in place here, and frankly this provides the usual quality that you would expect. But in a switch from the standard H3, this mic is also detachable, only held in place by some strong magnets and a three-pin connection. Remove the mic, stick over the blanking plate that is included in the box, and you can leave the house with these cans on your head, without fear of looking the fool with a huge boom mic on the side of your ears. EPOS have covered the situation by including a built-in mic too, and in use this seems to be just as good at allowing phone calls as the standard mic, with just a single second drop-off kicking in as the boom mic is attached and removed.
But there’s more, and whilst EPOS promise some 37 hours of use when the H3 Hybrid is attached via Bluetooth, the included USB-A to USB-C cable means that it’s easy to keep charge at all times. A simple connection to your laptop or PC is all you need to worry about, and, if you’re working the Windows angle, an EPOS Gaming Suite is available for those wanting to tailor things to their own needs.
The dual audio inputs work brilliantly together, are an absolute cinch to use and ensure that the H3 Hybrid can be used in all manner of situations, from gaming to phone calls, to music listening and to video watching – whether you are in, or out, of the house.
So what’s not to like about the H3 Hybrid? Well honestly, it’s much the same as my original thoughts in that the volume dial isn’t quite as tactile as it is on the bigger, beefier GSP 602; I’d much rather be able to grab this dial to rotate, instead of relying on the feel of a single digit. But that’s being pretty picky and on the whole there’s little to complain about.
And without that nitpick, well, EPOS have knocked it out of the park with the H3 Hybrid headset. It covers absolutely every scenario you can imagine, works across multiple formats and products, looks great, feels brilliant and sounds nothing short of immense. If you’re in the market for a headset that does the lot and doesn’t cost an absolute bomb, you’ll not go wrong with the EPOS H3 Hybrid. Go and buy it.
Huge thanks go out to EPOS for providing us with a review unit of the H3 Hybrid. You can pick one up for yourself by hitting them up direct. Expect to pay £149.
Don’t forget to check out our review and unboxing of the standard H3 Wired Headset too.